Being There

I’ve watched the 1979 Peter Sellers film, Being There this week for the first time.  It’s an intriguing film – a man with learning difficulties is accidentally thrust into the world of the Washington elite.  The elite are so insulated in their bubble that they do not recognise ‘Chancey’ for who he is, they assume he is the same as them, and take his child-like phrases about gardening to be wise metaphors.

That lead me to think about some of the things our elite is wrestling with at the moment, and wonder whether they are stuck within just one way of thinking:

– Maybe it isn’t Greece, Ireland, Postugal, Spain, Italy etc that’s the problem with the Eurozone.  Maybe Germany is the destabilising factor and they should leave?

– Bankers wouldn’t have huge bonuses if banks didn’t make such huge profits. So maybe we should tackle whatever is allowing them to make these large profits, rather than worry about the symptom?

– The UK’s inflation target of 2% was set, arbitrarily, during the Blair/Browne ‘end to boom and bust’.  So perhaps we should just change the target to something more sensible?

and more pertintently to my job:

– Employers constantly claim that graduates and school leavers aren’t ready for the work place.  Maybe this isn’t because the education system is fundamentally wrong, but that employment is just one aspect to life and they should just accept that they need to implement induction and initial training programmes?

– Employers also complain that there are not enough all-rounders out there – people who communicate well, and innovate, and lead a team, but are also collaborative colleagues, who can be experts that focus on the details, whilst are still generalists aware of the big picture.  Maybe we should acknowledge that this idealised view of an employee isn’t realistic, and that we should therefore build our organisations around reality?


Or maybe not – I guess I’m glad I’m not one of the elite, because it means that I don’t need to decide.

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