The City Deal is a Treasury driven stimulus for empowering local areas to drive growth by putting greater resources and financial freedoms into the hands of local leaders and it is gaining much attention in Wales. It has the potential to deliver an extra investment of circa £1billion and if used wisely might have a significant and long-term impact on the economy of a region.
But could it also have an impact on Wales? After all, we are a small country in terms of population and could, with a bit of effort and innovative thinking, develop a plan that might transform the country rather than just a single city-region. My belief is that if can but to do so we will need to think and operate differently to the way things are currently aligned. [click to continue…]
I met Dido Harding a year or 2 back when she spoke at the Cardiff Business Club. She made a great impact on me as someone who is an inspiring leader, willing and able to get to the heart of the action and she clearly had exciting ambitions for the growth of the company that she was so obviously proud to lead. Not often do I see people in leadership positions that I instantly want to work with, but she was definitely one of them and I’m convinced that to work with her would be exciting, challenging and great, but very rewarding, fun.
Sadly today she is suffering an enormous challenge as a result of a cyber attack on the Talk-Talk systems. Many in similar positions in the past have hidden the issues from the public or tried to downplay the risks and challenges they have faced. But to her absolute credit she is out there, working the media airwaves, as the real leader of her company. Her message is a difficult one to deliver and it will be a challenge to convince people in the long term, but without doubt Talk-Talk has a remarkably fine leader at the helm and one I would still want to work with.
The line up for the Haka would not be this close today.
I was there in 2007, in Cardiff, when France took on New Zealand in the Quarter Final of the Rugby World Cup. It was one of those nights when you just knew that something was going to happen. From the moment I walked into the stadium and sat watching the teams warm-up it was clear that we were about to see a moment in rugby history. And the expectation was met, in spades.
France were “up for it” in a very French way and perhaps no more so than the way that they stood up to the Maori Challenge before the game started. It was the start of one of those great moments of sporting theatre and I hope we see the same excitement again this weekend as the 2 countries go head-to-head in this year’s RWC.
The final score that night was New Zealand 18 v France 20, a truly fantastic match that did both teams proud. Same again this weekend? Let’s hope so – whatever the result.