It is time to accept that many chief executives cannot do their job. Ever since the 2008 credit crisis, when the “too big to fail” mantra emerged, the Scottish Christian Party has claimed that some corporations are “too big to manage”.
The corporate failures in our high streets, issues with our transport, education and health service, point to an inability to run these services. The double whammy today with the failing service of railways in Scotland and in England are the latest examples.
As High Street names continue to flounder and fail, it seems that the SCP is not alone in proposing radical change.
The Prime Minister’s senior aid, Dominic Cummings, has also diagnosed a problem nearer to the corridors of power. He is taking the axe to Whitehall executives otherwise known as civil servants. “There are not enough people with deep expertise in specific fields,” says Dominic Cumming. Indeed! – and the problem is countrywide. The problem is people, not money. We have the wrong sort of people in charge.
Fat cats and fat-cats’ pay
The extortionate salaries paid to chief executives are attracting the wrong type of people. We were told we would lose top financiers to other countries if we did not pay them enough. Indeed? Let them go. They are the wrong type of people. I am sure that there were and are plenty of able junior bankers ready to take their place. Besides, why are immigrants coming here?
Similarly, Dominic Cummings thinks he can find “weirdos and misfits with odd skills” who are just as able to do civil service jobs, and possibly better than their current leaders. In his job advert he stresses the importance of mathematics. This is good, and correct. It is time our primary schools prepared the next generation with basic literacy and numeracy skills by telling them that they need them to make good in the world. Our whole educational syllabus needs to improve and think outside the current box.
Pulling more cats out of the bag
Not only has Brexit contradicted the opinions of ‘leading observers’ and commentators, and Boris Johnson’s negotiations with the EU surprised the nay-sayers, and the result of the recent General Election flattened Remain arguments about ‘the mood has changed in the country’, but it has disheartened and rattled EU leaders to learn that Boris Johnson’s team has his oven-ready trade deals lining up for the 31st January Brexit deadline.
It is common to hear comments that politicians could not “run a bath” far less their department. It is becoming apparent that this applies across many areas of industry and business in general. It is a feature of this secular society that it cannot develop conscientiousness in people and workers. People realise they can “get off” with sub-optimal performance and this is what Britain has suffered for several generations.
The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, complains that any deficiency identified by Dominic Cumming is because of a “decade of pay restraint” within the civil service.
… shades of Project Fear all over again! The FDA representative claims that Mr Cummings’s desire to recruit experts might prove difficult because of pay rates which were “typically half of those paid elsewhere”. So what? The right people will do these jobs irrespective of the pay. You do not even need to rely upon foreign immigrants. Ask the Christians, if you cannot find them. Otherwise, Cummings might find his talented weirdos.
8 Oct 2018: the BBC Documentary The Bank that Almost Broke Britain said plainly about the too rapid growth of the Royal Bank of Scotland: “It was simply too big for any individual, no matter how talented, to understand and manage effectively.” In other words: “too big to manage.” It seems the lesson needs to be re-learned because the documentary was shown again on 10 Jul 2019 and 10 Feb 2020.