We all woke up in the UK this morning to a shock result – no result. A hung parliament.

As a sidenote: Think how things have changed from the election 4 years ago.  Where did you go first to check on the result this time…. tv, radio, (free or politically aligned) newspaper, Twitter, web, Facebook.  And whose opinion on the impact did you trust most?

So I’ve seen a number of bloggers and journalists saying that  a hung parliament can be made to work because it is just like running a business – it requires collaboration and compromise.

Let’s examine this idea in more detail.  What makes a business work?

–    A leader with decision making power: Even if they are not making the correct decisions, at least they are making decisions which sets the strategy or direction for the company. Examples of companies in turmoil are those where the leader has left and the company is left rudderless and there is fighting for the leadership position

–    A shared goal or some direction: In the absence of any clear strategic direction, it is to be successful enough so that employees can continue to earn a salary. To win work and make money. Very few people want to see the company they work for fail.

–    A level of transparency: People try and keep politics out of business because hidden agendas slow down any real action. Why are smaller companies more nimble, have less bureaucracy and more enjoyable to work in.  People spend less time ‘politicking’ / managing their career and more time focused on the job

I don’t see any of these traits in a hung parliament. In fact it is the complete opposite

Lets contrast this with Nimbus where I am Chairman and CEO.

At Nimbus we have an Exec Team who actually likes working together. We work together and play together. As Chairman and CEO I am not a dictator, but harness the energy and experience of the Exec Team to get an agreed direction. We genuinely work in a collaborative way.

We’ve been together long enough to know what each is thinking, we have a common goal (profitable growth), we are not afraid to speak our minds, we are not fearful of losing our jobs in a Boardroom coup. That is refreshing and fun.

Remember – Life is not a dress rehearsal. We get only one go at it. So do something you enjoy.

Net result. The company is performing well.  The Exec Team enjoys working together. That feeds its way down the company. We have a happy, high performing company which people (clients, partners, employees) want to be around.

“Very pink and fluffy – give me some facts” some of you may be saying.

–    We have very low attrition.  The last person who resigned from the company, came back 3 months later. The resignation before that was over 4 years ago – so way before the recession.

–    2 years ago we look at the market and were concerned about a slowdown so we cut costs and very regrettably made some staff redundant. It was very painful, but necessary. Now business is on the up we are hiring. The first of those made redundant has re-joined the company. That says a lot for the redundancy process; sympathetic, fair, integrity.

– we don’t need to pay headhunters to find us staff.  We have brilliant people come to us who want to work for Nimbus – often taking a pay cut.

There is a lot of research that a Happy Company produces Better Returns and a recent book by FT Press called  What Happy Companies Know spells it out

Happy companies are winning companies. Well-adjusted, psychologically healthy companies collaborate better. They innovate more effectively. They change faster. They see reality with exceptional clarity, but they know how to address it positively.

Does that sound like working as a senior politician in a hung parliament? I think not.


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