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The crystal ball is a little less cloudy, David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times


January 2018 |

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Do not let me make the mistake of suggesting that 2018 will be a predictable year, though after the experience of recent times we could do with it. Rather, I might suggest that, after years of hoping that something might go right, in important respects this is a year in which the hope is that not too much goes wrong.

This applies particularly to the world economy, currently enjoying its best sustained spell since the global financial crisis. Donald Trump may not have had a great start to 2018 but the US economy is motoring, helped long by the tax cuts agreed by Congress at the end of last year. More surprisingly, perhaps, Europe is also enjoying its best spell for many years; a strong recovery that many thought was impossible. Surveys suggest European business and consumer confidence is in its best shape for many years.

The big picture for the global economy is that It is firing on most cylinders, hence the enthusiasm with which global stock markets have begun the year. At one time, markets used to fear higher interest rates. Now they will see further moves to increase the cost of borrowing in America as a vote of confidence in the capacity of the global economy to take it.

There are, of course, risks. A world economy in which everything seems pretty much fine is one still subject to the vagaries of the economic cycle – this is already quite a long upturn – and geopolitical uncertainties. For the moment, however, we should count our blessings.

We should also count our blessings in Britain. While the UK economy has been in the unusual position of slowing even as the rest of the world speeds up, a strong global economy limits the downside. It is hard for Britain to get into real trouble when the rest of the world is growing well. 



UK Business Panel Research on Workplace Happiness


January 2018 |
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Happiness - thankfully, over two thirds of the panel admit to being content in their present position; 17% very and 50% mostly.

14% claim not to be happy.  Of these 6% are not very content, 5% are distinctly unhappy but hope it’s only temporary, whereas the remaining 3% are so unhappy that a move is imminent.

37% say their workplace happiness has improved over the last year, 15% a great deal and 22% a little.  However, 33% say it has reduced, 25% a little and 8% a great deal.

Happily for over half the panel, they have not been affected by the economic downturn of the last few years.  A further 20% feel that, whilst it was difficult for a while, things have improved, whilst 25% admit things remain difficult, although they’ve learnt to adapt.

The top two areas that give the panel most workplace satisfaction (excluding promotion & a pay rise) are helping the team reach peak performance and helping their organisation improve its competitive position.  The panel say they receive little satisfaction from proving a superior wrong or getting rid of a troublesome team member.  Of course, they don’t…

The top two reasons the panel are likely to experience periods of discontent at work are slow/poor decision-making and the actions of colleagues.

The highest proportion, over half the panel, are pleased when they’re asked to take on extra work, as they feel it confirms the confidence their superiors have in them.  This is 3 times the number who have the opposite view and feel they’re being taken advantage of.


Richmond Switzerland introduces a new venue for 2018


January 2018 |

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Richmond Events is delighted to introduce a new venue for our Forums in 2018 – The B├╝rgenstock Resort at Lake Luzern. 

The Richmond Swiss portfolio grows to 7 events in 2018 and three of them Richmond IT, Richmond Marketing Forum & Richmond PIMS Forum will move to the newly refurbished B├╝rgenstock Resort above Lake Luzern in Switzerland.

In total Richmond offers 50 events in 2018 across four different countries: UK, USA, Switzerland and Italy.

For a full list of Forums and venues please visit Richmond Events' portfolio

If you are a senior, budget holding decision-maker and would like to meet new potential suppliers at the same time as benchmarking yourself against best practice and other corporations, please let us know which of our forums is of most interest to you.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our forums in 2018.

 



The Strangest Nation, Nick Turner


January 2018 |



We, the Brits, are quite the oddest population of eccentric, sometimes arrogant, often stoic, unexpectedly tolerant and yet rude people you would have the fortune or misfortune to meet. It’s our behaviour abroad that leads to some of, if not all the above characteristics being displayed at their best.

I have just returned from a trip to Cyprus.

This is an island, beset by division and one of the most violent histories of recent post war times in Europe. The northern portion of the island is still referred to as “occupied” as a UN drawn up green line from the 1970s, divides the capital, Nicosia, in two, along with the northern top third of the island, declared as part of Turkey, from the southern self ruling “Greek” two thirds of the island.

An island beset by invaders from the dawn of civilisation, the British acquired an interest in Cyprus in 1878, and recognising the strength of feeling within the majority of Cyprus to return to Greece, offered the island back during the course of both World Wars but acceptable terms could not be reached by the Greeks.

A strong independence movement grew throughout the 1960’s, which Turkey saw as a threat to the indigenous Turkish Moslem population in the North, and in a brief few days this resulted in the first ever use of napalm, as Turkish jet fighters attacked the village of Polis in the Greek side of the island killing 59 people and destroying the village. Violence continued on and off until Cyprus (the Greek part) gained independence in 1974.

Two very large Sovereign bases at Episkopi/Akrotiri and Dheklia remain under the control of the UK with 3,500 serving personnel being based there.

In addition it is a popular location for expat retired Brits and a top holiday destination in the Eastern Mediterranean for many tourists but the majority are, of course, Brits.

Cyprus is a splendid microcosm of how we as Brits have touched history, how we interact with those we have affected and how we behave in large numbers in a foreign land.

First there are our idiosyncracies.

A Brit can be identified when parking in line (as at a supermarket). If a car has reversed into the parking place, then it is 90% certain that the car is being driven by a British tourist.  I cannot fathom a reason for this. We are not renowned for wanting a quick get away, but we do plan ahead. Our faculties may be impaired when leaving, or it may be dark, but either way we like to plan for the future.

The Beach; For the first few days of my visit, there were many families on the sandy beach with children but as it was not the UK half term, then very few were Brits. There were French, German, Dutch, Scandinavians and Russians in good numbers.

However during my second week, half term in the UK had started and the golden sandy bay was transformed into a scene from the D-Day landings. There were castles, tunnels, long channels, holes, sculptures, names marked out in stones every metre or so. Children, fathers and mothers had all set to in the 30 degree heat to build fortifications and the such with an intense vigour and usually to the annoyance of our European friends who preferred to jog or play ball games on the previously flat wet sand….but then found themselves regularly stumbling into some 1 metre deep trench.

This surely must be some inbred island culture, to strengthen, build and fortify against the fear of outside invasion.



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