Stop-start. Ray O’Donoghue of Barclays says there has been growth across a broad range of industries in most regions of the UK. He predicts six hotspots for 2015. Birmingham, because of production capabilities and automotive sector. Bristol, on account of strength in specialised engineering and position as a service centre. Cardiff, due to the quality of its manufacturing. Manchester, by virtue of creative strengths, pioneering scene of innovation and a strong base for financial services. Thames Valley and Cambridge, through their progress in technology and sciences. And, the oil and gas industries in Scotland.
However, there are good reasons to expect ups and downs in the short and medium-term. We are slowly coming out of the worst recession in living memory. Britain is trying to get back on top of the deficit and funding difficulties. The general election is soon, with the accompanying uncertainties. There are global worries about the West’s relationship with Russia and instabilities in the Middle East. We are in a digital revolution now. It is a case of being part of it or left behind. These changes will bring new business models and industries.
Legacy stuck in the past. Back in the fifth century, Pseudo-Dionysius wrote the definitive book on angelic hierarchies, Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. He said there were nine orders of hierarchy. Obviously, God was at the top. Then there were the most elevated archangels down to the humble messenger angels. This analysis has filtered down to the way that management structures exist today. Hierarchy was a principle of nature.
We now have management schools in universities across the world which teach the modern version of hierarchy. Ideas on social order no longer begin with God, at least not explicitly. But they certainly trade on the same assertions about where authority comes from: the top. The teachings echo the medieval stances in many ways. As Martin Parker says, it is safe to discuss empowerment, flat organisations and 360° appraisals, as long as the structures of power are not challenged. Careful observers will have noticed that things are moving along. For example, co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises, community interest companies are on the tables for discussion. Even by Government.
Plans to get another job. A new survey by the Institute for Leadership and Management suggests that more than a third (37%) of workers plan to leave their jobs this year. The key to minimising staff turnover is not as simple as throwing money at the problem. The biggest reason people cited as a motivator for leaving was opportunity for progression (59%). The eight major factors in decisions to seek other employment are:
- greater opportunity for progression (59%)
- higher pay (56%)
- more interesting job (50%)
- better management (30%)
- increased chance for training/development (27%)
- additional flexible working (18%)
- nicer people (5%)
- extra options for parental leave (3%).
‘I name this milk float ...’ One of the UK’s electronics firms reckon some time ago that it had developed a system to camouflage the ‘signature’ of a Challenger tank and a Land Rover to make them appear on an enemy’s radar as a milk float and a wheelbarrow. Maybe a solution to the Government’s concern about expenditure on defence would be to make a milk float and a wheelbarrow look like a Challenger tank and a Land Rover?
That’s it. ‘Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.’ Erica Jong. Quoted on The Browser and in The Week.
This is a surprise. ‘Land monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies – it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all forms of monopoly. Unearned increments in land are not the only form of unearned or undeserved profit, but they are the principal form of unearned increment, and they are derived from processes which are not merely not beneficial, but positively detrimental to the general public.’ Winston S Churchill, 1909.