About Us

Paul HollingworthOver thirty years of success in the business of improvement.

As a highly motivated systems thinker, Paul Hollingworth has an exemplary international reputation as a consultant and coach in organisational development and performance improvement. He is a teacher, writer and public speaker on the subjects of Organisational Change, Economic Quality, Continual Improvement and Lean Production.

Following Paul’s career as a senior manager and internal consultant in the Finance Sector, he founded 4GM Consulting in 1992. Since then, Professor Hollingworth has been involved in teaching thousands of managers to understand and successfully apply the principles of Fourth Generation Management across a diverse range of private and public sector organisations. Specialising in strategic development, Paul works with boards of directors, governing bodies and management teams. By using leading edge systems thinking which changes their ways of managing, Paul helps them build high performance, customer-focused learning organisations.

What is Fourth Generation Management?

We all recognise the names of companies that supply world class products, but only because they also provide world class levels of service. Therein lies the key. Manufacturing world class products is not simply a case of deploying the latest high technology solutions. Companies that achieve world class standards of excellence do so because all their decisions are guided by a coherent set of organising principles that produce excellent results in product and service design, development and delivery.

A corporate goal or objective (such as higher quality, lower costs, happier customers) needs to be understood, it tells people 'where we are going' but on its own a destination does not deliver progress. The destination must be supported by a sense of direction and the means to achieve it. Organisational principles provide a sense of direction (the way we are going to get there). A good set organising principles should also provide the method to achieve the goal (how we get there).

Fourth Generation Management is not a 'buzz word',it is a means to apply these world class organising principles, to any size of organisation (public or private), producing any type of product or service.


Why Fourth Generation?

Each of the last four centuries have given rise to a management philosophy, which gained almost universal adoption in the century following.

G1: Management by skill. In the 18th Century, production was largely an artisan business and leaders became such because of their superior craft skills (e.g. master stone masons).

G2: Scientific Management. In the 19th Century, with increasing mechanisation, emphasis shifted to the organisation of labour through the development of 'scientific management'

G3: Management by Financial Objectives. In the 20th Century the application of technology initially for mass-production and later information technology gave rise to 'management by financial objectives' as an organising principle. This is widely practiced as 'the norm' today. But there is a better way…

G4: Customer Focused Systems Management. The principles of whole systems thinking which emerged in the last quarter of the 20th Century are increasingly finding application in almost every sphere of human endeavour. As leaders become more conscious of the losses incurred through managing by financial objectives alone, 4th Generation Management thinking will be the dominant organising principle in the 21st Century. The determining factors for success will be the way we manage knowledge for improvement and innovation and the human resources needed to produce it.


4th Generation Management is not rocket science; almost anyone can learn to 'see it'.
Doing it successfully is a little harder - which is where our expert help and support comes in.

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