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11th October 2020

09.10.2020

For all of you who kindly follow our weekly updates, I am pleased to report I now have a new gold crown on my tooth and can now return to enjoying a Sunday dinner of roast pork and chew a piece of crackling without the fear of breaking my dodgy tooth. Ahh, life’s small pleasures!

So, when we embarked on producing our weekly newsletters, I wanted to find the best way for me to keep up to date with the weekly news and thus keep my articles fresh and relevant to what was happening in the current week. I had become a little weary of the poor reporting from the popular news channels so decided to subscribe to ‘The Week’. What attracted me to this publication was the feedback from a couple of famous readers - It's the quickest way of finding out what's been happening all over the world and The Week is the ideal paper for those who are too lazy or too busy. I am both and proud of it. Yes, I thought, that is the one for me!

6 months later I have also succumbed to subscribing to a couple of authors' newsletters. I wanted to share the latest from Adam Grant who is an organisational psychologist and author. Bear with me on this! This is what caught my eye recently:

2020 has forced us to rethink many of our basic assumptions—from how we work to where kids learn to what it takes to stay healthy. Yet in our daily lives, too many of us still favour the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt.

We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. We need to develop the skill—and the will—to rethink our views.

This is the topic of Adam’s new book - THINK AGAIN. It focuses on how we think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval. If we thought more like scientists searching for truth, we could develop the humility to know what we do not know and the flexibility to change our minds as the world changes around us.

As you know, my better half Dr B (as she is now known) is a scientist. She warmed to the above analogy of thinking like a Scientist. For me, it made me think of two political hot potatoes – Brexit and the American election, especially when I read these 2 headlines in relation to the above:

In America - The ousted director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine has quit his post at the National Institutes of Health, charging that the Trump administration “ignores scientific expertise, overrules public health guidance and disrespects career scientists”.

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has hinted that Boris Johnson is willing to compromise with the EU about the contentious issue of state aid in order to land an “eminently achievable” trade deal.

For the team at Brunel, we continue to challenge our thought process; encourage new ideas and processes and evolve our financial planning and investment proposition to try and make it the best it can be.

… and finally, the death of Eddie Van Halen from throat cancer, aged 65, brings to a close one of the most colourful and lucrative sagas in American rock music. If Aerosmith was the premier US hard rock band of the 1970s, it was Van Halen who stepped into their shoes during the 80s. Formed around the Van Halen brothers, the guitarist Eddie and the drummer Alex, the band rode a tidal wave of multi-platinum albums over a 15-year period. Few other acts have come close to matching their commercially combustible mixture of spectacular and addictive rock, flamboyant stage performances and outsized personal behaviour. RIP in Eddie.

David Buchan

David Buchan
Finance Director

CII

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