BT Openreach franchise to end

November 30, 2016

Discworld Gods Wikipedia

After a lengthy period of negotiations over the structure of Openreach, the Government Communications watchdog OfCom has lost patience with BT, and proposes the establishment of an independent company

LWD has followed this story in earlier posts which examined the case for and against such a move. [See Is it Openreach or overreach? and The divestment of Openreach is not a simple case ]

The Plans

This week the Government announced its plans to deal with what it sees as a failure by BT to address its concerns regarding OpenReach. According to Reuters:

Britain’s telecoms regulator will go to the European Commission to try to force BT to legally separate Openreach, the division that supplies broadband to millions of homes and businesses, in a major reform aimed at spurring investment in the country’s ageing network.

The regulator, which despite Britain’s vote to leave the European Union still needs European Commission support to force through change at Openreach, wants BT Openreach to plough more money into upgrading its copper networks to fibre to catch up some European rivals and the likes of South Korea and Japan.

Ofcom’s decision to up the ante follows the failure to reach a voluntary deal after more than a year of talks. It said it was “disappointed” that BT had not done enough to separate Openreach from the rest of the group. It had ordered the former state monopoly to run the network arm as a legally separate company in July [2016].

The Independent suggests that the announcement is only the start of what might be an extended commercial battle. BT rivals Sky and Talk Talk may make some gains, but BT still retains powerful influence through its monopolistic ownership of the landline monopoly in the UK.

In the dispute, BT has not exactly argued their case convincingly. Their CEO in one radio interview was emphatic about the success of their efforts at upgrading broadband services, and dismissed alternatives as too small. The regulator thinks differently.

Amongst the ironies, is the prospect of the EU passing judgement to permit an improvement in an important advanced-technology industry sector in the soon-to-be departing UK after its Brexit vote is converted into a full EU exit.


Fidel Castro: On evauating a leader’s charisma

November 28, 2016
Fidel Castro
The rules about not speaking ill of the dead are increasingly suspended. Most posthumous remarks about Fidel Castro this week tell us more about the speaker than the Cuban leader. The venom of much of the recent Presidential election remains
A colleague of many years  once told me how Fidel assembled his closest followers into a room shortly after he seized power, and then dished out posts as best he could. I remember it was someone with a passing understanding of finance who had to take control over the central bank.
Top leader
Castro has fascinated me as being one of two cuban leaders whose names appear at the top of lists when charisma is being discussed.  The other is, of course Che  Guevara.
 I wrote a light-hearted piece about The Castro Charismatic Scale,  at the time of the 2015 Labour leadership election. The idea for students of leadership was to show how dubious it is to believe in such league tables.
Jeremy Corbyn
Based on impact on his or her followers, Jeremy Corbyn came somewhere towards the middle of the list, ahead of the other candidates.
Acknowledgement
To Eagle-eyed Susan, the first to spot my bungled spelling of Mr Corbyn (now corrected).

Now that’s what I call a creativity workshop

November 23, 2016

The conference organisers of the recent creativity workshop in Potsdam made a short video of the action. It captures nicely the flavour of the workshop. It also shows considerable creative leadership from the editorial team at Creativity and Innovation Management

Dear all,

 

Now it’s almost a month ago that we all gathered in Potsdam but, so much still remains to be done. Jennie and I are working to incorporate all of your great ideas into a new strategic direction for the Creativity and Innovation Management (CIM) journal and we would like to take a moment to thank you all again for taking the time to come to Potsdam and make the 6th CIM Community workshop a wonderful experience.

 

We incorporated some impressions of the workshop in a short video:

Again, thank you for being a wonderful CIM community.

 

Prof. Dr. Katharina Hoelzle, MBA
Chair for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship
University of Potsdam
Editor-in-chief Creativity & Innovation Management

 

 


Creative Leadership: From Manchester to Moscow in the new Trump era

November 21, 2016

Donad Trump

A scheduled lecture via Skype from Manchester to students in Moscow took place in the week of Donald Trump’s victory in the election campaign. Here are the lecturer’s notes of the lecture content

Professor Gershman developed the course ‘Managing Creativity and Innovation’ for the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) within the Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

ISSEK is a well-known research and analytical centre in Russia, specializing in science, technology and innovation studies. ISSEK is collaborating closely with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (Prof. Ian Miles is the head of ISSEK’s Laboratory of Economics of Innovation, Prof. Luke Georghiou is a member of ISSEK Advisory Board).

Monday 6 November 2016

Introductory remarks:What is creativity. Many theories.

My background: A scientist, chemist, studied worked in UK and New York

Creativity background:

The Creative act that had me fired for insolence. When ‘permission was not granted’.

Definitions are ‘contingent not universal‘.

Consensus has formed around creativity as a process generating new, relevant, useful outcomes.

Creativity and Policy:  Not my strong area: My research has been more at level of individual, team.

Educational policy in USA after ‘Sputnik’: the creative initiative 1957, Dawn of space age.

Guilford’s earlier speech to The American Psychological Association: Was said to have drawn attention to the potential in studies of creativity for educational advances (pedagogy). Torrance tests, also later sent into space with other artefacts

Education policy in Venezuala: via Minister of Education to stimulate creativity through De Bono’s models (lateral thinking) Information processing (Cognitive) model. Escape from fixation via contradictions, randomness, fantasy. His work supported by recent neurological studies.

Creativity theories: Support Kahnman’s biases in economic theory.

The technology hotspots model: Richard Florida’s controversial creative city model. Three factors of Talent, Technology, Tolerance, resulting in economic hot spots

Questions:

Creativity ‘past present and future’ [PowerPoint]

Psychological approaches to creativity in Heath service [PowerPoint]

Questions:


Wales v Japan: surrogate revenge against Jones the coach?

November 19, 2016
Wales rugby ball
Today there is a festival of sport to enjoy. One of the highlights in our household is the rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, where Wales take on Japan
 We are a mostly harmonious sport-watching household, with affiliations to Wales, Scotland, and more than a smidgen of affection for Ireland, and New Zealand after a blissful sabbatical at Christchurch, since much battered by dreadful earthquakes.
England v Australia
In far too early a start, the morning [Saturday 19 NOvember 2016] begins as England briefly promise  to rescue a hopeless situation against India, in Cricket. At lunch, as I write this post (6am GMT), they are still tantalizingly close to avoiding the following on (the humiliation forced on a test team outplayed by 200 runs in the first innings battle).
Man U v The Gunners
There are several fixture clashes. The afternoon starts with one of those crunch games in football, this one between Manchester United and Arsenal. A veritable nine pointer. (Sorry, three points to the winner.  Easy to get carried away).
Murray v Raonic v Djokovic  
Then overlapping events. Andy Murray sets out to reach the final of the Tennis World Championships, trying to hold on to his recent status as world No 1 singles player. His brother Jamie achieved to same lofty status, and not for the first time,  just a day ago in doubles. Later, Novak Djokovic also competes to win back his crown.
The battle may be resolved in a monumental clash tomorrow.
Wales v Japan at Rugby
And Wales play Japan at rugby. Until recently, this would have been regarded somewhat patronizingly in the land of my fathers.then there was the World Cup when Japan became everyone’s favourite second team for their courage and skill. Their coach  Eddie Jones was an instant celebrity. Was he Welsh, we wondered, before discerning that his Mum was Japanese. Maybe his Ozzie Dad had some Celtic blood from somewhere, Old rather than than New South Wales, perhaps? We had a captain once called Eddie (Butler).
The Jones boy goes From Hero to Villain
Then the reason for his fall from grace. He left his coaching appointment in Japan to become chief of an ailing England team.  Need I say more?  He began a run which currently stands as ten successive victories.  England are heading for the top in world rugby.  Wales may struggle against Japan.
At least, in the language of the wretched US presidential campaign, we have a surrogate to disapprove of, as the gallant Japanese run on to the green green grass of home.

Creative Leadership: From Manchester to Moscow in the new Trump era

November 17, 2016

A scheduled lecture from Manchester to students in Moscow took place in the week of Donald Trump’s victory in the election campaign. Here’s the content of the Skype arrangement

With some trepidation, I accepted an invitation to address an international course on the topic of creativity from my home base in England. The inevitable teething troubles with technology were solved in a somewhat tense day prior to the first of two lecture sessions, which took place [Monday 6 November 2016] a few days before the conclusion of the American Presidential election.

Professor Gershman developed the course ‘Managing Creativity and Innovation’ for the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) within the Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

ISSEK is a well-known research and analytical centre in Russia, specializing in science, technology and innovation studies. ISSEK is collaborating closely with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research  (Prof. Ian Miles is the head of ISSEK’s Laboratory of Economics of Innovation, and Prof. Luke Georghiou is a member of ISSEK Advisory Board).

Here are the outline notes I had propped up in front of me, and also visible to the students

Introductory Remarks

What is creativity: Many theories.

My background: A scientist, chemist, studied worked in UK and New York

The Creative act that had me fired for insolence

Definitions: ‘contingent not universal’.

Consensus around creativity as a process generating new, relevant, useful outcomes.

Policy and creativity:

Policy is not my strong area: My research more at level of individual, team

Educational policy in USA after ‘Sputnik’: the creative initiative 1957, Dawn of space age.

Guilford’s earlier speech to The American Psychological Association: Was said to have drawn attention to the potential in studies of creativity for educational advances (pedagogy)

Torrance tests, were later sent into space with other artefacts

Education policy in Venezuala: via Minister of Education to stimulate creativity through De Bono’s models (lateral thinking) Information processing (Cognitive) model. Escape from fixation via contradictions, randomness, fantasy. His work supported by recent neurological studies.

Creativity theories: support Kahnman’s biases in economic theory.

The technology hotspots model: Richard Florida’s controversial creative city model. Three factors of Talent, Technology, Tolerance, resulting in economic hot spots

The USA election: Say it may be worthwhile taking a look at the election for the next session, after the result is known.

Questions:

Creativity ‘past present and future’ [PowerPoint]

Psychological approaches to creativity in Heath service [PowerPoint]

Questions:

To be continued


PRESIDENT TRUMP

November 9, 2016

img_07961

Today, November 9th 2016, Donald Trump won the election campaign to become the 45th President of The United States of America

His triumph came as a big surprise to political pundits, pollsters, and the majority of politicians. It gives salience to the idea that leadership in a democracy is indeed a reflection of the will of the people who will get the leaders they choose.
Instant reaction is that the victory is through the votes of a majority of white voters, and more specifically under-privileged male white voters disenchanted by the political leadership who chose an outsider promising to reassert lost dreams. Around 60% of white voters supported Mr Trump. The split was even wider among white men.  In contrast, 88% of black voters supported Clinton.
It is essentially the central issue of this site, that democratic systems are grounded in mechanisms believed to serve the will of the majority of the electorate through the process of voting. In America today, the vote has granted Donald Trump the right to take over from President Obama. It is the will of the majority of voters (setting aside the subtle arrangements to avoid the outcome resting on a straight numerical count).
It has been said that representative democracy is the ‘least worse’ of political systems. The people of America, and therefore the rest of us around the globe, now have an opportunity to experience what this means.
To be continued
Image: Yes it does have relevance to the news of the day. Suggestions wecome (and my explanation later).

Leaders in the headlines

November 7, 2016

img_0279

LWD has cited hundreds of leaders, for their good or bad actions.  Here are eight from recent headlines which you may have missed.

 

Lynn Parker

 

Founder of Funny Women. An energetic supporter of women’s rights in comedy. She got the idea of her now flourishing business after asking why there are so few top women in comedy clubs, and getting the answer “women aren’t funny”.

 

John W Thompson

Chairman of Microsoft. Recognized as an IT icon with track record of success. Rose effortlessly through the ranks of IBM, converted Symantec into a multi-billion operation.  His idea of retiring from Symantec was to take over as Chairman at Microsoft where he has been described as a black face in a sea of white ones. Might his modest profile be something to do with the colour of his skin?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garry Kasparov

Former world chess champion turned politician in exile. His books on chess are among the deepest ever written. His writings on leadership show he draws on his experiences of Russian politics with considerable understanding of Western business theory and practice.

Images show he has a passing resemblance to another sporting great, Pete Sampras. (Wish I’d noticed that when writing Tennis Matters.)

A restless soul, Kasparov has been in battles against authority and perceived injustice for much of his life.

Unsurprisingly he has spoken out strongly against Donald Trump, describing him as similar to Vladimir Putin in scary ways

 Garry Linacre

 

A surprising choice? The footballer and BBC pundit found himself in the headlines as a human rights leader recently  for remarks about the lack of humanity in the treatment of young people in the closure of Calais’ infamous ‘jungle’.

Has since been reviled by The Sun and government ministers,  and supported by Opposition labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

 

Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016)

 

Andrzej Wajda who died recently [October 9th] is regarded as Poland’s greatest film-maker. His bleak films escaped harsh punishment and censorship from the soviet regime which had butchered his father in a purge of army officers in 1940.

His films appeared to be warnings about the grim ends of those who opposed the regime. Film-goers correctly recognized them as cries of radical protest. One of his symbols was the burning away of democracy in a glass of spirits. He was to remain in his native Poland

 

Elon Musk

 

Can’t think how I haven’t posted before about the extraordinary exploits of this entrepreneur, financier and visionary billionaire. Tesla has added to his interest in electric cars. Solar city sells vast numbers of solar panels. Space X is Star Trek meets  NASA.

One of Space X rockets  exploded spectacularly in September.  Stock markets remain divided whether a similar fate awaits Musk enterprises.

 

Cyrus Mistry

 

Cyrus Mistry was the first chairman outside the Tata dynasty to lead the mighty Indian conglomerate. His brief time of four years ended surprising  brutally in October for a corporation known for its socially visionary and ethical policies.

Re-enter previous chairman Ratan Tata, identified by Mr Mistry as among the reasons for corporate decline in recent years, including less than ethical practices.Tara’s economic struggles with its global steel businesses have become a political football in the UK.

 

Khawaja Masood Akhtar

 

K M Akhtar and his factory in some ways captures the success of the dynamic city of Sialkot in northern Pakistan.

The city has grown through developing high added-value niche products incorporating new technology as required. Mr Aktar’s business makes top of the range sporting products, closely guarded secrets pre-launch, for companies such as Adidas. They were one of the two manufacturers of the footballs used in the World Cup in 2014. Its success overcomes considerable infra-structural problems.

 

Acknowledgements

 

As ever, The Economist [October 2016 editions] helped me find some of these leaders which were new to me, as well as a few reminders of others I had omitted to post about.


Nigel Farage gets his life back

November 1, 2016

nigel-farage

This is a thoroughly unreliable review of the BBC2 television programme Nigel Farage gets his Life back, broadcast Sunday 30th October 2016

Why am I publishing a review if I think it is thoroughly unreliable? Because the topic of the past and present leader of UKIP, and the treatment by the BBC are both of wider interest to anyone interested in leadership.

Excuses and apologies

I feel some apology is needed for busy subscribers who have little time to read more reliable reviews. Sorry, I missed the first bit of the programme, and I missed its last few minutes. These parts may have been quite different to the chunk in the middle which I watched. But that’s partly why this is such an unreliable source of information

The tweet that caught my attention

Shortly after the programme ended, as I was preparing my night cap and my night socks, my attention was caught by a tweet.

The tweeter had noted that most of the people who hated the program were UKIP supporters.

As a non-UKIPPER I could see why that may have been the case for this segement of the voting population . But by then, while not exactly hating the programme, and not exactly a UKIP supporter, I felt what I had seen was on the unfunny side of funny.

I wondered whether there might be shared views here between sniffy UKIP supporters and others. A nice test, I thought, might be to compare the views of two heavyweights of the mainstream media. I chose the Telegraph for the forces on the right, and The guardian for those leaning towards the righteous. TheTelegraph can be a UKIP surrogate (just like Nigel himself can be a Trump surrogate).

Maybe, I thought, The Telegraph would be with me, taking the view that the programme was not going to become a classic, endlessly recycled eventually reaching the Dave TV channels. And the Guardian’s view might be closer to Mr Roy’s.

For the Telegraph the programme was wry but ineffective as satire:

Nigel Farage Gets His Life Back is a fly-on-the-wall mockumentary [which] imagined the Leave campaigner’s summer break after the EU referendum, and his subsequent third resignation as Ukip leader. Admittedly, he soon unresigned again.

As a character comedy, it was wryly tragicomic. The gulf between Farage’s pompous bluster and the insecure windbag beneath was reminiscent of Alan Partridge. As political satire, however, it was less effective. Farage is an easy target and most of the barbs here would simply bounce off him. Not that he would pay any heed to something on the Biased Broadcast Corporation, anyway

Ouch. [I Seem to remember the Biased Broadcast Corporation is a quote from the programme.]

The Guardian was briefer in its review

This mockumentary follows Nige (Kevin Bishop) as he returns to Little England life, something that mainly consists of pints, puzzles, episodes of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and a sense of irrelevance. The premise is obviously to recast Farage as a lovable buffoon.

Ouch again. Note. The Guardian review was rather brief, as if the reviewer had more important programmes to review.  The reviewer didn’t need much in the way of recasting to describe Farage as a loveable buffoon.

“What’s your point?”

As someone asked in a subsequent tweet. What’s my point?

I suppose I was interested in the programme, trying to figure out what it was intended to do, and what effect it might have had on reviewers and viewers with differing views on Nigel and his leadership style.

I suspect Stefan Roy was right about the rather heated views expressed by UKIP supporters.

On reflection, the reviewers I read were mostly in agreement that Kevin Bishop had been given an opportunity to demonstrate his remarkable mimicry skills (he claims to have smoked thirty cigarettes a day to get his voice into condition for the part). They also liked some of the jokes, although considering them rather as amusing rather than bitingly satirical.

But now I think about it, who promised viewers they were in for a satirical treat?