Now I know what a steamroller can do. The last year has been the most dramatic and the most traumatic ever for the co-operative sector. For years, you wait for the mainstream business press to pick up on the potential of the co-operative model in today's more open and fluid world of enterprise, and then...wham.
The challenges of The Co-operative Bank and the furore around the role of the former chair, made co-operatives - businesses that are member-owned - an unhappy national news story in late 2013. Three months on and I feel that I can breathe again. But what difference did these high profile troubles make to the wider co-operative sector and the long-term reputation of our business model?
For those firms which misstep, fallout can be very damaging, both for the financial bottom-line and reputationally. However, for those which are pro-active and invest in their capability, the prizes -- both in terms of mitigating risk and seizing opportunity -- are potentially ever more significant.
Warren Buffett isn't often wrong. Yet he was when he said: 'It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.' Most reputations are severely damaged because an organisation has failed over many years to operationally live up to the high expectations set by their PR and marketing activity.
As this area of communication continues to develop we will continue to see news stories where you can't help but wonder how someone could have been so naive'? Yet, employers must also make sure that they don't end up on the wrong end of a tribunal decision (or the media) by taking a decision that could ultimately be considered unreasonable or disproportionate.
It's certainly not going to be easy for Nike to distance themselves from Pistorius. And they won't be helped by having Nike adverts appear next to editorial stories of brand ambassadors caught up in all sorts of trouble. But this is going on every single day in markets across the world. Due to the nature of online advertising, once an advert is sent out from the original advertiser, they basically give up their control of where the content lands.