The Business Matters Trust is very grateful to DWF Biggart Baillie for hosting this breakfast interview with Jonathan Aitken, to David Laing of Ledingham Chalmers for acting as chairman/interviewer, and to Jonathan himself for giving of his time to participate in a candid and transparent manner, answering questions from those attending.
Rather than try and give a written report on what was a wide ranging and fascinating discussion, we are pleased to offer the chance to listen to a recording of the morning.
This recording is in four parts (accessible via the icons at the foot of the page) to allow easy access to the sections and there is a very short written summary of the questions each excerpt covers.
Part 1 (19 min) – a welcome from David Laing, some introductory thoughts from Jonathan Aitken and the response to the first question:
- “What lessons can we learn from business failures we may have experienced?”
Part 2 (15 min) – covering the following:
- “Can you give some examples of early warning signs we should look out for before we actually fail?”
- “Politics and the Church – do both institutions (and individuals within them) live ‘delusionally’ and feel unable to admit failure or even that they may be weak and vulnerable?”
- “In the business sphere is there a moral problem with rhetoric and reality – how far can we go in advertising and stating our aspirations even if we know we will struggle to fulfil them?”
Part 3 (11 min) – answering:
- “In the TV-AM situation where there was cronyism, was there anyone either inside or outside who was challenging the decisions being made?”
- “Since we all inevitably do and will fail, how do we learn from that failure and develop resilience?”
Part 4 (12 min) – addressing the following final questions:
- “Talking about rehabilitation – how difficult is it?”
- “How could we, in this room, make a change in someone else’s life so that they avoid a life which leads them to prison?”
- “Having come this far in your life, what now are your goals and ambitions?”
Those present showed their appreciation for Jonathan’s willingness to spend time sharing his insights with them.
Consultant to business matters