A Letter to the New CEO

By Sir Roderick Carnegie

In 1993, Sir Rod Carnegie shared A Letter to the new CEO for inclusion in a Festschrift to honor Dr. Elliott Jaques (the founder of Requisite Organization International Institute) on his 75th birthday.

Carnegie, well-known Australian businessman, one of Harvard’s top MBAs, started at McKinsey in New York, then set up McKinsey Australia before joining Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Limited (now Rio Tinto) to run the mining giant from 1974 to 86, serving as chief executive, chairman and managing director. Early in his tenure Carnegie discovered Jaques’ General Theory of Bureaucracy, and subsequently invited Jaques to bring his Stratified Systems Theory (now Requisite Organization) research to CRA, where they spent the next decade working closely together to advance management science and its application in the global mining industry. Responding to a request for advice to a recently appointed CEO, Carnegie shares his unique perspective, words of wisdom, and reflections on his experiences, which are universal and timely for all CEOs.

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