Integrity is particularly feeble. It makes no sense to assert integrity as a value, as no one would ever dream of asserting the reverse.

A few weeks ago I stood up in front of a group of managers from two dozen well-known companies and forced them to play a parlour game. In advance I ha(...)

If something is important enough to have a meeting about, then a table must be found and people must travel to sit at it. Photograph: Getty

At 10.30am one day last week I got a reminder on my phone saying that at 11am I had to join a conference call. I spent the next 30 minutes mildly drea(...)

A male chief executive’s ideal book club  is just like a board meeting. Photograph: David Sleator

About a decade ago the editor of the Financial Times invited me to a dinner party at his house along with a dozen important people. I was slightly dre(...)

Doing expenses: “I started the job at 3.30pm and by 5pm was close to tears.” File photograph: Getty Images

Coming back to work after two weeks away I felt so out of the swing of it and so overburdened with undone things, I did what I almost never do and mad(...)

In a Word . . . ugly

You may have read the article in these pages a couple of weeks ago by columnist Lucy Kellaway on how good-looking people do better these days. This no(...)

The head of Accenture said  he is going to free all 330,000 of his staff from the charade of the annual job appraisal. Photograph: Getty Images

Last week I did the most unexpectedly uplifting thing I’d done in ages. I needed cheering as I’d just sat through a documentary in which the brilliant(...)

A man using his smartphone walks past an advertisement board for Japan’s Nikkei newspaper’s digital media on a street in Tokyo. Japanese media group Nikkei has agreed to buy the Financial Times from Britain’s Pearson for $1.3 billion. Photograaph:  Yuya Shino/Reuters

The takeover of the Financial Times by Nikkei is probably a surprise, at least to those outside the media. Nikkei’s long-term plan might become clear (...)

Recruiters and managers are so faceist that the good-looking have been found to earn some 10 per cent more than the bad-looking. File photograph: Stockphoto/Getty

Not long ago I found myself addressing a room full of newish hires at one of the big four accountancy firms. As I surveyed the crowd, I noticed someth(...)

Microsoft  chief executive Satya Nadella: “I want to share more on the overall context and connective tissue between our mission, world view, strategy and culture.”   To have a mission, vision and world view is greedy, but to have so many abstractions with lots of connective tissue between them leaves one feeling sick.    Photograph: Jason Redmond/Reuters

About 10 days ago, Satya Nadella sent a 1,500-word email to all staff to tell them about Microsoft’s new mission statement. A reader duly forwarded th(...)

Every chairman will say his board is ego-free. Photograph: Getty Images

Last week I received an email inviting me to join a panel of self-important people talking about something I do not know much about. I said no. It was(...)