July 2010 Archives
So Vince Cable thinks he might want to 'allow' us to set up a Birmingham Stock Exchange, does he? Thanks, Vince. How very patronising of you.
Stop being The Thinker, Vince. Start being The Actor. Action is what we need.
That's more actual action to bring real, radical, regionalised investment patterns into the West Midlands.
The Birmingham Stock Exchange is an intrinsically good idea. I have often suggested it as 'a good thing' myself.
But only as a small part of a much wider series of radical new structures forcing finance and investment out of London. A restructuring and a rebalancing specifically designed to recirculate finance and investment in a fundamentally different way into the regions. And, by the way, to sustain the recovery and supercharge widespread, sustainable economic growth.
David Fincher, director of serial-killer-thriller Se7en, is currently working on a film about the birth of Facebook. For many, this talented filmmaker promises to bring us an intelligent insight into one of the 21st Century's leading media phenomena.
For the less rational - also known as unquestioning tabloid newspaper readers - Fincher's The Social Network will provide scenes more disturbing than the 'head in a box' moment that made Brad Pitt go all wibbly at the end of Se7en.
Why? Is it because the UK media doesn't want us to like social media? Headlines from recent times certainly give that impression...
Many many years ago I served in the British Army. This is something I am extremely proud of on many levels. The people I served with were extraordinary; capable of withstanding the most astonishing hardship and resourceful in ways that frankly civilians could never imagine. With the odd exception. Two soldiers from a unit based with us were arrested for armed robbery. They had thought through the raid on a petrol station quite thoroughly - they wore overalls, face masks and had a replica firearm. When they were arrested, they were mystified as to how they had been caught so easily. Well, said the police officer, perhaps you shouldn't have worn overalls with your name badge on. There are so many stories of rubbish criminals and it is sometimes fun to hear about them. But I think there is perhaps a serious lesson amongst it all.
When it comes to international climate change agreements, the UN has been the only game in town. However, Copenhagen demonstrated the inability of the UN to deliver consensus, in the face of so many participant countries with such diverse agendas and perspectives. Now it looks as if some other approach is probably needed.
It is often said that thanks to social media consumers now control brands.
Well in the case of a Facebook fan page this can literally be true!
Read my latest column to find out why.
With the school holidays fast approaching, it is now the time that we think about taking time off. And we should - even though the idea of having time when you aren't actually at work and still being paid for it, is a concept our great grandparents would have not understood at all. But should we take holidays - and should managers encourage their staff to do so? I always insist any staff reporting to me take their full allocation - and this even back when I was personally paying their wages out of my own money. Why? The business case for doing so is even more persuasive than the pretty good moral one.
As the summer holiday season approaches, is anyone paying attention to climate change, beyond a quick glance at the 7 day weather forecast?
With RDAs about to be scrapped by the new government, attention is now turning to what local bodies will replace them - even if in much watered down form given the huge repatriation of power and money back to London.
While the North East looks as though it will retain a LEP which matches the old configuration of the RDA One North East, debate here is focusing on what might pan out in the West Midlands.
AWM were quick off the mark to try to influence the debates now taking place by saying - quite rightly - that too much fragmentation would be a bad thing. It suggested a maximum of four to six LEPs across the 'old' West Midlands region, and that an orderly transition to a sensible set-up is key.
Most reports in the media and comments by key players suggest that Coventry and the Shires are looking to break away from Birmingham. This is no surprise - it was something that Coventry had anyway done with the old 'city region' structure which was seen by many as too broad and not focused enough.
Perhaps the most withering thing Sir Humphrey ever said in the series "Yes Minister" was "what a courageous decision Minister". The translation from civil servant speak was pretty clear - "what a stupid idea Minister". So what is the difference? I'm doing research into the nature of courage at the moment with the Imperial War Museum which has given me the opportunity to look in depth at the most extraordinary individual acts of courage carried out under horrendous conditions. Most of us can only speculate how we would respond to combat and so thankfully will never know how we would respond. But I have recently come across an area which overlaps from the chaos of war to the uncertainties of business. It seems that whilst most character traits are neither good nor bad (more about this another time) but there is a generic quality of courage which is universally accepted as being "good". So perhaps courage has an important place in business. But when does one become too courageous?
The B.E.S.T Show (Built Environment Solutions & Technologies), formerly Interbuild, is the new major UK construction exhibition to take place in Birmingham. Only 13 weeks to go.
60 seconds interview with the man behind the event:
1. Who are you?
I am David Pierpoint, Event Director of the BEST series of exhibitions taking place at the NEC, 17th - 20th October 2010.
My background is in sales and marketing, mostly in the media sector and largely around exhibitions and conferences. I grew up in the Midlands, and went to university in Birmingham. Sadly I now live in exile in London.
2. What is the story of your company?