Tag Archives: upstream thinking

‘Role of Government’ in a capitalist society

I cannot believe our politicians have only just realised that the ‘Role of Government’ in a capitalist society is the most fundamental problem they need to solve.

It shows an extraordinary lack of leadership and vision.

I can say this, rather immodestly, because it is exactly what I told them over four years ago – long before the last General Election. Here’s my story…. Read more on ‘Role of Government’ in a capitalist society…

The affliction of intellectuals who see all sides of an argument

Last week, I read the obituary of former Cabinet Minister, Sir Timothy Raison. He served under Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, apparently ‘gaining a reputation as the keeper of the party’s conscience on such issues as immigration, refugees, child benefit and social policy’. Bigots would instantly dismiss him as ‘Tory’. To me, it seems he was a good man. My condolences to his friends and family.

One particular sentence in his obituary resonated with me:

‘he suffered from that common affliction of intellectuals: the ability to see all sides of an argument’.

Early in my career, I worked with people like this. They are not evil. Nor do they mean any harm. In fact, as Sir Timothy appears to have been, they may even be kind, considerate and well meaning.

But they can be a nightmare to work with. Read more on The affliction of intellectuals who see all sides of an argument…

Catch-22 of a rotten political system

It is legitimate to discuss political parties as brands. After three weeks of party Conferences, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative parties have shown the world their wares and their performance has been open to debate (sic).

I understand the Party conferences were so overcome by lobbyists and commercial interests that, last week, the Prime Minister was talking to a half-empty hall. Open debate indeed.

Surely the management of the economy, and the good of the people, is fundamentally important to marketing and the marketing services businesses? In a strong economy, consumers spend more money and hence oil the wheels of the economy, which encourages people to spend more. One follows the other. Everybody is better off. Read more on Catch-22 of a rotten political system…

NHS – a ‘sick’ future

I have a dilemma. As ‘A Different Hat’ on www.BrandRepublic.com, this is my 100th post.

So I want to make it really special. I want to write about the NHS. Because the NHS is really, really special. And I have an ‘upstream’ creative solution that may secure its future.

But when I saw a full-page article on the NHS this week, even I could not face reading a full page of political treacle. This is my dilemma.

So here goes.

I know a lot about the NHS – personally and professionally. I was paid to do a project on the NHS brand. A summary of my solution is on Page 5 of this document: A Different Hat.   Read more on NHS – a ‘sick’ future…

Social Media 2010 Legacy 3 – Work and Play

Two weeks ago, I argued that 2010 has been a world-changing year. 

Now, by ‘crowning’ Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year, I am pleased to report that Time magazine appears to agree with me. How opinion forming is that? “This honour is awarded to the figure deemed to have had the most influence on world events that year – not necessarily in a positive way. Both Hitler and Stalin have won in the past”.

Read more on Social Media 2010 Legacy 3 – Work and Play…

Social Media 2010 Legacy 2 – Privacy and Transparency

I already had Transparency and Privacy down as a discussion point but the recent torrent of media comment about Wikileaks has left me completely out of my depth.

The implications are just so immense. 

After all, how can the following Wikileak, plucked at random from the ‘Enemy Action’ file of 130,781 documents out of the total 466,743 documents in ‘Iran & Afghan War
Logs Explorer’, make any sense to a simple soul like me? 

“KAF-1BDE -S3 REPORTS: SUMMIT 09 B CO ELEMENT SALUTE REPORT AS FOLLOWS: S- 3-4 PAX, A- SMALL ARMS FIRE, L-IVO 42 SWB 3910 1617, U-UNK, T-0415Z, E-AK-47. 0448Z ENEMY ELEMENTS BROKEN CONTACT. 0442Z AIR QRF PREPOSITIONED TO ORGUN-E. 0550Z UPDATE SUMMIT 09 B CO ELEMENT HAS REGAINED CONTACT. SALUTE REPORT AS FOLLOWS: S-3-4 PAX, A-SMALL ARMS FIRE, L-IVO 42 SWB 3902 1627, U-UNK, T-0540Z, E-AK-47. 0620Z UNIT IS NO LONGER IN CONTACT. REPORTING INDICATES POSSIBLY 3X SUSPECTED ACM''S WERE KIA.” Read more on Social Media 2010 Legacy 2 – Privacy and Transparency…

A breath of fresh air for Health Clubs and Gyms

It is a truth universally acknowledged that getting dressed is best on a dry floor. 

This applies more to health clubs and gyms than it would in your home. I know this because I undertook a quantitative research study to confirm this important market dynamic. My only respondent was my wife – but I know from experience that if we agree then that is enough evidence to confirm the truth of any subject. 

In any case, as anyone in marketing and communications knows, statistics exist to be manipulated to one’s advantage.

 For example, I claim to visit my gym three times a week. I go once mid-week and once at week-ends but if the weekday visits are on say, Wednesdays, then that adds up to three visits in eight days, which is not much more than a week is it?  Read more on A breath of fresh air for Health Clubs and Gyms…

The Conservatives may be doing the right thing, but in the wrong way

With all these massive changes in the our social welfare system going on, I wonder if they are being communicated with honesty and, in particular, if the Conservative element of the Coalition couldn’t be transmitting their message in a less damaging way to their brand?

Here’s my story (sorry it’s another long one):

In 2007 a professional contact, who has become a personal friend of mine, happened to be appointed to head up one of the Study Review Groups in Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice.

He asked me if I would run my eye over his team’s final report. I won’t say which one but it is an area of society in which I have some experience and expertise. And I like to think he asked me because he would value the wisdom of my input. Read more on The Conservatives may be doing the right thing, but in the wrong way…

The Pope’s opportunity to overcome the vested interests in Christianity

The Pope’s visit to the UK at the end of last week and over the week-end dominated the media to such an extent that it is impossible to avoid the subject.

As a lapsed Catholic, who is now an atheist, I believe I have a right to my own say.

And I may have a world-changing Insight, in which the marketing and media industries could have a role. I am aware my Insights are not always accepted, not when I reveal them anyway, but I think I have one, which I will come to at the end.

For now, if it doesn’t sound too Biblical, please forgive me if I start at the beginning. Read more on The Pope’s opportunity to overcome the vested interests in Christianity…

Open letter to Rupert Murdoch concerning The Times paywall

Dear Rupert Murdoch, 

Last week, on 4 August, this website reported that you ‘gave the first hint’ that subscriber levels to The Times pay wall are ‘strong’. 

Good on you. 

But what you have done has really hacked me off. You may not care about this. After all, who am I? 

Well, I am one of your customers. Read more on Open letter to Rupert Murdoch concerning The Times paywall…

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