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Business is fun


I've often wondered whether I don't have the skills to be a tradesman. My wife would absolutely say "No Way!", but it is still nice to dream of working with wood and creating something pleasant to look at or better still, be a plumber and deal with creating new central heating systems or fixing bursts or just simply dealing with the waste products of the world...well on second thoughts, maybe not. Maybe a joiner after all... There is something satisfying I guess about making a "thing" and then getting paid for it.

But now I think about it, an accountant is a master craftsman too: kind of like electricians and joiners and plumbers all rolled into one. [That's me made a couple (at least) of enemies].

Accounting isn't about adding up the numbers. That's bookkeeping. Accounting starts afterwards; business advice starts after we have the numbers and that's why as a master craftsman we spend as long as any tradesman getting to understand what business is about and THEN another 3 or 5 years serving our apprenticeship.

Sorting the "plumbing" in any business is a four stage process.

'I'm here about the cash flow.' - An Andertoons Cartoon

First we need to identify what the symptoms are or what the outcome is that's needed.

Secondly we analyse the data, the evidence, and check if that is consistent with the symptoms.

Thirdly test out some diagnoses of what it could be that's causing the problem.

Fourthly arrive at the solution and finally work with the business owner to fix the problem by fixing what's broken or creating something new to get a better result.

Just like a Doctor. Just like a Plumber. Just like a Joiner.

Except that we turn up on time and when we say we will.



Screen play

I find it difficult to read long tracts of text on a computer screen. Especially narrative. Maybe this is because my brain is conditioned to see reading on screen as needing to be fast and in "byte" sized chunks only; because I need the kernel of tax information or the accounting rule in a few words (in joke!).

Everything these days is chunked down to small bits - twitter limits you to 140 characters - and no one seems to want to spend more than 1 or 2 minutes on any web page searching for information. And that piece of information is taken directly from my own web stats. So small is beautiful it seems.

This blog post has been commented on 12 times, tweeted 22 times, and actually read 3 times! - An Andertoons Cartoon

And using technology for obtaining information or knowledge is commonplace today. However what is more worrying is the obsessive desire for interaction across media platforms. Eh? Let me explain...

The world has become interactive-mad. The News channels are desperate for our thoughts and ideas but in byte sized chunks only. Not usually because they want to use OUR story but simply they want our reactions. In the pre tweeting days, reactions were given in the pub or round the dinner table or at work round the photocopier. Because you could have a discussion you were part of, where you could follow the thread of the argument and where you could take sides. Interactive news programmes add nothing to OUR lives and I suspect little to the lives of others. The urge to comment because we can and because we have been invited to seems to overwhelm common sense and a measure of how the outcome is changed by our interaction.

Social media (another pro & reactive platform) works - I don't doubt that for one moment - for some though it is a forum where they can gratuitously listen in on others' conversations without requiring them to participate and contribute. But at least Social media attempts to have a conversational/ discursive approach: interactive news does not. Using social media in a conversational manner indirectly requires you to have read the subject of the conversation in the earlier tweet and so it is similar to the news programmes except that the conversation/ argument/ debate continues with responses from the participants and new ideas are introduced potentially as it goes along. Just like an old fashioned debate or discussion.

The interactive technologies are in your face - fast, interactive, zooming on to the next trending topic - comments out of date before the ink would have been dry on the page; comments superseded by 10 others in as few seconds. Ideas and thoughts disappearing into a void.

Twitter at least offers some satisfaction of completing a conversation with a reaction often. At least someone is out there. Listening. Gratuitously or not.

Is there anyone there?

...sounds of a low wind and the gentle rustle of leaves as the scene fades to blackness......

Apparently not!