UK Economy: A cynic’s summary (in a single page)

Oh how I wish I could lay claim to such a “piece”. Succinct and introducing me to a great new word “KLPETOCRACY

We are living under a volcano.

Banks have been bailed out to the tune of £3Trillion by Central Banks and Governments around the world. They have used this money for two main purposes – to speculate on commodity prices driving the cost of oil and food to record highs and to short European Government Bonds inflicting huge misery and debt on the populations of these countries.

Ordinary people are paying for the bank bail outs through cuts in public services, pay restraint, job losses and higher inflation (due to speculation and quantitative easing).

The Banks are rewarding themselves with unbelievable bonuses and pay hikes. No apologies, no jail sentences for those who caused the crash – just business as usual and the middle finger of £7Bn bonuses.

In the UK, at least £124 billion of the money we have given the banks is being scored on the National Account as government debt.

This gives the Government the excuse to inflict £81 billion of cuts and tax rises on us.

The ConDem Government promised the electorate reform of banking remuneration

But due to their funding arrangements we won’t be getting it [Link]

People are realising that we are not in fact all in it together but have instead a kleptocracy

This copied directly and in its entirety from Robert Peston’s blog on BBC. Some great comments but this one really made me smile

In the shadow of the volcano

Diversity, Risk and Innovation Growth

Brain Leaders and Learners is a consistently interesting and challenging blog that is worth a visit…if not subscription. Simply because it is very easy to just get on and do rather than to think, question and create. The following is an extract from a recent article.

My interest is two-fold.Firstly, who doesn’t want to develop their intelligence!? Secondly, complexity is often referred to as problem-solving capability…

Originator of multiple intelligences, Harvard’s Howard Gardner,  defines intelligence as … “the ability to solve real-life problems, to generate new problems, and to create something meaningful or offer a service that is valued within a person’s culture or community.”

Are you moving in the direction of innovative renewal? It takes a plan that’s rarely easy, and sometimes suffers heat from others’ risks.

Risk-taking tactics, open segues to filing work digitally across departments, as a way to avoid paper piles, open more access to organizational goals and save time.  Can help the old guard to leap over a few routines and ruts that hold back innovative growth.

Let your brain lead you past limitations and ruts

If you believe IQ is fixed and business is stuck in recession without options, then stagnation may be ensured at work, because brains either fuel or limit growth through mental plasticity. More intelligence at work relies on multiple intelligences, and leaders who expect dendrite brain cells to reconfigure for higher IQ in multiple domains. MITA brain based approaches facilitate originality through many mental and technological portals, such as multiple intelligences, built into strategies online.  How so?

1. Looking for more linguistic intelligence? Want words to come easier, ads to mean more, speeches to ring truer, or books to yield innovative action? Then play with words, do crosswords, join a list serve discussion, compete in scrabble, debate, or offer to speak to leadership conference. Search for new ideas on the internet, write a blog.  Or tell your best idea in a Tweet of 140 letters or less.  To develop words and language daily is to boost your linguistic brainpower, which includes mastery over language. Read more of this post

Complex Systems: Business Risk Management

How often do we challenge what we “know” to ensure that our particular “belief system” is based upon the most up-to-date knowledge? Too many of us (I know for I have seen plenty!) are content to get on and do rather than to question and to propose alternative processes or solutions.

This is even more in evidence during the kind of tough times that we are all currently experiencing. The larger the organisation the more likely that questions could and should be asked. But it can be difficult to get a good enough view from your own particular “silo” AND the greater the pressure to keep your head down to just get on and do. Is this why interdependence – working, together, toward the common goal – struggles to survive in such environments?

In some organisations people can go through their entire careers without gaining a better perspective. Those that do, can soar within the company but the fear of being treated like some kind of heretic, insurgent or whistle-blower can stifle initiative and progress, thus perpetuating belief systems that may have been superseded. In “more open” organisations the ability to create, measure, manage and adapt is fundamental.

Operational interdependence IS NO LONGER intangible. Here is an extract and link to a recent Ontonix blog. Please read it and question your individual or business belief system!

What are intangibles? Is it is possible to actually measure them? How can you possibly measure something that cannot be grasped or touched and does not have a physical presence.

The most “popular” intangibles of interest are, for example, know-how, relationships, expertise, knowledge, morale, ethics, justice, collaboration, intellectual capital, etc. Human perceptions and feelings are also intangible but our lives hinge on how we deal with, for example, fear, love, anger, happiness, jealousy, greed, stress, beauty, satisfaction, desire, etc., etc.

If you can’t measure something you can’t really manage it. All you can do is simply “deal with it”. Management implies control and that, in turn, requires a measure. Science gets serious when you begin to measure.

via Ontonix – Complex Systems Management, Business Risk Management.

Phew! He’s not mad and that makes me feel MUCH better

Image representing Seth Godin as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase


If only Seth Godin felt about me how I feel about him. If you have read my blog before you may already know that I have declared my love…for him – more accurately his work.

His books (not that I have read them all!) and blog are, consistently, thought-provoking and frequently inspiring. I never thought I would say that about a “Marketer” but then I didn’t ever think I would publish my own thoughts on-line OR declare my love for (1) a man (2) a man I have never even met (3) a man that I have not met and who looks like Seth Godin…strange times!!!

If you only ever sign up for updates for one blog make it his. The full article can be found here: What does ‘pro-business’ mean? However, as someone whose daily business focus is upon identifying, mapping and managing the risks surrounding “dynamic (non-linear) systems” – more accurately helping business leaders to understand that this is an alternative description of THEIR company and its ecosystem – I am frequently left wondering if the nature of business actually moved beyond the post industrial model or if complexity and global inter-connectedness were just figments of my imagination.

Seth says I’m sane! YES, things have changed in our World but unless they change further – with good old fashioned values at the core – and an awareness of the risks and responsibilities that accompany the opportunities open to right-minded individuals.

Seth calls them “Linchpins” and I like that but I prefer the moniker “Risk Leader”…admittedly not as snappy but, with an insight into the nature of complexity, risk and uncertainty I believe that, for vision to flourish, a good view of the “risk horizon” is essential.

…we could see pro-business strategies looking more like this:

  • Investing in training the workforce to solve interesting problems, so they can work at just about any job.
  • Maintaining infrastructure, safety and civil rights so we can create a community where talented people and the entrepreneurs who hire them (two groups that can live wherever they choose) would choose to live there.
  • Reward and celebrate the scientific process that leads to scalable breakthroughs, productivity and a stable path to the future.
  • Spend community (our) money on services and infrastructure that help successful organizations and families thrive.

Once you’ve seen how difficult it is to start a thriving business in a place without clean water, fast internet connections and a stable government of rational laws, it’s a lot harder to take what we’ve built for granted.
Capital is selfish and it often seeks the highest possible short-term results. But capital isn’t driving our economy any longer, innovation by unique people is. And people aren’t so predictable.
Linchpins are scarce. They can live where they choose, hire whom they want and build organizations filled with other linchpins. The race to the top will belong to communities that figure out how to avoid being the dumping ground for the organizational, social and physical pollution that factories create.

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More evidence of the need for cultural change

self evident 

Image via Wikipedia

We already know, from the number of cases that have been exposed in the last few years, how banks, oil companies, insurers, aerospace, construction, motor manufacturers, Politicians, even nations and Churches have misrepresented themselves. Preferring to spend [and spend big] to create and maintain the illusion of respectability, quality, integrity, even piety!  Employees becoming dis-engaged. Prudent and dissenting voices silenced, even, “dismissed”.

Business has made itself just another victim of a culture of its own making. One of opacity and excess complexity.

FTSE 100 companies analysis reveals a lack of transparency over risk in most annual reports. Let’s face it this isn’t really news is it? Nor is it bounded by national borders! No surprise either that BP are cited in the article but, whilst their, justifiably, much maligned CEO came in for some real stick from US Senators I thought his “performance” more credible than that of the Goldman Sachs CEO! Apparently he knew next to nothing, couldn’t remember much about anything related to strategy, transactions, conversations with Treasury Officials, etc. where there may have been some scope for further implicating GS and [the clincher] struggled to see too much wrong in “stealing” money from US taxpayers in the guise of bailout payments to AIG!!!

“Risk identification and management discussion still seems to be difficult for companies to convey in a relevant and informative manner with some reports providing very little in detail in terms of risk management regarding who is responsible, what the process is and some practical examples of how risks are managed throughout the business.”

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