As the figures for the final quarter of 2011 were released it was clear, as if we needed reminding, that the economic conditions we face continue to be challenging. Does the slide back into minus figures mean that the long term recovery is on the wrong track? There are certainly those who would argue that it does but I maintain that it does not. Inevitably there will be setbacks along the way and a small deficit is just that, whilst it is certainly not good news it is not a disaster either.
What is needed is clear strategy to encourage business growth, something which at present is lacking. I have often argued that it is enough for government to stand to one side and let business do what it does best but in the current climate we need to think differently. It is not about throwing money around, that’s been tried before. In my view it is about creating an environment in which new, innovative ideas are encouraged; it is about encouraging an environment in which risk is rewarded; it is about looking at things differently.
We need to take a long hard look at ourselves and consider how we might support and encourage employment opportunities in new and emerging sectors which in turn will help to support the recovery in those we would generally regard to be more traditional.
All those bodies that have a role in directly, or indirectly, supporting economic wellbeing need to come together to work for the wider good. The days of operating in silos for the benefit of individual organisations or causes need to be drawn to a close. We collectively have a need to see our economy rebuilt and we, probably, need to accept that it will look somewhat different in the future. We can spend time wringing our hands at our current travails or we can do something about it and we are more likely to be successful if we work together.
When talking about the importance of working together as a team Henry Ford said, ‘coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success’. In making his point he not only expressed the defining benefit of teamwork but also gave us a clear insight into the various steps along the way. If you don’t believe me take a look at the success currently being enjoyed by Stevenage FC, a small example maybe but it seems to me that it reflects Henry Ford’s words. Successful teams can move mountains.