Business Models/Books and Theories to Burn

Challenge some of the current business orthodoxies. 

Every now and again in the history of management ideas there is a great correction. Old ideas that were fit for their time are shown to be outdated. Sometimes they just need updating, but sometimes they need to be thrown out all together.  

For example, Frederick Taylor is credited with developing scientific management in the late 19th century. Henry Ford used this as a key pillar of his continuous production line, and has been key to productivity increases in labour intensive environments. But it has been largely abandoned for white collar and knowledge workers in the last two decades.

Another more recent example is Jack Welch's famous declaration that "shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world." Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has said that "customers are number one; employees are number two and shareholders are number three." Branson suggests that employees should be first, customers second and then shareholder value will follow. And, of course, Jeff Bizos of Amazon has famously never really cared about shareholders or the Amazon share price at all.

Shareholder value is a focus of the business is therefore a candidate for a "business model or idea that should be burnt".

The panel will each discuss two or three business ideas, models or even books that should be discarded as we head towards 2020.

  • Dr Graeme Codrington,  expert on the future world of work and the disruptive forces that are shaping it;
  • Professor Nicola Kleyn, dean of GIBS;
  • Thebe Ikalafeng, founder of brand and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group
  • Dr Ilka Dunne, leadership, culture and young talent for Rand Merchant Bank;


  • Emmanuel Amaning, MD of wealth management, Caleo Capital.

Additional Info

Registration: 17:45

Start: 18:00

Ends: 19:30

A light cocktail dinner will be served after event

Would like to attend, but can't afford to? Email for one of the limited free seats.

Please note that Forums are open to the media and recorded and edited for City Press and GIBS.

Please engage with us on Twitter: @GIBS_SA | #gibsforum, #gibsconference, #gibsevent, #gibsmba
  • Professor Nicola Kleyn (Dean)

    Nicola Kleyn is the dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science. In addition to her responsibilities at GIBS, she also lectures on various marketing-related academic and company-specific short courses she also consults to a number of organisations seeking to grow customer, brand and reputational equity.

    She worked previously at Investec Bank where she managed the learning and development function and at Edgars in a store control capacity. She also spent seven years lecturing marketing to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the faculty of commerce at Wits University.

    Nicola has been recognised as an established researcher by the National Research Foundation, achieving a C1 NRF rating. She has published articles in a number of academic journals including: California Management Review, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Ethics, International Marketing Review, Journal of Marketing Intelligence and Planning, South African Journal of Business Management, and Management Dynamics on the topics of marketing and ethics. She has also presented a number of conference papers at both local and international academic conferences and is a regular contributor to the popular press.


    In 2017, she was appointed as member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Product & Brand Management.

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