Slowing Down to Speed Up

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Written by Charles Wookey

When my oldest son first went to primary school, his warm and wise reception teacher summed him up well: “that boy is on permanent fast-forward”. We never did find the pause button.  Even now, at 28, sitting still is not his forte. I’ve long realised that his father is partly to blame. My own nature is to crack on with life, filling each day with as much content as possible, and running when walking might do. Read More

Step 1

Management is broken – here’s how we can fix it

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Written by Julia Rebholz, originally published in People Management 

We need to start seeing people as individuals with limitless potential and trust them to make decisions, says Julia Rebholz

Top-down pyramidal structures are producing stressed-out middle managers, low productivity and poor working relationships. While this style of management was relevant for 1960s manufacturing jobs, in our 21st century service-based economy it is outdated and ineffective. Read More


Experiencing a culture shock

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I used to work for a global oil and gas company, which was process-driven and held up by traditional management practices. Now, I work for Blueprint: a small and relatively new charity. It’s fair to say that in transitioning from one to the other, I’ve experienced a degree of culture shock. Read More


Cracking the productivity challenge

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UK productivity is, according to latest reports, at an all-time low. The impacts of this decline is being described as ‘Bigger than Brexit’ in terms of damage to the UK economy. A recent BBC article states that: “Today’s productivity figures are bad to the point of shocking.” It goes on to detail a fall in productivity of 0.5% in the first three months of the year taking “the UK economy’s ability to create wealth back below the level of 2007”. This is uninspiring reading for us all, as we face unprecedented challenges in business and on political, environmental and social levels.

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In 2017 low tax demands high social value

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The trend for low tax rates to stimulate corporate behaviour is likely to be accelerated in 2017. A US administration that wants to use low tax rates to “re-patriot” cash and investment will add fuel to the fire of global tax competition that will put the laudable BEPS initiatives into the shade. That does not mean that they are conflicting initiatives because the public voice can reconcile the two.

Relationships of Value

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by Loughlin Hickey & Charles Wookey

Human Value cannot be subordinated to market value

When, as citizens, we make far-reaching decisions, it is all too familiar to see the headlines reporting how the markets have reacted. The risk is that we are being drawn to the markets and financial value to define what is good and bad for us as people. In short the benefit to us as people, the “human value”, is in danger of being subordinated to market value. We need to think carefully about the values system we choose to embrace.

Read the full article here

This piece was originally published in the Jericho Chambers Magazine ‘Revolutionary Times’. 

Executive pay through the lens of purpose

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Image result for 50 pound notes

Written by Charles Wookey

The banker J P Morgan, it is said, would never lend money to a business where the boss was paid more than 20 times the wages of the lowliest employee. Anything more, Morgan thought, showed that the boss was only in it for himself and the business was therefore a credit risk.

Now, a century after Morgan, executive pay is on a different scale  altogether. Last week the High Pay Centre reported that in 2015 the average FTSE 100 CEO was paid £5.5m – nearly 150 times the average employee wage.

This may seem normal for some leading executives as they benchmark against each other  – but there is increasing unease among  investors, employees, customers and society at large.  Resentment is spreading, and shareholder revolt is in the air.

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