The man on the left supposedly penned these words. He takes my dictation very well indeed. Readers will recognise the style:
"I would guess that very few of us would have recognised how important the financial 'system' is to us in life. Yes, of course, we understood its financial relevance, whether in trade, in investment, in borrowing or whatever, but I bet there weren't many of us who realised how much the financial sector served as the bedrock to things not quite so financially driven, which included our whole social system. The conclusion that everyone seems to have come to is that the World's financial 'system' is broken, but the question is how many other 'systems' that rely on this financial bedrock are also broken? Take local government as an example. We have exactly the same problem as the man or woman in the high street, in that there are expectations placed upon us which are well above what can be afforded within the present 'system'. A lesson from the economic recession has been that our citizens' high standard of living was a sham and completely unaffordable as they relied too much on borrowing and not enough on good old fashioned Victorian values of spending only what was earned and nothing more. The trouble is that the same is true in local government and we know full well that within the present 'system' of delivering local government the finances available to it wont be nearly enough. So, as with the financial sector, if the money isn't available to furnish the current 'system' then it is the 'system' itself which must change and many councils, thank goodness, are already contemplating this. One of these changes has to be a step change in the way we conduct our business and even with all the good work we've done on multi-agency working, partnerships etc, there is still one fundamental flaw which is that we, as a sector, continue to be too organisationally centric, when we need to be far more place centric, community centric or even citizen centric. And the trouble is, all of our internal 'systems', whether they are financial, ICT or employment based are light years behind where we will need to be to achieve the type of extra-organisational flexibility we will soon need. There is much to be done!"
Thanks Richard. I couldn't have put it better myself.