Andrew Charlton
Andrew Charlton

Member Article

?...and what on earth is it you do??

So here we are in the midst of a terrible economic recession and people in all walks of life are having to alter habits of a lifetime and change their behaviour to make ends meet and stay in business, or are they?

I’m a cynical sod and I probably haven’t been the greatest fans of various major corporate organisations and public sector bodies in my time but in times of plenty, I like most folks, just let matters lie. I’ve joked on for years that what Britain needs, apart from me seizing power, national service and bringing back hanging, is to put the “Great” back into Britain. We need a new government minister, yes another public servant. However, this is one with a big difference. Meet my “Minister of ‘What the bloody hell are you doing?’”

His or her remit is a simple one. Turn up anywhere that public money is being spent, at any time of the day or night, no advance warning and armed with a pointy stick they will randomly poke any people who are or appear to be sitting about, looking idle or just not apparently contributing something meaningful to society. Said worker will then be required to provide an instant and coherent explanation of what they are doing and why without using the words “task force”, “initiative” or “working party” and in the absence of any useful contribution they can be poked further, bashed or even sacked on the spot.

Every time I drive to work I see road works that take weeks to do basic maintenance tasks when private companies can re-surface a runway at Heathrow during the hours of darkness and have it ready for use again at dawn; we can build a new tunnel under the Tyne (on time!!) because its commercially required but we can’t order enough gritters, or grit for that matter, to keep the road to it open to the Tunnel in winter months. Don’t even get me started on why our nation grinds to a halt at first sight of white stuff from the sky.

How much money our country has been spent on crazy projects is a mystery to me and I’m sure many of you but how much less could it have been with a man (or woman) with a big stick motivating people to stop messing about and crack on?

I don’t suppose Isambard Kingdom Brunel stood round collecting chits and paperwork for the sake of it when he built his magnificent and great bridges, ships and tunnels or was Nelson checking for a risk assessment for his gun crews in the midst of Trafalgar (obviously not given his fate) whilst he made a nation great? Of course not.

To make our country, your town or even just your business great forever or just a day needs people who don’t sit around doing nothing, pick up the baton and just do something useful and meaningful instead of what their job spec might say. We need folks who will stand up and be counted alongside business owners by taking pride in their business and always going the extra mile. In troubled times it is employees that make their companies great and with great employees come great businesses that can put the “Great” back in Britain in tough times. Just remember if you sit still for too long you’ll feel the poke of that stick in your back. Next year’s stick might even be electrified too. Do something great today.

Andrew M Charlton – 12th January 2012

Andrew is a Director at BACK Consulting Limited, one of the region’s top software development companies and is co-organiser of the North East Expo.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Andrew Charlton .

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