……….. by your own bootstraps

Lord Tebbit was the opening speaker at the Start-Up Suffolk show on May 14th in Bury St. Edmunds.

He delivered a speech about not waiting for money to drop from the sky but instead, to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and make a future through hard work.

UK businesses have become addicted to handouts, grants and generally being feather bedded. As a consequence we are having to carry a huge public sector to make sure things are done fairly, taxes have to increase to pay for this, regulations flourish to ensure a level playing field and the whole field of government activity is a tremendous brake on business enterprise.

It is clear to me that the UK, and Europe, needs to pep up its economic performance. Unless we improve our performance relative to other countries, we will continue to export well paying jobs and import low skill low wage replacements. This assumes we are prepared to drop our standards of living to buy in those low wage jobs and do not instead, import unemployment.

The UK is a wealthy nation but crippled by World War 2, we no longer have an Empire and cannot dig or pump our national wealth from under the ground.

If we continue to spend more than we earn we will need to borrow the difference. Why will the Chinese and the Middle Eastern people pay us to enjoy that rich world lifestyle?

We have to change our outlook, change our long term Government strategy and work our way out of this mess.

This is the grand vision that lies behind Motivation Matters. We want to make the UK, Europe and the world a better place. Small ambition was never one of my faults.

“But we’re doing ok!” I hear you say. You compare yourself to your peers and you have the same ROI, similar stock turn ratios and good net profit margin compared to some.

As the Olympic Games is about to burst upon us lets use a long distance race analogy, and business is a long distance race. Imagine a group surrounding you and running at the same speed. You feel content. You can’t see the World Champion 200 yards in front of you and you want to remain comfortable where you are.

Let me put some numbers on this. My very crude example is a huge simplification and the cost structure of different sectors varies markedly. If you don’t like my example look at your own organisation – please I urge you.

I can tell you from my experience that 5% is the bottom end of any improvement in performance.

The 2009 MacLeod report, from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, was perhaps strong on exhortation and weak on numbers, but it did describe what many organisations are succeeding in doing.

You might like to do your own calculations based on 10% or 20% increase in effectiveness.

Consider how this change in cost structure will affect your competitiveness. Do you see how we can export unemployment? How we can bring work and wealth home? How we can secure our children’s future?

Perhaps then, you will look at your own organisation’s numbers and scan the horizon for the World Champion way out in front.

There is no reason why we cannot do this. We just need managers to manage more effectively, which is not the same as harshly.

The future of our society depends on us adopting this.

Help me spread the message please.





© Motivation Matters Limited 2012


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