Some time ago I wrote about ”Locked Down Britain” and how businesses are cutting costs so much they are impacting on the growth and sustainability of the business, the very thing they are trying to maintain through the constant cuts …
Over the last month, in the UK and Europe, we have seen much in the press about food products – sold as containing beef but in fact containing other products including horse. And why were these so called “substandard” ingredients purchased by the manufacture/supplier? Very simply because immense pressure is being put on the suppliers to cut costs and in cutting costs they are also cutting across their values of the business and now seriously impacting on the sustainability and resilience of the business.
Again, simply because the business is no longer being authentic; in part due to external pressure and in part due to internal agreement. And the impact on that lack of authenticity and the need to cut costs – and then cut again – is promulgating through that industry.
And what is the impact of that? The people working in those businesses lose faith and belief in their leaders. The customers through the whole customer chain lose faith and belief in the products, the suppliers and the leaders of those businesses.
And it’s exactly the same with how people perceive most of the financial services industry for the lack of trust and belief in authentic business leaders goes well beyond the banking sector.
More and more is being publicised about businesses who are “playing” very serious games with their structures to minimise the amount of tax they pay anywhere in the world. Their massive profits translate into no yield for any Treasury by using these structures. This may keep the shareholders and investors happy, but it cuts across the values of the public and therefore people lack trust and belief in those leaders too.
Being an authentic business leader doesn’t mean that they aren’t managing the business appropriately, caring for the people, protecting investment and so on. It does however mean building sustainable, resilient, profitable business with values. Values that are demonstrated on a daily basis by the business leaders and the people within the business and with those they do business with.
Two of the leading UK supermarkets care enough about the products, the sourcing of their products and their customers that they can trace all of their fresh meat products and many other products besides back to the farmers. They have clearly laid out their values and are prepared to be judged by them
Authentic businesses – and authentic business leaders – will be the ones that are sought out for investment; that people want to work in and with; and will be the businesses that make the difference to the economy in the future.
What we are seeing in the press now about businesses is only the tip of the iceberg, these practices have been going on for years in many different guises.
Cost versus quality has always been a tension in business. but it’s more than that. Change is happening. The business press is showcasing more and more businesses and their leaders who are making the changes. Are you one of them? Will you stand up and be one of them? Will you be the leader within your sector to be the beacon and show the way?
If you’d like to find out more about my thoughts on this, or you want to know how to become a beacon, then it may be a great idea to call me on +44 (0) 1296 681 094, click here to ping me an email or even leave a comment below.
Until next time …