All organisations are made up of individuals; they are ‘human’ organisations which means that they have human failings and weaknesses. One of the greatest of human weaknesses is not to accept change. Humans get ‘comfortable’ with a way of doing things, therefore see absolutely no need to change the way things are done. The times I have heard the phrase- ‘ We have always done it this way, why change it, it works’. On that basis we would still be getting into our horse and carts to go to work, rather than get into a car.
It is about efficiency, if something is efficient it consumes less of our time and concerns. People no longer spend hours washing clothes and drying them because of washing machines, therefore the dreaded washday is not so arduous. Unlike in Africa we no longer spend hours gathering fuel and drawing water. It comes out of a pipe. Nobody seriously contends just because we should carry on walking miles to get a bucket of water because we have always done it that way.
Management and how they are appointed has a direct bearing on how the human organisation operates efficiently. The Military had a very bad habit of launching into wars fighting with the tactics of the previous one. The first year of World War Two was fought with the tactics of World War One; World War One was fought using the tactics of the Crimean War and the Crimean War on the Waterloo campaign. Mostly because of tradition, and if it was good enough for m’great-grandfather in 1815 it’s good enough for 2010 will not wash anymore.
If UK Plc was subject to a thorough going Management review. The choice would be to sell off the company to somebody who knew what they were doing and sack all the management in one go, or in the event of there being very little chance of a sale, drastic internal management downsizing, a professional Financial Director who knew how to keep costs down, a clear direction being set out by the management to give the shareholders, ‘us’ , some reason to keep investing.
What is clear to me is that the Political elite, have classic ‘rabbit in the headlights’ syndrome. They are still fighting this election (war) with the tactics of 1945. We have class being run out again with, Clegg and Cameron; we have a political system that has endured since 1688, with a minor adjustment in 1838 and a couple of extensions of the franchise,( akin to a modern army having the leadership mindset prevalent at Ramilles or Blenheim). Of a management team of 646 only about 150 are actively working in Management, the rest are swanning around ‘head office’ plotting against each other and drawing their salary and expenses. Of the 150 working ministers their quality and experience in business is so poor it would not get them a job in a small mid sized bakery in the Midlands let alone a world class Plc.
The Finance Director we have had for much of the last thirteen years was a control freak more concerned with ensuring only he had control of the cheque book, that he paid no attention to cash management and credit control. FDs like this last about six months in the real world, not eleven years.
We have had panic crisis that the management team could not handle, foot and mouth, swine flu and the ash cloud. The management team just could not cope and just panicked.
So if this was a board of directors offering themselves to re election to the board, why would you even consider them if all they were offering was more of the same style of ruinous management?
The Memorandum and Articles of Association of UK Plc need a good look over- oops we don’t appear to have one. Why – because of tradition! Because we have always done it this way. We need a Written Constitution that protects individuals from the State. Otherwise it is another five years under the same management.
Shareholders voting rights is something that desperately needs sorting out. The last Managing Director, until he was ousted in a board room coup, was not elected to his position by nearly eighty per cent of the Shareholders. What sort of gimcrack business is this? You are forced to be a shareholder against your will, they take your stake money every month against your will and then say you can vote once every five years on the board of directors, but eighty per cent of you will not have your views taken into account.
Other countries have to start again as a result of losing a war or revolution, UK Plc has been in continuous operation since 1688, but is now a sclerotic organisation. Without a management overhaul we are going nowhere.
The Political Elite are still playing the same old game trying to get confidence in the game itself, what they don’t like is that the shareholders are not proposing to give them any indication of which Board they want in or if they want a Board drawn from this lot at all. We all know the game is rigged in favour of the House.
In this case the House of Commons, I for one don’t want to play this game anymore until I have some say in the rules.