ELITE dinner

Date:
Tuesday 15 December 2011

Time:
18:45 - 23:30

Venue:
IET London: Savoy Place, Riverside Room, London, WC2R 0BL

Synopsis:

Guest Speaker: Mr William Hopper

William Hopper is the co-author, with his brother Kenneth, of one of the best selling and most lauded business books ever. The Puritan Gift is an entertaining and extraordinarily insightful study into the art of management. The Financial Times describes the book as “One of the most important books of the past decade”, and it has attracted similarly lavish praise from a global Who’s Who of business leaders, consultants and academics.

Their book, The Puritan Gift, tells us the story of how the American model of management evolved, how it was transferred to the Japanese after WWII to create the Japanese economic miracle, how the USA “lost the plot” in the post war years, steadily losing competitiveness against the Japanese, how it had a renaissance in the mid-80’s by relearning American management from the Japanese, and how it abandoned this learning again to cause the current global financial crisis. In 2010 the Hopper brothers were appointed Authors in Residence at the Drucker Institute, probably America's leading management think tank.

In their book the brothers eloquently summarise the management traits that made America a world-beating economy, and explain how they can be adopted again to revitalise Western industry. They contrast and compare the American and British approaches, showing clearly how the superior management methods and culture of the Americans developed the industrial power to sustain them through WWII and fund the rebuilding of Japan and Western Europe.

Many of the management lessons that America gifted to Japan after the war came from the communications industries, spawning both the big names of the Japanese electronics sector, and the American information technology sector including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Xerox. They survive today in the technology giants either side of the Pacific and are an integral component of the global success of these corporations. William Hopper will summarise that learning for ELITE, and explain how, by adopting the same lessons that turned Japanese industry into an economic powerhouse and created American dominance in IT, we can generate similar revolutionary performance improvements in our own businesses.

William Hopper will summarise that learning for ELITE, and explain how, by adopting the same lessons that turned Japanese industry into an economic powerhouse and created American dominance in IT, we can generate similar revolutionary performance improvements in our own businesses.

A mechanical engineer by training, Kenneth Hopper was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1926. He has been active throughout his professional life as a consultant on industrial matters in the U.S. and Europe. As a writer he has taken a particular interest in differing national managerial cultures, which encouraged him to go to Ireland when the ‘Celtic Miracle’ was getting underway, to Japan when that country’s ‘Economic Miracle’ was at its peak and finally to the United States. He is now U.S. citizen living in New Jersey. Through his articles and lectures, Kenneth has been largely responsible for uncovering and publicizing the activities of the Civil Communications Section of the General MacArthur’s command in Tokyo after World War-II. On Saturday July 5, 2008, Kenneth Hopper presented a paper on the work of the Civil Communications Section of General MacArthur's command in Tokyo (1945- 1952) to the Association of Business Historians 2008 conference on ‘Business History after Alfred Chandler’ at the University of Birmingham, England.

William Hopper, who is the younger brother, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1929. A modern linguist by training, he has been an investment banker for over 40 years, beginning his career as a financial analyst at W.R. Grace & Co. in New York, then becoming personal assistant to Sigmund Warburg at S.G. Warburg in London where he now lives. As a Director of Morgan Grenfell in London, he pioneered the Dragon Bond Market in East Asia in 1976 with a fund-raising for the European Investment Bank (ranked by Institutional Investor as ‘Deal of the Year’) and launched the first Eurobond issue for an East European country (Hungary) in the same year. William was chairman of the placement agents, WJ Hopper & Co. Limited, until March 31, 2009, in which capacity he helped entrepreneurs to raise capital to invest in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Founder Chairman of the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, he is still a member of its Executive Committee. He entered the Guinness Book of Records by spectacularly winning a ‘safe’ Labour Party seat for the Conservatives in the first elected European Parliament (1979-1984).