Tag Archives: Who Moved My Job

Recession in the UK

The UK economic data for Q4 2010 was staggeringly bad. The economy contracted by 0.5% when economists had predicted growth of around 0.5%. If the next set of UK numbers look like this then the country will be officially back in recession – the dreaded ‘double-dip’ where growth is not strong enough to sustain recovery from the last recession.

The economic downturn at the end of the past decade was the worst I have known in my life. In 2008, I lost all of my clients and I was also in the middle of getting divorced – so I was paying for two houses in London. Not the ideal time to be increasing costs and reducing income! Still, I rode that out with a reduction in savings, I found new clients, and now I have moved to Brazil where the economy is growing.

But when I look back at the UK now, I can see so many more real problems that I could never see before, not least in terms of economic stagnation. I don’t mean in the terms an economist would use, I just mean in human terms.

Food prices are going up, it’s harder to borrow money for major purchases such as a house, fuel costs are increasing… but worst of all, I know of at least four friends who are searching for a job. Highly skilled, qualified, experienced, and able people out there searching for work. I’ve never seen this before even back in the hard times of the early 90s or the dot com crash a decade ago.

If the people in London with degrees and experience are getting turfed out into the gutter, then what’s happening to less affluent parts of the UK – especially where they depend heavily on the public sector for work? Wait and see, because the public sector job cuts are only just beginning…
Who Moved My Job?

Upsetting people by blogging

Blogging is a very direct medium. In my case, I find ideas and stories work better if I can publish them quickly and then take ideas or thoughts from others out there in the online community. This immediacy means I can get ideas and comment out to people within minutes.

For example, I was at IBM this morning listening to a speech by Lord Mandelson and blogging it live as he was speaking. The policy advisor sitting next to me from the department for Business, Innovation, and Skills probably thought I was being incredibly rude by typing during the speech, but these are new times for information. I was getting feedback on the speech before Mandelson had even walked off stage.

However, this immediacy and the fact that this is a written form of communication, means that tone and meaning can sometimes be lost – opinion or humour can be mistaken for flippancy.

I’ve heard it through the grapevine that my last blog entry here, the one about teaching for London South Bank University on Sunday morning, has not gone down too well with some of the university staff. I’ve not heard from anyone directly, but the impression I got was that my blog post was viewed as a very negative perspective on the MBA residential weekend.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

But, let’s have a look at the blog post and see what could be misunderstood?

I said that I had not been able to do a lot of advance planning because I could not access the LSBU team. That’s not a big issue. It’s just that I had wanted to explore some ideas around my presentation, but it’s not as if I need much help preparing to present on a subject I know well. The issues were mainly personal anyway so I’m not complaining here, merely observing that I’d really like to explore some ideas next year with the team. It’s hard as a visiting lecturer – I’m not on campus all that often. Maybe I should pop in for lunch more often.

It was genuinely nice to speak and then to find that the students were keen to keep on asking questions, and several mentioned that they would have liked my talk earlier in the weekend so they could keep talking to me for longer afterwards. I thought that this was a very positive statement. I’m only joking about them all being hungover. Sure, some of them were probably hungover after having a few drinks on Saturday night, but everyone was in there on time and really engaged with my session, and Leslie’s before mine.

The comment on Twitter is just linked to the earlier comment. I’d like to explore some ideas around interactive lectures that can draw ideas from the students or connect them in new ways. I don’t think it’s offensive to suggest an exploration of innovative case studies or student networking.

The final comment was really just a passing joke on the students and their Saturday night party. I was not even there, but I thought the play on the MBA acronym was amusing – I never made this up, I merely passed it on and several people I know got in touch with me to say they thought this was amusing.

I really love my role as a visiting lecturer at LSBU. I’ve been regularly contributing to the MBA and MSc International Management for about six years now. I’m not full time. I visit and do my thing, hopefully offering a view from outside the campus, and I really enjoy being able to meet the students and to interact with them.

Working with post-graduate MBA students is not like working with undergraduates. The students have all worked, and they are mostly giving up time from their career to take the MBA (or trying to cope with studies and work together). They come from all over the world, and they have many different views and opinions that I also learn from and enjoy.

I regularly speak at conferences and events all over the world and at these talks, and in all my books, I always mention that I’m a visiting lecturer at LSBU because it’s something I’m really proud of.

The weekend residential sessions are a really valuable opportunity to focus a lot of time with the students and the staff that I don’t meet all that often. I think the sessions at places like Latimer house are really excellent and benefit both students and staff alike by allowing everyone to escape the regular campus structure for a few days. I usually come and stay on site for these weekends, but this year I had too many deadlines, with a book that needed to be approved for printing. I spent all day Saturday checking and working on this book, so I had to just drive in on Sunday to do my talk and return home again. It was a shame as I missed a lot of the usual weekend interaction, but then it could not be avoided.

I’m sorry if anyone thought my earlier blog post was negative. I thought it was humourous, not negative. But, if anyone doubts my commitment to LSBU then why not take a look at my most recent book cover, Talking Outsourcing. There is a reference to LSBU above the innovation boss of IBM and the IT head of KPMG. Or perhaps, on Who Moved My Job? where LSBU is mentioned above one of the senior writers at BusinessWeek. And also here on the soon to be released Brazilian edition of the same book…

I’m looking forward to getting back into LSBU for my next lecture. Possibly around my new work on enterprise social media… watch this blog for news of my new magazine column and book all around this theme.

So who wants to publish me in India?

The past couple of books I have written ‘Who Moved my Job?’ (Lulu 2008) and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’ (British Computer Society 2008) have both been published under license for South Asia by Viva in Delhi.

Viva took a look at my most recent book – Talking Outsourcing (Lulu 2009) – and said they are not interested in publishing it because they don’t feel it connects to the reader in the same way as the other books I have written.

That’s fine. They have their opinion. Only I think they are wrong.

Here’s why.

I don’t think they understand that this was a book of a blog. This book is drawn from the best of my ‘Talking Outsourcing’ blog in Computing magazine, featuring blog entries from 2006 to 2009. It’s written and presented as a chronological business diary. Everything that’s going on in the world of services globalisation and outsourcing from my point of view over that three year period.

It’s worth pointing out that the British national tech magazine Computer Weekly thought so highly of my blog, they shortlisted it for blog of the year in their IT Blog Awards 2009. The launch event at London South Bank University was also very successful – take a look at the video here.

Clearly there are a lot of people involved in the hi-tech service sector in India and I am sure they would like to see this book.

It highlights the issues, the trends, the failures, and the successes of the past three years in the global hi-tech industry and India gets a fair share of that business.

Sure, it’s a book of a blog and not written with a new narrative focused on a single topic, but that’s part of the idea here. Take the content from the blog and make it work in a different way by putting it all in one place, so it can be quickly skipped through.

If you are a publisher in India and you are interested in the South Asia rights for this book then get in touch with me. I’m planning to be there in February so if you move fast we could do some personal appearances around the launch. You can reach me here…

Visit to Mumbai in August…

I was working in Mumbai again a couple of weeks ago, arriving on Sunday August 9th through to the following Saturday… it was an extremely busy time.

On Monday and Tuesday me and Angie were completely tied up with interviews and meetings related to Patni. In fact, Angie went over to Delhi and back on Tuesday – it’s a 2-hour flight from Mumbai. I stayed in Mumbai on Tuesday and desperately tried to arrange a new appointment as the planned interview had fallen through, due to a swine flu scare. Fortunately, I was able to go and talk with the boss of TCS eServe that day.

On Monday, the BBC came to my hotel and we recorded a TV interview about my latest book. It was broadcast globally on BBC World TV, India Business Report on August 23rd.

On Wednesday, we went on a day trip to Bangalore together. We were booked on to an 8.30pm flight coming back, but we managed to arrive back at the airport very early – before 6pm. We asked if it was possible to get on an earlier flight and fortunately there was one at 6.20pm we could get on at no extra charge – and it was fortunate as the 8.30pm flight was already delayed until 10.40pm at the earliest…

On Thursday Angie carried on writing at the hotel and I went to see the Patni engineering research lab. In the afternoon we went to visit the Dharavi slum as guests of the Maharashtra government. We met the head of the slum redevelopment programme, and even the MP for Dharavi.

On Friday, we met NASSCOM in the morning and did more writing before heading over to the Oxford Bookstore at Churchgate. I was speaking about my book Who Moved My Job? at the bookstore in Mumbai. I’d only found out on Monday that the publisher had arranged this event, but through a combination of emails and social networks I managed to get the word out there. In the end, the bookstore was packed full of people and 10 newspapers came to cover the event, along with a couple of magazines.

We then got on a flight to Bangkok just after midnight on Friday night… leaving behind a week of constant interviews and writing in Mumbai and on to some much-needed holiday time!