Sir Stop press: deadlines can stunt creative thinking (The Business, 4/5 August). Stop press again: lack of deadlines can stunt business growth. I refer, of course, to recent research by Opodo, an online travel agency, on UK working hours.
It is certainly in Opodos interest to encourage us all to work smarter, not harder, and take a break. Nothing could drive up air travel quicker. But its in the interests of the rest of UK business to work smarter and harder.
In a recession, we must look to the business model that is the most effective. Despite the Enron and WorldCom debacles, this model can still be found on the other side of the Atlantic. And it is deadline-driven.
Head of new media
Learn to fail
Sir Re Deadlines can stunt creative thinking 4/5 August), I agree with Carl Franklins conclusion that companies should encourage their staff to work smarter rather than longer. Yet by suggesting that staff creativity increases without imposing deadlines is oversimplistic. Our experience is that its removing the stigma of failure that really increases creativity. Inside the company, we foster innovation through having a number of working environments such as desk areas, sofas, business lounges and games rooms. Externally, we encourage every one of our 2,500 associates to take time out to help in the local community. Its quality, not quantity, that matters.
Director, Corporate Communications
Capital One, Nottingham
EU path to riches
Sir I wonder what possessed Digby Jones (Labour is threatening Britains reputation in the marketplace, 4/5 August) to launch such a fierce attack on the governments policies. This, coming from such a leading business figure, will ring more alarm bells in overseas boardrooms than those to which he referred. It is surely a fact of life that we all need legislation, individuals and companies alike, to dissuade us from going astray. Unbridled capitalism leads us to scandals such as Enron and Worldcom.
The EU Commission, with its emphasis on a social partnership approach to work, is introducing better core values. What may be evolving there is a better framework and path to prosperity for industry and people.
Sir It is very true that England lacks a world-class athletics venue. However, because of a lack of belief before the Commonwealth Games in Manchesters ability to make it a real success, the only way for the project to be financially viable was to lease the stadium to Manchester City. The possession of 20:20 hindsight is a great ability.
Philip M Johnson
Does size matter?
Sir Understanding what functions are core is key to the outsourcing debate (The axemen who cut costs and not jobs, The Business, 4/5 August). Ask anyone what they do for a living and the second question is invariably how big is your company?.
Success is almost always equated with size. But why is it that a companys success is still measured by how many people are on the payroll? In the current climate, the need for firms to be agile and flexible is vital, but with a large headcount, difficult to achieve. …