Pick One Number

Annual UK migration figures. A spicy subject for the ‘island monkey’ ‘rosbifs’ of Europe.

The debate is regrettably lose-lose.

Whichever side you’re on – and there is nothing resembling a fence on this – there is a figure for you. Your social media ‘echo chamber’ of choice resounds to the horror or happiness you count.

The headline figure most observers went with first was overall net migration; 330,000.

Then, dependent upon stance, drill down prominence varied.

All sorts of numbers were held forth.

28% increase year-on-year

4% were asylum seekers (25,771, 10% up)

8.3m born abroad – the most ever; 1 in 8 (13%) of the populus

188,000 are students

800,000 consider themselves Polish, the largest non-UK bloc

750,000 Indian’s constitute the single most non-UK born

189% more Romanians and Bulgarians came; now totalling 53,000

89,593 Chinese arrivals, the most from any country

10,000 higher than previous peak ten years ago

5.3m (8.4%) have non-British nationality

every 50secs someone enters country intending to stay

BBC’s irrepressible Eddie Mair asked a trio to highlight their most important number from the “blizzard of stats”.

196,000 – non-EU net migration – Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory, Oxford University

183,000 – net from within EU – Sam Bowman, Deputy Director, Adam Smith Institute

636,000 – total immigration – Douglas Carswell, UKIP MP

In this post so far, there’s been 14 figures. On one topic.

Everyone has their own pet number.

And so it is with any problem we resolve. Any new product we get given. Any ambition we hold.

Each of these can make for a useful internal periodical meet task.

Ask all individually to think on their personal favourite number in your chosen area.

Then after a few short minutes thought, get them to verbalise the meaning of it to the room. As if they were speaking to a prospect.

Hopefully you’ll garner several new ways of framing a winning pitch. That convey both the essence of your uniqueness and makes you remembered. And the room can settle on one figure they think the best that they must tell everybody they meet.

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