The Nero Tendency….

Hackgate rules. The chattering and twittering classes are highly active, providing their followers with instant updates on the situation. By the time you read this perhaps more heads will have rolled. Forget Jeremy Kyle. The parliamentary select committee is now essential daytime TV viewing.

I have no sympathy with Murdoch et al (those who live by the sword etc.). Clearly there was a culture of anything goes in pursuit of a story, even if it wasn’t officially approved. However the sound of scores being settled often by people who in the past have been (and possibly still are) content to take the Murdoch shilling is equally unedifying.

Meanwhile, as these modern day Neros fiddle around with events that happened some time ago, Rome is burning. The euro debt crises has reached Italy a lot quicker than anybody thought it would.  The collapse of the Euro in its current form is once again a serious possibility. The fragile UK economic recovery is even more under threat.

One would like to think that the minds of our politicians and media would be focused on the serious risks to the UK global economy, working up scenarios, and devising various contingency plans to cope with whatever happens. Perhaps they are, although I suspect not. If there is fire fighting taking place at the moment you can bet that the hoses are trained on Wapping rather than Rome.

I came across many examples of what I would call the Nero tendency in corporate life. It invariably involved career and company obsessed individuals, for whom their own little world was all that mattered.  Some internal irrelevancy of theirs would occupy hours of management time to the exclusion of everything else. Meanwhile important external facing issues would be neglected.

One of the benefits of working with smaller businesses is that although the individuals involved are obsessive and focussed in their own way, they never forget that it is the outside world that makes them their living. They can’t afford to be distracted by internal issues. Indeed one of the challenges is to get them to realise that that their back office needs to keep pace with what they are doing to grow their business.

However for me that is a nice problem to have. Equally when I work for larger clients I can observe the Nero tendency when I come across it with a detached air, knowing that I no longer have to worry about such things as I can disappear into the real world whenever I choose. It is a good feeling, believe me.

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