Wednesday 31 January 2024

Belated truths


When I was working for an IT company, which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, there was a long-standing lack of empathy between the sales force and those of us charged with delivering what had been sold. One of my colleagues explained it with a joke of sorts about a delivery manager and a sales manager trapped in a hut in the arctic. The delivery manager – the practical guy, of course – said that the first thing needed was food. “Right,” said the salesman, and ran out of the house in the direction of a passing polar bear whose attention he proceeded to attract. He then ran back to the hut and in through the door pursued by the bear, before running out of the back door shutting it tight behind him. “What are you doing?”, wailed the delivery guy through the window, now trapped indoors with a very angry, not to say hungry, polar bear. “I’ve caught it, it’s your job to cook it,” came the reply.

Leaving aside the obvious comment that it helps to explain why so many IT contracts – particularly in the public sector – go so badly wrong, it’s also an analogy for Brexit, as we saw today from staunch Brexiteer, Andrea Leadsom. She is, for once, absolutely right – breaking out of a trading block with a common set of rules in order to set a different set of rules will inevitably lead to greater trading friction, which will cause difficulties for those doing the trading. It was obvious to anyone who gave the matter more than a nanosecond of thought at the time, but is only happening now as all the temporary exclusions and exceptions come to an end. It's a trade-off between economics and the mysterious concept of 'sovereignty' which was always going to have to be made. It’s just that, in order to make the sale, they denied it vehemently at the time. It was always going to be someone else’s problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great analogy