European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has used the words of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher to warn current prime minister Boris Johnson over his stance on the withdrawal agreement. Meanwhile, Phil Ashworth, managing director of Exensor Technology, has spoken about the importance of building longterm working relationships and how this will hold the key to his company’s success, regardless of how the talks between the UK and the EU conclude.
Leadership in Focus
Exensor Technology Ltd was established in 1987 and has become the most accomplished provider of networked unattended ground sensor systems in the world. Their ‘Flexnet’ software is capable of building invisible borders that use passive infrared and seismic acoustic capabilities to spot intruders.
Writing in The Parliamentary Review, Exensor’s managing director Phil Ashworth emphasised the huge role his longstanding clients have played in the development of the company and the software they produce
‘Listening to and taking care of our longstanding clients, and working with them to provide solutions that reach way beyond their expectations, has always been paramount. What has worked in the past, how goals have been achieved and what we could have done differently are always questions that we ask of ourselves and our customers.
‘We also understand that great invention and innovation can only be truly great if it solves a problem. And that’s why we place our clients at the centre of our work – not just the technology! Listening to our clients and examining the world around us helps when we select the best areas of technology in which to concentrate our substantial reinvestment.’
Turning his thoughts to Brexit, Mr Ashworth again emphasised how crucial these longstanding relationships will be going forwards.
‘Based in the UK, partnered with our Swedish counterparts and with a French parent company, we truly are a modern-day blended family. As a forward-looking European company we have been working with our continental friends from the very outset and we foresee no change in this harmonious partnership, whatever the UK’s future relationship with the European Union may be. We’ll also maintain our ongoing relationships outside of Europe, the potential being that these will become stronger as trade agreements strengthen.’
These sorts of insights are so often missed in Brexit-related discussions. Often what determines whether one organisation trades with or works with another is not the trade laws that governments agree, but the relationships that organisations and individuals build with each other.
The Times reports on Mrs von der Leyen’s words at the European Commission’s annual ‘state of the union speech.’
Quoting Mrs Thatchers words from the 1975 ECC referendum campaign, she said: ‘Britain does not break treaties. It would be bad for Britain, bad for our relations with the rest of the world and bad for any future treaty on trade we may need to make.’
Mrs von der Leyen added, ‘it was true then and it is true today.’
In the same paper, columnist and Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein came out strongly against the government’s recent intimations that it would break the law in ‘limited and specific’ ways, warning that the move may be unpopular even among Brexit supporters:
‘Some people voted to “Get Brexit Done” as the next step in a war, but many others voted to “Get Brexit Done” because they wanted it settled, finished, over. And these people will not be impressed that, having been told by the prime minister that all they had to do was slam his deal in the microwave, they did as he said, waited for the oven to ping and found the deal was still frozen in the middle.’
The Daily Telegraph highlights the Archbishop of Canterbury telling the prime minister that the rule of six is ‘damaging’ and advising him to resist enforcing such restrictions on the country at large:
‘We are not immune to the temptation to pull more decisions into the centre, to feel that “something is being done”.
‘But it is a temptation that should be resisted. Often that “something” might not be as effective as what could be done locally. Scotland and Wales have shown that local public health is the best qualified to deal with local outbreaks. Local government, schools and voluntary agencies – including churches – can communicate well, act swiftly and measure risk and consequences on the ground.’
Leadership in History
On this day in 1997, one day after google.com was registered as a domain, the technology firm Apple Computer Inc names co-founder Steve Jobs as Interim CEO.