Business creates and sustains jobs, provides families with financial security, and helps fund essential public services such as the NHS. So why does it get such a bad reception? From politics and the media to the arts and culture, business is often a dirty word, best not spoken. This is as true globally as it is in the UK.
In 1973 Stanford Professor Mark Granovetter’s “the strength of weak ties” argued that weak links, between people with different opinions help new and unfamiliar ideas spread.
By Funke Abimbola MBE, general counsel and head of financial compliance for Roche UK
Immigration was one of the thorniest issues of the EU referendum campaign. Highly political and emotionally charged, it is also dominating conversation as we negotiate our exit. And rightly so. Brexit, if mishandled, has the potential to severely damage both diversity and inclusion within the workforce. This would have a detrimental impact on UK PLC’s abilities to compete on the global stage.
By Joy Frascinella, head of PR at the Principles of Responsible Investment
Responsible investment has steadily moved from the periphery to the mainstream over the last decade. This is because an increasing number of companies and investors acknowledge that looking at environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues translates into myriad advantages, from improved staff performance to better returns.
By Patrick Spencer, Head of Work and Welfare Unit at the Centre for Social Justice
In his Budget, the chancellor Philip Hammond announced forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that the British economy will grow by 1.4 per cent in 2018, below previous forecasts of a 1.6 per cent expansion.
The reason? “Regrettably, our productivity performance continues to disappoint,” said Philip Hammond.
By Sam Knowles, Founder and Managing Director of Insight Agents
In a Sky News debate during the EU Referendum Campaign, the aide de camp in the Vote Leave group, Michael Gove, told Faisal Islam: “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts … experts out of organisations with acronyms, saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong.” If you have the stomach for it, it’s worth watching again, here.
Together with a couple of others, I have recently launched a campaign called Apology Clause, which we have conceived, created and will run on a pro bono basis.
The campaign aims to make it easier for businesses to behave with compassion when things go wrong, and thus for victims to have better recoveries.
Research from Ipsos Mori, the market research company, indicates many in politics and the media believe that businesses have a licence, or even an obligation, to speak out on important, and perhaps controversial, socio-political issues.
But if companies are considering taking a stand on a big social or political issue, what do they need to consider to get it right?
The printing press dates back to 1440. Before that hand-written manuscripts were only for the privileged few.
The press did more than make mass communications possible. It was one of the foundations of modern democracy. The press enabled people to share what they knew and discovered, to build on each other’s work. They didn’t have to start from scratch each time.
Capitalism is under threat and companies now face a more hostile environment in which to do business than at any time in the last 40 years.
A study by the Legatum Institute, a think tank, and Populus, the market research company, found that there is widespread support for Labour’s nationalisation agenda and much less support for free enterprise. For advocates of free enterprise, anyone who runs a business, and, as should be the case, is merely employed by private enterprise, the report makes sober reading.