Optimism: A new study sponsored by a British telecommunications company suggests that faith and hope, if properly channeled, can lead to great success, even in trying economic times.
Forget education, great contacts and networks or mentoring, it's the obstinacy of personality that drives people to business success.Requiem: In fulfillment of their mission statement to "proclaim the relevance of the living gospel of Jesus Christ in today’s world", and "...to make real the glory and presence of God in the world", the largest cathedral in Britain will be playing John Lennon's 1971 song "Imagine" on the Liverpool church's bells.
That's the finding of a new study by O2, the mobile phone operator, to coincide with the launch of this year's OX Awards, which kick off this week to find the UK's best male, female and young entrepreneurs of the year.
The research asked 500 business people what drove them, and why. Simon Devonshire, head of O2's small business marketing, says that the research showed that the "obsessive optimism" trait is even more important in the current climate.
Only 14 per cent of those surveyed said that formal education was important to their success while fewer than a third had any formal business qualifications. ...
An online poll of Church Times readers found that 64 per cent were against playing the song on Liverpool Cathedral’s bells.
Despite the opposition, Liverpool Cathedral said that it had considered the “sensitivities” aroused by the song’s content.
Plot: Are Somali pirates being directed by "well-placed informers" operating out of London? This is the contention of a Spanish radio station that claims to have obtained a copy of a military intelligence report issued to European navies.
These London-based "consultants" help the pirates select targets, providing information on the ships' cargoes and courses.
In at least one case the pirates have remained in contact with their London informants from the hijacked ship, according to one targeted shipping company.
"The information that merchant ships sailing through the area volunteer to various international organisations is ending up in the pirates' hands," Cadena SER reported the report as saying.
This enables the more organised pirate groups to study their targets in advance, even spending several days training teams for specific hijacks. Senior pirates then join the vessel once it has been sailed close to Somalia.
Captains of attacked ships have found that pirates know everything from the layout of the vessel to its ports of call.
Despite its reputation for creating lowly-paid, insecure "McJobs", the firm has made significant investments in employee training and now runs some of the most respected in-house programmes on the high street.
Last year it was one of the first companies approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to offer practical qualifications to A Level standard.
More than 2,500 people have already signed up to the "basic shift management" scheme, which covers customer services, marketing and human resources, and a degree-equivalent management course is in the pipeline.
David Fairhurst, the chain's chief people officer, told the Financial Times that once these courses had been perfected McDonald's had ambitions to offer more academic qualifications to ambitious staff.
"One day I'd love to see us doing a PhD. I definitely think we can go as far as we can," he said, adding that the firm's awarding power already made it "a univesrity in its own right".