So, farewell, then to Sir John Harvey-Jones, the flamboyant chairman of ICI-turned-television celebrity. I had the privilege of working with Sir John on a few occasions. The most memorable was discussing with Sir John on BBC Radio Four whether managers could learn anything from business books. I brought in with me a well-thumbed copy of his own book, Making It Happen, which bristled with Post-It notes stuck in it. "There," I said, "somebody has definitely learned something from one business book." And Making It Happen remains one of the best business books written. Sir John Harvey-Jones was a delightful mix. Rumbustuous and straight-talking, enthusiastic, but always polite and keen to listen. A great man. Sad, though, that his death follows so soon after the takeover of ICI – the company which he served with such distinction – by AkzoNobel. Some nice obituaries are to be found here and here and here
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