DISCUSSION Tomorrow’s Value

by Yolanda Villafuerte _______2nd December 2011
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LEADING business people have been discussing the future of their companies and the role they play in the communities they serve in a series of lectures to explore the theme “Tomorrow’s Value”.

The lectures, which have been produced in collaboration by CIMA and Tomorrow’s Company, were designed to explore, question and probe fundamental questions of what is value, what has value, and why it is so important.

A lecture was held at Herbert Smith LLP in London, given by Joe Garner, head of UK retail and deputy chief executive officer of HSBC.

He told the audience: “Acting with integrity means acting with hope, fairness, courage, kindness… being guided not just by rules, or popularity, but by principles and values. It is – ironically – these very values that actually do underpin the workings of the business world.

“I doubt I could prove it, but I work on the assumption that improving customer service, in time, improves profitability. It is my firm belief that by making business decisions that are guided by principles such as trust, care, fairness as well as strength, courage and determination we create a truly sustainable financial performance.”

The series then moved to Mumbai. “Success through corporate sustainability – strategy, leadership and reporting” brought business leaders from across India together to create tomorrow’s agenda for sustainable business at a pioneering event hosted by Tata.

Keynote addresses were given by R. Gopalakrishnan, director, Tata Sons Ltd, and Kishore Chaukar, managing director Tata Industries Ltd.

They stressed the need for organisations to look beyond short-term profits and revenues, focusing instead on the real future and wider purpose of business.

Mansion House was the venue for the lecture “Health, Business and Society”, which saw David Brennan, chief executive of AstraZeneca, talk about the critical importance of building trust so that business can play a full role in developing solutions to prevent, control and treat disease.

He said that he hoped initiatives being made by the pharmaceutical company “will allow us to move the debate on from a narrow focus on price and profitability to how we can secure shared value for society as a whole.

And to gain acceptance of the view that successful biopharmaceutical innovation creates value for shareholders, but also brings real benefits to patients and the communities we serve” “Investing in Stewardship”, saw Paul Abberley, chief executive of Aviva Investors, join CIMA and Tomorrow’s Company at their annual parliamentary reception at the House of Lords.

CIMA chief executive Charles Tilley rounded off the recent events by calling for less regulation and more supervision in order to create long-term sustainable businesses.

For further information on the series, please visit our Tomorrow’s Value Lecture series page or www.cimaglobal.com/Thought-leadership/Tomorrows-Value-lecture-series/ . For latest news check #TomorrowsValue on Twitter.

This article was originally published on CIMA’s Financial Management page.

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