Director Maximiti Limited
Columnist
Share this content

When is a U turn a strategic pivot?

7th Sep 2020
Director Maximiti Limited
Columnist
Share this content

What actually constitutes a U-turn?

Not the driving sort of course - in that context you can change direction by menas of forward and reverse gears, thus avoiding a U-turn !

The business or more likely the political arena is where a change if direction is likely to be vexed issue especially if it will end up on the front page of the Daily Mail - the ultimate ignominy.

What if markets change, circumstances alter or technology moves so quickly and you need to be up there now and not playing catch up in a year?

A strategic pivot is called for and failure to do so is a dereliction of duty - to shareholders or the electorate.

Why can't we dress up the "forward and reverse gear" manouevre in these situations as a necessary strategic move and avoid being labelled pejoratively as having performed a U-turn - if anything it is too long to fit the newspaper masthead

Replies (33)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By johnjenkins
11th Sep 2020 09:58

A U turn is Normanly used by the opposition to have a pop at the Government of the day. I much prefer flexibility. Boris is using flexibility as the economy and well being of our people are changing on a daily basis.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
14th Sep 2020 15:17

Boris is more wriggling to try to escape some of his past nonsensical utterances/misunderstandings- I wonder if it is telling that whilst I have read a number of books and articles highlighting the issue Boris can have with truthfulness and probity I have yet to read any such books and articles that postulate dear old Bojo is a man of his word.

Of course competence can often mitigate a fair few faults of character but sadly mastering a detailed brief, following and understanding rules and processes, are just not Bojo traits, rules do not apply to him, he is one of the anointed and as he flits and lands, fastening onto the most recent guru selling him snake oil, all bluster, no substance, no detail we see what a very poor choice the Conservatives foisted upon this country and how gullible those that backed him in the polls really were- there is not going to be a happy outcome for Boris or for the UK and nobody can complain they were not warned, they were, they merely chose not to listen.

https://www.turbulenttimes.co.uk/news/trade/brexit-circling-the-drain/

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
14th Sep 2020 15:59

Whatever you think of Boris, there is one thing that is certain. He gets things done. Maybe not as prim and proper as some would like. Slag someone off enough and the electorate will turn on you, especially if you call them gullible. The electorate will tell you what they want. If they get fed up with Boris after 4 years they will let the Government know. Would you prefer Keir Starmer, the man who decided that there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute Jimmy Saville when he was in charge of CPS?

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 08:48

Done? Really? Easiest deal and all that, oven ready, micro wave ready? What precisely has he got done apart from damaging the UK economy?

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
15th Sep 2020 08:59

You're looking at it from the Euroland perspective not from the protection and forward moving of the UK. Unfortunately the EU don't negotiate, they dictate. They don't seem to like it when the tables are turned. 3 years of Parliament messing about and the little matter of covid is the only thing that has damaged our economy. The next 5 years is going to be one of the twenties, sixties, eighties growth era's. Come with us or stagnate. The choice is yours.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 10:28

No, I am looking at it from the viewpoint of a globalist world where the mere concept that Nation States the size of the UK can exercise full sovereignty over their affairs is risible. I also have reservations that the UK itself will survive this somewhat unplanned and unstructured experiment,

Take a read of today's Turbulent Times post by Peter North, a leave supporter, presumably like yourself, but a realistic leave supporter who ignores the soft focus, misty eyed view of UK unbound and appreciates that the path being taken by Boris et al is likely going to significantly adversely impact the livelihoods of those in the UK whose employment and prosperity is currently predicated on trade in goods and services into the EU.

https://www.turbulenttimes.co.uk/news/trade/brexit-what-price-freedom/

I accept the result of the referendum, I accept we have already left the EU, what I do not accept is the flawed route taken to exit and the lies propagated as to what we realistically would have once the transition ended.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
15th Sep 2020 12:53

The whole world has been going through turbulent times, however once things die down, which they will next year, long lasting partnerships will develop. Come on DJKL, surely you can see the demise of the EU. The demise of the USSR should be a warning to Barnier and Co. The EU have a fantastic chance to create an agreement with all its members to allow flexibility and drop the stupid idea of one country called Europe. Nobody is against free movement of people but there has to be flexibility involved not rigidity. Boris has shown he can be flexible. Of course he will make mistakes (is anyone out there perfect?) but his ethic is for the UK to stand on our own 4 feet without hindrance and tethers. The flawed route taken to exit was manifested by the remoaners who wouldn't accept the referendum's result. The only reason why they are now is because they got a hammering in the general election.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 16:19

Of course there will be a demise, all empires rise and fall as anyone who has studied any history knows, what I will not do is forecast a timeline, it could be 20-50-100-500 years, however if I were a betting man I would bet that the EU will outlive the currently composed UK , bits of the UK are imho very likely to spin away, with the bit I live in being one of them, if what you seem to have on the table now (nada) remains the position then I see both Scotland and NI departed within 15 years, well done, jolly good, what.

The flawed route pursued is zip to do with those how wished to remain in the EU and all to do with those who pushed to leave totally not understanding what was involved and how it needed approached.

A gradual move away was perfectly feasible, Brexit as a process not an event as espoused by Richard North in his Flexcit approach would have worked(worth a read if you have not so done, you might learn how trade/conformity et al actually really functions), but the zealots on the right made such a route impossible so this is what we get instead, no deal to minimal small deals, demise of UK Agriculture and Manufacturing as predicted by Minford (One of the economists for Brexit) and some sub standard trade agreements with the ROW.

Really well played chaps, super, cracking, great-but then again you are unlikely to be the ones losing jobs, houses etc, so what the F do you care.

http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/flexcit.pdf

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
15th Sep 2020 17:04

I do agree that a gradual move away would have been better but unfortunately with the EU it is either their way or the highway (you vill do vhat ve say). DC (and I'm not a lover of the way he resigned) tried very hard to find common ground so that he could go in the referendum with a bit of street cred. Not to be. Demise of UK agriculture. Tell me about it. Tennant farming up the swanny. All to do with the EU. Farmers and Fisherpeople voted in their droves to leave the EU. Nothing to do with zealots on the right. As for the UK, once trade deals and business starts taking off we may hear less from that loveable Lady Sturgeon and we can move forward in unity. Yes unity with the EU (or whatever it will be in a few years) as well.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Sep 2020 09:41

What earthly reason can you have to believe under whatever new arrangements the UK cobbles together with ROW and EU trade will take off?Any evidence to support this confidence?

Overseas trade is likely going to fall,if you let the US farmers in then UK agriculture will be heavily punished , if it cannot access the EU where is its market? (Have you any idea what percentage of Scottish Lamb is currently sold into the EU?)

Then you have seasonal labour shortage issues with fruit picking etc, automation can do some of this (though very expensive) but not all fruits are easy to auto pick.

Maybe I have more sympathy for farmers having lived alongside a farm in West Linton when I was a small child (cattle breaking into our large garden on a regular basis and combines working up and down just over the fence), but I am really struggling to see what markets will be open to say hill farmers in fifteen weeks time that will allow them to survive.

, if delays at Dover JIT manufacturing will have problems, the solution to which will be to relocate the production the other side of the channel.

Blindly stating trade will prosper

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
By Norman Younger
15th Sep 2020 11:25

"Dictate" - you hit the nail on the head !

Hit force with force when negotiating - the deal will happen , EU cannot afford a failure as it sits on very unstable foundations right now

Know your opponents weaknesses

Could it go wrong...maybe, but thus is life and we have a mandate - 80 seats not just a slim majority in the referendum

Thanks (0)
Replying to Flying Scotsman:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 12:06

Norman

If you are going to talk mandate then what about the Withdrawal Agreement, that was part of the Tory mandate. (Got them their plus 80)

If you want an ability to say whatever is convenient during elections then tear it up post event and do precisely what you like then you had better pray the Conservatives stay in power for eternity because once you remove the idea of political responsibility then in future anything goes.

You are tearing asunder the entire fabric of the UK in your pursuit of the Philosopher's Stone of complete sovereignty , unencumbered free trade and the wet dreams of the Tory Right all predicated on economic fantasy policies, at some point someone in the crowd is certainly going to tell you your new clothes do not exist and your philosophy will be seen for what it really is- naked and ugly.

Enjoy the moment but be honest enough to own it when things move beyond HMG's control.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
15th Sep 2020 12:57

I don't think you actually realise that there is no agreement unless everything (including trade) has been agreed. The EU wanted to split the talks up into withdrawal and trade, however if there is no trade agreement then the withdrawal agreement is null and void as it is all part of the divorce.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
By Norman Younger
15th Sep 2020 13:19

As they say "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" - fairly basic in the realm of negotiation.

I will concede that it could perhaps be articulated better by BJ

Thanks (0)
Replying to Flying Scotsman:
avatar
By johnjenkins
15th Sep 2020 15:16

I don't think Boris and finesse go together.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
By Norman Younger
15th Sep 2020 16:27

I would have settled for any thought-through approach even if lacking finesse !

Plain English would have done the job

Thanks (0)
Replying to Flying Scotsman:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 16:42

But it is, the WA stands as a discrete agreement until either party agrees to vary it or gives due notice they wish to terminate it, we have not so done, the EU have not so done, accordingly legally it stands, it continues post 31st December even if no trade agreement is reached until either party intimates they wish to terminate the agreement (with all the resulting consequences that will flow from such an action)

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 16:38

Legally the WA stands as a distinct agreement, it does not depend upon any particular trade deal, the PD merely describes the landing zone aimed at by the parties, I believe your interpretation is legally flawed.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1580206007232&uri=CE...

If you do not agree perhaps you would like to cite what in the agreement supports your viewpoint?

IMHO it stands until varied by agreement of the parties or until a process is triggered by either party to bring it to an end, it is certainly not null and void as if you read it you will see that whilst there are some continuing provisions a fair part of it deals with the transition period already past that is about to end on 31st December 2020.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
15th Sep 2020 16:47

I disagree. You cannot have parts of an agreement. If you go back, TM said quite often (obviously hoping to get her agreement through Parliament) the deal is not done until it is all agreed. So no trade deal, no agreement. However I think what Boris is doing is making sure that if there is no trade agreement, then he will protect the UK. Once the transition period comes to an end and there is no trade agreement, Boris could (I doubt if he will) pull the rug until the EU realise their very weak position.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
15th Sep 2020 17:07

Why not read the WA? Why is the PD a distinct document?

Why do you believe this, there is nothing I have found within the WA that supports your viewpoint, so if you really believe this then point to the bit of the WA supporting that viewpoint.

The nothing agreed until everything agreed applies to each distinct phase of negotiations, so it was applied to WA then WA was executed, it was applied to PD then PD executed (albeit it is non binding and was hand in hand with WA execution) it is then applied to the trade talks (nothing agreed). Each part is legally discrete but if you really believe otherwise please cite the section reference within the WA supporting such a view.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
16th Sep 2020 09:22

Not so. Each phase can have agreement, but TM said in February 2018, and made it quite clear, that there had to be agreement in every phase before an overall agreement is made. In fact in any negotiations that is what happens. that is why mergers et al break down after years of negotiation. It has always been assumed that there would be some kind of trade deal (I think there will be) which would mean the WA stands.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Sep 2020 09:59

Her deal was rejected so has no relevance, it never made it to becoming a treaty so is now only of interest to historians and what might have been analysis. The new Boris treaty was executed, ratified by Parliament then signed in January 2020 after Boris had used it as a major plank in his election strategy; do you not remember?

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
16th Sep 2020 15:35

I remember it well and how long did it take Parliament to actually allow a general election? You forget Boris has a large majority now and can do what he feels is right without Parliament messing about.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Sep 2020 16:21

Of course he can vis a vis UK law but what he cannot do is break a treaty without there being consequences from the other party to said treaty. Still, only a short wait until EU take action if they follow through with their earlier statements.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/trumpite-boris-johnson-wants-eu...

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
17th Sep 2020 09:49

I cannot see the EU cutting off their noses to spite their face can you?
BMW, Mercedes, VW, Bosch, Fiat et al would lose so much business. Perhaps this plan by Boris has big business agreement, so that they can trade with the UK through the back door. Maybe that's why the EU hierarchy are causing a fuss.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Sep 2020 09:54

There is not one agreement, the existing treaty legally stands alone from any trade deal we do or do not negotiate.

"The Brexit withdrawal agreement, officially titled Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community,[3][4] is a treaty between the European Union (EU), Euratom, and the United Kingdom (UK), signed on 24 January 2020,[5] setting the terms of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and Euratom. The text of the treaty was published on 17 October 2019,[6] and is a renegotiated version of an agreement published half a year earlier. The earlier version of the withdrawal agreement was rejected by the House of Commons on three occasions, leading to the resignation of Theresa May as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Parliament of the United Kingdom gave its approval to the then draft Agreement by enacting implementing legislation (the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020) on 23 January 2020. After the Agreement was signed, the Government of the United Kingdom issued and deposited Britain's instrument of ratification of the Agreement on 29 January 2020.[7][8] The Agreement was ratified by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020, following the consent of the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the Union took effect on 11 p.m. GMT on 31 January 2020, and at that moment the Withdrawal Agreement entered into force, as per its article 185.

The Agreement covers such matters as money, citizens' rights, border arrangements and dispute resolution. It also contains a transition period and an outline of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Published on 14 November 2018, it was a result of the Brexit negotiations. The agreement was endorsed by the leaders of the 27 remaining EU countries[9] and the UK Government led by Prime Minister Theresa May, but faced opposition in the UK parliament, whose approval was necessary for ratification. Approval by the European Parliament would also have been required. On 15 January 2019, the House of Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement by a vote of 432 to 202.[10] The Commons rejected the Agreement again on 12 March 2019, on a vote of 391 to 242,[11] and rejected a third time of 29 March 2019 by 344 votes to 286. On 22 October 2019 the revised withdrawal agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson's government cleared the first stage in Parliament, but Johnson paused the legislative process when the accelerated programme for approval failed to achieve the necessary support, and announced his intention to call a general election.[12] On 23 January 2020, Parliament ratified the agreement by passing the Withdrawal Agreement Act; on 29 January 2020, the European Parliament gave its consent to the withdrawal agreement. It was subsequently concluded by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020.

The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK remains in the single market, in order to ensure frictionless trade until a long-term relationship is agreed. However, as of August 2020, the latter remains subject to ongoing negotiations. If no such agreement is reached by that date, a no-deal Brexit would be the default outcome on 1 January 2021. Closely connected to the withdrawal agreement is a non-binding political declaration on the future EU–UK relationship."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit_withdrawal_agreement

Now we could via due process of international law notify the EU we are walking away from the executed treaty, because it is a treaty, but if we do we kiss goodbye to concluding trade deals with a large part of the world who will not treat with a country which does not stick to its negotiated deals, after all what would be the point of negotiating with a country which is not reliable?

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
16th Sep 2020 15:59

You really do need to get it clear in your mind that the divorce between the EU and UK has to be agreed in its entirety before 31st December 2020 otherwise there is "no deal". That is why Boris is prepared to alter the WA to safeguard the UK. I'm sure he doesn't expect that to happen though.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Sep 2020 16:27

Nonsense and you know it- read the WA, there is of course currently NO DEAL re the trade part of discussions (a distinct matter) but there most certainly is a legal agreement in place, it is the WA.

Boris has NO legal capacity to alter the WA, he can pass legislation that is at odds with the WA, the UK can be in breach of the WA by its actions, but the only way either the UK or the EU can alter the WA is with the consent of the other, it is a treaty so outwith the powers of either party to vary without consensus with the other party.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
avatar
By johnjenkins
17th Sep 2020 09:42

If that is the case then why is the EU saying that if Boris carried on then it would affect the trade negotiations. According to you the trade negotiations are a totally separate (a distinct matter). No DJKL, the EU realise that it's a divorce settlement and as such everything, and I mean everything, has to be agreed before 31st December. if not then there is no agreement. End of.

Thanks (0)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
17th Sep 2020 10:28

Because if you are prepared to break one agreement there is no point talking to you about anything else might be the logical conclusion.

You are just plain wrong in law, the WA is signed and executed, the parties can take legal action if the other breaks its terms.

I have come to the conclusion it is pointless debating with someone who merely asserts, I have linked you to the WA in this thread, I have linked you to the WIKI (I appreciate WIKI is not always accurate but in this case it appears to be) and all you do is keep repeating the mantra that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, frankly as useful as Brexit means Brexit, so I will leave you to it.

Thanks (0)
Replying to DJKL:
By Norman Younger
17th Sep 2020 10:58

Gentlemen - your debate shows that there are clearly 2 ways ( maybe more ) to interpret the legalities and it is beginning to sound more muddled than the Covid rules.

To me the main issue is simply that even if there is a legitimate way to interpret / apply readings of the WA , to be thought to be seen to be potentially reneging erodes one of the strongest assets this lousy 3rd rate country of ours has left to offer - integrity ( of sorts ) and reliability ( almost ) .

That is damaging internationally unless of course those in power abroad are able to read between the lines and know that there is only one way to square off against a bully , which is what the EU is. I said on day 1 that this will go to the wire and it will - that is negotation , especially with the EU . They have a lot to lose and as we are on the ropes we may as well come out fighting

If it wasn't for our weather we would at times resemble a banana republic when one looks at the ability of government to deliver the things that matter to us all, but that's another debate for another blog.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Flying Scotsman:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
17th Sep 2020 11:51

Bully is a somewhat pejorative term, larger, more powerful party in the negotiations might be somewhat more appropriate, but why is anyone surprised, smaller countries/groupings tend not to be able to push agreements to their advantage, the reverse tends to happen, it is merely the application of Newton's third law.

Perhaps some leavers are shocked having listened to the siren calls that the EU car manufacturers would bring the EU to heel for us, pure fantasy.

If you have not yet read it then yesterday's State of the Union address I think pretty much describes the EU current perspective- in negotiation being blindsided to one's own desired outcomes can have a tendency to prevent you reading the other side, we have singularly failed to read the other side, accordingly I am not convinced we will now get anything out of this debacle unless and until we remove the tricky bits of the IMB and accede on fish and LPF- it is now our call, on this at least we have sovereignty.

Thanks (0)
By Norman Younger
14th Sep 2020 14:10

Indeed so, it tends to be used by political commentators, but in business it can happen when a household name reverse a policy after standing firm initially.
Examples are usually in something of a consumer nature such as a tariff or a returns policy which gets out of hand and becomes a big issue.
I suppose it can also occur with staffing of client issues, either a result of or maybe the cause of a need to change dramatically

Thanks (0)