Following the broadband money

The art of war and coping with ambiguity

with 7 comments

In The Art of War Sun Tzu wrote, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

“Enemy” is far too strong a word in this context, but sometimes there are “hostilities” between the media and the spin doctors at BT.  So BrokenTelephone read with considerable interest the job ad for a head spin doctor for  internal communications & employee engagement at BT’s consumer division.

It’s a nice little earner, which is no doubt why it attracted 112 replies on LinkedIn before the computer said “No.” And there are lots of recent and not so recent redundant journalists who could do with the  “up to” £75,000 base (depending on experience) / £6,000 car allowance, pension, medical cover, 27.5 days leave, employee phone, broadband TV & BT Sport package / 15% bonus.

In return you’ll have to “provide strategic counsel and coaching to the business unit and stakeholders you support: operating  with flexibility in this fast paced dynamic environment to deal with a variety of stakeholders and projects, and cope with ambiguity.”

BrokenTelephone will give a £10 Amazon voucher for the  story that in the editor’s sole judgment, best shows BT “coping with ambiguity”. Simply use the comment box below to tell your story. Deadline is 5pm on 23 December 2013. If the winner decides to be anonymous, we can exchange details under separate cover.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2013/12/13 at 06:56

Posted in Uncategorized

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7 Responses

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  1. I don’t know of anything that has more ambiguity in it than this blog!


    2013/12/13 at 07:30

  2. If the “up to” on the salary works like my broadband that should work out at around £7,500. Experienced applicants would understand this, I’m sure.

    David Powell

    2013/12/13 at 07:35

  3. My entry is “the forecast of the level of cover and service that will result when telecoms engineers are given a budget to enable an exchange and upgrade its lines”. My first job (STC Microwave and Line, Basildon) entailed living in a hostel full of telecoms engineers. They would not forecast what they were not certain they could achieve, despite what they might find. They also liked to spend any remaining budget gold plating what they have done, instead of handing it back as profit. Hence the situation in Cornwall where BT is delivering far more (cover, speed and quality of service) than the original contract. The contrast with the attitudes of who came into broadband from an IT background could not be more extreme. Hence the source of much of the genuine “ambiguity” with which the new incumbent will have to deal.

    I should perhaps add that I have only heard this point made once in the Post Code debate – at the recent joint meeting of the Digital Policy Alliance with the Space Committee. I was sat next to an ex BT INCA supporter who was grumbling away until the BT spokesman finally commented on the genuine difficulty of predicting what would be covered (albeit he did not say why). He commented “at last some-one has said it” and then relaxed for the rest of the meeting.

    Philip Virgo

    2013/12/13 at 08:24

  4. Heraclitus (~500BCE) “All is flux”


    2013/12/13 at 12:10

  5. Thank You for the Art of War quote!

    So useful in soo many contexts! This blog seems to do for the victims of one corporation what I’m doing for victims of white collar criminals in general:

    The time for When Corporations Rule the World can’t be rewound.

    It seems that the questions now are whether individuals within corporations know themselves and what the battles are that corporations engage in!?…

    To hit the countryside that feeds the cities seems VERY suicidal.

    Sabine Kurjo McNeill

    2013/12/15 at 09:14

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