Centre for Organisation Development

Helping Achieve Potential                 

Issue 12   
January 2011




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Here are several links that will hopefully fill a wet weekend in January:

10 News Stories that should be published on April Fool’s Day that are in fact true

Photographs from the year in the UK

Google’s take on the year

Tags: 2010, 2011, Review, Thoughts, Blog, Newsletter, Change




































Thoughts about 2010

Well here it is, the beginning of a new year and the second decade of the 21st Century. As I look back over 2010, it has been a mixed year with highs and lows. There is no doubt that the world is different both globally and in the UK. The year was memorable for a number of things and does seem to have passed amazingly quickly. Here are some of my personal observations,

The weather – we do love it! It was a year of highs and lows. High levels of Snow and Ice – lots of it and low temperatures. We had significant falls of snow in January and we were hit with Artic conditions in November and again during December. The forecasters predicted the “barbecue summer” – woops! Some areas, such as the North experienced weeks of rain and others had a warm early Summer. Maybe our weather is no longer a subject of casual moan.

The Coalition – what an interesting time we have had – two parties governing us. At the General Election we all agreed with Nick (I doubt that is the case now) and yet the campaign may be best remembered as Gordon Brown’s lows – his gaffe about the woman in Rochdale and the sad post hung-parliament malaise.

Within weeks public spending was slashed by £6 billion in a bid to avoid the same fate for the UK economy as that of Greece and now Ireland. This seems to have worked, even if this has heralded age of austerity and a return to protests – is this Cameron’s Pole Tax? Do we have more to look forward to?

A Nation expects - World Cup Glory. England poor, the final poor. The high was undoubtedly Spain victorious against the grossly unpleasant tactics of the Dutch.

There were some remarkable teams in 2010. My favourites include:-

  • England Cricket Team – my team of the year. Having retained the Ashes in Australia, will now, I hope, go onto win the Test Series outright. Having worked with the ECB, I am proud to be associated with a true high performance team. The team were superbly prepared for this series and this has paid huge dividends.
  • Chilean Miners – that was one heck of a team bonding exercise. It was a fantastic moment when they were winched to safety. An iconic moment and a beacon of hope.
  • Chelsea achieved the double of League and Cup trophies.
  • Sussex Cricket returned to Division One of the County Championship as winners of Division Two.
  • Monty’s men won the Ryder Cup in September – boy did it rain (it does in South Wales) and how it shows preparation is everything – witness England Cricket Team – versus US Ryder Golf Team that had to go out and purchase new out garments to combat the rain.

March was an interesting month – it was unusually quiet on the Ashdown Forest. Not because of a lack of visitors but the lack of planes. The culprit was a volcano spewing ash into the atmosphere in Iceland that grounded all planes across most of Europe; real chaos theory in action. It has been a year that disaster has not been far from the news – Ann Widecombe on Strictly Come Dancing, seriously – Pakistan Floods, Haiti, Chile and China Earthquakes and a relentless heat wave decimated Russia’s wheat fields.

Technology in 2010 seemed to be dominated by Apple – the launch of the iPad was greeted by all the geeks who thought it would bomb. It didn’t and with the continued domination of the iPhone – we cannot live without having apps for the iPhone. Congratulations to Apple. Microsoft are going to kill the Wii, The Kinect adverts suggest all those Wii periferals will be redundant in 2011 – Microsoft suddenly back as “cool”.

Goodbyes in the year- A number of well known actors and actresses left the stage – Jean Simmons, Dennis Hopper, Lynn Redgrave, Tony Curtis, Simon MacCorkindale and Leslie Neilsen. Others to depart this planet – Alexander McQueen, JD Salinger, Sir Norman Wisdom and Big Brother has run its course and now leaves our screens – whatever we think about it – it changed our television lives. There has, or will be, goodbyes all around at 192 quangos. And finally goodbye to England’s dreams of hosting the World Cup.

Hellos this year – The sprinkler dance arrived with its celebration on the pitch after the England team retained the Ashes. Kate Middleton – we can all look forward to a bank holiday and a royal celebration of their wedding in April next year. Hello to Robbie Williams who returned to Take That and of course Lady Gaga – her dress sense a highlight of the enterainment in 2010. Wikileaks have made us all think and a story that is certain to continue in 2011.

Looking forward – what can we expect from 2011? On the immediate horizon is the prospect of the Royal Wedding. This will help mask the Government’s austerity package. No doubt the 29th  of April will be very quiet on the roads as we will be glued to the tele. Shops will shout “disaster” rather like Craig Revell Horwood at Anne W. Personally I may nip to IKEA to enjoy a queue free moment.

Germany (and France) will flex real muscle over the Euro. I can see major problems for the Europroject. It is possible that the Eurozone will fragment. Germany and Nordic countries creating the Nordmark? Austerity will generate more protest – expect riots, especially when it warms up in Spring and Summer. America will begin to focus on who might challenge Obama. Sarah Pailn will emerge as the front-runner – interesting choice – right wing, moose killing mum as president? The countryside Alliance will re-emerge in the UK to attempt to get the fox-hunting ban lifted – personally I hope not. I also believe there will be a challenge against the smoking ban in pubs. Again, it has been a pleasure to eat out without reeking of cigarette smoke.

The momentum for the Olympics in 2012 will build – expect sport to be in the headlines. No doubt the UK media will begin to shift attention away from FIFA to IOC and our readiness to host the Games, Will Vince Cable hold the balance of power in the Coalition? I suspect not in 2011. The Coalition will start to unravel towards the end of the year as the Austerity measures bite and unrest grows. I believe May 2012 will be when our next general election will be held.

Afghanistan will remain high on the agenda – will the US pullout be significant – yes, although not for the actual troop numbers. There will be an upsurge in violence and therefore less troops leaving. I hope that the Palisstine issue is resolved – I fear it will not as Isreal difies its main ally and the Palistinians find alternative routes to seek a resolution - more bloodshed in the world.

Is it me, or are natural disasters getting bigger? An almost safe prediction is that there will be several this year and one potentially very close – Iceland. The volcano next to the one that created 2010’s dust cloud is a major cause for concern. It last erupted in 1918 and it usually erupts every 40-80 years. So is overdue.  

On the business front, it will be another tough year. VAT increase, Public Sector cuts, Currency speculation, banking regulations, etc. will be hurdles to get over. That said, remaining optimistic and seeking opportunities is the only way for us all. 2011 will be challenging and no doubt fun.

Happy New Year








































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