few years ago, I was sure that we needed to recruit more management from outside the industry. I worried that we might lock ourselves into a cycle of decline by being unwilling to embrace new ideas, with the only innovation coming from a small number of familiar organisations.

I was pleased, therefore, to see fresh faces coming into our world, with the promise that they would challenge the status quo and bring new ideas and thinking.

I fear that we may have gone too far the other way. Scanning the ‘people news’ pages of this and other trade publications over recent months, a seemingly endless stream of newcomers has filled senior vacancies – especially in the big PLCs where most such opportunities arise. Examples of in-house talent being recognised seem to be few and far between.

Previously, when a high level post was advertised it was fun to speculate among friends about who might be in the running. Now we hardly bother having those conversations because it is so predictable that it will be someone we have never heard of from another walk of life.


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