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Archie Norman ‘Turnaround King’

17th July 2012

Chairman of ITV and ‘turnround king’ of Asda, Archie Norman is one of Britain’s most prominent businessmen. He speaks to the FT about problem solving in business.

His first point is about Focussing on the destination. He talks about tough economic outlook leading to ‘choppy political waters’. He says that he electorate are looking for something bigger in terms of leadership: “a commitment to changing Britain and an unswerving focus on the end point. “

He then talks about Transforming the 20 worst inner cities. There are inner urban areas in the UK where social economic and educational problems create a spiral of decline. “Improve these failed communities and you will have reduced the cost of welfare and crime for a generation. They require tough love, more Heseltine and less Prescott. Intensive investment in education, crime reduction and enterprise will pay off.”

Norman suggests making the system as good at deregulation as it is at regulation. UK government has terrible at removing regulatory burdens and the system needs to change.

He also advocates scrapping High Speed 2 – a very expensive “grand project” which could “cost every taxpaying household £1,000 each for something that will deliver no great value for nearly 20 years.”

Finally, Norman recommends recognising that the problem in the NHS is not legislation or regulation. It is management.

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