Bruce Carnegie Brown warns bosses of new social responsibility challenges in tech economy

  • CMI President uses Aston University MacLaren Memorial Lecture to say data-driven businesses must balance social and commercial responsibilities
  • Social media is changing the priorities of leaders
  • Acting responsibly is must be an essential attribute for bosses

The President of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the only professional body for management and leadership, has warned business leaders and students in Birmingham of the challenges facing bosses in the rapidly evolving tech and data-driven economy.

Speaking at the annual MacLaren Memorial Lecture at Aston University, Bruce Carnegie-Brown highlighted the need for bosses to consider the wider implications of their business decisions in which companies hold ever greater amounts of data, as well as face heightened scrutiny through social media.

Carnegie-Brown, who is also the chairman of Lloyd's of London, said:

With information more accessible than ever before, those that own or collect data find themselves with huge amounts of power - both social and commercial. But with great power comes great responsibility and balancing these two forces is the greatest leadership challenge of today’s generation of business leaders.

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, CMI President

Carnegie-Brown also told the 200-strong audience that the digital revolution is having a transformative effect on the priorities of business leaders, which pose new management challenges:

The growth of social media has made an invaluable contribution in democratising the control of information, in increasing transparency through universalising access to data and doing it in real time.

Visual images re-broadcast globally of the impact of business on the environment, whether in the exploitation of labour in developing economies or the damage to our oceans caused by plastics, have dramatically altered the priorities of business leaders as the ‘how’ becomes as important as the ‘what’ in evaluating a company’s performance.

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, CMI President

Carnegie-Brown said that Millennials, as digital natives, understand this revolution better than any other generation and that they must gain skills needed to lead as they start their careers:

CMI's 21st Century Leaders report found that 70% of employers want all university students to have access to management, enterprise and leadership modules to improve their employability. It is up to organisations like CMI to work with universities and employers to help graduates and post-graduates gain the skills we need and the employers want in our leaders of the future.

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, CMI President

The MacLaren Memorial Lecture is an annual event held jointly by Aston University and the CMI. The event has run since 1953 and has attracted major speakers from business and industry. It commemorates the life of James MacLaren, one of the most eminent industrialists in Birmingham’s history.

CMI also partners with Aston University to dual-accredit BSc degrees in Business & Management and International Business & Management to give graduates work-ready professional skills. More than 130 students are now enrolled on CMI-backed courses. For more information visit: or follow Twitter: @cmi_managers

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Notes to editors

About Bruce Carnegie-Brown

Bruce Carnegie-Brown was appointed President of the Chartered Management Institute in 2017. He has been a Companion of CMI since 2014. Carnegie-Brown is currently the chairman of both Lloyd's of London and Group. His other appointments include vice chairman of Banco Santander SA.

About CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leaderships, dedicated to improving managers' skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalents, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earning potential and improves workplace performance. We have been registered as an apprentice assessment organisation by the Skills Funding Agency.

CMI has led the way in developing a suite of trailblazing management apprenticeships with a 40-strong group of employers. These start from Level 3 (team leader) and Level 5 (operations manager) through to Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship gives employers the option to upskill up to executive and C-suite level. CMI is a Skills Funding Agency-registered apprentice assessment organisation.

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