Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Icebreaker


It's a strange experience to agree with Peter Mandelson, even partially. One feels torn apart. The shinks call it 'cognitive dissonance' I think, and that sounds bad, terribly bad. How can one actually agree with this:

"Peter Mandelson was last night accused of a smear against British bosses after saying they were incapable of running a successful business.

He was denounced by business leaders and Labour MPs over his claim that there is a defect in the 'gene pool of British management" (thanks, Daily Mail).

Well, as you are Just Asking, although almost everything Mandelson does, says, does not do, does not say, implies, whatever, is usually just spin, this one rang a bell. It's become personal. The difficulty of selling a my business came to mind: how difficult it was to sell in Britain, so much so that it was eventually sold abroad.

Why did I have to sell the business abroad? Why were there no takers in Britain? Because the industrial sector I was in had been neglected and there was no thriving subculture of small businesses cutting out a niche, swallowing others, being swallowed, just fading away or even crashing fairly abruptly.

My Uncles and Aunts, SNP to their core, lamented to me many years ago that "we were too canny with the oil business, we thought it would never last, and we could just make money pricing everything high for the foreigners". Well they did, and it worked. But there was not enough effort put in to participate and grow with the upsurge, so we lost out in the long term. That was worse. Let's say there was a trade show in Aberdeen: hundreds of small companies would be there from all over the world, but very few home-grown ones. The intellectual upheaval in the early days of workstations passed us by, in that industry anyway.

So, perish the thought, but does Mandelson have a point? Even just a tiny one? Microscopic?

Leaving the Icebreaker now, here is a brief summary of our client relationships after giving a stunning demo, answer to a maiden's prayer, eveything they need and could wish for.

France: Hmmm, very interesting, but tell me, is it made in France? Non! Merde! ..... Ah! is it the best in the world? Oui! Bien

Germany: Hmmmm, very interesting, but what are the enginering specifications? Ja, gut!

England: Hmmmm, very interesting, but how much does it cost? Oh! Too expensive!

You guessed: most of our sales were abroad.

19th January 2009

Upcoming: a review of some British Industries.

1 comment:

Input, clarification, insider news, all welcome.