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As the Olympic Park in London nears completion, the last of the big-ticket construction projects is coming to an end.
According to Glenigan, the economic research consultancy, the number of large scale projects worth in excess of £100m has halved since the start of the downturn.
The average value of individual projects for the top 50 contractors fell from £10.3m in 2010, to £8.7m in 2011, the lowest level for three years. Outside London, values are even lower.
What's more, contract values are expected to deteriorate further once work on the Olympics has ended.
For years I've been banging on about the need for a coherent growth strategy and consistent industrial policy here in blogs at the Birmingham Post. It seems that the Business Secretary Secretary Vince Cable shares that view.
Today a letter from him to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister was leaked which made clear Cable's view that the Government does not have a "clear and confident message about how we will earn our living in the future".
He went on to say that the UK lacks a "compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess", and that the government has missed "valuable opportunities" for growth. He added that the government's industrial strategy is "piecemeal", "not followed through systematically" and shows "no connected approach across government."
He's right. Some of us have been on about this for ages, and I'm delighted Cable has got the message at least.
In teaching students what organisations do, most particularly in terms of strategic decision-making, you are ultimately faced with the problem of providing theory that enables understanding of the key issues, so that assessment of learning can take place, but which facilitates questioning of wisdom and logic.
There is a balance between simplicity in explaining fundamental concepts and the appreciation of the dilemmas and complexities that contemporary organisations face.
This blog is not intended to be a treatise of the worth of theory or an examination of teaching methods; that is simply too difficult! Rather, it is a reflection on what the current (and future) generations of managers need to consider to attempt to make sense of the world in which they and their organisations exist within.
JLR, remember, contributed a whopping 95% of the overall profit of Tata Motors in the last quarter. The reports suggest that a minority listing for JLR would enable Tata to bank a decent profit on the $2.3 billion purchase price that Tata paid for JLR back in 2008.
With no replacement yet found for the CEO of Tata Motors, who stepped down last September, the view in such pieces is that instead of searching for synergies, Tata could split JLR out and sell off a minority of its shares through an initial public offering (IPO). That could raise cash and help Tata pare down its $4 billion debt.
In addition, a stock market listing would not mean JLR severing its Indian links as Tata would remain the majority owner, and JLR could still look to expand sales and assembly in India.
With a shrinking share of a falling European market, GM Europe recently posted another big loss, even while its parent company reported an $8 billion profit. The scale of the loss has again focused attention at GM on its loss-making European operations after more pressure from shareholders.
A new management team at GM Europe was parachuted in by GM head office last Autumn, led by GM Vice President Steve Girsky. Girsky is very much GM CEO Dan Akerson's man, brought in by Akerson to sort out its ailing European arm.
Interestingly, Girsky was one of the GM directors who voted to reverse the previously planned GM Europe sell-off and keep it back in 2009, but has also referred to the need to reduce GM Europe's break-even point (meaning, effectively big capacity cuts).
And GM is indeed looking at the possibility of capacity and job cuts. Dan Ammann, GM's chief financial officer, said the latest losses at GM Europe were unacceptable and that GM was working "rapidly and decisively" to reduce the break-even rate. "We expect to have something to say soon," he stated this week ominously.
Lord Adonis speaking at this week's debate on the Elected Mayor issue at the University of Birmingham made much of evidence from across the rest of the world of the vital significance of mayoral powers. He even observed that the next leader of China was likely to be a former mayor of Shanghai. A brief excursion into the thickets of Chinese local government s might just be instructive.
The countdown to the mayor referendum could do with a few things to energise it: a couple more compelling candidates, confirmation on the proposed mayoral powers, and a massive poster draped over Town Hall bearing the wiggy fizzgog of Boris Johnson and the accompanying slogan 'Do YOU Want Another HIM?'.
However, what it really needs is a bit of passion. A bit of a rumble in our urban jungle. Some fiery politicking that enflames the public interest. That passion remained suppressed in yesterday's otherwise worthwhile mayoral debate at Birmingham University.
Yesterday, the issue of media standards finally jumped the shark. Or rather, it loaned the horse.
News International's former boss Rebekah Brooks, stunt double for Pixar's heroinein forthcoming movie 'Brave', was purportedly the recipient of a loaned police horse from Scotland Yard.
They say good things come in threes and I'm pleased to say that, for the West Midlands construction sector, 2012 kicked off with a trio of good news stories.
Twenty-seven minutes before mainstream media broke the news of Whitney Houston's death last Saturday the story was on Twitter.
The news was first tweeted by @ajaDiorNavy, with a mere 14 followers at the time, who's "Aunt Tiffany", an employee of Whitney's, found the diva dead in her bath. An hour later it had been re-tweeted 2.5m times.