What would you do if you found yourself unable to feed your family? It's a question people are having to ask themselves in increasing numbers in Britain today.
I'm a great believer that if we can keep things simple, we should. And trying to address the gender gap is no exception. One of the most successful measures we've introduced at Lloyds Banking Group over the past year is a role models programme. It was a very simple idea but has been phenomenally successful.
For almost everyone reading this blog, there will be one person, whether a teacher, a friend or someone in business, who has given you a vital leg up at one stage in your life and without whom you would not have done so well.
Some have suggested a consumer boycott of Bangladeshi garments at these retailers, but a boycott could be counter-productive because doing so could jeopardise the job security of the garment workers. The best course of action is to put consumer pressure on Primark. We can't shift our society's addiction to cheap fashion overnight, but we can insist that as the buyers, Primark must put pressure on their supply chain to adhere to the basic tenets of a safe working environment.
There are a plethora of lists citing the most innovative companies in the world published by some notable names in media. It does not matter that all differ in their membership; the debate of who is in and shouldn't be and who is missing but should be in is not important. What is important is that there are common principles of innovation to learn from and that can be drawn from the companies that are expertly surfing ahead on the wave of creativity.
Party hooliganism is not uncommon in Bangladesh, but this has multiplied in worrying proportions during the tenure of the current government. Some factory owners who are political cadres of the ruling party are known to use their employees as political pawns.
In the past year we've seen the amount of time UK freelancers are selling their services to companies abroad (and in particular to far Eastern countries) more than double on PeoplePerHour. You'd think that these are specialist services from the upper echelons of our labour force. But they are not.
Innovation is fermented at the margins with the angry, the ambivalent, the rejecters, and the 'do it yourselfers'. To some extent, provocation comes from getting inside the heads of the very people who have rejected you--or at least those who have an extreme or downright strange relationship with your brand or category.
My, we are a gloomy lot. Last week, I discussed the possible impact of a triple-dip recession. Last Thursday's GDP figures suggest that Britain's economy has so far avoided this fate. However, it is also clear that the government's hopes of steady growth of 2 - 3% a year have yet to be realised. And YouGov research for the Resolution Foundation finds that five years of economic troubles have left a deep mark on public opinion.
The real problem with any shareholder uprising against the undeserved meteoric rise in boardroom pay is that most shareholders couldn't care less what the people at the top pay themselves. Big institutional investors don't want to drive down executive rewards because they are also executives who want to get rewarded.
Our latest global forecast for the world economy shows prospects for steady gains in global economic growth throughout 2013 fading, amid signs that the recession in the euro zone is worse than expected and that China's recovery has stumbled.
Commentators who support the changes will focus on the simplification of the welfare system and improvement in work incentives that this new benefit will herald. Those worried about the impacts will wring their hands about likely difficulties with on-line claims, financial management and a small number of people who stand to receive less than under the current system. Both of these groups have a point.
The coalition government have, up to now, been fastidiously careful not to rattle the cage of a section of society well-known for its mainly Conservative leanings. It seems likely that any dent in this traditional groundswell of support could have disastrous consequences for the Tory Party's chances of remaining on the political map come 2015 and election time.
I would respectfully submit that there is no such thing as a triple-dip recession. It is not as if the periods of expansion separating the dips were characterised by Chinese (or even German) growth. We have instead been in a six-year economic stall where growth has barely fluctuated by more than a few tenths of a per cent either side of zero. Growth, or lack of it, has largely become a rounding error.
I've nothing against Winston Churchill popping up on our money - it's not actually the first time, having previously appeared on 1965 five-shilling pieces. Although it seems a little rude he's kicking off the only woman, the Queen not withstanding, who currently appears on any British banknote, social reformer Elizabeth Fry. Still, if the public had its way, it could be David Beckham staring back at us as we fork over our fivers, or even Robbie Williams. Those being just two of the more contemporary figures offered up by well-meaning Brits.
Advertising does matter. It provides choice. Good advertising can be an opportunity for a brand to add value to people's lives. It's time to be inventive and think how a brand can live in a positive, engaging way beyond its digital dimensions.