The Small, the Big and the Beautiful


I am always delighted to find out that the ramblings on my humble blog do appeal to others sufficiently that they decide to “follow” it. When I can I do try to check out their blogs for kindred spirits from whom I can learn. Sarah Denie is one such…thanks Sarah! This is a mere extract from a great, recent, article.

the key factor of all economic development comes out of the mind of man”. Our actions, transactions and interactions ultimately stem from our mental models; the way we perceive the world and ourselves within it. The darker side of this coin is that all economic destruction – whether it is a collapse of the financial system, serious damage to the worlds’ ecosystems, or the exhaustion of earth’s resources – are also fruits of the mind of man. It is our perception of separateness, from each other and from our natural environment, that has misshapen the concepts of wealth, value and wellbeing into individual rather than systemic qualities. It is for this reason that we find ourselves in a system in which economic gains are considered value-creating, even if they destroy the very source they sprung from.

This piece reminded me of words of wisdom from some of  history’s great leaders and intellectuals, from Jesus, Confucius and Ghandi to Benoit Mandelbrot and countless others who, in one way or another, tell us or have demonstrated the need to look within and at smaller scales for solutions to even the biggest problems. Such is the nature of complex [non-linear] systems where, courtesy of the “Butterfly Effect” the very small – even invisible to the naked eye – can have unpredictably large impacts.

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure”

– Niccolo Machiavelli

 

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CII Thinkpiece on networking:: the smell of bs in the morning…no thanks!


imageI’ve been in this business for a long time and, despite there being plenty of people able to bear witness to the fact that I’m a pretty “social animal” the truth is I have always despised networking! I cringe at the type of gathering that has, otherwise typically reserved Brits, feign joy because somebody who sells printing or dry cleaning services has just done some business with the person who sells life assurance or will writing. It’s all…well, how can I say this, FALSE! There is never the enthusiastic whooping and hollering of a Jerry Springer show and I’m sure an awful lot of that is down to the simple fact that most people are there under duress. Their boss or their sales figures sent or led them there out of desperation and the first measure of their success is how many business cards (even compliment slips) they offloaded or collected!

Nor am I keen on engaging with people purely on the basis that there might be some business in it. Exchanging pleasantries and small talk over a glass of wine and canapés whilst trying to ingratiate ourselves to each other would give anyone indigestion.      

If these are the basic ingredients for forming worthwhile, longstanding, business relationships then, to me (because this is only my opinion) the business world (particularly in Financial Services) IS as shallow and undeserving of trust as it has consistently shown itself to be in recent years. The thing about it is that, ALL the people who recognise these scenarios from their own past experiences are both vendors and buyers of a range of different products and services! So, we know bs when we smell it in the room or on our new best friend’s breath. Often it is the smell of fear or business-sponsored insincerity worn like an ill-fitting suit!!!    

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