Blog: What goes on behind the scenes...
Dave Leggett | 9 January 2009
Companies, whatever business they are in, are a reflection of the people who work in them. There's a culture inside any company that makes it a unique thing, a social enterprise or whatever you want to call it. They're all different and we've all got our take on them. And that's great. Companies are one manifestation of the human condition. And they're never boring.
Sometimes you wonder: how on earth can that have happened? I could write things in here that would really demonstrate the point, things I know about that aren't in the public domain, but we'd probably have the lawyers in, so I'll resist that.
I'll just mention a couple of public eyebrow raisers. Volkswagen's lurid works council slush fund scandal last year springs to mind. And I was recently reading details about Siemens' system for enacting bribery. Imagine a 'cash desk' in the office where you go to fill a suitcase with banknotes. And they used to claim tax deductions in Germany on the openly declared expenditure! Utterly amazing. And Siemens ended up just politely admitting to it all and taking the fines on the chin (you can almost see it being calmly presented to shareholders as a cost of doing business - an 'exceptional item').
And I have just read something that has hit the press following an Employment Tribunal involving McLaren (below link). Whether the stuff is true or not, what goes on inside many companies is frequently unusual, sometimes corrupt or occasionally just plain weird and no amount of legislation and regulation will ever stop that being the case while corporations are run by humans rather than androids.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...