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Elizabeth Queen of France

December 12th, 2009 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

French-English relations have never been that warm. There’s something about the different cultures and temperaments that makes getting on really well together a little more difficult than say between the French and the Spanish or the English and the Scots (no, that’s not a good example),¬† Germans (even worse) or maybe even Americans (although not that Tony Blair is out of the picture…).

It requires an event of gigantesque proportions to get everyone totally aligned, and not even the invasion of France in 1941 was able to do it totally.

Therefore, this week’s events, albeit overshadowed by Tiger Woods’ drop in popularity (apart from within the realms of the bar waitress population), have to be termed as downright historical. For our respective and respected leaders, Sarkozy and Brown, have finally agreed on something. And 99,99% of the population of both countries is totally behind them. This has indeed brought the two countries together, and Elizabeth can probably look forward to becoming Queen of France (as long as the English agree to drive on the right, that is).

The 0,01% who probably feel hard done by are the bankers. For Nicolas and Gordon have only gone and agreed to tax 50% of all bankers bonuses beyond a certain threshold. And the thousands of bankers who thought that they were all going to get over a million pounds (some a lot more) in bonuses are probably at this moment sinking  their fourth pint of Guinness or glass of Burgundy reflecting on how mistreated they are, as the takehome will actually only be around 51-53% of what they were actually counting on.

The threshold in the UK is going to be around 25000 pounds. Above that they are texed 50%. At least 5000 are concerned in the UK…

Hold on, a minute. Can someone explain to me just where customer value comes into this? One of the principles of the Respect for People aspects of Lean Management is that benefits are shared between all levels of the organisation as well as the shareholders. Can we assume therefore that the 5000+ each taking 1m+ do so because they have generated an even bigger benefit for their customers? If this is the case, I want to be a customer of those banks.

Unfortunately, I doubt whether this is the case. The benefits will undoubtedly have been generated, but to serve principally the shareholders and the other fat cats in the banking hierarchy. Mr.Customer has probably not seen any payback above the token interest rates he signed up to in the first place.

The world of banking is obviously a long way away from claiming to have implemented Lean Management (although I’m sure that the bonus payment processes do not have a lot of waste in them). However, if Nicolas and Gordon carry on in the current vein, we could still see further improvements.

Although it’s a lot more likely that we’ll see Elizabeth on the French throne before that.

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