So today, our Prime Minister, signed the letter that will inform the EU of our intention to leave the European Union.
The events leading up to today have been a colourful twist of hyperbole, dis-information, naievity and political snakes and ladders inter-twined with cliques and cabals, a play out, worthy of the Bard himself rising to script this masterpiece for the 21st Century.
Where it leaves us, is firmly in our own hands, the ultimate in self actualisation in a global economy we’ve done it before and delivered handsomely, albeit we might need to blow the cobwebs off that particular book.
We now have a different generation at the helm of GB PLC, one unfettered by constrictive practices and a recalcitrant workforce. As a lean advocate, I think that stripping away bureaucracy and maybe even walking away from toxic EU debt cannot be anything but a good thing and it has certainly forced a re-think of strategy.
From what I read in my daily news, what appears to have emerged is a healthy realisation of opportunity tempered with pragmatism – would it be anything less? perhaps not but it should certainly galvanise a call to action, to lift our heads and think, really seriously about where our future business is going to come from – wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who is quoted as saying ” Failing to plan is planning to fail”
I’ll leave with a more light-hearted perspective at the European position as admirably discussed by Clarke & Dawe. – Enjoy!
I’ve commented before on the availability of economic and industry data reports from the banks. If you haven’t already subscribed for these reports I do recommend them to you.
The reports are not just to aid you when you start thinking about refreshing your annual Operating Plan but also act as a radar, alerting you to events that perhaps you hadn’t thought about.
I’ve just signed up for a selection of reports that I think may be of value for my Clients, I’ll keep an eye on them for salient points.
Have a look, see what you think- as ever, happy to discuss them with you.
This link is for Lloyds Bank but of course other banks also provide them as well.
Searching for a book for my recent long haul trip, my wife rather appropriately, suggested The Bhagavad-Gita, a series of Hindu spiritual readings relating to life on earth.
There was one particular story that caught my eye, entitled – The Graduation Test.
The story relates to military training and how each student was tasked with firing a single arrow at the head of a wooden eagle placed on a nearby tree.
The question was asked of each student “Get ready, look at the eagle, and tell me what you are seeing.”
To which they replied “I see the sky, the clouds, the tree trunk, the branches, the leaves and the eagle sitting there”
One student answers “I only see the eagle and nothing else”
When he shot his arrow he landed true and successfully passed his test
The summation of the teaching is that whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it; if you’re shooting, your mind should be only on the target, then you will never miss.
That’s what we do…… right?…
I note from this week’s Sunday papers that Ernest Young Accountants, reported that profit warnings were at their highest since the 2008 crisis.
The comment is made that “many UK companies still face sluggish, disrupted and competitive forces with Brexit adding further layers of challenge but also opportunity”
So what question is being posed? – Well in my language, I guess the question is “are you doing enough in your capacity as a Director or Senior Manager to address your future profits?”
In our day-to-day work we become absorbed in shifting metal, processing the order, chasing the cash, dealing with staff issues, but what are we doing strategically to position and react to the competitive environment; what initiatives are you driving, this year, to improve your performance?
I’ll leave you with that thought this morning; pick up the phone if you’d like to investigate further – without any pressure.
Shifting boxes in the loft is great fun isn’t it? –banging your head on the beams and scratching with the loft insulation, but sometimes it is enjoyable as you unpack, long forgotten boxes, wondering why you put them there in the first place and then like an excited kid unwrap them like a kid at Xmas.
Ok maybe the last bit isn’t quite true but my surprises were equally felt – files of my old MBA notes from many a year ago. My fear was that my essays might be youthful and pretentious, t’was after all the era of shoulder pads and red braces, but no, I’m glad to say, I felt they read lucidly.
It was poignant finding them because I wanted to start an MSc in Engineering Mngt at my old University of Warwick and it jolted me as to the amount of commitment and time that it took.
A change of plan and a desire not to live in a hotel for five nights a week meant that the Msc has been put on hold but that still leaves a quandary as to what CPD I should undertake this year.
I went browsing and in line with pursuing my lean systems thinking, I have enrolled for my IIBA Exam https://www.iiba.org.
Initially flicking through the course work I thought to myself “oh I’d forgotten that – this will be easy………” but it’s funny how time creeps up on you and although I thought I already knew the subject matter, it is interesting to be disciplined again in approaching it – somewhat like having a Consultant question your strategy – right? 🙂
What have you got on the list for your CPD this year? https://cpduk.co.uk/
It’s the start of a new year, I hope you’ve had a great break and are coming back refreshed with new ideas to drive your business forward.
Just come across this interesting article in Automotive News; thought you’d like.
The bottom line is that, an ex- Marine, trained in Workflow/Lean Process Management, has significantly reduced turnaround times for used car preparation in a car dealership.
The results are -quicker to forecourt = quicker to sales = quicker cash turn = greater margin.
This story demonstrates that you don’t have to re-invent your business to stay competitive, just focus on the basics and do it well.
Could you apply this technique in your business?
Enjoy the read:
Article link – http://www.autonews.com/article/20151221/RETAIL04/312219980/army-veterans-discipline-cuts-used-car-recon-time-in-half