Trust

Atonement

This Friday is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. I have long lost my faith and indeed struggle to understand how others find theirs. But religion still offers an important framework for ethical behaviour and quiet contemplation. A wise Rabbi once taught me that it is...
The Future of PR: Sleepwalker or Progressive?

The Future of PR: Sleepwalker or Progressive?

It may sound dramatic, but public relations is no longer fit for purpose. Profound changes in society and communications over the past decade determine this. Circumstances have undermined the credibility and relevance of a discipline that long-considered itself heir to advertising and first among equals. The expectation of a permanent presence at the boardroom table...
Why CSR Makes Me Angry

Why CSR Makes Me Angry

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an ugly discipline – a perfect example of a secondary market created through the failures of leadership and the shortcomings of the market society. Ethical behavior – what Aristotle would have called virtuous leadership – should never be sub-contracted to working committees or remote departments. Since its emergence towards the...
Do No Evil Lobbying

Do No Evil Lobbying

There is nothing wrong with lobbying. It is not evil. The ability of interest groups – of whatever persuasion – to make their representations to government is the sign of a healthy democracy. Even on matters of tax. The key issues are ones of transparency and democratic access; the remote leadership of those elected to...
Five Ways Business Leaders Can Embrace The Citizen State Within

Five Ways Business Leaders Can Embrace The Citizen State Within

Citizen-centric leadership in business asks that leaders embrace the citizen state within. This means co-creating ideas, strategies and programmes with networks of real people, increasingly active and vocal, and shaping the organisation around their needs and aspirations, to help better define common purpose. This may sound revolutionary, but it is an axiomatic consequence of the...
Who Leads The State? (Part One)

Who Leads The State? (Part One)

The State has fallen from fashion and from grace. For many, it now encapsulates everything that is wrong in life: pointless bureaucracy; nannying interference; needless cost. The social democrats among us – too many falsely seduced by the Reagan/ Thatcher legacy – have failed to persuade, while market fundamentalists have filled the intellectual vacuum by...
Polising the State of Media

Polising the State of Media

Neil Wallis (formerly of the News of the World and, briefly, the Metropolitan Police) accidentally said that “what we see in the media, we see in all the other institutions of society”. Speaking at #PolisTrust at the London School of Economics, Wallis was referring to the issue of trust. He is of course correct –...
The Indecency of Power

The Indecency of Power

Plato famously believed that philosophers should rule. Aristotle argued that the political class must be led by ‘men of virtue’. They both had a point. “Much of what is amiss in our world”, as Judt commented, “can best be captured in the language of classical political thought”. In today’s city states, nation states and business...
Ill Fares The Land: The Book I Wish I Had Written

Ill Fares The Land: The Book I Wish I Had Written

Possibly one of the finest treatises on politics, Tony Judt’s ‘Ill Fares The Land’ is the one book I wish that I had written. Polemical and passionate in equal measure – and despite Judt’s untimely death – this is in many ways the book for our times: the perfect re-artuclation of social democracy and the...