There’s a tension happening between being grateful for personal safety and health and being incredibly concerned for those who are struggling and may be left behind. As we start to emerge, we need to think of the opportunities and use this time as a catalyst for real system change.
For me, the characteristics of businesses that survive are going to be the ones that can draw on a deep value system and focus on people, and their resiliency and adaptability as well. Because of globalisation, climate change and technological acceleration, the world is imminently unknowable. So businesses need a mission, but also need to build in resilience to face whatever is thrown at them.
Reflecting on system change – what’s the role of capitalism in society? What makes a great employer? What makes a long-term vision for society at large? And what’s the intersection of business and politics? It’s an opportunity to create mission-led initiatives in government and allow both public and private partnerships to make those things happen.
The neoliberalism which states that the only purpose of a business is profit doesn’t work. There is still a place for capitalism so long as it’s augmented with the idea of stakeholders rather than shareholders. Stakeholder capitalism means your shareholders have a seat at the table, but so too does the environment, your employees and your impact on society at large. Making money alone hasn’t really worked.
I am a father, husband, philosophy graduate, writer and an accidental businessman trying to help redefine the next era of capitalism to be more inclusive.
I am currently on the UK board of B Corp, a Venture investor in early-stage tech businesses and Vice Chairman of Simply Business – a business insurance provider trying to disrupt financial services with technology, service and data.
I joined Simply Business from the global dating website, match.com, where I was UK International managing director. Prior to this, I spent time working in the travel industry as managing director at Travelocity Business, Non-Executive at Skyscanner and in commercial roles at lastminute.com.
Simply Business was voted as the 2015 & 2016 Number One ‘Best Place to Work’ in the UK by The Sunday Times. Accredited as a B Corp in 2017.
In 2018 I published my first book with Virgin called Reboot – A Blueprint for Happy, Human Business in the Digital Age. The premise of the book is that headlines predict that whole industries will be decimated by Artificial Intelligence and automation. Some bosses and bankers are rubbing their hands at the prospect of cost savings and staff cuts. But there is another way. New technology can also empower teams, fuel creativity and make people happier.