SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
07 Sep 06. Three events this week supported the importance of ‘speaking the same language’ or ‘singing from the same hymnbook’ as being key factors in determining the success or failure of a business or an enterprise.
The first was the long running and public spat between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Chancellor Gordon Brown. The long-suffering British public have shouldered this public display of egotism and self-centredness for too long. Here are two so-called elected Public Servants of the British Isles engaging in a public spat about who should lead the country after Tony Blair retires and when. The Editor has made his views on the incumbent government on a number of occasions; one piece prompted a reader to ask whether he was drunk at the time the piece was written! Drink did not need to be taken to express the views transmitted from Hawaii in 2005!
This view was supported by a strong statement on the BBC Radio 2 News this afternoon,” It is an insult to the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq and the number of body bags coming back to the U.K. that we have a Government behaving like this.”
As many observers have commented, this ‘moment of madness’ (some say inspired by Gordon Brown) has blown the Government’s credibility apart at a time when a smooth transition could have been completed with Gordon Brown quietly taking up the reins next year without opposition (a point the Editor has also strongly opposed). But both these prima donnas who put themselves before thew country were not speaking the same language. Had they been doing so they would have put their personal views to one side and put the country and the Labour Party first. But it appears that Gordon had lost his never and pounced on Blair possibly because he can see the way the economy is going and wants out of the Treasury before the economy slides and many families are plunged into poverty through the huge debts encourage d by the Chancellor to ‘boost the economy after 9/11.
Now, ain all likelihood the spectre of increased inflation, higher interest rates and a rocky government will all conspire to bring about a speedier depression and a sharp drop in confidence and hence the Stock market. The Times said as much this morning. There is almost certainly to be a Leadership Election next year and Gordon’s move this week, may well prove to be his undoing. Could Tony Blair have quietly prompted this move to deny Gordon Brown his long-held wish after he had made a similar move when Blair had serious personal problems in 2004?
The second example on ‘speaking the same language’ was the announcement by Linde the German conglomerate that English rather than German would be the Company language after the takeover of the UK BOC Group. Linde now becomes The Linde Group in what Linde sees as a merger rather than a takeover. This move is unique in German Corporate history but shows excellent sense given the globalisation of the gases market and the clout of BOC in these markets. This is in stark contrast to Thales which having bought Racal dismantled its huge export division which had sold tactical radios to 38 countries outside the UK. The penetration of US majors into what was Racal’s territory since then at Thales’s expense is noticeable in lack of significant export sales of the company’s ageing PR4G and other products. French is spoken in some overseas markets but not all whatever Jacques Chirac might say! Linde has quite clearly seen the importance of English in the global market
The global aspiration of The Linde Group were also reflected in the senior ranks
of the new company. The management team has five members, led by Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle (57), President and Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. The Group’s global functions also report directly to Professor Reitzle who is also responsible for the logistics division, Gist. In a matrix-structure of global and region