It's a truism that the rate of change in business life is ever-increasing. It's also an evident truth which a surprising number of businessmen have not yet grasped. Witness the bafflement of those at the helm of Barings, not only that their venerable institution should fail but that its dramatic demise could be attributable to anything so simple as inadequate internal controls.
The Bitter Battle Brewing (p30) highlights the convulsions in another industry whose modus operandi has evolved over many generations. Pub owners' troubles were not brought about by the misconceived Beer Orders which, in limiting brewers' capacity to own pubs and so control distribution, merely served to divert attention from the core problem of oversupply. The real causes of their discomfort are mutating tastes and demographics. Pubs, like any other service business, must adapt with their customers or they will die. Those in the industry who cling to the notion that the traditional pub is an ineradicable feature of the British landscape may already be doomed.