Wednesday, 7 November 2007

"What they did was priceless"

Although thinking through the risks and then managing them helps better decision making and implementation there are some decisions which do not seem to have any need of risk consideration, or do they?

One that came to mind today as I was in Aldermanbury in the City , where their action is commemorated by a bust and several inscriptions,was the decision by Henry Condell and John Heminge to collect and publish a set of plays. As they said "We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead....without ambition either of selfe profit,or fame, onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive."

In financial terms publishing the plays meant that Condell and Heminge gave away their rights to exclusive use of them.

The author had died 7 years previously and had shown no inclination to publish his plays, perhaps because he felt they were the company's property. Condell died 4 years after publication and Heminge 3 years later. Without their efforts the plays would have disappeared because none of the manuscripts have survived.

So after all there was a risk which was that without their action their worthy friend and fellow's memory would have died. Posterity owes them a debt of gratitude for their friend, as you will have guessed, was William Shakespeare.

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