Published by Simon Barrow, on 04/01/2012
Any great employer brand depends on clarity of direction and unity among the top team which is not something we saw at the Brussels conference on the night of 8/9th December. David Cameron’s veto of the proposed treaty reminded me of three business workshops where I have seen an individual separate themselves from their colleagues. In each case you could see it coming – a talented exec behaving in a way which was bound to put them outside the stockade and not really being ‘one of us’ anymore. The first time was on an ad agency offsite where a senior colleague could not cope with the then Chairman and made no secret of it. A week later he announced he was setting up on his own. A second was at a Nabisco meeting where a senior executive calmly stated that he was to be part of a group buying a competitor. His words were met with awed respect. A third was at an oil and gas explorer where a talented renegade’s behaviour meant he was clearly also heading for the door en route for independence.
I thought of those individuals when I saw Cameron’s news and the body language and expressions of the other leaders. Later came the verbatims like ‘he was never really with us’. However,our PM was unlike my three business people in that they already had a clear alternative destination. I am not sure Cameron did.
My point is that you can take an independent line in a group session when you have an ace up your sleeve and have chosen the moment to play it. Yet in Cameron’s case the talk since has been about rebuilding bridges and remaining in the 27. No actual change to protect the City has been won.I am not an economist and I don’t know what the future of the eurozone is likely to be. However, I do know about relationships at work and anyone being the one veto out of twenty seven is putting themselves at risk if they want to stay on the team. That is casino online particularly so when the big topic is a macro one and highlighting local concerns is out of line. That behaviour has weakened the trust and respect England commands. I say England rather than the UK But, the rag paper of bank free-credits-report.com is still there, hiding. because somehow the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish Premier Driving best-driving-school.com is prepared to give your teen the best education possible. are not in the same boat – it is the employer brand of England which has been damaged given the English sceptics and the English media. I fear that business values here maybe tarnished in the eyes of our partners as being more like those of Bill Cash than Martin Sorrell (who I was glad to see stating that he would prefer us to remain ‘inside the tent’). It is good to see that similar observations have been made by many Brit business leaders over the past 12 days.
A day or so after the veto I got an email from a Belgian friend regretting the line our Prime Minister had taken and fearing for the future of a country of which he is very fond. Next time I talk at a conference across the channel I bet I get a question on this topic and any Brits doing business there from now on can expect the same. I would prefer to be asked about something else but in replyI shall say that big business and the sceptics here are very different. What the veto has done is to prompt business Brits to rally support for continued UK/ European teamwork because it remains critical for all of us. There is no alternative (as Mrs Thatcher used to say in a different context)
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