Brain food: Sir Jeremy Morse - If I had to start again

Brain food: Sir Jeremy Morse - If I had to start again - Thank goodness I don't have to, but if I did, my family background of East Anglian brewing and corn and insurance in Liverpool would take me once more into business and, having had a good innings in

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Thank goodness I don't have to, but if I did, my family background of East Anglian brewing and corn and insurance in Liverpool would take me once more into business and, having had a good innings in banking, I'd try something else. Possibly manufacturing, which has always seemed the best school of management; or maybe retailing - attractive for its customer contact and almost immediate measure of results. In either case, I would want shelter from the high winds of short-termism, which have been fanned by a worldwide preference for democracy and market capitalism. I'd look for this by joining a family firm, probably without a stock-market quotation, and would relish the smaller organisation and seeing how readily they make room for internal politics. Schumacher's famous book, Small is Beautiful, was surely on the right track, except that as a convinced socialist he couldn't see that government was also 'big'.

When I began in business in the '50s, the least regarded and worst served of the stakeholders were the shareholders. After 50 years of peace and prosperity this has been successfully reversed and they are now sitting on top of the pile. Meanwhile, customers have, with the help of organised consumerism, just about held their own, so, I would look to improve the position of the employees, who are increasingly overworked or out of work.

In today's world, where firm A's employee is a customer of firms B to U and quite possibly a shareholder in firms V to Z, it should be possible to keep the three elements in better balance; and I would like to be working to that end. In my third life ... Sir Jeremy Morse was chairman of Lloyds Bank 1977-93

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today