I nearly forgot; it was this blog’s second birthday on Monday. Yes, folks, I have been turning out this rubbish for two years now.
When I started Flip Chart Fairy Tales I envisioned it as a gentle piss-take of organisational life. In that spirit, my first ever post was a dig at corporate golf days. Since then, though, this blog seems to have evolved into something else. Some of the posts are now quite serious. Or so I’m told anyway.
Perhaps that is because, over the last couple of years, many of the things that have happened in the corporate world have been beyond parody. Who would have thought, in the pre-Northern Crock world into which this blog was born, that the financial sector would collapse, that Britain and the US would nationalise banks and insurance companies and that their executives would continue to live the high life as if nothing had happened?
It has been a strange couple of years but, during that time, this blog’s hit rate has gradually risen. When I first started, I wondered if anyone was reading it at all then, slowly but surely, the number of people dropping by started to increase. Some of that is probably because many of the subjects I write about have gone mainstream. For example, two years ago, articles on whether or not bonuses work would have been confined to the bottom right hand column in People Management or Personnel Today, or to the pages of the more academic journals. Now, though, national newspapers are devoting pages to the issue. Questions about how the organisations of the future will be run and how the people in them will be managed have moved up the politicians’ agenda. These issues will be important for all organisations but none more so than the UK’s banks and its central and local government bodies. Both sectors will experience far-reaching changes over the next few years.
And so, inevitably, this blog has become political, albeit with a small p. I’m aware that many of my posts are now as much about politics as they are about business and the world of work. In practice, of course, it is almost impossible to disentangle the two. You can no more keep politics out of business than you can keep politics out of religion or sport. Anyone who thinks you can is deluded.
As a result, I have started to get links from political bloggers as well as those more concerned with business. That has enlivened the discussions as people with quite different perspectives have argued the toss with each other in the comments sections. Sometimes, Flip Chart Fairy Tales seems to have taken on a life of its own. I can leave it for a few days and still find interesting conversations have been going on in the comments threads while I have been away.
I would like to say a big thank-you to all the people who have commented here and those who have linked, even those of you who have disagreed with me. It’s the conversations that make blogging interesting and fun. I’d also like to thank the crew at Personnel Today, especially that bloke with the blue head, the HR bloggers’ community, the Bloghounds gang, the evil capitalists, Jeremy Jacobs and, of course, Chris Dillow for the links and the publicity that got this blog going and helped to build up its momentum over the past two years. Without you, I’d probably still be talking to myself.
So what of the next two years? Well, if I knew that I’d be writing this from the Cayman Islands. One of the lessons of the last two years has been just how wrong the experts can be. Even those who displayed boundless confidence in their predictions turned out to be way wide of the mark. Very few of those who we all thought knew what they were talking about saw the financial crisis coming. There is, therefore, every reason to take predictions about the next few years with a pinch of salt. Of this much, though, I am sure; when I look back to this post in two years time it will be from a world that feels very different from that in which I have spent most of my working life.
I hope to keep this blog running for the next two years and it would be great if it continues to get the level of interest and support that it’s getting now. I might even do something to make the presentation and design a bit more interesting but I’ll probably need some help to do that, given that my technical skills are somewhat limited. In the meantime, any feedback from readers, both regular and occasional, would be most welcome. Feel free to make suggestions, criticise and take the piss. I have a skin thickened by many years in HR, project management and consultancy. I’ve been insulted so many times I’m used to it by now.
Once again, thanks for reading, linking and commenting, and here’s to the next two years.