FT Weekend Magazine
Churchill Leadership Report
What follows is an address, ‘Denial and Change’, on upcoming business risks given to a City of London audience at Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, on 7 March 2013. Are we heading for a tipping point? We have consistently ducked tackling the big and underlying issues. ‘Process’ and ‘box-ticking’ at business continuity and disaster recovery level breeds a false sense of security. The bigger problem resides at board level where ‘uncomfortable thinking’ about reputation and business-ending risks does not get enough thinking and discussion time. We default to denial and comfort zones, and fail to join up the dots. A real game changer may be inbound and might be what is required to create better, more fair and just societies. UK could be centre stage once again as exemplar and role model in chief.
A guide to the future: lessons and observations from a visit to Singapore Singapore is a ‘must visit’ place for anyone who wants to get a feel for the future or for Asia - or indeed for both - especially as one ponders Asia rapidly taking over from the West as the driver of the 21st century...
Very good news
We have reached a critical turning point. The patient at last recognises that only massive intervention and treatment will work. David Cameron tells us what we have known but have waited so long to hear - “ Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the past....we are in a global race today and that means an hour of reckoning....sink or swim, do or decline”. Ed Milliband’s unexpected peroration to one nation was his way of saying the same...
As the autumn leaves fall so do old certainties. Notwithstanding the summers optimisms, on the face of it sensible economists now seem to agree that the situation in Greece could well get even worse unless there are some fundamental changes. The sovereign debt may have enjoyed a quiet rally, with the benchmark 10-year bond more than doubling in price since late-May on the hope of more time to tackle the debt, but the bottom line is that domestic austerity and structural reforms are not working - and are being recognized as increasingly socially and politically divisive...
What a lovely gift and diversion we enjoyed courtesy of those wonderful Olympic games and other memorable summer sporting events and achievements! Sadly it is back to reality and post-party blues, so what do we see? Whilst there is plenty of ‘same-old’ it is true, at home and abroad some significant trends are becoming more discernable. The new term will be anything but dull - the world is brimming with challenges, risks, and some amazing.
Euro Zone Crisis: surprise, surprise, it got worse – yet again! Our last month’s ‘limp along with a patch and mend’ best-case scenario appears less likely. David Cameron has pushed UK austerity expectations out to 2020 and, along with many others, openly discusses euro zone break up as a serious scenario. Roger Bootle of Capital Economics neatly summed things up when he said that Gotterdammerung ‘may not be imminent but it is inexorable’.
Euro Zone Crisis: we have long said that this crisis will get worse. Europe is facing its most difficult challenge since 1945. No one knows what will happen but politics and societal issues are clashing with economics, and there is a serious risk that this develops into a major global crisis. David Cameron’s admonition “make up or break-up” is bad either-way.
May 2012A wise leader remarked recently that if you really want to understand an organization you should speak to the 3rd in charge. Below is an extract from an NHJ article shortly to be published in Chatham House/World Today. Our opinions have been inspired by interviews and discussions with ‘number 3s’ and others in pivotal positions across politics and society. Particular thanks for their time go to MPs Frank Field, David Lammy, Patrick Mercer, and Zac Goldsmith, and to a host of unsung ‘3 rd level’ heroes across civil society groups, the police and officials who are trying their utmost against the odds.
Copyright and permission notes
Please note all Security Memos and related materials are NHJ Strategic copyright. For permission to publish or use the material for any printed or electronic matter or for any reference purposes simply contact the editor