DISCUSSION CEDR 25th Anniversary Leadership Forum: What does winning look like?

by Yolanda Villafuerte _______7th July 2015

On 7th July 2015 Mark Goyder, Founder Director and CEO of Tomorrow’s Company, was invited to speak at the CEDR Leadership Forum. The forum, celebrating the 25th anniversary of CEDR, discussed the progress in leadership over the last 25 years, and the changes or shifts which are relevant to the future.

Speaking at the Forum, Mark Goyder drew attention to a wide body of evidence about what makes companies successful in the long term:

It is a clear focus on what we in Tomorrow’s Company call an inclusive approach to sustainable business success. Leaders start with a clear focus on the purpose and values of the organisation. They include all the key relationships as being important to its success.

The evidence shows us that companies which take this inclusive approach outperform companies whose eyes are narrowly on profit and shareholder value.

From the original business-led inquiry 20 years ago we argued that this should be the basis of how leaders, boards and investors think about and assess success.

For example: There are over 20,000 companies in Japan which are over 100 years old. There are 600 companies which have been successfully performing over 300 years. There are 30 companies which have thrived for over 500 years. There are five companies which have a successful legacy and history of over 1000 years. According to Professor Haruo Funabashi, who studied them, they have some common characteristics, which include leadership driven by clear values, vision and mission, a strong sense of legacy, a vision of the long term, an emphasis on the value of people, a commitment to society and “building the nation”, customer orientation, and innovation and continuous improvement.[1]

Looking ahead, Mark Goyder described the Churchill 21st Century Leadership Programme which Tomorrow’s Company is currently conducting:

It is very clear that companies which fail to understand an inclusive approach to business success, also fail to understand the aspirations of the millennial generation. Millennials want to feel part of something with purpose.



Sir Peter Middleton – Former Chair of CEDR and current Chair of Marsh UK – a global leader in insurance broking and risk management


The panel:

Helen Dodds – Head of Standard Chartered Bank’s Global Group Legal Department that she was instrumental in setting up in 2005

Mark Goyder – Founding Director of Tomorrow’s Company a global independent business-led think tank

Karl Mackie CBE – Chief Executive, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and co-author of International Mediation – the Art of Business Diplomacy

Nigel Nicholson – Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School and author of ‘The ‘I’ of Leadership’


[1] Living Tomorrow’s Company – Rediscovering the Human Purpose of Business, Mark Goyder, Knowledge Partners 2013.

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