Simon London

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Full name: Simon London

Area of interest: Management (theory and practice) and technology

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times


Personal website:




Networks:!/simonlon |



Education: East Barnet School, North London: Oxford University: politics, philosophy and economics

Career: Public relations career before joining the Financial Times in 1990: capital markets reporter, property correspondent, Lex and Observer columnist, personal finance editor, management editor. Relocated with his family in 2001 to Silicon Valley to write about management and technology. Left the FT in 2006 to join management consulting firm McKinsey & Company

Current position/role:

  • also writes/written for:

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities: McKinsey & Company (Public Relations and Communications): Director of External Relations, Americas



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Latest work:



Financial Times:

column ended February, 2006

Column name:

Remit/Info: Management (theory and practice) and technology

Section: Business life

Role: Management editor



Website: FT.Com / Simon London

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Wednesday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2006

  • Change means possibility and pain - Change within organisations always and everywhere involves loss. Sometimes the loss is small, as when the boss asks us to give up a familiar routine or move to a distant corner of the building. Sometimes it is of existential proportions, as when a new assignment challenges us to reconsider our values, status and career. Either way, distress is the inevitable result - 28th February 2006
  • Flexibility is the key to survival - Back in the good old days, when news travelled at the speed of telex and the world seemed big, change was something that happened to companies once every few years. Chief executives would initiate “change programmes” to rid their organisations of old habits and inculcate new ones. Strategy would be re-examined, priorities reset, jobs redesigned and reporting lines redrawn - 21st February 2006
  • Private equity dogged by success - Barbarians are at the gate in numbers unprecedented. Several of the largest private equity firms this year aim to raise funds of $10bn or more. This will give them the wherewithal to attempt deals of record scale and scope. The $25bn spent in 1988 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the original barbarian, buying out food-to-tobacco group RJR Nabisco no longer seems startling - 14th February 2006
  • Capturing the ‘Brics’ markets - Blame Dominic Wilson and Roopa Purushothaman for introducing ‘Brics’ into the business lexicon. In a paper published two years ago, the Goldman Sachs economists forecast that Brazil, Russia, India and China would be four of the world’s six largest economies by the middle of this century. Thus Brics joined non-places such as Emea, Asean and Nafta in the acronym-crazed geography of international management - 7th February 2006
  • Can Google’s random genius last? - Googlemania has been in full swing for more than a year. Unless you devote your life to the subject, you have probably struggled to keep pace with the adventures of Sergey, Larry and their hoard of gifted geeks. After months of wall-to-wall media coverage, you might even be asking yourself: do I really care? - 31st January 2006
  • Experimentation is the key - “Trying to get an organisation to innovate is like trying to teach a dog to walk on its hind legs,” quips Gary Hamel, the management guru. “If you get its full attention and hold a biscuit in front of its nose, it might take a few steps. But as soon as you turn your back it goes down on all fours.” - 24th January 2006
  • Little time for management theory - I met recently the chief executive of a substantial, successful technology company who claimed never to have attended a management class or read a business book. When pressed for her favourite management guru, she selected Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and star turn at a recent sales conference. She had not the slightest inclination to explore Drucker, Porter, Leavitt and the rest. The Harvard Business Review was to her a closed book - 17th January 2006
  • Amateur decision-makers - How decisions are made within organisations has fascinated students of management since, well, before management was even recognised as a field of study. In the 1930s, Chester Barnard put decision-making at the heart of The Functions of the Executive, one of the first books on what we now call general management. In the 1940s, Herbert Simon (later a Nobel laureate) argued that understanding “the logic and psychology of human choice” was central to progress in what was then known as “administration”. It is hardly stretching the point to argue that decisions are the primary output of managers - 10th January 2006
  • Lessons on life and management - For the last several weeks I have been thinking as much about Aristotle as about Santa Claus. For this I blame James O’Toole, whose personal take on Aristotelian ethics, Creating The Good Life*, was published last year and ended up at the top of my pile of books to read over the holidays - 3rd January 2006

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