After 30 years revealing the insights and the excesses of business, management and office life, Lucy left journalism for life as a secondary school teacher. She still lets loose on management jargon and corporate politics and wonders if pessimism is good for business.
Lucy Kellaway was the Financial Times’s management columnist and an Associate Editor. For over ten years, her weekly column poked fun at management fads and jargon with insight, wit and precision and celebrated the ups and downs of office life.
Having first worked for a division of JP Morgan and then the Investors Chronicle, Lucy served as the FT’s energy correspondent, Brussels correspondent and wrote for the Lex Column. She interviewed a wide variety of CEOs and celebrities for her revealing Business Lunch series. She has won various prizes including Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, the Industrial Society WorkWord Award (twice) and the Wincott Young Financial Journalist Award.
As an author, Lucy’s Sense and Nonsense in the Office was followed by Who Moved My Blackberry? in which she followed a year in the life of her satirical creation, Martin Lukes, through his e-mails. A self-obsessed master of corporate doublespeak and management jargon, Martin is a parody of the type of executive who embraces every new business fad that comes along. In The Real Office: All The Office Questions You Never Dared To Ask, she tackled thorny issues like whether to tell your boss what you really think and was described by The Sunday Times as ‘dispensing water-cooler wisdom, not motivational gobbledygook. (It) gets to the heart of those tricky questions that employees, rather than employers, want answered’.
After 30 years at the FT, Lucy co-founded Now Teach, an attempt to encourage people to move from the private sector into secondary school teaching, particularly to teach STEM subjects. As someone who practises what she preaches, Lucy left Fleet Street for life at a London school. She continues to write for paper and to deliver her distinctly tongue-in-cheek views on office life, the psychological deficiencies of all bosses, and the futility of change management.
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Lucy’s has a rare ability to make the whole room laugh at itself! Her time at the FT has given her an abundance of beautifully observed stories about life in the corporate jungle, and especially how its inhabitants communicate. Each anecdote is both entertaining and utterly relatable. She not only shows up the madness of company jargon and office politics – she shows that we all tend to go along with it without question! JLA Agent Suzy Houghton