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Kate Fowler

Is purpose for real?

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Written by Michael Hilton and Charles Wookey

When BlackRock, the largest investor in the world, starts talking about purpose there can be little doubt that it is in vogue.  In his 2018 letter to CEOs Larry Fink states that “to prosper over time every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”  The new UK Corporate Governance Code – currently out for consultation – strikes a very similar tone.

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The 100 year life

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Written by Michael Hilton

What would you care about if you were likely to live for 100 years?

There is a lot written about millennials being different from other generations. So far in my time at Blueprint I’ve heard many (often older) folk pin their hopes on the young’s new found desire, as a generation, for a more purposeful and environmentally-friendly future. It’s the millennials, they say, who will insist that businesses become better employers and better stewards for our planet. Read More

A Blueprint for Better Business – October Newsletter

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Purpose & Performance

On 15 September 2016, a Blueprint for Better Business convened a panel discussion with top academics to explore the link between purpose and performance. The panel was chaired by Andrew Hill (FT) and was attended by around 150 business professionals. The event included London Business School Professors Alex Edmans and Ioannis Ioannou, Plymouth Business School Associate Professor Victoria Hurth, and Professor of Economics & Business Ethics at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Professor Helen Alford.

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Executive pay through the lens of purpose

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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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Living Wage and Beyond

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Written by Kate Fowler

Last week’s event, ‘How to create good jobs in low wage sectors’, organised by Oxfam and the Living Wage Foundation, was an insight into the benefits for both employees and employers not only of the living wage, but also of a general improvement in working conditions.

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How mental health in the workplace and corporate purpose are irrevocably linked

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Written by Charles Wookey

One in six workers experience depression, anxiety or unmanageable stress, a further one in six experience symptoms of mental ill health such as sleep problems and fatigue. Mental health is often still taboo in the workplace. This can mean employees keep quiet about their mental distress. As a result problems spiral and are often not identified until too late, exacerbating the business and human costs, as well as placing added strain on colleagues.

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Fully Immersed in Blueprint

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Written by Kate Fowler, A Blueprint for Better Business

‘What are your expectations?’ ‘What are your concerns that you hope Blueprint can address?’ ‘What are you excited about?’ These three questions faced the 20 participants of Blueprint’s most recent immersion workshop as they arrived for dinner on the first night. The workshops are designed to do exactly what they say on the tin: ‘immerse’ participants to give them a deep understanding of Blueprint. So what were my expectations? After three months working with Blueprint I have learnt about the benefits to both business and society if businesses operate to a purpose that serves society. But having never before attended an immersion workshop, I was less familiar with the deep thinking behind Blueprint – what exactly are Blueprint’s ideas based on? What distinguishes Blueprint from other projects in the same area?

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