Reflections on my top 20 blogs in nearly three years of blogging

Bank of America Tower

Bank of America Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought that it might be of interest to share my top twenty blogs, over nearly three years,  ranked by number of hits, with the most popular first. To put this into perspective, there have been approaching 2,500 blogs and nearly 50,000 hits, yet these are the top-twenty according to WordPress statistics:

  1. Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern Moritz Erhardt found dead after working long hours | Mail Online
  2. What are the three types of Interim Management assignment?
  3. What’s the difference between an Interim Manager and a Management Consultant?
  4. UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost-Cutting – Myth or Reality?
  5. Immigration: The Polish paradox | The Economist
  6. Interim Management:  Ten Emerging Trends and Outlook for the Future
  7. Malaysia travel: What to do in the Cameron Highlands | CNN Travel
  8. Public Sector Catch 22: Cost-Cutting Vs. Cost Reduction (Part 1/4)
  9. Utilising Professional Interims to Help Reduce the Budget Deficit – Removing Catch 22?
  10. Public Sector Catch 22: The Role of “IT” in Business Transformation (Part 3/4)
  11. Public Sector Catch 22: Structural Reform, Strategy and Implementation – How to avoid a Omnishambles Recovery Programme? (Part 4 of 4)
  12. An in Depth Look at Deleveragings – Ray Dalio – Bridgewater
  13. UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost-Cutting – Myths, Realities and Escalating Risks?
  14. The cult of home ownership is dangerous and damaging – Adam Posen – FT.com
  15. Gray Wolf Picture – Animal Wallpaper – National Geographic Photo of the Day
  16. Osborne has now been proved wrong on austerity – Martin Wolf -FT.com
  17. Public Sector Performance: Catch 22 type Dilemmas 
  18. BBC – Travel – Two days in Siena, Italy : Tuscany
  19. Interim Management: Seven Key Trends
  20. The Open Public Services White Paper, the Budget Deficit and Thirteen Key Reasons for the Government to Deploy Professional Interims for Risk Reduction?

To be honest, I still don’t really know what makes a great blog. Certainly I try to search out some excellent articles on breaking news but at the end of the day I just add my two cents. It’s never clear to me whether the hits are due to:

  • Title
  • Author of primary article (where appropriate)
  • Publisher of primary article  (where appropriate)
  • My two cents of commentary
  • My open questions
  • My photographs
  • My related articles

There is also another strange statistic. The most hits do not correlate with the most likes.

Anyway, taking the above list of twenty top blogs, let me try to distill a few underlying threads.

Firstly, it really surprised me than my most popular blog ever, was my reblog of the MailOnline article about Moritz Erhardt, the German intern, who died whilst working excessive hours at Bank of America, the investment bank. This was major news story, so I believe that my two cents on this occasion probably hit a nerve with worried students and parents. In a world where the millennials are missing out on the opportunities of earlier generations, this tragic story highlighted the extreme competitiveness of the aspiring top 1%. What’s happened to society when greed and ambition cause competition to the death, with a prevailing culture of winner take all?

The second important theme is probably my subjective insights into the interim management industry. Some of these blogs were written nearly three years ago, and I have moved on, so it is not clear to me whether I was a visionary or just angry with life in David Cameron’s UK?

The third important theme concerns a number of detailed blogs about the public sector in the UK. I took a hard-line but given the impact of three years of austerity, I believe that I was probably right. The amazing thing is that the public sector in the UK is still going to get much worse, in both cuts and reduced services. George Osborne’s financial projections into the next Parliament require still further aggressive cuts. Ahead of the election, politicians will look to the arguments that will win elections, rather than serious reform of the public sector. With the help of my fellow blogger, John Gelmini, I believe that this blog has provided some refreshingly different suggestions to tackle the challenges of the UK public sector.

The fourth theme that I would like to pick up is that people love quality travel articles. Perhaps, travel articles provide hope, and encouragement to many, or they are a form of escapism.  Anyway, the most fascinating blog was about the Cameron highlands in Malaysia. Rather than focusing on travel, I often wonder if a number of bloggers were looking for the ancestral home of David Cameron!

So to conclude with a common theme and an open question:

What’s David Cameron done for the Millennials?

A view of Fields and fields of...... Tea in Ca...

A view of Fields and fields of…… Tea in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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Opinion: Churchill’s Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race | Foreign Affairs- John Gelmini

Twickenham United Kingdom

Twickenham United Kingdom (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Dr Alf asks about the proper trajectory for reform in the UK.

Given the past record since World War II, I think we need to consider why we are in decline, who has been responsible for the present “trajectory”, and whether the present institutions and systems are fit for purpose.

Given our size as a nation, our population, our poor levels of State education, the reduced levels of our armed forces, our stated ambitions, posturing and actions are those of a man with empty pockets standing outside a jewelers, trying to impress his fiancée and future in-laws, with the prospect of a diamond engagement ring, when all he can afford is a shabby suit with shiny elbows and a cubic zirconia ring.

We need to look at Singapore, Switzerland and possibly Germany, build ourselves a target operating model based on rapprochement, tax haven status and an Establishment that is there on merit rather than on an inherited basis.

We should stop trying to pretend that we are important, that we should be listened to, that we are a Great Power and concentrate on substance, exports, job creation, innovation and managing other people’s money.

Our coat needs to be cut according to our cloth and we need to increase the number of useful and productive citizens whilst reducing the number who are a problem and a burden and the costs of keeping them.

For that, we need strong law and order, no more immigration unless it is people with special skills, more personal responsibility, fewer and shorter holidays, greater productivity, no more meddling in the affairs of other countries where we have no business, and more straight talking to the public.

There should be no more overseas aid and there should be a relentless focus on those things which add value to the nation and increase prosperity for the bulk of the population and on getting rid of those institutions, practices, organisations and customs which detract from or destroy value.

Currently, we have too many of the latter and these need to be identified, rooted out and eliminated without sentiment, nostalgia or as much as a backwards glance.

This would require an objective test against which questions need to be asked and a “sunset law” applied with no keeping of anything just for the sake of tradition alone or some arcane view that says because”these things have stood us in good stead in the past they must be relevant now”.

John Gelmini

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