Open Letter to The Daily Telegraph

Dear Reader,

The need to rebuild trust in business and public services has been widely discussed, but it will prove impossible without radical improvements in the quality of leadership and management.

This public debate has been overlooked for too long. Today’s report from the Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership makes clear that this is a critical moment.

Are British managers short-sighted short-termists or long-term growth visionaries? Those who cut costs often earn more respect for their 'hard-nosed' decisions than those who take riskier, more innovative paths to growth.  Public sector organisations and social enterprises can also be guilty of putting financial targets before service delivery and social value.

Managers must create value for all stakeholders: shareholders, society and staff alike. Our global competitiveness depends on it. So today, we are launching a campaign for a Better Managed Britain.

We say employers need to focus on three critical areas: Purpose, People, and Potential.

Boards must refocus on their organisation’s social purpose beyond just making money, setting measurable commitments not only to investors but to customers, suppliers, employees, communities and on the environment.

We need managers who are recruited for their attitudes and values, trained to inspire and support people, and rewarded not only on their results but on how they get them.

And we must focus on the long-term over the distractions of the short-term.  Managers must build for the future, developing the next generation's potential by working with our education system and providing access to the world of work to nurture new leaders.

Today we are calling on leaders of businesses, public services and social enterprises to start with an honest self-appraisal to identify where they could make improvements, and take action to unlock long-term sustainable growth.