@number10gov Business needs to watch Channel 4’s “undercover boss”

Just finished watching “Undercover Boss” on Channel 4.

A lot more relevant than the the US progenitor, which reflects a culture of boss subservience and thankfulness for rich man’s scraps.

Boss appeared to be public school type (may not have been), who had stepped straight into management, without working at shopfloor level.

He was shocked by some of what he found but was at least open-minded and without any prejudice’s that one expects from public school culture.

He learned lessons and applied them to what was a badly managed concern.

First comment is that as a graduate recruit myself, I think the use of Graduate’s without life experience has caused a lot of the problems within British management today.

I can excuse myself from this criticism, as I held numerous part-time jobs whilst a school-boy and my degree was a thick sandwich (I.e. 3 x 6-month periods in different Industries).

But look at our political leaders as examples of this public (for our US readers a public school is actually a private, fee-paying school) school to Oxford to intern to top job.

They have grand idea’s and concentrate on the World stage, without having any appreciation of how things work, or, more importantly, how badly things can be mismanaged.

Big lesson is “insist that all graduates prove that they have worked at lowest levels (hands-on) within a company/s, for at least two years”.

The second point I took note of was that the one success was where the lady in charge of the cleaners had taken it on herself to pay twice the minimum wage. This produced greater dedication by the staff but not just because of the money but because it showed that they were prized by management. That they weren’t just ciphers for a bunch of suits, somewhere in London. A subsidiary aspect was that to pay these wages, the manageress had cut the number of inspectors, showing that not only was micro-management not needed but that the trust shown was also valued and returned by the staff.

Sir Keith Joseph’s philosophy of carrots for management and the stick for the workers, has poisoned British Society and The ethics of its Business’s, for too long. I wish a few more would take these programs on board.

A last comment. My Dad always told me that a good workman looks after his tools, undercover boss didn’t learn thisĀ until he checkedĀ his tool box.

For management, your employee’s are your tools.

Apply some soft soap to the teeth of your saw and you won’t have push so hard.

Apply some oil to your chisel edges and they’re less likely to rust, or need a hammer to drive them.

If you’re a graduate, you’re supposed to have brains and imagination, use them.

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