In business, I avoid certain things, two more than anything else: religion; and politics. However, the implications of exiting the European Union are fast drifting into the shadow of the cloud of debris and chaos created by the British government and its breathtaking ineptitude, which — for once, and this is a rare thing — I find unbelievable, bordering on the surreal.
In the last week or so, I reacted on Facebook to an article shared by the Guardian about Boris Johnson — again — citing the discredited £350 million for the NHS ruse used during the referendum, stirring up an almost spent debate and opening up fractious arguments, to which I responded:
Or, we could have voted to remain and leave things as they were, but then the public wouldn’t have had a chance to pretend they were a suicide cult of economic experts.
… a comment which attracted almost 400 likes.
But the point here is, the public and the politicians between them have zero idea what to do next, in spite of counsel from actual economic experts, from the captains of the industries we risk losing to “foreigners” (a German-made Rolls-Royce is a real prospect, or perhaps of no concern to those who’re not economic nationalists), and that’s something I find as troubling as it is ludicrous.
Towards the end of June 2016, I was moved to write an update on Facebook, which I gave the provisional title of: “Idiocy, bordering on democracy” because, for the life of me, I could not understand how we’d got ourselves into the mess we were in then, let alone in the here in now.
It appears common sense isn’t so common anymore.
A business case for rare sense
Imagine you are the owner of a business, founded some decades ago, and after a moment of quiet introspection, you discover that it is in rude health — a state of affairs that does not run parallel with the nation within which you live.
But you feel there’s room for improvement, and the decision-making process is where you begin. Here, you choose to economize, and instead of deliberating over decisions, which often takes up a lot of your valuable time, you instead place your faith in what you believe to be an innate talent for making the correct decision the first time of asking.
As time goes on, some of those instinctive decisions begin to cause a few problems, but nothing major. Onwards!
However, due to a commingling of circumstances, you find yourself forced into making a decision without first being in receipt of the facts, exposing you and your business to extreme risk. But, you stick with the “Process” and go with the first decision.
With almost immediate effect, you begin to regret that decision.
24 hours later, the consequences of that decision appears almost foolish and hurried.
36 hours later, a number of clients begin to question your powers of reasoning in addition to the decision itself.
72 hours later, you’ve lost a number of major clients who you’ve had for decades.
You’re now faced with a stark choice:
- continue supporting the erroneous decision, in deference to the “Process”, regardless of the consequences, or;
- admit that the “Process” is flawed, make amends, and work to re-build the trust you have lost.
For reasons that elude me, we went with option 1, and the cost of that decision appears due much too soon.