Unpredictability, wood pigeons and the truth is out there!
24th September 2019
Well, we certainly live in interesting times and who would have predicted five years ago, that two of the most powerful western democracies in the world, would be led by Donald Trump and Boris Johnson! But, a bit like when we all woke up to the Brexit result, the reality is now here for us all to see.
Leaving aside for the moment any political commentary or views, the thing for me that binds these two leaders together, is their unpredictability and ability to tear up the norm. Generally, unpredictable leaders are something we associate with rogue or undemocratic states – but here we are at the heart of western democracy, with arguably one of the most unpredictable leaders this country has seen. But is this necessarily a bad thing? The ability of the Sellar Property Group to create the Shard at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 is a shining example of not following the predicable path. Closer to home, the ability of Richard Brindle and Stephen Catlin to create new non-Lloyds insurance vehicles has challenged the very ethos of a market that finds it hard to change from the well-trodden path.
So, sometimes, just sometimes, this unpredictability, the ability to see things differently to others and throw away the shackles, can usher in a new way of thinking that is needed to solve problems.
Sometimes, small things remind us of the importance of what we do in our personal and business lives. Every year, at my home, we have a pair of large wood pigeons who insist on making their nest in the most flimsy bush we have in our garden. Moreover, year after year, they spend hours bringing in materials for their nest, but every year it has the same result. The mother pigeon sits in the nest once it is built and without fail, the whole thing collapses! The remnants of the nest lie on the patio, as the pigeons fly around wondering what has happened. A timely reminder to us all, who are building our businesses, that however great we make them look on the outside and however long we spend building them, if they don’t have the right foundations and infrastructure, ultimately all our hard work will collapse around us.
Reading last month about the potential of a US/UK trade deal made me chuckle, when I saw the official UK statistics claim that UK exports to the US were more than the US imports to the UK. Surprisingly, the official US figures suggest the reverse. I am sure we can all think of examples like this, where it is only after we really look at and consider the information we are being given, that the truth really comes out. That is not to say that in our business world people are withholding or not telling the truth, but more how the answer is being interpreted or more likely how the question is being phrased. In our world of brokers, underwriters and lawyers, all interacting with each other and the ultimate client, understanding and knowing the questions to ask, as well as the interpretation of the answers, is key to our business success.
So there you have it – unpredictability could solve problems. Don’t build your business like the wood pigeons build their nest, and finally, remember the truth is always out there – you just need to know how to find it.
For more information, please contact Andrew Hillier – Executive Chairman on [email protected] or 07778 796 859.