The Tortoise (Adapt & Endure) Theory of Management
Why the credit crunch was a failure of management and how to change it
Abstract: Most of you will remember Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare who decide to have a race on a sunny day. The brash, confident hare thinks he has won the race before it even starts and decides to have a nap under a tree half way through. But when he awakes the tortoise is at the finishing line. Too many business leaders think and act like hares. They think they can grow shareholder value at unrealistic rates each year by setting aggressive targets and incentives and then (like the hare) ‘predict and control’ their future results through detailed budgets. Tortoises don’t make such promises, predictions or assumptions. Instead they keep their eye on the path ahead and continuously improve their performance. Their aim is to adapt to changing conditions, beat their peers and endure over long periods of time. This is the Tortoise (adapt and endure) theory of management. The tortoise always wins in the end.