Mr Bearbull 

Byng syndrome

Mr Bearbull

Mr Bearbull
Byng syndrome

We might call it ‘Admiral Byng syndrome’ – the notion that the threat of something terrible will supply the incentive to do better. It’s named after Admiral John Byng, who, according to Voltaire’s famous satire, was executed in 1757 “in order to encourage the others”. In the business world, nowadays it is the function of activist investors to play the would-be executioners. They ‘encourage’ underperforming bosses, even if their worst sanction may be just a golden goodbye.

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