British investment in America. Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published the eighth edition of Sterling Assets, its annual survey of British investment in the United States. The report highlights this country’s position as the largest foreign investor, employing over one million Americans. British businesses create jobs in every state. Texas leads the way – with 102,000 of jobs supported by British companies – followed by California and New York.
‘Brexit means Brexit’. That was the crisp statement from Prime Minister Theresa May. It does not help those citizens employed outside the Westminster bubble. The biggest concern of many managers is that Brexit will be seen as something easy to do. There is pressure to cut the UK’s ties quickly, but there is a lot of devil in the detail. A terrible error would be for post-Brexit UK to use its newly-found powers unwisely. The specialist Secretaries of State (Rt Hon David Davis MP and Rt Hon Liam Fox MP) must show a desire to reduce red tape.
Agility. Managers face the constant demand for corporate agility. The HR Magazine points to several enemies of effective action. These include : Hierarchical structures which hide how a business actually functions day to day. Organisational politics. Treating change as a destination. Absence of clear purpose. Fixed or too prescriptive job descriptions. Sub-standard managerial practices.
Traingate in August. Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP (since 1983) is leader of the Labour Party. He has encountered the difficulties of a big jump from lone protestor to a collective motivator, who eschews spin of any kind. The media and their users watched Mr Corbyn and his aides reveal they were unable to stage a photograph opportunity. His sitting on the floor in a corridor of a Virgin train was explained by a trivial untruth. Basic research would have shown that the 11.00 am from Kings Cross to Newcastle is never overcrowded. The alleged lack of available seats was claimed to be part of the major case for nationalising railways.
Do politicians tell lies? Donald Trump has introduced them to new approaches. The Economist says he is the leading exponent of ‘post-truth’ politics. This is a reliance on assertions that ‘feel true’ but have no basis in fact. His brazenness is not punished, but taken as evidence of his willingness to stand up to elite power. This is a worrying situation. Strong democracies can draw on inbuilt defences against post-truth. Authoritarian regimes are more vulnerable. For them, the novelty of post-truth may lead back to old-fashioned oppression.
Of course. ‘The older I get, the better I used to be.’ Connie Hawkins, baseball star. Quoted in Harper’s Magazine and TheWeek.
And again. ‘When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that is his duty.’ George Bernard Shaw (1850 – 1950), Irish dramatist and critic.