The Economist’s columnist “Schumpeter” (15th Feb 2014) reports that a growing number of businesses from non-Anglophone countries are adopting English as their official language.
Numerous German and French multinationals now use English in board meetings and official documents. In Audi, it is impossible to progress through the management ranks without good English. Lufthansa made English its official language in 2011,
Corporate English is even invading more difficult territory, such as Japan. Uniqlo’s parent Rakutsen, Honda and Bridgestone have switched to English.
Schumpeter lists the obvious reasons – easier recruitment of global talent, reaching global markets, assembling multinational production teams and integrating acquisitions.
But there are other, less obvious ones. English, says the article, promotes free thinking because it is free from the status distinctions of Asian languages. BCG notes that German firms get through their business much faster in English than in laborious German. And when Germany’s Hoechst and France’s Rhone-Poulenc merged in 1999 to become Aventis, it was decided to run the firm in English, rather than having to choose between German and French.
The writer believes there is no real alternative to English. (Mandarin, he says, is one of the most difficult to master, and least computer-friendly.)
To read more, and discover the risks that native English speakers face from the spread of their language, see www.Economist.com/blogs/Schumpeter. And if you are not a regular reader of The Economist, you are missing out…
BLT – Building Leading Talent
A recent article in the FT (Feb 14) about the Big Four accountancy firms and the threat from regulators to break them up made interesting reading, not least because it included some figures about worldwide revenues and headcount.
Breaking down the FT’s figures to separate out the consulting businesses, I’ve estimated the following:
Firm Consultancy Revenue Number of Consultants
Deloitte $11bn 69,000
PwC $11bn 62,000
EY $9bn 60,000
KPMG $8bn 53,000
Please treat these as approximations. I take the blame for any errors….
Are you a really great friend? Do you always have your buddies’ best interests at heart?
For example if you knew a friend that was considering looking for a new job in their Indirect Tax / Management Consultancy career you’d be sure to tell them about that perfect role you’d seen advertised with BLT. You’d be filled with pride that you were thoughtful enough to think of your friend and to have guided them towards a specialist recruiter in their field… but best of all if your referral is eventually placed by us you will receive your very own, brand new i-Pad Air! It’s a win-win situation as your pal will have found a great new role and you will have received a great new gadget to play with.
“I don’t want / already have an i-Pad Air” I hear you shout – don’t worry we can show our appreciation by making a donation to a charity of your choice.
This offer only applies to any referrals made after 1st of February 2014. Any referrals need to be made before 31st of July 2014 when this offer ends and does not apply to the referral of any candidate already actively registered with BLT.
A report from OC&C Strategy Consultants highlights the international strength of the UK’s fashion retailers. Britain’s on-line retail sector generated the largest trade surplus, beating the US and Germany, thanks to brands such as Asos, Barbour and Burberry.
A consultant is working late into the night at a client’s office. The client’s CEO comes to his desk, clutching a sheet of paper.
Pointing to the shredder, he says “Can you help me with this machine, please? Normally I’d ask my PA, but it can’t wait until morning. This is an important and confidential document.”
“Sure.” The consultant switches on the machine, and feeds the paper into it.
“Thanks,” says the CEO. “Just one copy.”
The winning joke was sent in by Peter Thompson of Peniche, Portugal. He has chosen a Carluccio’s luxury hamper as his prize.