This week’s focus: It must have looked like a good idea on paper, but the reality has been that the proposed “tax” on Cypriot bank deposits has turned a local crisis into a potential international catastrophe. A key part of the problem was that the paper upon which the idea was written was in Brussels, not Nicosia. As a result there has been national opposition to the tax, and it’s likely that when the banks eventually reopen they will be swamped with depositors looking to remove their savings.

The vast majority of decisions are best made as close to the point of delivery as possible. This is as true in business as it is in international finance. Give your teams clear goals and objectives, but let them come up with the solutions. Only then will you create the engagement and commitment that will be vital to the decision’s implementation.

Where are you making decisions in “Brussels” when they should be being made in “Nicosia”?

Off The Record: The Times They Are A-Changing by Bob Dylan

Come senators, congressman

Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway

Don’t block up the hall

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.