Season’s gripings — and a whiff of hope

“IN SUMMER,” wrote poet William Carlos Williams, “the song sings itself.” The same can’t be said of the global economy on June 21, 2023.

Common opening lines in the articles and reports submitted to BV include things like “despite the ravages of the pandemic”, or “in the uncertainty following the Russian invasion of Ukraine”, or “as climate change threatens livelihoods around the world…”

Bright ideas like Brexit have stuffed the UK’s export figures and supply chains, and whetted the edge of the talent shortages and energy price hikes delivering a thousand cuts to SMEs and tech companies. The Earth’s dwindling natural resources and our increasingly challenged mental health parallel one another in a grim downward spiral.

So yeah, times are tough. But — if you focus on the right stats — all is not lost.

Job opportunities — the flipside of the talent shortage, the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting — are on the rise. Lateral thinking and inventive talent are steadily oozing out as we roll up the innovation tube and give it another squeeze. Consumers are keeping companies honest by demanding inclusion, diversity, and a focus on ESG and the environment. Covid, the gift that keeps on giving, has at least made us (and our bosses) realise that we don’t have to punch into the workplace each and every morning; hybrid and remote working rule.

Are we gaining just a teensy bit of control over that elusive work-life balance? Has the enforced introspection of recent months left us more aware, and better prepared for shocks? Might we be slightly more balanced …happier, even?

Beach, sandcastle, summer
Soak up some sun or find yourself a sweet spot in the shade, keep smiling, and keep reading

That last one may be a stretch, but Summer’s here regardless. Soak up some sun or find yourself a sweet spot in the shade, keep smiling, and keep reading. We hope you’re enjoying BV’s online-only format. Since moving away from print we no longer publish letters to the editor, but your feedback is still important to us. Keep us abreast of your company’s developments, the way you tackle modern challenges, and nominate the companies that are “doing it right” — our awards programme is, like BV itself, very much alive.

Happy reading, and have a happy Summer.

Hal Williams