Lord Digby Jones – Projects, a changing world and leadership.

Projects, a changing world and leadership.


The world is changing. The western nations are giving way in growth terms to new emerging economies such as China and India. The wealth line that once moved west now is shifting eastwards and the expectations of millions of people is rising. At the recent PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference Lord Digby Jones, an active crossbencher in the House of Lords and a powerhouse leader for British Industry described growing up in a family of humble origins whose aspirations stretched beyond the norms of the time. He described how this is now being repeated in developing nations and their hunger for growth and what the wealthy nations have is unprecedented.


How that growth will be managed, the demand for greater democracy and the pollution that our Lord Digby Jones asked where the emerging markets will turn to buy their goods. He answered by saying that while he hoped they would buy Mini’s from Oxford, Phones from Vodafone in Newbury and fly in an Airbus made in the UK and Europe they will only buy from the west if we invest in projects, large and small, that will equip us for the next 100 years.industrial revolution produced are the challenges that lay ahead. These challenges will need to be met with strong leadership and project led change.

To do that, he said, would require 3 things:
One: Leadership to invest in projects in the public and private sector. He suggested that lack of money is not the problem. He gave examples of how other European nations have invested in large infrastructure projects and have done so efficiently and effectively. What we need is not more consultations and inquiries but action. This needs political will and vision led leadership.

Two: Better training for middle management. This will lead to greater efficiency and higher production. He traced the failure in this area right back to a failure in our education system where after 11 years of compulsory, free, full–time education 20% of the adult population in the UK functionally illiterate. The UK needs to lead the world not trail behind. He cited examples of France and Germany in how to train middle management to get maximum productivity. Leadership in education and training is a key priority.


Three: Leadership at project management levels. This is an area where we can all play our part. Each one of us can inspire or discourage. In our projects and in our daily lives we have the capacity to lead others and influence the way they think and behave. He gave some moving examples of leadership drawing on his experience in the Royal Navy.

Lord Digby Jones’s talk at the PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference is available on the development package for £149/year on The PM Channel.

Watch Lord Digby Jone’s talk on The PM Channel!


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