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经济学人:听君一席话 胜读十年书

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Business books quarterly;Book Review;

商业书籍季刊;书评;

Terry Leahy's management;One to ten;

特里·利亚的管理之道;听君一席话,胜读十年书;

Management in 10 Words. By Terry Leahy.

《管理真言》,作者:特里·利亚;

Students of management theory have long debated what constitutes the worst kind of book—the CEO autobiogaphy or the management tome that promises to reveal the secrets of business in words of one syllable. But in “Management in 10 Words” Sir Terry Leahy, a former boss of Tesco, has performed a remarkable act of alchemy: combining two dismal forms to produce an excellent book—a veritable management page-turner that has interesting things to say about everything from the evolution of British society to the art of transforming huge organisations.

管理学理论学界的学者们一直在对什么造就了最烂的那类管理学书籍的问题争论不休-首席执行官们的自传亦或是那些宣称能用寥寥数语揭露商界秘诀的。不过,在《管理真言》一书中,乐购前首席执行官特里·利亚爵士如炼金术师一般令人惊叹地将两种沉闷的形式融合成一本优秀的书-一部对从英国社会的演进到大型组织重整中的艺术等有趣之事无所不谈的著作。

Sir Terry is an example of a type of Briton that is becoming increasingly rare: a working-class boy made good by dint of quick wits and hard work. His Irish father was one of ten children. He grew up on a Liverpool housing estate as one of four. A scholarship to a local public school and a taste for the grocery business provided him with a ladder up: he started his career stacking shelves at Tesco and ended up as CEO for 14 years.

特里爵士, 可谓是英国的一例典型,因他身上带着英国人身上越来越稀有特质:他虽是工人阶级的孩子,可机智幽默,勤奋努力的品性,让显得他出众不凡。爵士的父亲是爱尔兰人,家中有9个兄弟姐妹。而特里是在利物浦街区长大的,结伴的还有家中的其他三个孩子。他之所以能够迈向成功,多少要归功于当年一份当地公共学校的奖学金,以及在商品零售业体验的机会:虽是在乐购的货架间铺展开职业生涯,14年后却能以CEO的身份离开。

When Sir Terry was appointed to the top job, Tesco was struggling in third place in Britain's supermarket hierarchy behind Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer. Rumour had it that a tobacco company had toyed with buying the supermarket but dropped the idea believing it would be bad for the brand. Today Tesco is Britain's largest private employer and the third-largest supermarket in the world, operating in 14 countries and offering banking and insurance as well as fruit and vegetables.

当特里爵士被任命这个最高职位时,乐购正在英国的超级市场领军集团中的第三位苦苦挣扎,在它前面的是Sainsbury和玛莎百货。有谣言称,曾有一家烟草公司想着要买下乐购,不过因为觉得这样做可能损及自己的品牌,最后便打消了这个念头。而如今,乐购已经是全英最大私营雇主,同时也是全球第三大的超市品牌,在14个国家运作,除果蔬之外还提供着银行和保险业务。

Sir Terry argues that the secret has been constant innovation. Tesco introduced loyalty cards in order to gather information on its customers and encourage them to keep coming back. The picture that emerged, of a country that was changing very fast, surprised even the keenest trend-watchers. One innovation led to another. The trove of customer information provided by the loyalty card eased Tesco's entry into banking and e-commerce. And the growing cashflow provided by its expanded businesses eased its entry into foreign markets. Nevertheless, Sir Terry readily admits that there is no science to management: he got the idea for one of Tesco's most successful innovations—small stores in town centres—from visiting a wholesaler and noticing how much business it was doing selling to small shops.

特里爵士认为秘诀是持续的创新。乐购推广会员卡,以此收集顾客的消费信息并鼓励他们成为回头客。国家这样的快速变化,使得那些最敏锐的观察着都感到诧异。创新一个紧挨一个。通过会员卡收集到的顾客信息使乐购在向银行业和电子商务发展时异常受用。同时,通过扩张快速增长的现金流也使其在迈向国外市场时,脚步异常轻松。尽管如此,特里爵士坦诚表示管理中并无科学可言:他由乐购最成功的创新之一-镇中心的小店-源于拜访一家批发商时注意到它对小商店的巨大销量,而得出这样的观点。

Every British retailer in the 1990s prided itself on its enthusiasm for innovation. Why did Sir Terry's Tesco end up being as successful as it has done? One reason is that he notices things. His book is full of fascinating asides. He notes, for example, that South Korean retailers make no distinction between consumers and citizens, automatically setting aside a third of their space for organisers of local community activities. Another is that he knows what it is like to be poor. Having grown up in a Liverpudlian prefab, he is constantly amazed at business's power to improve people's lives.

每一个英国零售商在90年代都标榜着自己对创新的热衷。那为什么特里爵士掌管的乐购能以其自己的创新在这样的氛围中成功呢?一个原因是他觉察着各种各样的事。他的书中也充满着令人着迷的题外话。比如,他写道韩国零售商对消费者和市民不加区别,不假思索地留出三分之一的空间给当地的社区活动组织者发挥。此外,他深知贫穷的滋味。在利物浦一座预制房中长大,他总是惊叹于商业改善人们生活的力量。

Sir Terry repeatedly emphasises the importance of building a ladder of mobility from the shop floor to the CEO's suite. Of the eight executive directors on the board in 2011, the year he left Tesco, five had started their careers with the company. But that does not mean a ladder of escape: he required all managers (including himself) to spend at least a week a year as dogsbodies in local stores. He also often highlights his customers' “simple wish for a better life”. The cost of groceries fell by a third in real terms between 1975 and 2007. The range of products available increased more than tenfold over the same period. And the British diet improved beyond recognition. When Sir Terry joined Tesco, customers spent as much on butter as on fruit and vegetables. Now fruit and vegetables outsell butter by a factor of 40 to one.

特里爵士反复强调建立从底层员工到CEO团队的升迁渠道。2011年,也就是他离开乐购的那年,8名执行董事中,有5人的职业生涯始于乐购。但这并不意味这是一个逃离基层的方式:他要求所有的管理者(包括他自己),每年至少有一周在当地的店面中参与基层工作。他还一直强调顾客们的“对更好生活的小小希冀”。在杂货上的花费下降了1/3在1975年到2007年之间。同一期间内,商品的种类增加了十倍以上。同时英国的饮食习惯也发生了翻天覆地的而变化。特里爵士加入乐购之初,顾客们花费在果蔬上的钱和在黄油上的一样多。而如今,出售的果蔬却是黄油的40倍之多。

“Management in 10 Words” is on prominent display in your local Tesco store. Add it to all those fruits and vegetables in your shopping basket—you certainly won't be disappointed.

《管理真言》摆放在你附近的乐购商场中的显要位置。把它和果蔬一起放进购物篮吧-你绝不会失望的。

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setting ['setiŋ]

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n. 安装,放置,周围,环境,(为诗等谱写的)乐曲

 
brand [brænd]

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n. 商标,牌子,烙印,标记
vt. 打烙印,

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insurance [in'ʃuərəns]

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n. 保险,保险费,安全措施

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constant ['kɔnstənt]

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adj. 经常的,不变的
n. 常数,恒量

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hierarchy ['haiərɑ:ki]

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gather ['gæðə]

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v. 聚集,聚拢,集合
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mobility [məu'biliti]

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factor ['fæktə]

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n. 因素,因子
vt. 把 ... 因素包括

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vt. 显示,透露
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关键字: 经济学人 管理之道

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