Thought for the day:Tend it like Beckham

Outsourcing and communications expert Martyn Hart looks at a hot issue of the day.Judging by the e-mails we get it seems that the...

Outsourcing and communications expert Martyn Hart looks at a hot issue of the day.Judging by the e-mails we get it seems that the readers of this column sympathise with my colleague Leon in his views about incompetent top management and managers who act fraudulently.

How can you guarantee the transparency so that business don't run on fraud or corrupt practices is harder to see?

Leon, however, seems to have had a brainwave.

He's decided to call it Management by Beckham. His idea is that top athletes - footballers, pop stars, actors etc., only stay in their position if they are better than anyone else or if their public will pay for them.

So David Beckham is worth £50,000 a week while he is a great footballer, once he isn't, he goes. That's life.

But to get there, Beckham has to be able to play football, and this is Leon's point. Beckham can't play football fraudulently, he can't get others to kick his penalties or claim the others sides goals as his.

So this is just what Leon wants for organisations, a way where the managing director only gets there because he's worked well on the way up, and only stays because he is achieving "goals" for the firm.

I couldn't help but ask Leon if that wasn't what happened now, but that it was the shareholders who decided on top management matters. His view is that this hasn't worked probably because investor's representatives don't understand the business or can't get to see if goals are really being scored.

We need metrics and controls that everyone can understand and see, especially employees, as we are the ones that suffer. And we usually lose out twice - not just our jobs but our savings too!

Leon is busy trying to develop his Management by Beckham thesis. Perhaps, if you agree, you can help him.

The concept is reminiscent of workers' councils, but I think Leon has the basis for an idea here. After all, you bet that employees within a firm are the first to be suspicious, maybe it's rat on the boss line?


What's your view?
Is Management by Beckham a winning strategy or an own-goal? Tell us in an e-mail >> CW360.com reserves the right to edit and publish answers on the Web site. Please state if your answer is not for publication.

Martyn Hart is chairman of the National Outsourcing Association and practice director at Mantix, a consultancy that delivers value from complex programmes.
This was last published in July 2002

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