Economist Group Bucks the Trend

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – June 19th, 2008 – The Economist Group bucked the print media trend to announce a 23 percent rise in operating profit for the year to March 31 as sales grew and margins improved at the publisher of the Economist magazine, and the group expects this out performance to continue see the article here Link to article

This is an apparent anomaly, the company reported an increase in sales as well as a increase in circulation (by 9%).

I also had the opportunity to research the outgoing Chief Executive of the Group, Helen Alexander – herewith an interview which I find very revealing and we could all learn from her answers – Link to Helen Alexander article.

About leaderships she says:  “On the whole, a good leader can deal with either bad times or good,” says Ms Alexander. What makes for success, in her opinion, is being “calm and un deterred and undeflected”. That means being able to stick to a long-term strategy while still being flexible on short-term tactics: “You are aiming for a point on the horizon, but you can change the route to get there.”

About Strategy she says:   “strategy is not about either short-term or long-term visions, but about combining the two. “You have to have your cake and eat it,” she says. She is a great believer in sticking to a core business: “a strategy based solely on acquisitions is not good,” she says.

I was impressed – a pragmatic intelligent woman who is delivering in todays world – the glass ceiling ?  Think of it this way if we could have a CEO of the calibre of Helen Alexander – where would our economy be – this does not mean woman – or men – just of her calibre – Mind you the glass ceiling is wrong – and should be broken – the old boys club is from an Dickensian era and needs to be opened up to the best executive no matter who that maybe – after all in Public companies we have to maximise return to Shareholders – this means we need the best whoever they are. 

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