Simon Caulkin bids farewell…

I’m sorry to hear The Observer , after 16 years, has decided to drop  Simon Caulkin’s Observer Management column.

The bankers have claimed another victim – this column. Cost-cutting as a result of the worst media recession in a lifetime means that Observer Management will disappear next week.

I wish I could say the job was complete. When I joined the paper in 1993, the brief was to make visible and discussable something that was intangible, taken for granted, and, for better or worse, affected us all. That was the easy bit. The column instantly drew a rich and argumentative response that ensured a constant supply of issues to address that meshed directly with readers’ own.

But from this exchange emerged a second agenda item that soon overtook the first. Across both public and private sectors what readers experienced as “management” was pervasively problematic. It just wasn’t what it said on the tin. Wherever they looked, readers found a glaring discrepancy between “official” and “unofficial” versions, between talk and walk.

At a time when sanity is more than ever needed when it comes to talking about how modern management behaves and should behave, and when it comes to putting awkward questions to those who run both industry and the public services, The Observer, decides that one of its most sane voices and trenchant critics of current management practice is to be silenced. Am I the only one to think that this piece of cost-cutting is also a piece of value-cutting?

There were about five good reasons for buying The Observer on Sunday, and Caulkin’s column was one of them. Now that he’s gone, there are probably only four left. If I ever have to do some cost-cutting of my own, I think that remaining four may hardly be enough for me to continue suscribing the paper.

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Link to some of  Simon Caulkin’s Observer columns

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One Response to “Simon Caulkin bids farewell…”

  1. Simon Caulkin bids farewell…..2 « Kevin Cryan online Says:

    […] I have no idea how many letters The Observer received in the last week protesting about the  its decision to drop Simon Caulkin’s management column, but I imagine that this one pretty much sums up what a good […]

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