I have seen a few examples of dodgy numbers in my career, and the one universal truism that exists is that if the basis upon which the numbers are based is wrong, the conclusions that will be drawn from them have a good chance of being wrong too.
And the other golden rule on numbers is that if you compare two sets of numbers, you need to make sure the basis for comparison is the same.
Bear in mind context is everything.
For example, if you compared the numbers of people who missed their flights from Gatwick in May 2020 compared to 2019, you might conclude that people have become a lot more punctual.
And that illustrates one of the problems of comparing our death rate with other countries, there are so many variables - population density, average ages, how the numbers are collated - even down to the definition of what is a coronavirus death (died from or died with ?)
All of which makes the navel gazing that is beginning to happen in this country all the more infuriating. I'm sure we'll all learn much more, and get fed of hearing about it, over the next five - thirty years of public enquiries...
Missed an edition ? See them at
What are my positives today ?
1. Life is beginning to get back to normal ?
Is it my imagination, or are we just seeing things heading back to where they should be ? Perhaps with less face to face interaction and hopefully a bit less travelling around.
Sadly this is sector specific - hospitality, tourism and many others are going to be stuck in the doldrums for a good while as yet. But if you are in a recovery sector, make sure you react in the right frame of mind.
For example I once had a client whose in-house accountant was under-used. The client's solution was to get the accountant doing telesales. The results were, shall we say, poor - and a few of the calls were taped to see why. When reading this adopt a dull monotone, normal accountant voice.
"Hello, it's Graham here from Widget Ltd. I've been told to ring up and see if you want to buy any doors from us. But I don't suppose you'd want any, I can see if I can get a price for you if you're really that interested "
2. Efficiency is Improving
For the businesses that are able to trade, efficiencies are often being off the scale. Getting more from less is the business alchemist's dream and is happening. Some of the surplus 'nice to have' has been cut/furloughed, leaving productive 'must have'
Just be careful if you're in this boat that things don't get too stretched...
3. A business with a second life
I have a client who is passionate about her business. It is in a niche craftsperson led industry and in many ways a dying trade.
It has had a few false dawns over the years, but has needed more than anything else someone with a blend of the craft skills, business acumen and drive to move it forwards.
A combination of factors associated with lockdown have led such a person to and through the front door. Early days, but the signs are encouraging - I just hope that twenty years of faith might be rewarded this time.
Stay safe, stay positive
Exercise classes at our house for Lizzie and friends. Combined with a bit of Harry Potter style magic. "Turn these rotten old fence panels into firewood"