REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Oct 31 , 2019
Author: Robin Copland

Negotiations are often formulaic. Management, for example, go into a negotiation fully expecting the union to make the first proposal. This approach has been accepted as the norm for so many years that somehow, it is seen as “not the done thing” to do anything different. If management is keen to put a radical new proposition on the table, then “waiting for the union to make the first proposal” is obviously silly; but it’s amazing how often negotiators blindly follow procedure and do just that.

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Published: Nov 22 , 2018
Author: Alan Smith

Guess what’s coming? Not difficult, really! John Lewis has released its new ad, the shops are full of tinsel and advent calendars, even Slade must be ready for their annual check for the never-grows-old “Merry Christmas Everyone”. That must be brilliant - writing a Christmas hit that is, not being an ageing Rock Star from the 70s. Although that said, the Stones look alright on it.

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Published: Nov 15 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

On August 30th, mid-evening, our home was broken into. We were away overnight. Fortunately, we had recently installed a video doorbell which alerted me about the activity via my mobile phone, and which recorded footage of the offender trying to jimmy open the front door, failing, and then disappearing around the back of the house. He climbed onto a half roof, entered the house through a bedroom window, triggered the house alarm as a result, and scarpered empty-handed. In the meantime, I had alerted the police who arrived promptly but just missed him.

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Published: Nov 01 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

I was intrigued by a radio interview I heard last week. The subject was the long-running battle by the Trade Unions to win gender-equal pay rights for 12,000 municipality workers such as care home, catering and school cleaning staff in Glasgow. Frustrated with Glasgow City Council’s negotiating stance the unions representing these workers had called a two-day strike. The interviewees were the senior representatives on each side. My interest was stimulated because despite the strike going ahead they spent much of the 10 minutes on-air being nice to and agreeing with each other. And with Scotwork being a Glasgow based organisation (albeit with offices in 38 other countries), here was a negotiating dispute which was close to home.

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Published: Sep 13 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

People are fascinated by Pound Shops. They’ve been around the High Street for over 20 years. Stores like Poundland, Poundstretcher, Poundworld, and others grew their estate and their customer numbers rapidly when Woolworths failed and austerity kicked in at the beginning of 2009. Not all have succeeded. 99p Stores were absorbed into Poundland, and recently Poundworld went into administration. For most, the original premise – that everything in the store is £1 – has had to go as inflation limits the stock range that can be sold profitably at that price point.

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Published: Jul 26 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

Years ago I was asked to evaluate a sales-training ‘game’. The player sat in front of a screencast as a salesperson tasked with winning an order from a big corporate prospect. As the story unfolded the player was asked to make decisions from a multichoice selection and then given feedback. My evaluation was based on me being that player/salesperson.

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Published: Dec 14 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

The maxim, “it ain’t over till it’s over” is a maxim because it's true. Fans of Queens Park Rangers were lambasted by their manager for leaving before the end,...

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A Precious Gift!

Many years ago, when I was a student at University studying economics, my then professor posed an interesting dilemma that all of us would have to face in the future. The increasing mechanization of the Global Economy was forcing the workforce out. Robots would take over all the menial labor heavy tasks, and the ‘working classes’ would be made obsolete. What would the economy do with all this humanity who had masses of time on their hands and nothing to do.

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