British managers must build for the future

Businesses and public-sector organisations need to focus on their social purpose rather than financial targets
Rebuilding trust in business and public services will prove impossible without radical improvements in the quality of leadership and management.


Are British managers myopic short-termists or long-term-growth visionaries? Those who cut costs often earn more respect for their “hard-nosed” decisions than those who take innovative paths to growth. Public-sector organisations and social  enterprises can also be guilty of putting financial targets before service delivery and social value.


Boards must refocus on their organisation’s social purpose beyond just making money, setting measurable commitments not only to investors but to customers, suppliers, employees, communities and the environment.


We need to recruit managers for their attitudes and values, training them to inspire and support people, and rewarding them not only for their results, but on how they get them. Managers must build for the future, working with our education system to nurture new leaders and give them access to the world of work. Managers must create value for all stakeholders: shareholders, society and staff alike. Our global competitiveness depends on it.

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