Friday, 10 July 2009

What's in a name drop?

It's been a busy old week, what with my other media commitments with the Guardian (see yesterday's post), and I am a bit behind with my blogging, so this post will be a bit of a catch up.

One of the reasons why I am so busy is because of the sheer range of things BUBB is currently involved in. I had an email from a member the other day along these lines, the gist of which was "is there anything that you won't stick your oar into, whether it's got anything to do with the interests of your members or not" and the answer is of course no, and quite rightly.

A ship does not sail alone and I am fortunate to have such a wonderful and skilled crew (Oxford, naturally). I see it as one of my biggest successes that I have been able to recognise talent and nurture it to make my own shortfalls seem less apparent. Actually I couldn't give a shit about my staff. This whole passage is the prelude to once again quite brazenly plugging the professional services of a mate. I believe that the old sterile traditional procedures of fairly and openly advertising a position to all are redundant. Much better to use a headhunter, such as, for example, I don't know but off the top of my head Donald Holding, formerly of Spokespools but now at Feudal. Headhunting is a completely valid practice enabling the richer organisations to poach all the best talent, thus keeping them strong, suppressing diversity and competition while keeping salaries for the elite (Oxford, naturally) artificially high.

At the same time, the headhunter makes a nice wedge through commission and because it is in their interest to constantly move people from job to job, all sense of stability is sacrificed. I myself harbour wishes of being headhunted (and I know some of my trustees share the same one case to the point of me being headhunted in the original Pacific Island tribe sense) but with each passing day this seems more and more unlikely.

On a different tack, David Cameron made some remarks recently that have stirred up the old debate about whether there should be one overriding (or umbrella) term for umbrella. I don't want to get dragged into this sort of navel gazing. In my view umbrella, brolly, gamp, bumbershoot all have their merits and we would be much better served getting on with the job rather than trying to settle on one of them as definitive. But if we do it should be umbrella and definitely nothing with canopy in the title.

Finally, I had the privilege of sharing the stage with one of my heroes earlier this week (click here). Mr Benn is still a fascinating speaker, and although increasingly prone to fanciful flights of whimsy and imagination, he has a wealth of experience and stories from which we can all learn.

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