Category Archives: Management speak


Leadership. It’s a topic that exercises people in airless seminar rooms without number, up and down the country, every day of the week. Yet in its elevation to the status of a ‘-ship’ it becomes so far removed from the … Continue reading

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Laugh or cry?

We are living in exceedingly strange times. Nine months ago Scots were being cajoled and entreated to remain in the Union. Today those same beseeching voices are demonising us as the hirsute hordes, poised to breach Hadrian’s Wall and wreak … Continue reading

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Through the wall

I’m looking at a picture of the Great Wall of China. It’s on a calendar given to me by my friend and acupuncturist Wenbo Xu. There are two crane-like birds in a meadow in the foreground. Beyond them the wall … Continue reading

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To the letter

Last week I spent a day with members of the housing team of a local authority. We were looking at the letters they send out to tenants on a variety of subjects, ranging from noise to rubbish to gardens to … Continue reading

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Sin of omission?

I was listening at lunchtime yesterday to the BBC’s director of human resources being grilled about bullying and the ‘strong undercurrent of fear’ uncovered at the corporation by its recent Respect at Work review. The interviewer suggested that the human … Continue reading

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Spirited talk

David Dimbleby spoke to John Humphrys this morning on Radio 4, bringing a veteran’s perspective to the current BBC furore. George Entwhistle, he suggested, is a decent man but not the right one for the job; he lacked the pugnacity … Continue reading

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Olympic virtues

On Radio 4 recently, Clifford Longley, the BBC’s religious affairs correspondent, quoted Bob Diamond’s notorious comment that business culture was ‘how people behave when no one’s watching’. Longley went on to draw the distinction between the self-interest that governs so … Continue reading

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Autumn tales

I often write this on the train on the way back from Edinburgh. It’s a picturesque journey, across the Forth Bridge and east along the Fife coast, then inland through the soft, fertile farmland of central Fife, a short climb … Continue reading

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