• Is curry our next big export?

    A couple of years ago the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, asked me to head a body of chefs and owners to encourage Indian restaurants in Britain to take on apprentices to both help tackle rising youth unemployment and also create a new talent pool. He made the request because it was becoming increasingly difficult to […]

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  • Collective impact has power

    We all tend to live in our own bubbles. Businesses make goods and provide services that they hope will make them a profit. Governments devise laws and policies that civil servants then try to implement. People go to work to sustain themselves and raise their families. Charities identify problems and set about aiming to solve […]

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  • Hope out of Africa

    “You must come to Togo.” That’s not something you hear every day, but then it’s not every day that you have lunch with Terry Waite. We were at the Cinnamon Club, full of rubber-necking politicians, but everyone noticed this national treasure – though at 6ft 7in, he’s hard to miss.
    I was telling him about a […]

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  • Charm your way to success

    More than 20 years ago I ran a food and drink PR firm. This relationship model meant that business owners revealed their true selves to you, namely by articulating how they wanted others to view them. One restaurateur required media profiles of himself only and not his chef, even though I dared suggest that this […]

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  • Seeing the bigger picture

    Contrary to what many people believe the Queen says when you meet her (I haven’t had the pleasure), she doesn’t ask if you’ve come from far but instead poses this question: “Are you busy?” Taxi drivers and guests finishing breakfast meetings with me make a similar inquiry: “Do you have a busy day ahead?”
    The logic […]

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  • Show me the benefit!

    You may be surprised to learn that businesses in the US which make charitable donations are technically breaking company law. Standard memorandum and articles of association state that a company’s sole purpose is to maximise shareholder value. I’ve never heard of shareholders suing a business for giving money to charities instead of offering them more […]

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  • Show extremists who’s boss

    Will businesses eventually control governments? Not in the way the super-rich have made party donations to influence policy, but in how government views its realms of influence. This would have been a daft question even a few years ago. But two big changes in how governments view their own effectiveness, and how they see businesses […]

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  • Leading the way on skills

    Politicians rarely show an understanding of business, let alone have experience of running a company, so what are we supposed to do when asked to engage with them? I’ve met many ministers and shadow ministers and it’s laughable how little they comprehend our world. One claimed to identify with business because he once had a […]

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