This week’s guru

Spunky attempt to enliven conference

Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll were high on Guru’s agenda at the CIPD annual

Management thinker Gary Hamel introduced the subject of sex. Comparing good
ideas to sperm (as you do), he said that too many organisations suffer from a
low sperm count. Guru suggests that senior managers stop wearing tight pants

It was left to strategist CK Prahalad to cover drugs and rock’n’roll. The
professor of business administration at the University of Michigan asked the
packed audience whether they had taken any drugs recently, or illegally
downloaded music from the internet.

There was, however, a pertinent reason for the questions – he wanted to find
out whether delegates understood how the consumer is changing and becoming more
demanding. No hands went up, so Guru assumes that means that we didn’t.

If Guru was going to download some music, the works of Edwin Starr would be
high on his list. His rendition of the classic War, what is it good for?
brought a fitting close to the conference. Sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and war –
not a bad haul for one conference trip.

Uncivil rumpus over tie ‘sexism’

A civil servant is accusing a Government department of sex discrimination
after he was forced to wear a collar and tie for work.

Ian Jarman, who works for the Department of Work & Pensions, claims the
new rule is an example of sex discrimination because women can wear what they

Jarman has so far had two disciplinary hearings after failing to comply with
the dress code that was introduced in June this year, and is planning to take
the case to employment tribunal.

Guru has always managed to get away with dressing in items likely to give
offence at work by wearing them under his clothes a la David Beckham.

TV show just the job for Germans

Guru has developed some good friends among the German business community
while lobbying against the Agency Workers Directive that is set to give temps
the right to the same terms and conditions as permanent staff from day one of

However, Guru is breaking ranks with his new teutonic chums over a new
German initiative aimed at helping the country’s four million unemployed into
jobs – a game show on live TV in which people compete for jobs.

The jobseekers are set a series of practical tasks before the top two are
filmed in a real interview for the vacancy.

Viewers vote for their favourite and the employment contract is signed at
the end of the programme. Guru has some concerns that this approach will
probably land an employer with a member of staff who loves the spotlight and
only shines when they are being watched. (Sounds familiar, Editor)

Almighty row likely over pay

Despite the imminent strike by firefighters, Guru had remained sceptical
about the claims of the growing influence of the trade union movement this
year. Until now. Amicus has just struck the first agreement to represent clergy
in a church diocese, putting God’s privileged position as employer under
threat. Traditionally, the clergy has had no employment rights as they are
considered employed directly by the Almighty. But now the Bishop of Southwell,
the Right Rev George Cassidy, has said he will negotiate with Amicus over pay
and conditions. The deal will also give clergy the right to strike. Guru thinks
the clergy could become an unstoppable labour force – not only have they got
God in their corner but now the formidable hard left Amicus leader Derek

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