Letter: National potential bogged down in porridge

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Sir: Christopher Huhne ('How to escape from our history of failure', 18 September) is right. Inflation and exchange rate policy, by themselves, can do little to improve the UK's international competitiveness.

As an executive in both the public and private sectors, I struggled to understand how both sectors, in their different ways, could perform so far short of their potential. Someone once encapsulated the feeling as 'being stopped by the porridge'.

More recently, as a consultant, I have become aware that many organisations, large or small, public or private, employ considerable numbers of people, at all levels and positions, who are capable of much more than they are able to achieve. Very many of these people feel stressed through being prevented from doing their jobs really well, or because they cannot work to their full potential. Even extra training and qualifications may not directly help in the absence of fundamental change.

The organisational barriers that create these situations are diverse and not always obvious, but they can be successfully attacked. Unleashing the underutilised abilities of people in companies and organisations all around us is the real key to transforming the competitiveness and the health of the country.

Yours faithfully,

BRUCE TOFIELD

Kenninghall, Norfolk

20 September

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