When Is It Politically Correct To Be A Bully- Plate Smashing (Printing Plates)
Imagine you are the boss of a large company under immense financial pressure, struggling to meet sales targets and finding it hard to keep all of the staff employed. You are not looking forward to the prospect of beginning to make staff redundant and are concerned that the company might take years to recover if output is reduced dramatically as a result of reducing the workforce, although your Management Consultant assures you (although his previous numbers have already been proven wrong just a few months earlier) that the numbers are now right.
Others within your industry sector are struggling as well, although it is not clear who is the weakest link. The industry leaders call a summit to determine how to reshape the sector. You all agree that the sector needs propping up and agree to new industry wide sales targets. Privately you are concerned that you will not achieve them. You take the findings back to your Board of Directors, some of whom believe that the agreement is a lifeline, others share your pessimism and wonder if the targets are still too ambitious. Failing to meet these new targets will result in possibly a complete fire-sale of the company. You are unsure about what to do and decide to hold an emergency general meeting to present the case as well as you see it. Some of your Board think you are weak and want to push for a new CEO, others can see sense in the strategy. The trade press learn of your second thoughts and castigate your actions which drives the share price of your company down further. Your Board members and staff are all shareholders too, this is not a happy state of affairs… what do you do?
Well, probably… you decide to gamble – though this is not familiar territory for you. You decide that after all you will not have an extraordinary meeting, but simply get to the task set before you – sell more, reduce costs and make redundancies in the process – paying off staff with lump sums that you might have to borrow from the Bank, who already holds more of your assets as security than they would otherwise prefer.
OK, I have taken liberties I know, but before the media get too carried away with pouring scorn on the Greeks and their Prime Minister Mr Papandreou, perhaps some self-reflection wouldn’t go amiss. Most of Europe is struggling with the same issues and few, if any are really in a position to point and carp. Something about pots and black kettles I think.
It won’t be a surprise to anyone that I am not privy to the internal discussions of the Greek Government or any of the European Governments, however news that the Greeks may now be dropping the opportunity to have a referendum has sent the markets on a dizzy spin on this very wet and now dark November afternoon. There is a degree to which we might all breathe a collective sigh of relief, but would a pause for thought and agreement really have been that disastrous? before we all throw another billion on the fire to keep warm.