Friday, November 20, 2009


I spoke yesterday at the FT World Telecoms Conference. There was a panel on 'Green Issues'. I did the "Bad Fairy" thing - everyone else congratulating themselves on how green they were, and what good business sense it all made. I pointed out that if it made good business sense there would be no need for climate treaties, and that this wouldn't be in Corporate Social Responsibility departments - it would be the CFO's job. Actually, it's talking about it that makes good business sense.

Afterwards, HP sponsored the cocktails. To stay with the green theme, what did they do? Make cocktails from locally sourced, sustainably produced ingredients? No, they dyed them green with food dye. 'Nuff said?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ministry of Defence Bonuses

Seems very unfair to victimise the civil servants who get bonuses at the MoD. It's an absolute item of management dogma that everyone has to have targets, so that their performance can be measured. And of course to give their managers something to talk about at their annual appraisal, and even more important, to give the HR department something to do - making up a new appraisal system every year or so.

The only way that office workers can be persuaded to participate in the targets game is if there is some incentive, however pitiful, for achieving your targets. So that means that part of their salary is paid as a 'bonus' dependent on performance. We are not talking wheelbarrows of share options here - most of the time we are talking a few hundred quid.

The real enemy here isn't the bonus recipients but the parasitical culture of HR and 'SMART' objectives.