This week’s guru

Teatime dunking habits really take the biscuit

Guru never knew the humble biscuit was such an integral part of the UK’s
collective business psyche. Don’t any of you get fed?

The response to Guru’s piece linking biscuit preference to personality types
and behaviour is now getting out of hand. Some of the e-mails have verged on
the weird (that’s weird sick, not weird unusual).

One of the most popular methods of biscuit consumption appears to involve
using your biscuit like a straw to suck up your preferred hot beverage.

Guru has every sympathy for anyone who has to sit in a meeting with HR
manager Sarah Delaney and her workmates. "Myself and my colleagues have to
report that ‘Twixels’ (miniature Twix) are the best for the tea sucking method,
and can be a bit more discreet that a full size Twix in a meeting,"
reveals Sarah.

Support services manager Sue Hopwood’s method of eating her favourite
biscuit, the Jammy Dodger, might also be frowned upon at the board table.
"I always eat them by separating the two halves, eating the boring bit
quickly to get it out of the way, and then lick the half most of the yummy
stuff is stuck to," she admits.

There were also numerous responses from people hazarding a guess over
management guru Meredith Belbin’s favourite biscuit.

Retail training manager Paul Thorp believes Belbin’s top biscuit would be a
digestive, "because it’s what you have to do to understand his Team Role

Workforce development specialist Elaine McGladdery, thinks Belbin’s
favourite would have to be the Family Circle biscuit assortment, "as one
single biscuit type would not be as successful a coffee break experience as a
variety of complimentary flavours, textures and properties".

And now for my next witness – God

Guru was intrigued to read about the case of a former call centre worker
from Monmouth, South Wales, Julian Evans who was given a two-year community
rehabilitation order by Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court after giving a false
character reference to a judge.

While Guru is sure false references are widespread, even he had to admire Mr
Evans’ extravagant claim that the Pope was willing to attest to the Welshman’s
good character. Obviously the judge found this claim ‘holy’ unacceptable and
ordered Mr Evans to stop ‘pontificating’.

Any doubts as to Guru’s suitability for work should be addressed to his
friend and mentor, Lord Lucan.

A great idea for HR kicked into touch

In Personnel Today’s 27 May issue remuneration experts called for HR to be
given a greater role in deciding reward packages for senior executives.

It was argued shareholders were less likely to accuse board members of being
‘fat cats’ if HR helped ensure their reward packages were more closely linked
to organisations’ overall pay policies.

However Guru is concerned this argument was undermined by former HR director
Peter Ridsdale during his time as chairman at Leeds United.

It was revealed Ridsdale, who previously held top HR jobs at Burton Group
and Del Monte, left Leeds £78m in the red when he resigned earlier this year.

He was blamed for encouraging a spendthrift culture at the club, which
included squandering £600,000 annually on company cars, £70,000 a year on
private jets and £70,000 on recruiting a senior manager who left after just six

Guru suspects that Ridsdale – who even brightened up his office by spending
£20 a month on goldfish – might not be the ideal man to advise firms on pay
scales for the board.

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