Reboot – FT Report

Back in 2017 I self-funded my Financial Times Non-Executive Director Professional Diploma. This is Level 7 Masters degree qualification and it is tough going to graduate. When did you last sit a 3 hour observed pass/fail professional examination? Anyway I passed and that was to set me up in my journey to be a NED. I can’t say I expected to be called up to serve on the board of a PLC. Something else happened that set me on an unexpected journey to startup a business with the snappy name Digi-Board.

I have sat on boards of a private family company, charity and not for profit. I conduct governance reviews for charity and non-for-profit organisations in my role as Co-Founder of Digi-Board Limited . That is highly rewarding work assisting boards to improve their governance and step up to the use of digital technology to aid board effectiveness.

Today I read a report published by the Financial Times ‘The Great Board Reboot’. It tells of big changes ahead in terms of how a board operates.

As an author of books, the most recent being commissioned by Microsoft Corp, the report highlights a deficit of understanding among boards about digital technology. The FT report talks about changes to operating models and myself and co-authors coined the term ‘Digital Operating Model’. To explain this for the non-technical reader, we wrote a book that you can download here.

What did the FT report highlight about boards understanding of digital technology?

I continue my search for a NED position and this report suggests my technology background puts me in the frame. Do get in touch if your board needs an injection of digital technology with governance and understanding of risk.

Broken trust

I follow and donate to the Good Law Project. Why? Because they uphold democracy and in doing expose corruption of our government.

Here there is mandate

Many families have faced hardship during Covid. They have debt. They may be reliant on food banks. Contrast that with the wealth that has been accumulated by some people plundering the public purse and getting filthy stinking rich out of Covid. Lucky them!

Do you feel angry knowing that some people in positions of favour have ruthlessly exploited Covid for their personal enrichment? We are all in this together? Yes? Actually, No.

Good Law Project have been actively exposing corrupt practices through the Courts and they are winning. Read on and be ready to shake your head in despair at what you read.

Lord Bethell is the Health Minister responsible for overseeing the award of Covid contracts. His time as Health Minister has been mired in controversy: from failing to declare meetings with firms that won huge Government contracts to using his personal email address to conduct Government business. Good Law Project has a particular interest in the role he played in the controversial award of lucrative contracts to Abingdon Health. 

Last week in Court we argued against the Government’s attempts to apply blanket redactions to documents relating to the Abingdon Health contracts. We were successful: an important step towards transparency.

But the hearing uncovered something more alarming. In sworn evidence, Government admitted that some of Lord Bethell’s dealings with Abingdon had been conducted via WhatsApp or text message, and were held only on his private mobile phone. And if that was the case for Abingdon, why not other VIPs too?

What’s more, in December last year, Lord Bethell was told his mobile phone would be searched for documents relating to this case. Just weeks later, it seems, he ‘replaced’ his phone because, Government lawyers say, it was ‘broken’. They are not now sure it will be possible to retrieve WhatsApp and text messages.

Lord Bethell has overseen the award of billions of pounds of public contracts. Information revealing how these contracts came to be awarded may now be lost – or have been destroyed.

During the hearing, the Judge expressed alarm about Government’s failure to preserve evidence and insisted the ‘Order’ he made at the conclusion of the hearing refer to Government’s obligation to preserve relevant documents.

Our lawyers have written to Government to demand answers. When did Bethell learn his phone would be searched? When did he report it as broken? What attempts were made to save crucial information from his old phone? If not, why not?

This Government seems allergic to scrutiny: redacting some documents, hiding others from public scrutiny via ‘confidentiality rings’, permitting Ministers to award billions in public money via private as well as official channels, and failing to protect evidence from destruction.

We are taking action to close this accountability gap. 

Want to bring the government and those it enriches to account?

Consider a donation to the Good Law Project. Thank you.

https://goodlawproject.fundraise.tech/

Speak Up!

I am getting a little tired of being told by those we elect to serve us what we can and can not and must not and this and that.

The latest annoyance, and one that infuriated me, was the pronouncement of a government Minister, or is that Dictator?

I wrote to my MP rather than kick a tin can down the road. I am sharing that email as an example of how everyone can bring those we elect to ‘serve us’ to account. I personally feel, that they are out of control and lost the plot!

I will post the response – don’t hold your breath. My last email to my MP Nick Gibb was not answered. Tells me everything I need to know about the arrogance that has seeped into politics that they are important, you and I are not important!

Screw you!

A provocative title and one that came to mind after reading a a book ‘The Shocking History of the EU’ by Vernon Coleman ISBN 9781092557894

Two big recent events have nominated life in Britain. Brexit, and more recently Covid-19. Are they related?

Here is the thing, Brexit is done, well, we still have the divorce settlement (the small matter of £35-39Bn to be paid to the EU) and is no longer talked about as the news is all about Covid.

Our health service is reported to be on its knees. A queue of 5, or is that 10 million people, waiting for treatment, and a backlog that will take 10 or more years to clear. The divorce settlement would go along way to helping clear that backlog. Recall our Prime Minister’s (BoJo) pledge to put £350M a week into the NHS. Sorry, in case you don’t realise, you were lied to!

Back to the book.

You may have been a remainer or a leaver. What did you base your decision on? If you relied on the BBC (Biased, Bought, Corrupt) national broadcaster to help make your decision, then you were duped.

Let’s go back in history. You will know about World War II. Do you know about the secretive Bank for International Settlements (The Bank of England is a Member)? Do you know about the bank’s connection with helping fund World War II? Do you make the assumption that they funded Britain, not the Nazis? Read the book to know the truth.

My realisation is, and reason for writing this blog, is that I have been served up propaganda and false information about Brexit (and the BBC is a culprit) and the history (beginning before World War II) that preceded the Brexit referendum.

I fear the same propaganda and false information is being spread about Covid.

Call me a skeptic, conspiracist, nutter, I ain’t accepting anymore the drivel reporting of the BBC and Main Stream Media (MSM). Here is an example of how the BBC distorts reporting of news. Why did the BBC choose to show a picture of a middle aged man on a ventilator (reported to have Covid) when the majority of Covid deaths are among those aged over 80?

How did I come about the book? My postman gave it to me. They are awake and aware that if you seek the truth then you need to look elsewhere than the BBC and MSM. You decide.

You can stick you job where …

Random conversations with business owners has revealed a crisis – they can’t find people to fill their vacancies. There is much shaking of the head and confusion.

Then I find this article that may have some clues to this phenomenon.

Click here to read an article dubbed: “The Great Resignation” 

Have any of your conversations touched on any of these possible explanations why there are so many unfilled vacancies?

  • Workers who didn’t like their jobs but stuck with it during the pandemic are…not sticking with it anymore. 
  • Many are retiring early after cashing in on a booming stock market and rising home values.
  • People have reevaluated their career paths after an “unprecedented” year which allowed for more reflection.
  • In that same vein, people might be looking for a job that allows for better work-life balance.

BIG MONEY DIVORCE

The UK’s Brexit divorce bill (July 2021) is estimated at £35 to £39Bn. It is contested by the UK government, even so, it is an eye watering sum of money.

You may recall that Boris Johnson stated during his Brexit campaign the UK sent £350M a week to the EU. That he claimed, would now go to the NHS. Bravo. Hang on, let’s look more closely at the numbers.

Take £35,000,000,000 (the divorce bill)

Divide by £350,000,000 (the weekly amount sent to the EU to be diverted to the NHS)

= 1000

So the divorce bill is the equivalent 1000 payments of £350,000,000.

That is, 1000 weekly payments (52 weeks in a year) of £350,000,000 spread over 20 years (52 x 20). 20 years is an awful long time for the NHS to wait for Boris’ promise.

Right now the NHS backlog is >5M patients waiting for treatment. I think we are probably going to see the slow demise of free healthcare at the point of delivery. We have a two-tier system, NHS and Private, and that is going to accelerate ‘you’ having to pay for your healthcare unless you want to join a very very very long queue. Better start saving up! Oh, your savings have been wiped out by the pandemic and you are in debt.

The BIG DT Agenda

Yup, business is consumed with Digital Transformation. Is this conversation a story created by the technology sector (we have solutions to sell) or the reality that business is now reinventing / revisioning / reimagining / reverything as the economy wakes up from COVID? That business model that served us pre-pandemic, doesn’t look like it is gonna make it. Wait, we need a Digital Transformation strategy.

So who came up with the the term ‘Digital Transformation’? Who cares? As a salesperson working for Wang I talked up the ‘Paperless Office’. It was, umhh, in hindsight, naive. I bought a printer last month and while it is true I am more selective how much I print (printer cartridges are expensive) I still use paper. Just like everyone else.

Two things to report.

  1. An article brought to my attention that points to demand for digital savvy people to join boards. Click here to read the article and read why this is significant. If you are selling Digital Transformation you need to read this!
  2. A compliment from a consultant who uses a book I co-authored in their client assignments. Strategy is good but at some point in time that has to be put into practice. The book covers both bases, formulating strategy through to get on with the job to be done. Good news, the book is still free to download from microsoft.com, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Where next?

I am not a fan of BBC News but on this occasion applaud them for this useful dataset.

I have witnessed many conversations with people sounding off about what ‘they think’ rather than ‘what they know’ about Covid-19.

So if you think the pandemic is over, or you think it is still very much alive, then you can check it out for yourself – where you live!

Here is the link to the article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51768274 and all you need is your postcode.

Results for my postcode show – I interpret – we are NO LONGER IN A PANDEMIC (defined as a global epidemic). I am not ignoring events in India and there are travel restrictions in place for good reason.

Compare this with historical data for death rates in Arun.

Arun’s population was 159,827 (2018; Source ONS).

Cyber Security

Now an industry with two opposing forces. One criminal, and if not criminal, then intent on disruption. The other set up to combat the other side. Who is winning?

How many cyber criminals are there? They are hardly going to declare themself. However, the extent of their activities is on record, here is a useful link https://www.comparitech.com/vpn/cybersecurity-cyber-crime-statistics-facts-trends/

How many cyber security professionals (the ‘good guys’) are needed to combat the other side. Do we have enough? No.

Click here for the full report.

How do you decouple?

I’ve noticed how Twitter has become a frenzy of finger-pointing, tongue-lashing, pit of venom with little consideration for thought. Read, point and shoot. I don’t like what you written – take that !

So I read an article which may help understand why there are so misunderstandings arising as people try to put their thoughts into 280 characters. OK, there are threads but who knows how to use them?

Q. Are you a low-decoupler or high-decoupler?

Read on https://unherd.com/2020/02/eugenics-is-possible-is-not-the-same-as-eugenics-is-good/

Now you probably want to be a high-decoupler?