Publication UK Business: What’s wrong? What’s next?

by Luke Robinson _______9th May 2016

Executive Summary

The approach that we take to making companies successful affects everything we do and everything we value as a society. Too often we look to politicians for the answers to all our problems, when in reality it is companies that develop new products, provide employment and invest for the future. The world faces considerable challenges over the next few decades. A different business approach will be critical in overcoming these.

In 2015 Tomorrow’s Company brought together leaders across business, government, and NGOs to develop a positive and practical vision for how companies can be a force for good in the future.

Watch the presentation of the report

Throughout the year we held interviews, dialogues and events to identify and discuss future challenges. Below you can download the interim reports that resulted from our discussions and surveys:

Tomorrow’s Compliance Solutions

The Future of Supply Chains

Round table summary: Embedding purpose

Round table summary: Executive pay

Round table summary: Overcoming short-termism

Futures Project survey April 2015


Commenting on the report:

John Neill, CEO, Unipart:
“The number one strategic challenge facing business and the UK is growth. We need to grow the economy and to do so; we need to have enterprises and businesses that create growth opportunities both domestically and globally.

This means we have to be competitive and innovative, both of which derive from improved productivity. As the report shows, our current track record is not good. It has to change to avoid leaving a dreadful legacy to our children and grandchildren. I therefore highly recommend that business leaders read and consider the recommendations of the report and the Tomorrow’s Company approach. I am convinced it is a superior business model that can help solve many of the problems facing our country today.”

Andy Wood, CEO, Adnams:
“Sustainability, social purpose and strong relationships lie at the heart of Adnams’ success. This approach, based on purpose and values, relationships and the long-term, has been advocated by Tomorrow’s Company for the last 20 years. However, this approach has still not been adopted widely and business can and has to do better. This report re-emphasises this approach and puts forward a positive agenda for business success. It demonstrates why Tomorrow’s Company is needed now more than ever.”

Peter Taylor, CEO, TTP:
“Businesses need to take measured risks to be able to grow and innovate their business. At TTP we do this by having a clear purpose of world-class innovation and science rather than purely making money. This report emphasises the importance of embracing measured risk in order to invest in the long term.”

Lord Haskel, House of Lords:
“Speaking in Parliament, Lord Haskel said that the causes of low growth are not only economic they are also social.  This needs an alternative business approach with clear purpose, values and collaboration.  These ideas are not new but they have been clearly shown to work.  More than ever their time has come.  This approach is re-emphasised in Tomorrow’s Company’s timely new report”.

Scott Steedman, Director of Standards, BSI:
“The long term approach described in the report which depends on working with stakeholders to reach a consensus of what good looks like in business and enterprise, is a message that the UK’s National Standards Body, BSI, warmly supports. Effective stakeholder contribution and collaboration will be delivered in part through a wider awareness and deeper understanding of the role of business standards across industry.”

Paul Druckman, CEO, IIRC:
“This report draws together the challenges facing business and the capital markets to make a compelling argument of the need for change. It highlights the role in recognising the broader drivers of value as a means to tackle these, and how this can be helped by broader disclosure from companies. I would call this integrated thinking disclosed through an integrated report.”

Dominic Barton, McKinsey:
“Congratulations to Tomorrow’s Company on producing this wonderful and very comprehensive report. I commend both its vision and its practical thinking  and will be sharing it with colleagues and the many people with whom I am working to promote capitalism for the long term.”

David Tyler, Chairman, Sainsbury’s:
“Business leaders are concerned about the low trust the public has in business. They might find some solutions in Tomorrow’s Company’s latest report which offers a practical approach based on purpose and values, relationships and the long term.”

Jane Galvin, Managing Director, Head of Eastern Region, Barclays:
“Relationships lie at the heart of business success. Organisations therefore need to build and grow relationships and partnerships with all their stakeholder groups over the long term. The key for any stakeholder relationship is the level of communication and open dialogue you have. The more open dialogue you have, the more trusted you become in all of those fields. The strength of this report lies in its emphasis on relationships, purpose and values and the long term.”