Blog & News

REVIEW: Cumberland & Lake District

Thu 20 July 2017

Category: Branches, Community

Article by Dave Bodecott

With most of our local group travelling away, we were a compact foursome for drinks and a pub meal at Greystoke’s Boot and Shoe on Friday June 9th. Main discussion topic was the election win for the Conservative Government, albeit a hollow victory that could have been avoided by simply doing nothing. A lesson there for managers and companies, and a strategy that is often the right decision. Great things come to those that wait!

In many companies, there is always at times of stress, pressure for a Board to “do something”. This urge is usually based on difficult trading conditions, weak information, ego, fashion, hubris, groupthink, the need to be seen to do something. The consequences can sometimes be commercially quite appalling. I think we all have experience of some of these situations. In fact it would have been better to do nothing. However, this takes courage – it is hard to tell shareholder funds “we are doing nothing”. Nevertheless there are several examples where that would indeed have been the courageous and right thing to do – in business terms, wait for the next opportunity to come along rather than acting at an inopportune time. (The Liberals in Australia did a similar thing recently, called a snap election they were sure to win and strengthen their position …. and they got a hung parliament – how often do politicians and pundits get it wrong?)

Clearly our part of the business is picking up, although our industry is severely and unfairly attacked within the market and by other outside forces partly based on dubious information, disastrous energy policies and politics.

Our discussion also took in recent Moroccan field trips and the oil price. We also ruminated on the basal Carboniferous clastics around the Lake District, and the intention to organise a short field trip and social to explore.

There have been further very sad passings of colleagues and industry characters over recent times. This reminds us that a good team has a mix of young, middling and old. The PESGB always used to be blind to age, the topic was an irrelevance – we were rebels, anarchists (we despised lawyers and accountants!), contrarians, rule-breakers, EXPLORERS! Whether we were young or old at the time didn’t come into it. There was no separate “young professionals” group. Everyone by definition was a young professional. Every meeting was a bacchanal of ideas and actions, and the Christmas do was worse! What happens now when the YPs quickly become middle-aged or old? Do they really change? We must avoid ageism, as our industry is definitely one where some of the greatest global exploration achievements have been from “old” people (sometimes really old), yet retaining very young minds – just with tons of added experience and wisdom to avoid cock-ups and pitfalls and to chase hidden opportunities.

Next meeting could be a short field trip and social, or after the Summer. Come and join us.

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