The Times has a supplement advising bosses on how to manage talent. It doesn't give the most important advice of all - the best way to manage talent is to find ways to do without it.
The fact is that money flows to power. If your business is dependent upon talented performers, they've got you by the Davinas. They'll make money and you won't. This is why football clubs have for long been bad businesses. They suffer what Alan Sugar called the prune juice effect - money comes in and goes straight out to players.
The question of who has what power is, therefore, central to thinking about companies, as the marvellous Luigi Zingales discusses here (pdf). The question for bosses, then, is: how to increase their power (and hence profits) by reducing reliance on talent.
Ways in which this is done include:
1. TV. Find formats that work without stars. If you make the Paul Daniels Show (God forbid) you need Paul Daniels and he'll hold you to ransom. If you make Big Brother or the X Factor, you can exploit wannabees.
2. Film. Use CGI and special effects rather than rely on stars. Shrek won't demand $50 million for a sequel, join the scientologists, lose his looks or get drunk and insult jews. CGI's expensive, but reliable.
3. Media. Dumb down. Any idiot can root in Kate Moss's dustbin or write for CiF, so these journalists come cheap. Genuinely talented writers with specialist knowledge are more expensive (so I'm told.)
4. Fund management. Use quant finance and trading rules, rather than "star" managers who use "judgment." Quant guys are usually (with exceptions) more fungible and less egotistic than stars.