I have spent much of the last nine months on a publishing project for the Association of Professional Futurists (APF), where I am a Board member, to mark the organisation’s 10th anniversary. The book,The Future of Futures, mostly designed to be distributed as an e-book but also published in a short print run, was launched yesterday at the World Futures Society’s conference in Toronto. Obviously it’s an honour to be asked to edit such a thing, and the eventual ebook is a monograph running to around 50 pages, with contributions from around a dozen APF members. A book such as this needs some kind of organising principle, and – given the anniversary element – we hit upon a “past, present, future” theme.
I wasn’t able to blog much in May and June because I was working fairly intensively on a couple of projects, one a client report for The Futures Company and one (unpaid) for the Association of Professional Futurists, where I’m a Board member. The APF project is published next week, and I’ll write about it then. The Futures Company report was on the future of golf, and came out just in time for The Open Championship at Lytham St Anne’s. I’ve already blogged about it at The Futures Company blog, and it can be downloaded from The Futures Company or from my ‘Selected Articles‘ page.
But it’s worth a few more notes here.
In my last post I wrote about how Art Kleiner’s idea of the Core Group helped us to understand Barclay’s recent history. In this post I am going to develop this idea. If Bob Diamond survived in his position despite his division breaching the rules in 1998 because he’d become a member of the Core Group, we still need to understand why. In the rest of this post I am going to go further into the history.
How the idea of the ‘Core Group’ helps us understand the Barclays’ rate-fixing scandal
Much of the writing on Barclay’s rate-fixing scandal – which has forced the resignations of both the chief executive, Bob Diamond, and the chairman, Marcus Agius – focused on issues of culture, but without asking where culture inside organisations comes from or how it is set, other than maybe an over-simple idea that it comes ‘from the top’. Of course, some of the interest in culture was prompted by the ex-Chief Executive, Bob Diamond, in the BBC lecture he gave last year, which I imagine seemed like a good idea at the time. Andrew Rawnsley quoted a couple of lines in an article in the Observer earlier this month:
“Culture,” he [Diamond] said in a BBC lecture last year, “is difficult to define. But for me the evidence of culture is how people behave when no one is watching.”
So it seems a good idea to look at this through the lens of Art Kleiner’s neglected book, Who Really Matters: The Core Group.