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					                     Institute of Learning and Management
                          Trust Index Roundtable
                                     1 September 2011

Panellists:
Debbie Allen, MD, Corporate Responsibility, BAE Systems
Robert Care, Chair, UKMEA region, Arup Group
Peter Cheese, Chair, Institute of Leadership and Management
Matthew Gwyther, Editor, Management Today
David Kershaw, CEO, M&C Saatchi
Marg Mayne, Chief Executive, VSO International
Richard Sexton, Head of Reputation and Policy, Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Julie Spence, Press Complaints Commission (former President of the British Association for
Women in Policing)
Laura Tenison, Founder and MD, JoJo Maman Bébé
Jasmine Whitbread, CEO, Save the Children International


Peter Cheese
ILM, together with Management Today, has been researching the issue of trust among leadership
and leaders for the last three years. We have developed an index around it. In the next month or so
we will publish a report on the findings of the survey for this year, for the third year running. I
think, as you would all appreciate, issues of trust are central in people’s thinking about issues such
as engagement and motivation of the workforce. They relate to things like brand perception of
organisations. The bar for what is perceived to be trustworthy leadership has been going up all the
time. One of the dimensions that we looked at this year with Management Today is around ethics.
We were trying to understand the connection between whether people perceive their leadership as
ethical, and how that is linked to trust. With all the stuff going on in the press around everything
from the News of the World and the travails of News International through to corporate behaviours
around what we saw last year with BP, there is a general sense that a lot of young people in
particular have, that the Establishment and leadership is not quite what it was. That sets the bar all
the higher.
The purpose of the lunch was to gather, as you said, an eclectic mix of people; we have people from
the third sector as well as from commercial and private business. My role is to chair the Institute of
Management and Leadership. It is one of several things I do. As I said to David earlier, I spent 30
glorious years at Accenture before I moved on. I used to run our global practice around leadership,
time management, HR culture, management of change and all that kind of stuff. I have seen a lot
of these new things over the years.
The Institute of Leadership and Management is what it says on the tin. It is very focused on the
development of leadership and management capability, but also on two very important
perspectives. One is understanding what good leadership and management look like, and two is
what good leadership and management development look like. That is often as challenging as the
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first question. Those are the things that we are focused on. We are the largest awarding body for
vocational qualifications around leadership and management, which again emphasises the nature of
leadership development being as much about putting it into practice and learning by doing as it is
anything that you will learn in a classroom.
As I say, we are delighted to host the lunch with Management Today, and look forward to a lively
discussion. As you can hear in the corner, there is a stenographer rapidly taking notes. Just to
observe that fact, but if you wanted to say something off the record, then just tell us it is off the
record and we will stop the recording. However, I think it will end up in an article in Management
Today.

Matthew Gwyther
It is.

Peter Cheese
Matthew?

Matthew Gwyther
Thank you very much, Peter. It will appear in October’s edition of Management Today, within the
magazine itself, and then what we also do is to put a transcript of the entire conversation up on the
website. The full thing will be anything between 12,000 and 14,000 words long, in my experience,
whereas we can get about 2,500 to 3,000 within the magazine itself. I think it is a good time to be
doing something like this at the moment, because it has been a very odd summer from a variety of
points of view. This is true both economically and in the world of business, but also in social terms
as well, with the problems we have had with these riots that went on for a couple of days. It is
great that we have Julie here, who has in her time been a Chief Constable, so we can talk about
those sorts of things. We can also talk about journalistic ethics and the shame of my profession at
the moment. In the thirty years that I have been doing journalism, it has probably never been at a
lower ebb, both in terms of a failed business model, and people thinking that we are all scumbags.
We need to have a long, hard think about that and how we can come back from that.
These things work at their very best when they turn into a natural discussion. If you feel that you
very strongly disagree with what is being said then you must say so, because believe me, when we
get something that has its own sort of energy going, it sings off the page. I wonder if I could start
with you, Julie, because you mentioned that –

Peter Cheese
Can we just do some quick introductions first?

Matthew Gwyther
That is a very good idea, Peter. Let us just quickly go round. If you have not already met
downstairs, you could say who you are and where you are from.

Robert Care
I am Robert Care. I am the Chair of the UK, Middle East, Africa region of Arup Group. I am also
the global Group Board member responsible for ethics, so I suppose that gives me some credence.
Also, until I moved here from Australia on 3 January, I was also involved in the third sector, as you
referred to it. I was the chair of RedR Australia, which is Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief,
in my spare time. That is who I am.


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Matthew Gwyther
Okay, thank you. Julie?

Julie Spence
I am Julie Spence. I was the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire. I retired almost a year ago, on
4 September or 5 September, this time last year. I was talking earlier about this; there is no such
thing as retirement. I did not want to retire. It is about how you move on and change direction. It
feels as though both parts of my life have imploded, because I then went onto the Press Complaints
Commission, so I have been looking at all this; I am actually on the hacking enquiry, looking at it
from the Press Complaints perspective, and trying to make sure that the Press Complaints
Commission survives in some guise, but I will talk more on that later. The other things I do include
lecturing for Cambridge University on leadership, and chairing the Police Mutual Assurance
Society, which is a Friendly Society where anybody who has any connection with the policing can
invest their money. So the FSA have been on a bit of a mission on banks, as well.

Matthew Gwyther
David?

David Kershaw
I am David Kershaw, Chief Executive of M&C Saatchi, which is advertising and other
communications. I am also very interested in leadership on a broader scale. Until April, for five
years I was Chairman of the Cultural Leadership programme, which was really to try and raise the
standards of leadership within cultural and artistic organisations.

Marg Mayne
My name is Marg, Marg Mayne, and I am Chief Executive of VSO. I have been in the role for
three years now, and before that I was Director of Finance and Resources for the British Council,
which is all about building trust and cultural relations. VSO is an organisation that continues to
send lots of volunteers all over the world, working to build trust with local organisations, in order
that they can progress and achieve their ambitions. Trust is central, not just for our employees, as
with every organisation, but also particularly for our volunteers. Our very way of working is one
that trust and ethics are central to.

Debbie Allen
I am Debbie Allen, and I am Head of Corporate Responsibility for BAE Systems. BAE, if you
have read the papers over the last 10 years, has been through a few issues reputationally. One of
the things in my remit is the business conduct piece, and rebuilding up relationship and trust with
both internal and external stakeholders, customers and opinion formers. I am very interested in the
discussion.

Laura Tenison
Laura Tenison. First of all, huge apologies for being late. I am probably concussed.

Matthew Gwyther
You do not look it.




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Laura Tenison
I have very bloody knees and hands and I am feeling very shaky. Could I have a drink? Just to
lighten the tone a bit, I am Laura Tenison, I am the Managing Director of a multi-channel retail
company called JoJo Maman Bébé. We have the remit that we put environment issues and ethical
issues above bottom line profit. With that ethos I have managed to transfer from being wholly
privately owned to having a corporate finance investor, who I think has come on board. I accepted
quite a lot less money to bring him on board, allowing me to continue along that stance. We will
see what happens over the next few years. He may turn nasty, but at the moment, my point about
the business is that you can do good whilst doing well. You can run a totally commercial enterprise
along the lines of a social enterprise. That is probably about enough.

Matthew Gwyther
Are you all right?

Laura Tenison
I am all right. I am never late. Matthew will vouch for this. I am never, ever late, so I do
apologise. Falling off my bike was entirely my own fault. I took my Google Map out of my bike
basket to make sure I would not be late, and drove into a bollard, very fast.

Peter Cheese
Your perseverance is admirable. Thank you very much for coming.

Laura Tenison
No, it is fantastic.

Matthew Gwyther
Richard?

Richard Sexton
Richard Sexton. I am a partner at PwC, and have been since I left university. I am an auditor by
background, so I guess that might give us a feeling about the way one feels when talked about. I
have a responsibility on our UK Board for reputation, regulation and policy, but particularly
reputation. That comes out of a number of things: partly the interest in the whole area of trust and
ethics. Its applicability to us is probably through a number of different lenses. Firstly, as one of the
major recruiters of graduates, it is probably the first issue that is raised by graduates and by young
people today: ‘What is the stance of your organisation, and indeed not only the stance of your
organisation, but also of those that you work with, around these sorts of issues?’ Secondly, much
of the work that we do relates directly to trust, ethics, proper governance and operation. Thirdly, I
think in a holistic sense, it is a subject that is at the forefront of people’s minds for all kinds of
reasons. Therefore as a major organisation we felt we had an important obligation and
responsibility to try to act as a coordinating force around discussion in the corporate world. We
have been working hard on that for the last couple of years.

Matthew Gwyther
Jasmine?




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Jasmine Whitbread
I am the Chief Executive of Save the Children International. I switched into that role about a year
ago. It is a new role, to merge all of the different Save the Children organisations around the world
into one centrally managed line management operation in terms of our international programmes.
That has basically been a multiway international merger, asymmetrically between some large
players and some smaller players, with 29 different actors. Of course that has required, and
continues to require, a huge amount of trust. I am also on the Board of BT, and since the beginning
of this year and for the last year or so been on their so-called Corporate Social Responsibility
Committee. I started out in the private sector and switched mid-career path, let us say, into the
voluntary sector.

Matthew Gwyther
Thank you. What a brilliant panel. Very little of this is down to me, although I put some ideas
forward. A tremendous job has been done of bringing such a really high quality group of people
together. Now I am corrected, can we go back? It is my natural journalistic instinct to get stuck
into things, you see. So Julie, do you think we are in a moral nadir at the moment, that we are all
ethically going to the dogs and that the country is in a state of decline? It seems to me that, whilst
there are some problems, the growing sense we had this summer of a kind of Armageddon has been
a bit overplayed, once you start unpicking all the bits and pieces. You are a good person to observe
the moral stance of the nation. Where do you think we are at the moment?

Julie Spence
Probably the best thing I can do, apart from saying, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in one-word answers, would be
to give a short synopsis on the phone hacking. That is where I have been embroiled the most,
although I can talk about riots until the cows come home. In preparation for that, what caused
phone hacking behaviours, and breaching of ethical boundaries? A lot of the lay commissioners on
the Press Complaints Commission, particularly the three of us on the Committee, have been racking
our brains. There are some obvious things that cross all management boundaries. Unfortunately,
whatever happens, and having been in policing as well, when somebody is tarred with a brush,
everyone is tarred with it. All police officers, as they walk up somebody’s path, are dismissed as if
they were a miscreant officer in another organisation. Similarly, I know from talking to journalist
colleagues that exactly the same thing is happening to them. In some ways it is good, because it
means everybody has their backs to the wall and they are looking for solutions, which is what we
need, rather than politicians shouting off around what a special advisor has told them to say, as
opposed to understanding what the issues are.
For me, one of the big issues in the industry was that competition blurred the ethical boundaries.
The story became more important, and being first, before other newspapers, became the guiding
issue. There was also an economic frailty of the press because of the advent of new media. There
was a vulnerability: ‘Will we be able to afford to go on? Will newspapers exist?’ There was a
frenetic behaviour going on: ‘We have to be first to the story, because then we will sell more
newspapers, therefore our organisation will continue.’ That has to be unravelled and unpicked.
When we looked at it in relation to management, they used third parties. The private investigators
were third parties. They used agencies. Again, because of the reduced number of journalists
working, they gave work elsewhere, but there were no management controls looking at how the
third parties were gathering their information or evidence.

Matthew Gwyther
That is hear no evil, see no evil, is it not?


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Julie Spence
Exactly.

Matthew Gwyther
Sorry, I am jumping in there. Carry on.

Julie Spence
For me, that was something really obvious: there was some passive management, arm’s length: ‘If
we do not know, then we do not have to worry about what is going on.’ Again, lessons for us all in
relation to that. That crosses a lot of different boundaries. The view was, if there was illegal action
going on, ‘If I don't know about it, then that is fine. I do not need to know about it.’ There was a
lack of questions as far as they were concerned about the methodology, because the ends justified
the means. If you obtained the story, that was fine. It is a big question mark, because you have the
Daily Telegraph with the MPs and exposing their expenses. They paid for stolen property to get
that story, in the public interest. Now are there other things? There is a big issue around whether it
is in the public interest, or just of interest to a voyeuristic public. A lot of the things they do will be
couched in terms of, ‘It is in the public interest,’ and it actually is not. Nobody would disagree,
perhaps, with what happened with the Telegraph, but there were other areas where there was no
sliding scale, and nobody drawing any boundaries.
No quality assurance. There is no quality assurance body. Even with the Press Complaints
Commission it really deals with complaints. I looked at policing: the reason that we started to
respond positively to issues, as did other organisations, was that there is an accountability body.
There is somebody who quality assures what you do, identifies best practice, and puts benchmarks
in place, and then you work to benchmarks. There was no guidance for editors around what to do,
and I have to say that there is a level of arrogance, because why would they want it? ‘We are
editors, we know what is best, we can manage this.’
Again, you cannot tar all newsrooms. You are a journalist; you will know, but particularly at the
News of the World there was lots of information coming out about an oppressive regime that was
run. The story was everything and you had to get it. We have had similar feedback from others
around the pressure on journalists. One of our solutions is that you need to have a whistle-blowing
hotline so people can talk about the issues, so you can defuse them before it actually goes forward.
There is a big question mark around the people management within newsrooms and what was
going on. I have said already about the misguided view of public interest, and often it was only just
‘of interest’. The hunger, the other behaviours – it was always depicted as though there was a
hunger by the public for 24-hour news. Or is it? Most of us only still look at news once a day, or
at certain points. Was it just that there was a hunger for the papers and the broadcasters to fill slots,
and the public just wanted access to emerging news?
There is a culture around celebrity, and people did not necessarily mind them breaking the law to
impinge on celebrities. It was when it was undermining justice, which is one of the core issues of
society, including with Milly Dowler, with Soham and now with Sarah Payne. The big issue that
really unravelled all of this was that they tried to be ahead of the justice curve, and they lost their
boundaries. It is interesting, because at the very beginning of this, I did not actually put it: it is
coming down from newspapers, but it is not just newspapers; it is broadcasting per se. A journalist,
as all journalists, are fishing in the same pool for stories. It is not just down to newspaper
journalists.
You may remember, or not, the fact that in the Milly Dowler case there was a young lady who was
a victim who was still alive, whose case was left on file. The reason her case was left on file was


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because of Sky News and ITV, who had done their vignettes of the case, and on the afternoon they
found Levi Bellfield guilty of the murder of Milly Dowler they felt they had to go to the public and
show that vignette. In so doing, they exposed a lot of evidence that had never gone before the
court, and the jury were due to go back that night and the next day to make the second resolution.
Clearly, when the judge had seen what had gone on the television, there was no way that he could
allow that to progress. I think there is a real big issue for the media around how they manage
criminal justice cases. They have lost their boundaries on this.
I have to say that the police service, judges and government also have to take some responsibility
for this. The case recently that the Attorney General took in relation to the case in Bristol, taking
The Sun and The Star for contempt of court, is the first time we have had contempt of court for
years. I have spoken to judges who say, ‘There have been many, many cases, but down to weak
Treasury solicitors we have not put the boundaries in place for the press to operate.’ For me that is
a really big issue.
I also take public sector leaders on. As a Press Complaints Commissioner, I have frequently said to
the Commission, or to the staff, ‘Go back and ask this Health Service whether they would like to
make a complaint.’ It quickly comes back, ‘No, no, we do not want to make a complaint, because
that might make it difficult for us going forward.’ There is a real absence of leadership in the
public sector. As a public sector leader, you should be there because you want to make a
difference, and you want your public to have the straight facts. It is not about not taking on a bully
boy press. They made the bully boy press more of a bully boy, because nobody was taking them on
and putting the boundaries in place. Again, I think there is something about putting the boundaries
in place.
To sum up on that, we need leaders who are interested in the ethics of the story from beginning to
end. We need to assess the impact and consider the interests of all parties, not just the news. They
are driven by a commercial benefit, not necessarily the benefit. I have spoken to some regional
editors who do think about the impact of their local stories on local people, whereas the national
press do not seem to have that sort of incentive. Going back to good leadership and management, it
is down to good, auditable processes and proper compliance. It is about the next story and not
about making sure that your systems and processes are protecting your journalists, because it
allows them to get into realms or areas where they could make errors, and will not be supported by
their organisation. If I look at some of the cases we have looked at up until now, I think there has
been an absence of humility from editors. It was about, ‘We are right,’ and not taking people’s
perspectives, or being willing to show that human face. All fear of others pressuring them and
being seen as being weak in the eyes of their colleagues and peers. There needs to be a level of
humility. That is a very quickly synopsis.

Matthew Gwyther
It is a good start. Thank you. David, can I come to you next?

David Kershaw
Can I not eat?

Matthew Gwyther
No, no, please. We eat and talk. You have many years of experience managing and leading
organisations within the media, but you are in a very interesting position in that having worked in
advertising, you have observed many different industries, and worked closely, helping them. Do
you think that newspapers, and specifically tabloid newspapers, are a moral nadir without any



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values or integrity whatsoever? You must have come across them in your time. Is it not true that
those sorts of bad behaviours exist in many walks of business life? It is just that we have been
caught.

David Kershaw
Yes, except that I take a fairly crude capitalist view that most people behave according to how they
are motivated and incentivised. I go back to what you were saying about the newspaper, and
particularly the tabloids, that knowing two of those organisations well, people succeeded because
they had the better story, and they obtained it first. They failed and were condemned fairly rapidly
if they did not. It was absolutely leadership and the way that leadership translates into the
motivation of people in the workplace, which did that. It so happens that what made that product
successful or not was deemed to be scoops on celebrity stories and sensational stories. That is, and
let us be frank now, what the public want. You cannot blame them. That is why even now – and I
am not saying they are unethical – The Mail Online is the most successful website in the world,
because it is the best celebrity site. Do not blame the media. That is what people want to consume.
Leaving that aside, I think that that product of sensational revelation is what tabloids do. Most of
our clients are doing much more mundane things. To produce a better toothpaste or lager, and for
that to be successful, does not actually require people to behave in an unethical, illegal way. I think
that the model of how people behave, how that is defined by leadership, and how leadership
motivates people, is fairly consistent. I think that the arena for whether you are a successful tabloid
paper or not is dealing in something that led people to be motivated to do very dark things.

Jasmine Whitbread
And do either of you think that anything that has happened to trust in the media in this time? I
would have to say that all the time I have grown up, the media has not been trusted? The News of
the World, in my family, was synonymous with: ‘Where did you read that?’ ‘The News of the
World.’ ‘Oh, well that is a load of rubbish.’ I wonder whether anything has actually happened to
trust in the media. Has it not always been at a fairly low level, and is it not continuing at that level?

David Kershaw
I think that the reason your family laughed at it was because it was deemed harmless, and you drew
the distinction between revealing which celebrity is shagging who – actually, I think, one is about
to come out in The Mirror about David Beckham shagging the nanny; who cares? But when it
comes to things of crime and justice –

Jasmine Whitbread
People are outraged now.

David Kershaw
Yes, absolutely. That was a real tipping point, was it not?

Laura Tenison
People are outraged now, but we all knew it was happening. We all knew they got those stories by
underhand means. Just like everyone knew about the MPs’ expenses. We all knew our MPs were
not paid terribly well, but then they made it up with their expenses. The ones who have been
prosecuted, I agree with, but that expenses thing was there. Now to stand up and be outraged, we
are the ones who look like fools. I am not outraged, at all. I cannot believe that people are



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outraged. Who are they kidding? We knew it was happening in the press. Did not you? You are
investigating this thing –

Julie Spence
I am now.

Laura Tenison
But we all knew that that phone hacking thing happened. We saw the white van. It does not
matter, but I am married to a criminal defence barrister, and we used to have our phone tapped all
the time when he was on a case that was of interest to the media. It was just something that we got
round, and we dealt with it. And the white van sitting outside Buckingham Palace, when I cycled
past it 20 years ago, we knew what they were doing. Buckingham Palace knew what they were
doing.

Peter Cheese
So what has changed is that there is a growing sense of middle-class moral indignation?

Laura Tenison
Yes. This moral indignation –

Peter Cheese
Or is it? I must say, I think the parameters of what we now regard as ethical and moral have been
raised. As you said before, some of the younger generation, I think, are setting a different standard.
We can criticise them for doing other things, like rioting on the streets, but I think there is a general
sense amongst Generation Y, if you will, of the kind of standards that they are holding corporate
behaviour and leadership behaviour to. Their visibility to things like corporate social responsibility
generally is far greater than anything that has gone before in terms of our generation. Now why is
that? Is that a fundamental shift in a set of values? Or is it because people just become more aware
of this stuff because it is now being reported more openly? I do not know. You can argue both
ways.

Julie Spence
To go back on one bit, I do not know that we did know. We knew that they were getting
information, and we knew that some of it was illegal. I only say that from a policing perspective
because quite often I have sacked officers for leaking information, particularly personal data about
individuals, and also we have set sting operations to find officers who are giving information that
they should not actually be giving. There is no way that we should be feeding stories, unless it is
done on an official route. We also did know that the press used to listen in to police radio. Often
we would arrive at the scene and think, ‘Why are reporters here before we got here?’

Peter Cheese
It was not only the reporters listening to police radio.

Julie Spence
But our radio system changed, so there was absolutely no way. So logically you have to realise that
if you cannot get your story by listening to the airwaves, you have to get it by some other means.
Initially you had a lot of hacks, and they were hacks: they were not computer literate. When a lot


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of data was on the computers they did not know how to get into it and how to understand it. They
found these nice third parties who would help them out. That was okay because it was legitimate.
Then the third parties said, ‘And do you want to know about this? Do you want to know about
that?’ and it became a route to an easy story. They then allowed that, so the ethical boundaries
were stretched without the management control going in to understand what was happening.

Jasmine Whitbread
If the police knew that it was going on but could not prove it, why was the investigation not pushed
harder?

Julie Spence
In relation to…?

Jasmine Whitbread
Yes.

Julie Spence
Right. This, for me, is a really interesting example, and some of this comes down to Government
policy. At the time when the phone hacking scandal first erupted in 2006, the Government were
not interested in people being convicted for phone hacking. What happened was that they took an
inquiry, an inquiry which could have grown, but if you look at the number of resources that you
require for an inquiry, it was the Royals, it was a complaint, they looked at it, identified it, they put
two people in prison. Normally, because we do not do everything, we do not have the officers and
the resources to take every inquiry as far as it will go, because some of them would just be
explosive and would be continuing for years and years and years. The day-to-day stuff, the new
stuff coming in, would never be tackled. What they did was to investigate it, box it off and say,
‘That is completed. Finished. We have sent the message strong and hard to the journalistic
community.’ I have to say that something that sticks in the craw is that a lot of this ‘Mea culpa,’
and ‘What is going on?’ etc, is based on what was happening in 2006, because the industry cleaned
itself up after that, and we are going backwards. All this data is coming from 2006, it is not
current. We have looked at the current mobile phone companies, who after that tightened
everything up. You cannot do it now.

Jasmine Whitbread
But do you think there are some lessons? It is good to analyse and see why, and it is always more
complicated than throwing rocks and criticising. However, do you not think there are some lessons
for the police? My view is that not much has changed around trust in the media; it is what it is, and
it is not very high. I think that what was damaged most in all this debacle was trust in the police
service.

Julie Spence
Yes. I do in some ways I understand, but I do not think that the Met did themselves any favours by
not explaining earlier, even to the Select Committee, that we often draw parameters around
inquiries, to make sure you deal with the key issues and you do not then go off on a fishing
expedition.




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Jasmine Whitbread
I do not know. I think that has been reported. I think you can understand that.

Matthew Gwyther
Can I just make a quick point? Whilst this is obviously front of mind for all of us, I do not want
this to be just around phone hacking.

Julie Spence
Good.

Matthew Gwyther
I think there are many broader issues to speak about. Before we move on from that, can I, as the
sole representative of the media around the table, just pray to you, and ask you for a second to be
careful what you wish for if you are going on a generalised war on media. Jasmine, you must
acknowledge that you cannot tar the organisations and the very brave people who have gone into
Somalia and taken footage, and reported on what is going on there, which have helped the Disasters
Emergency Committee and all the rest of it. We are broadly within the same profession, but there
are still people with integrity who work within media. Indeed, I go further than that and say that
whatever you think about Rupert Murdoch, and you would be quite right to have mixed feelings
and thoughts about him at this point in time, he still pays £1 million per week to subsidise one of
the better broadsheet newspapers in this country, The Times. There are not many media barons out
there in the world, whether they be Russian or whatever, who would tolerate that kind of behaviour.
I am not defending him for one moment, but I think that by and large, in this country, we do enjoy
and benefit from rather good media. This whole business is clearly hideous, and something has to
be done about, and I fear it could get uglier and uglier and uglier. However, it is not everybody. If
there is one thing you must be very careful about, within the Houses of Parliament at the moment,
after the way that they were turned over by The Telegraph, there is an enormous appetite to get
their own back. If they can do that through legislation, it will not just be News of the Screws that
they are shutting up. It will be stopping us talking in an open way like this around the table. I will
shut up at that point in my defence –
[Cross talk]

Matthew Gwyther
I think that this whole issue is emblematic of a broader perceived malaise, not just in the media, but
because people are feeling a bit down after 2007 and 2008, and less positive about business
generally, which is what we are interested in here. One of the things I wanted to move it on to was
the issue about business generally, and trust there. Marg, you wanted to add something?

Marg Mayne
Yes, just in terms of moving it on, I suppose what I was reflecting in my own mind, listening to the
conversation, was that on both the MPs’ expenses and the phone hacking, the public debate has
been at a rather superficial level. I find that disappointing, because I agree; I think many of the
points you make are absolutely right. I am also interested that all the other tabloids were doing it.
They have not shut down. The News of the World has shut down. Its reputation was shot, but
nobody elses’s. The debate seems to me to be rather superficial. Likewise with MPs’ expenses,
with some people it was, ‘So-and-so bought a Mars bar,’ and ‘Somebody else bought a duck
house,’ which is a completely different issue. It seems to me, bringing it back to leadership, the



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point of leadership, surely, is that you stand up and are counted on a serious level, not just a
superficial level, for what you believe to be right. You know what you stand for, and other people
follow you for that reason.
The segue I was thinking about into the business world is something that we are engaged with at
the VSO, as I imagine other people here are, and I expect it would be Jasmine. It is the Bribery
Act. The Bribery Act is causing a real challenge for us as an international NGO, because of course
we stand up very much for ethical business behaviour, as you would expect, but in practical terms
the Bribery Act defines that in a way which is really at the minutiae. How do you get somebody a
visa? All you are doing is trying to get someone into a country. Do you pay an agent to get you a
visa, or not, because you know that that agent is giving somebody a backhander? How do you get
somebody in Cambodia? A volunteer in Cambodia wants a licence for their motorbike. This is not
fleecing the nests of anyone, but to get that licence for a motorbike you have to pay some kind of
facilitation payment in-country to make that happen. What does that mean for us at VSO? That is
a real challenge to our organisation. We are having to say, our position is, we want to work. We
are declaring zero tolerance. It does not mean that we are in a position where we have zero
tolerance at the minute. However, we have to, as an organisation, work towards that position where
we are constantly working and encouraging and developing our systems and processes, in order that
we reach a position of zero tolerance. I think some of these debates about trust, particularly those
in the media, are at a superficial level. As leaders we have to stand up and say some of the real
fundamental –

Matthew Gwyther
Debbie, come on, because we have entered an area that has been a pretty unhappy one for your
organisation over the last 25 years, going back to Al Yamamah and all the rest of it. Where are you
now? Can you honestly tell me that as an organisation dealing in a tricky area, as you are, that you
can go and obtain contracts in wild places such as Libya, as has been, without facilitation
payments? If you do not pay them, the French will or the Americans will, and then loads of people
– and you are a huge employer in this country – will lose their jobs. How do you get your head
round that? That must be what you have to struggle with, day in, day out.

Debbie Allen
Yes. There are a number of issues wrapped up and related to a number of things that are going on.
One is the perception of the industry itself. Standing back from that, not everybody likes the
defence or arms industry, as it would be called. There is a perception of what we do, even before
you get into how we do it. Then you go into what BAE went through, which was that we became
arrogant. We became complacent. We were not doing the checks; we were assuming, and the
boundaries became stretched. We came out a number of years ago in Parliament and said, ‘Yes, we
have policies and processes in place, but we are not always following them.’ That is your point,
Julie. You need those rigorous policies and processes. That is something we have been putting in
place. You need the absolute categorical statements from above. We have no choice but to say,
‘We will not make facilitation payments. It is zero tolerance,’ etc, partly because of where we have
come from. You can achieve it more gradually, but we have to go there, or we are there. There is
no choice.

Matthew Gwyther
You are not doing to do any business if you do that –




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Debbie Allen
Yes, we do.

Matthew Gwyther
– in developing countries, are you?

Debbie Allen
When it comes down to a commercial point of view, you have to say, ‘Which are the countries that
we will do business with?’ We, BAE, cannot afford to do business with those where we cannot
uphold those standards. It is a business issue as much as an ethical issue. We cannot be dealing
with Libya or countries in Africa. There is also a very clear commercial thing, in that we are at the
expensive high end of defence. We are not the small gun runners, the dodgy part. I will come to
that in a minute. Those are not the countries who buy our stuff. In a way it is self-serving, in that
the sort of countries who will buy from BAE or Boeing or Northrop, or the big ones, will normally
be G8 or G20-type countries. Those sort of countries have the stability and the defence budget, etc.
One of the things, however, when you come to the countries where they have the gun running, and
arming child armies, and those sort of things, all of which we would abhor too, we have not done
enough as an industry to distinguish ourselves from that end of it.
You made the point, Julie, about the fact that you have the reputable media. Of course you do.
There is plenty of reputable media. There are some absolutely top-notch journalists out there.
Then you have the News of the Screws at the other end, and everyone who ever worked for it has
been tagged with it. There is something similar that the pharmaceutical industry went through a
number of years ago, where the whole industry was besmirched with, ‘Are they selling out of date
drugs into the Third World?’ and that sort of thing. The pharmaceutical industry did quite a smart
thing in terms of saying, ‘We are at the high end. We are not the drug runners. We will abhor
them. We will make sure we put support dealing with those.’ The media will have to do the same
and come out very clearly: ‘This is what we do stand for, and what we do not, and we will work to
rid ourselves of this plague.’ Yes, some of the plague will be public perception. We still suffer
from that. But you need the leadership to say, ‘We will, and we will not.’

Peter Cheese
Do you think it is becoming harder? I was interested in drawing parallels with some things that you
described, Julie, in the business world. For example, you said that with technology, we are in a
whole different space in terms of what is possible in accessing phone mails or whatever. Of course
the same is true in business in general: as technology and other things advance, it seems to me that
we are often playing catch-up with what is possible. Some of it you can put in place as policies and
procedures, but for that you then have to understand what is going on. It then has to come back to
that sense of moral guidance from leadership, top-down, the culture that you create. The other
great parallel, and this is what has been commented on a lot with News International, is: was that
culture in place to ensure that even if I was in a new space, which had not been defined by policy or
procedure, I knew broadly how to act? I think you can draw it with other organisations, perhaps
even more clearly: organisations such as BP, who will say one thing very, very clearly about safety,
and then something else seems to happen in the operational fields in the Gulf of Mexico.
The other link that I would make, which was also a point you made about News International, is
that many organisations operate through third parties, and maintaining that sense of moral guidance
and behaviour through a third party is incredibly difficult. Again, if you like, somewhat in BP’s
defence, it was Transocean and Halliburton and others who were operating the Gulf of Mexico



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field. It was not directly BP, but BP have to set the moral tone. They can put in place service level
agreements that say, ‘Number two, three, four is productivity, not profitability.’ I think that that
was not clearly stated. Therefore you have this raising bar whereby it is becoming harder, because
you have new things that emerge all the time in the business world, which we then have to deal
with. In addition there is the fact that you are dealing with third parties, contractors, other agencies,
for whom we also have to set the moral tone. I think it is just making this stuff tougher, and there
are many parallels, as I said, that you drew for News International and the media, which you can
see very directly in everyday business.

Julie Spence
That is what the VSO are doing, external management through third parties. There is no one
answer. Everyone looks for the silver bullet or the Holy Grail, but it is about transparency. It is
about the leadership of whatever organisation being totally clear with both customers and
competitors –

Peter Cheese
Yes. Contractors and suppliers and everybody else.

Julie Spence
– and their own third parties what they will tolerate. You have to have checking mechanisms.
There is this belief that once you have said it, they will all do it.

Matthew Gwyther
Robert, let us bring you in here, because your organisation is subtly different from most. It is not
owned by the people who work for it –

Robert Care
We think it is.

Matthew Gwyther
You do. So how has that changed the outlook for you and the people who work within Arup?

Robert Care
I think it was touched on earlier, and this has been a factor in Arup. Our ownership is that we are
owned by a Trust. The original partners gifted their equity of the firm into Trusts for perpetuity,
because they thought what they had was a good thing. The person who does the menial task in the
office has as much ownership of the firm as I do. I think that is important, because where we start
from is around: ‘What is our purpose? Why do we do what we do? Why do we get up in the
morning?’ It starts from there, and that can permeate the whole organisation, and junior staff can
feel that. I think you made the point about graduates. It is the first thing that younger people ask:
‘What do you stand for and what will you do?’ I will come back to why I think that is in a moment.
That permeates the whole thing: our ownership structure, and how we operate. We start with the
why. We then have the how. How we do things is about the values entrenched in the firm since
the founders in 1946. That guides everything we do.
It is still challenging. I was in Botswana about three weeks ago, and we rolled out an ethics
e-learning module, so everyone can tap in, wherever they are in the world, and learn what ethics
and corrupt behaviour is about. I did this presentation, and I did not touch on the issue of ethics. I


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should have, but I did not. One of the people at the back said, ‘That is all very well if you live in
London, but if you live in Botswana, you have a different issue.’ How do we get that done? It is a
challenge. It is a big, wide grey area.
Coming back to the original point, the elephant in the room, for me, is that we start it here, but the
problem is further up the tree, with the leadership. I am a guest in your country, so I should be
careful what I say, but the politicians who had their noses in the trough were not dealt with.

Laura Tenison
Some were. That is not fair.

Robert Care
Some were. But they were token gestures. The behaviour of the leaders – you should have
transported her. That has come from the leadership in all areas, including the politicians. They
have to behave in a way – and it is not just what you say; it is what you do. That is part of the
problem. You touched on some firms that say one thing but they do the other. The nexus between
what you say and what you do is vital.

Laura Tenison
Absolutely, and that needs to be transparent.

Robert Care
Absolutely transparent.

Laura Tenison
The trouble is that we have access to far too much information now. I am worried that your
Government, any Government –

Robert Care
Every Government.

Laura Tenison
– if you dig into it the way that we have dug into ours, as the Telegraph dug into ours, it will all be
there. What do we do with all this information available to us? Do we keep this moral high
ground, or do we accept that actually we are being ridiculous, and it is impossible to succeed at this
level? We need to come down a notch and say, ‘Yes, we need honesty, but as soon as you start
scratching the surface, let that honesty be to the core, to the heart, that people really believe it. Let
them put their money where their mouth is,’ because that is what it boils down to. Yes, I come on a
bike today because it is the quickest way through London, but it is because I do not believe in
driving in a taxi. All of you probably came in taxis, did you not?

Robert Care
I walked.
[Cross talk]

Laura Tenison
That is not the point.


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Robert Care
It is a very broad grey area that goes from, if you tip the maitre d’ in a New York to get a good
table, is that bribery? Of course it is. But is it –

Matthew Gwyther
Laura, hang on one second. How many people within your organisation now, in total?

Laura Tenison
In this country we employ just under 400 people and then globally we subcontract to many
thousands more. Talking about ethics on the bigger level, one of my beliefs years ago when I
started my company was that no person should do a mundane job. That was what I thought. I
thought, ‘We will not have factory production lines here. I will cross-train everyone. I will make
sure that everyone works in different areas so they never get bored.’ Guess what? They hated it. I
became the big bully boss, making them work instead of going to the pub. It was like, ‘Oh God, we
have to move to another department now. We have to be cross-trained.’ Because I thought it was
good for the brain, it was good for the soul to have fun. I think going out for picnics in the
company is good for the soul. A lot of people do not want to do it. They want to sit at their desk,
they want to pack the same parcel and then they want to go home and sit –
[Cross talk]

Julie Spence
But did they take to it after you had influenced them? Did they change and say, ‘Actually, now we
have done it for a few months...’?

Laura Tenison
No. We have abolished the system. The cross-training, and making people work in several
departments, has been abolished.

Peter Cheese
I think the recognition now, to sum up people’s development, is that each person is different. One
person might have loved that, and the next person hated it. You have to acknowledge that.

Laura Tenison
Yes. About 10% do it now, and we give them a bonus for doing it, because it is useful. For
productivity levels it is fantastic. Everyone is busy in the call centre in the mornings, they are busy
packing parcels in the afternoons. Great. Let us shuffle them around, rather than have people who
are quiet. Who was it was saying money? At the end of the day money is that important, but then I
have a perfectly nice life. I can buy myself a new bicycle every two years, especially with the great
Government bike scheme. However, if I’m feeding a family on £14,000 per year, that is a different
matter. That extra 10% on my salary makes a huge difference.

Matthew Gwyther
The reason I asked you about size is that one of the things that makes me wonder is –

Laura Tenison
Small company values.



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Matthew Gwyther
You are at the point where you are still right at the top of that pyramid, and everyone is watching
you, are they not? If you put one foot out of line, because without being hysterical about it, you do
have firm values that one gets a sense of –

Laura Tenison
Oh, absolutely.

Matthew Gwyther
– that you talk about. How often do you do something that you are slightly ashamed of, and you
wish that they did not know about, and if people did know about –
[Cross talk]

Laura Tenison
With 100% honesty, and this can go on record, I am confident that we never do anything that I
would be ashamed of.

Peter Cheese
But particularly for your subcontractors, you said you have thousands of people.

Laura Tenison
We subcontract our factories, yes, and we keep an eye on them.

Peter Cheese
How do you make sure that they are not…?

Laura Tenison
They have a great big contract. We audit them; we go in and see them as much as we can. I am not
there all the time. It is very difficult. I would like to lay my life down and say there is never
anything unethical in any of our factories. I genuinely do not think there is, and we do our best to
ensure there is not.

Richard Sexton
To some extent, the key issue for you is how you would react if you discovered that. You have set
out very clearly just now your principles. You are right; you cannot dictate everyone else’s actions,
but you can conclude whether or not they are compatible with the way you want to behave.

Laura Tenison
To give you an example, I used to do a lot of hand knits. It was a cottage industry out in Peru. It
was fantastic. It was, as far as I was aware, a totally ethical business, but as we have grown as a
company, our Peruvian hand knits had to stop, because I could not monitor every knitter in every
household. I could not be sure that those women knitting beautiful jumpers in their huts in the
Andes did not get their children to help with the embroidery. I could not do it. That was a disaster
for them, presumably, when we took the business away, but I had to do that. That is sad, in a way,
but it is the reality.



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Matthew Gwyther
Could you explain to me – maybe Jasmine will help me here – why that is such a huge issue? If
that is what they want –

Peter Cheese
That is culturally how they act.

Matthew Gwyther
– and if their children are still going to school, and it is something that they might do after school,
or what have you, why does this become such a hot potato? It really worries me that you had to
stop doing that. You probably took income wealth out of that village. You probably took food out
of those kids’ mouths.

Laura Tenison
The problem is that we have to set those standards, and as you grow as a company, and certainly as
a police force, you have to set those standards. Yes, it is another bit of legislation that you have to
impose because you cannot monitor it at grassroots level. So sadly, one rule has to go for
everyone, regardless of whether you are a small company or a larger company.

Matthew Gwyther
Jasmine, come on.

Jasmine Whitbread
Well, I mean I –

Matthew Gwyther
Are there no get-outs on that at all?

Jasmine Whitbread
That is not our position at all at Save the Children. Most sensible child rights organisations would
also take the same view, that it is completely acceptable. Children have rights, and those rights
include education and they must have a little bit of time for play and development, etc, but it does
not mean that they cannot help with the family income. In fact that is necessary in many situations.
We have gone out publicly in the media to say that, as have others. I do not think that is the issue
of trust. The interesting point, and I think where you were coming from, is this issue of size, and
the issue of what you do. I noticed in your study there was something about smaller organisations
generally, and I was thinking, ‘Why is that?’ I was reflecting back on all the different organisations
I have led. It is all very well to say that you have to be that change yourself, and you have to
deliver standards. However, if you are heading up an organisation, as I am trying to do now, in 120
countries with 14,000 staff, most of whom have English as a second or third language, how on
Earth will they see me taking the Tube, or refusing to put even one single phone call on my expense
bill? They will not see that, so you lose the demonstration effect, whereas in a smaller organisation
I think you have it.
What is interesting with what you did is that you have set some clear standards, and if somebody
transgresses those, or you think that you cannot keep those standards, then you have sent a really
strong message across your organisation that you are serious. That is the upside. I would just say,



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as you grow, you might want to check and make sure, because maybe your standards in some cases
are too stringent, saying absolutely no children, but maybe it is the line you have to take. It is not
worth the hassle of the tall poppy syndrome and possibly getting negative media coverage. That is
the question. First of all, I think we all agree that leaders have to behave with full integrity, and I
am with you. You cannot have a couple of things that you are embarrassed about. You have to ask
yourself, the whole time, ‘If this was on the front cover of one of the newspapers tomorrow
morning, how would I feel about it?’ You have to. I ask myself , any time that I am ever thinking,
‘Should I?’ It is clear. It is just second nature. You have to get that through the organisation. If
you are visible, and you are the leader of 150 or maybe 400, you can just about do it, then you can
get that through, but how can you then cascade that down? What we tend to do is do it through
standard operating procedures and audit and all the rest of it, which gets you so far. What I am
interested in is the cultural side. You described an organisation that created itself, so in a way you
were born with that culture, as were probably our organisations.

Robert Care
We have now transitioned; we have now been through a few generations, so it is having to be
reborn all the time.

Jasmine Whitbread
How do you change it, when you have been through BP or BAE? How do you change that culture?

Peter Cheese
You cannot rely on the –

Robert Care
You cannot rely on the founders in 1946.

Peter Cheese
I will give you an example from a world close to my heart. I used to work for Arthur Andersen.
Arthur Andersen’s watchword, from the very beginning, was integrity, integrity, integrity. And
what happened when it all fell over? Has that somehow disappeared out of the window?

Jasmine Whitbread
My point is more, once you have to change it –

Peter Cheese
You have to keep on it. My point is, you have got to keep on it.

Jasmine Whitbread
You have to keep it going. You cannot just relax and say, ‘No, no, no.’

Peter Cheese
You cannot just say, ‘Well, we have all got that.’ You have to keep working.

Jasmine Whitbread
Because, in a way, the ones who are tallest will fall first. Yes.



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Peter Cheese
Yes. Your point is not just about, in that instance, Arthur Andersen. That message has to permeate
through the organisation. You can do it through policy and procedure. I absolutely agree with
David’s point: you have to do it through management. You have to show to the individuals this
kind of behaviour is what I want to encourage, and this is acceptable. I will measure it, and if you
do not behave like that, then we will have that discussion.

David Kershaw
You have to be much more sophisticated in your internal communication, because the worst thing
in the world is the Pravda-like, visual class[?] company newspapers where everything is fine, no
mistakes are ever admitted. We have all seen them. I have large clients who still do it. You have
to be honest with your staff, if you want them to behave in an honest way. You have to say, ‘We
fucked up.’ You have to say, ‘We have messed up. We have lost this. I am vulnerable as well.’
The more you see this internal communication that is, ‘It is all marvellous, we are doing this, we
are ethical.’ The fact is that people are now reading blogs. They create microsites. They are all
social networking. You cannot fake the truth of what is going on in your organisation.

Matthew Gwyther
It is normally the organisations that are the most fearful that are still doing those sorts of things.

David Kershaw
Yes, absolutely.

Matthew Gwyther
Those that are more at ease with themselves maybe understand it more along the lines of the family
model, where if you sit around the table at Sunday lunchtime then X is not always going to agree
with Y.

Jasmine Whitbread
Yes. I think that is right.

Matthew Gwyther
But you see it so often, still, within the big corporates, and it is ludicrous. It is Stalinist. It is kind
of Maoist.
[Cross talk]

Richard Sexton
Just to come in on this large/small point, because I think that is an interesting aspect of your
research. You have to be careful that you do not toddle off down a blind alley, because in a smaller
organisation you are more capable of acting as a dictator. Therefore a large organisation challenges
the effectiveness of how you execute around shared ethics, moral values, and so on and so forth. It
exacerbates the need to address it in the right way.

Peter Cheese
Yes.




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Robert Care
Yes.

Richard Sexton
If I am a small organisation, that is no different from saying, ‘Well, the way you operate in a big
organisation is that you have very clear rules.’ I write down what I will tell you to do. In a smaller
organisation, I tell you what you will do. Neither of those help in the context of the discussion that
you want to have around ethics and morals. They are not about what you do, but about how you do
it, and why you do it, to define the purpose. If you do not have the clear statement of purpose, you
cannot formulate how. That is the trust and ethics. If you start getting into the what, then you are
into rules, and rules kill ethics, because rules provide you with a bright line –

Laura Tenison
A get-out.

Richard Sexton
– which I can move up to, or maybe I can push a bit further. The rules are telling me what my
ethical compass is. That is a failure. In a sense, the Bribery Act one could regard as a huge failure
of ethics.

Robert Care
Yes. If it comes to rules and compliance, then you have lost it. You have those things, but it has to
be about habits and behaviours that are consistent with the culture of the organisation.

Julie Spence
It has to be the culture.

Peter Cheese
It is in the culture, but I think it would not be a denial that you do not need a framework, a process.

Jasmine Whitbread
Yes, you need that.
[Cross talk]

Debbie Allen
The framework says a minimum, but unless you have the culture... It comes back to this thing
about large/small companies. We have recently done an ethical survey, conducting focus groups
across all our corporations everywhere, across 100,000 people, to say, ‘What does it feel like to
you?’ It was done anonymously, with little button pads and then free form, etc, all reported back,
and you get some really interesting stuff. Yes, you say with a large company you cannot dictate it.
But a large company is just a pyramid of lots of little things. Whether you are reporting into the
CEO or you are somewhere down there, what the CEO says is irrelevant. It is what your line
manager says. One of the things we have found, and we are the same as any other company in the
benchmark, is that you have the tone in the middle bit, where the poor middle manager probably is
getting a whole lot of messages: ‘Get it out on time. Meet your budgets. Meet your schedule, and
make sure that everyone is doing it properly and ethically,’ etc, etc. Some of it is about making



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sure that they understand what is important, but also that the employee whom you cannot watch all
the time, coming back to your point earlier about the Andes, understands what it is that is important
to you. That is what the whole thing is about.

Peter Cheese
It is Chinese whispers.
[Cross talk]

Robert Care
I agree with you, Debbie, in terms of the cascading and all the rest of it. However, you should not
underestimate what the leader at the top does. It does not really work positively, but it does work
negatively, and it will spread like wildfire if the person at the top of the pile does something. I
think that one of the ways, and you have touched on it, is the issue of cleaning up things when you
make a mistake. Whether it is a small mistake or a big mistake, if you demonstrate that you are big
enough to just say, ‘Sorry, got that wrong,’ and tidy it up, then you will go a long way to creating
the right sort of environment for people to operate in. If it is a big one, maybe you should not have
gone into that place in the first place, but you should still tidy it up.

Richard Sexton
Can I pick up on that as well? One of the other fascinating things from your research last year, and
it will be interesting to see where it goes this year, was that it struck me that a lot of confidence and
trust was driven by situational aspects, in particular around redundancy and business changes. In a
sense, I suppose, that leads into this question: what is the best time to establish your ethics, and
then how do you use them? I said that we had been looking at trust, and trying to get people to
think about trust as an asset. Trust is an asset, and you make sure that your asset is in good shape
when you need to use it. You do not try to put it into good shape when you need it.

Robert Care
When you are in trouble.

Richard Sexton
A number of the examples, including phone hacking and the other examples we have talked about,
are when you get into crisis, what do you do? Arguably it is too late. One of the interesting things
about the MPs, from a personal perspective, was had there been more honesty upfront, that we pay
our MPs insufficiently and therefore their salary and their reward comprises two elements, their
so-called salary and on top of that, their expenses. We are still doing it. This laughable comparison
goes on, that so-and-so is paid more than Tony Blair, or more than the Prime Minister. What sort
of crazy comparison is that?

Matthew Gwyther
Does anybody else think that we are going down the most crazy blind alley with that at the
moment? Individuals who earn more than the Prime Minister? The thing in the public sector is
that what you really want, more now than ever before, is really good people. Unless you can get
really good people to do those jobs, and to be paid proper market rates for them – I think one of the
things that we have in this country, which is a good thing, one of the things that one loves about it,
but also drives one mad, is this obsession with hypocrisy. Clearly within France, everybody knew




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about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, not only within the political class there, but even semi-educated
people, the media, they all knew that he was just a filthy old dog.
[Cross talk]

Marg Mayne
And he is still with us.
[Cross talk]

Matthew Gwyther
Michel Rocard actually said, two days ago, that he is suffering from mental illness, which sounds
like a bit of an excuse to me. In France, these sorts of things go on the whole time, and yet there is
this sort of omertà; it is not talked about. Whereas, if you think about what will happen in this
country when Cameron’s oldest kid comes up to the age of 11, that there will be somebody on the
Daily Mail for a year beforehand, finding out if that family is applying for state schools or will put
him into a private school. As he will probably go to Eton it will be 13 rather than 11, so he will be
well out of power. There is a good side to that, but is there not ultimately a totally self-defeating
side to it? It was La Rochefoucauld, the French philosopher, who said that ‘Hypocrisy is the
homage which vice pays to virtue.’ If you had a society where there was no hypocrisy, you would
be living in Mao’s China, would we not, where everybody lived according to these perfect moral
rules and never did anything wrong whatsoever. One of the things that it has made me think, this
summer, is that we are still, despite everything, wanting much too much from our political classes
in terms of their moral probity. We do not want them to be these old fools with their duck houses,
and things like that. At the same time, however, the number of sad MPs I’ve had supper with at the
House of Commons at eight or nine o’clock at night, always from constituencies miles away, when
their families are not there and all the rest of it: what a wretched existence they live.

Marg Mayne
I am with Robert on this. It is one of the things I was reflecting on. We had our staff survey
recently, and what we are saying is that we are an organisation that people want to work with
because of what we do. In that sense it is easy; we have an ethical proposition, clear influence. We
also had amazing engagement scores in our staff survey – people would die for, really. As a result
of that, however, people have huge expectations of their leaders. They have enormous expectations
that we are somehow paragons of virtue and everything else, and we ride our bikes and we cycle,
and there is climate change and gender awareness in our families, and all sorts. Massive
expectations. I am with Robert, not that we should not have ethical leadership, or leadership with
integrity, but part of that integrity is saying, ‘I am not perfect. I understand. And on the balance of
things, yes, I know what I did yesterday was rubbish. I am really sorry.’

Jasmine Whitbread
It is also setting the standards yourself, because I think that you get drawn along with, ‘That is what
everybody expects of us, therefore I had better try to live up to that’, rather than being clear about
what you are going to try to do and what you think you are not, and then always aiming to do as
you say but also being upfront when you fail. I had a CFO once, who said, very controversially, to
get the attention of the organisation, ‘I love fraud’. What he meant was that, when he heard about it
and it got reported, then we could take action, make an example of it and make sure that it was
sorted, but when he did not hear about it, that was when he was really worried, because there is not




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a single organisation in the world that does not have some element of slipped integrity. It is better
to have it out in the open, make an example of it and deal with it.

Robert Care
That is a removal of the hypocrisy issue. You are absolutely right: you have to get real about what
the expectations are of these politicians and what they are paid etc, but the hypocrisy is what brings
it out.

Julie Spence
Going from Laura’s point, the belief that the world is perfect, we live in a media-driven society, we
have too many televisions, and we believe that bad things do not happen, these are all linked.
Baby P is a good example. The result of all the publicity over that said that, actually, social
workers with telepathic sight could have seen beyond the door and known what was going on.
Actually, people had never been there and never done that particular role. As a result, other
children are suffering because there are not enough social workers. We seem to have this belief
that the riots could have been stopped and it would all have been well if the army had been out on
the streets. Nobody knows it takes six hours for the army to move.

Laura Tenison
We cannot afford this utopia that we are creating. There is no way we can afford it.

Matthew Gwyther
Just quickly around the table, because we want to keep this populist and readable, what were those
riots about? Julie, you were the copper – you were not here. What does everybody think that was
about? What was going on? I do not get it.

Peter Cheese
Opportunism by gang leaders.

Matthew Gwyther
They were nearly at Northcote Road.

Laura Tenison
I had five stores that were in danger zones, in effect, when we had local stores looted and broken
into. I had to take the decision on the first day of the riots whether or not to board up our shops. I
took the risk that we would do absolutely nothing. We would trade as normal, unless our staff had
concerns about getting home, in which case, of course, we would close if we had no staff to run the
stores. As a company, however, we had a siege mentality: we would keep on going and we would
show these kids that they were outnumbered by members of the population who do have morality
and do believe that independent shopkeepers and chains have a right not to be broken into and
looted from.
In fact, I found that, within the company... We have a company intranet system, which is, in effect,
the filtering-down of the company ethos. It is news and it is a blog and everything else, but what
people kept saying on this intranet was, ‘They will not come into our store’ and people took
ownership for their stores, and they really believed that they would protect the store because they
felt that they were empowered to do so. I drove around at night looking at what was happening
with a labrador in the car for protection.


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Matthew Gwyther
You were not on your bike. You should have had the labrador in a rucksack.

Laura Tenison
She is a hopeless guard dog but she is very big and, in fact, it does scare people who do not
understand labradors. As I drove around these stores, I did see a lot of people on the streets and I
saw a lot of independent shopkeepers – it was almost a Wild West scene – sitting in their
deckchairs, in their open doorways, where they had already been looted the night before, with a
metaphorical gun across their knees, waiting for people to come. I was so proud of 90% of the
population, who were really defending these local areas that we have shops in. The 10% of the
population – or even much less, actually – who thought this was an opportunity to get excited about
it: I have teenage boys, who were excited. My teenage boys, who are certainly not hoodlums – they
are nicely brought-up south London boys – were excited. They wanted to get out on the street and
see what was going on. They did not particularly want to loot because they do not need to loot, but
it was a movement.
When it comes to the riots, I think it has given us hope that we are not as bad as we thought we are.
These kids were involved in optimistic pilfering, which they do anyway. We have to allow for 5%
of our stock to go on shrinkage, because people have no fear. I feel it is because everyone is
scared. I am the old bat on the street who tells the kids off for fighting or beating up their friends. I
am the old bat who tells the kids off on the bus – when I am not cycling, of course – for being rude
or doing graffiti. I am not scared of being knifed – a lot of people are – and I think those riots made
a lot more people –

Julie Spence
Disproportionately frightened, I ought to say.

Laura Tenison
Those riots made more people stand up. The hero of the hour was that old Jamaican woman who
screamed at those kids saying, ‘I am ashamed of you. We did not come to this country in 1950 for
you to go helping yourself’.

Matthew Gwyther
Did you see she had done five years for importing coke from Jamaica? That was so unbelievably –

Participant
Did it work? Were all your shops okay?

Laura Tenison
All our shops happened to be alright, but I was on Twitter – I finally discovered the benefits of
Twitter – all night talking to local residents. It is so easy on Twitter. You can say, ‘Riots in
Blackheath’. I cannot be in Blackheath and in Crouch End and in Northcote Road. You can say,
‘Do you happen to be passing? After all, we are terribly worried about the local residents’, and
people were very community-minded, and they did and wanted to protect things.

Matthew Gwyther
David, what did the riots mean as far as you were concerned?



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David Kershaw
I think it was just rank opportunism. I think it was a small minority and people saw there was an
opportunity to do it, so they did it. I do not think it is some huge societal thing. I was in California
when this happened. I turned on BBC World and watched Harriet Harman saying it was because
tuition fees had gone up. At that point, I felt such revulsion – I have always felt revulsion against
Harriet Harman, actually, but I really felt it. I thought, ‘Here you are, using it for political ends’,
and it is not – it is just kids.

Peter Cheese
There is a hard core at the centre of this, is there not, which is the gang culture, and a lot of it
seemed to gravitate from the gangs saying, ‘Here is an opportunity, the policing does not seem to
be as strong here’, using… What we also learned from this is how the younger generation uses
social media for flash mobs etc, and we can use it as a force for good.

Laura Tenison
Look at the benefit for the Arab Spring.

Julie Spence
It is 30 years since we last had it, so this is not a new phenomenon. It happened in the 1980s.

Peter Cheese
It is highly mobilised through social media.

Julie Spence
Yes, but there are no more, and probably less, outbreaks. In the 1980s, you had Bristol,
Birmingham, Liverpool, and London in several places. The catalyst for Tottenham was what
happened at Cherry Grove. There is often a catalyst and it was police action that was the catalyst,
whether it was misunderstood or intentionally misunderstood, or whether it really deserved the
action that it did. There is something that happens every 30 years or so that the youth revolt
against.

Marg Mayne
For me, this one was quite different from those you referred to. I do not even call them riots; for
me, it was looting. In all of those instances that you quote, there was an articulation by a
community leader or by a young person of what was going on from the individuals who were
causing a disturbance. There was none of that articulation. Nobody was coming forward to say,
‘This is really what is going on’. It was not stop and search and it was not sus laws.

Julie Spence
Is that because social media does not have a leader?

Marg Mayne
No, I think it is because this was looting, not riots.




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Julie Spence
We have had looting before but we did not have 24/7 news like we do. I was in Liverpool when it
happened and it was as bad. The streets were free of officers while they had to regroup, because
you cannot put odd officers in, because they are attacked.

Marg Mayne
The result of what was going on in Brixton was not that. Many of the shops were intact, but the
ones that were not intact were the betting shop or the big screens from Ladbrokes, all the mobile
shops, and the shops that sold the top quality trainers. It is quite demonstrable, walking down
Northcote Road, exactly which shops were intact. They did not want the baby clothes.

David Kershaw
Waterstones was untouched.

Marg Mayne
That is a sad indictment.

Richard Sexton
I do not think that we should lose the point, because the danger is that, in true fashion, we spend a
lot of time talking about the negative side. One of the huge positives for me was the public
response, and the outrage and the demonstration that that is not acceptable behaviour. Collectively,
we concluded that that was not acceptable behaviour. Indeed, many of the people who were
involved, for whatever reason, respected that conclusion and have voluntarily come forward and
admitted to what they did etc.
If you go back to what was the cause, there is a series of levels to ensuring that one can attribute it
to all sorts of things. It seems to me that there is something in the middle, which is to do with
entitlement and a belief that ‘I am entitled to…’ Therefore, the looting was a direct consequence of
an entitlement and ‘You have a better flat-screen TV than me. I am entitled to one. The fact that
you have got it through work is irrelevant. I am going to throw a brick through that window and
take that flat-screen TV, if I get the chance’. That aspect again comes back to the shared values
that we espouse and the way that we are creating the expectinuums[?], in a sense back to ‘It is not
good to be successful’, because you clearly have not earned your success; you have just inherited it
or been gifted it, ‘Therefore, I have a right to be as successful as you’. That is a very dangerous
world to operate in.

Jasmine Whitbread
An earlier comment was around young people asking and expecting more of their leaders than they
did in the past. Now, we have come to the point where we are saying that young people have this
sense of entitlement, which is –

Richard Sexton
I do not think it is just young people.

Jasmine Whitbread
We were talking just now about young people rioting and looting. I do not know if we could go
back to the earlier comment, because I wanted to pick up on that. Somebody gave an example of



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evidence around young people asking for something different from their leaders and requiring more
to trust them. The example that was given was graduates. PWC and a lot of companies do
pro bono work with Save the Children because they can then attract the graduates and say to them,
‘You can go and do some pro bono work with Save the Children’. That is fantastic, but is there any
other evidence? That is quite a small segment.

Peter Cheese
There is a lot of evidence. ILM did a research study about six months ago on Generation Y
graduates coming into the workforce. We would say the generation broadly now sit in their
mid-20s, so graduates are two or three years into employment. There is a difference of expectation.
Whether or not it the same thing as entitlement, I am not entirely clear, but the expectation is that
they will move up faster through an organisation and they will have more opportunities than we
did. We talk now about a life of jobs as opposed to a job for life, so there is a very high
expectation. Pretty much every graduate recruiter in the country would reflect that, over the last
decade or so, we have seen graduates coming out of universities, often with less relevant degrees
because of the expansion of the higher education system to a much wider intake, but we still have
these young people with these great expectations that they are going to come into a job and say, ‘I
have a degree and you owe me a high salary and a lot of opportunity to progress, simply because I
am a graduate’.
What we are now starting to see is that beginning to turn the corner, partly because
higher-education fees themselves are going to make young people think much harder about whether
they go to university, and I think that is a huge positive, which is not stated enough. There is all
this protesting about fees, but it should reverse a trend which has not been the right one, which is to
push up to half our young people through university, which never made any sense. Now, then, we
are back to a situation where we are going to be looking much more to say, ‘Why do we not
develop young people through an organisation from the bottom up – from school-leaver level up –
and maybe we can manage the expectation better as a result of that and reduce the sense of
entitlement, just because they went to university?’ To your question, there are definitely other –

Jasmine Whitbread
They want more for themselves but they expect more from employers.

Peter Cheese
They expect more from the employer and you will hear them say –

Jasmine Whitbread
Where does trust come into that?

Peter Cheese
The trust comes into it because, if you look at the trust survey, most young people – most people,
never mind young people – work for middle management. They do not work for the CEO; they
work for middle management, in the large organisations.

Richard Sexton
Or an immediate manager.




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Peter Cheese
Yes. The issue of trust, then, becomes very personalised at that level. I can say, ‘Yes, I trust my
CEO’. Interestingly, the trust research showed that capability and integrity were the two most
valued attributes of CEOS; in other words, do they have the ability and do they show integrity.
When it comes down to their most immediate manager, however, that expands. The expectation set
of the values that their immediate boss shows is broader and includes much more obvious things
like ethical behaviours and consistency of behaviour etc. It is a natural reflection – and other
surveys have shown it – that this generation is looking much more to immediate role models, rather
than role models up here. It has a very high expectation of what that manager will deliver to them
personally, because it is about them. It is about, ‘What are you going to do, as a manager, to help
me with my career? What are you, as an organisation, going to do to train me and give me the best
opportunities? If you do not, I will go somewhere else’. That has become quite a pervasive
mindset, particularly among the graduate community.
The thing I would be interested in is some other people’s observations on how you get middle
management to do this better. Historically, we have done a very poor job in large organisations of
training our middle managers. The simple model that we use in ILM is a ‘knowing, doing, being’
model. The first thing is you have to teach them what good leadership and management is about,
and it includes ethical behaviours and integrity etc. Teach them. Second, it is the doing: are you
putting that theory into practice and can you demonstrate that you are being a good leader? It
includes things like running the business successfully and managing budgets etc. The third element
is the being dimension: are you expressing the values and are you being true, open and honest about
who you are? That is the toughest thing to measure and to teach.
Ultimately, because that is the expression of culture, it is probably the most pervasive and
important thing in creating trust in an organisation. I would be interested, given that observation,
how you, as leaders, try to get that through your middle levels of management to clearly reflect
what your own personal values are.

Julie Spence
I have seminars with my 450 middle managers twice a year and we go through whatever is on the
agenda. Clearly, the core is around ethics and leadership, but that is supplemented by a weekly
diary, which is the equivalent of a blog. Every week for five years, I write what I have been doing
for the organisation and we are able get messages out, which, in some ways, enables us to go
straight to the front line. Also, sometimes you miss out some of the more truculent middle
managers, but it would also give the middle managers a reference point. It is around continual
conversations all the time about what you want and what they want to do.

Peter Cheese
That is fantastic, but I know a lot of organisations in the last two years have stopped doing some of
those things, because the cost pressure –

Robert Care
I do exactly the same thing.

Peter Cheese
You sit on the board of a company – and I do not want to get lost in this – and it has been squeezed
down, and they are not having that connection.




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Julie Spence
It is not the cost pressure. If you are the leader, once you make a commitment you have to stick to
it. It is a burden.

Peter Cheese
I totally agree, Julie. My point is that, in terms of many organisations in the last two years, the
intense pressure on cost, performance, and quarterly results and earnings is making them
compromise on some of the things that are most important, which is connecting to their people,
giving them training, and spending time with them. I might be saying these things are important up
here, but when it comes down to the middle management, they are being driven and their
performance is being measured on ‘Did I deliver the results?’

Jasmine Whitbread
I want to pick up on your point about measuring: people will respond to what they are measured on.
I did not hear you say that it was just on money.

David Kershaw
No, I did not say it was on money.

Jasmine Whitbread
You can measure people not only on the results. We recruit against competencies and then do
performance reviews against our values: how are you demonstrating integrity, creativity and
accountability etc? It is up to them to demonstrate to their manager that they are doing that.

Peter Cheese
That is what it should be.

Jasmine Whitbread
Measures are important, but you can harden the so-called soft things.

Peter Cheese
You can, and it is great to hear that story, but my point is that a lot of organisations – and
particularly private-sector, commercial organisations – have been driven to focus more on the
quarterly earnings and the very hard metrics of results, and we are compromising –

Laura Tenison
Yes, but you have to quantify the benefit to bottom-line profit of retaining your staff and of having
customers who come back time and time again. The way that I do it, in an institution that has a tiny
management level – only 10% of our staff are management; all the rest are unskilled labour, in
effect – is that we have a totally non-hierarchical management system. The managers have to clean
the shops alongside the staff. Of course, they have to do the rotas and, during that time, they do not
have time to clean, but it is important that we do not have parking spaces for directors and we do
not have boardrooms. When we have a board meeting, I circulate the agenda to everyone, so that
people do not end up whispering, ‘What are the directors doing in that room all day? Are they
talking about us? Are they trying to cut our wages?’ It is so important to be transparent, to be
non-hierarchical, and to filter that down.



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I have, on occasion – and this is something that every organisation should do – stopped individual
line managers from doing things that are increasing their sales revenue or their productivity levels,
because they are unethical. You have to stand there and say, ‘She is making target; in fact she is
over target, month after month after month. How is she achieving this?’ When you look into it, it
is because she has put in performance-related bonuses locally. It may only be chocolate bars but
that is not what it is about. It is about doing a group effort. Sometimes, you have to cut your nose
to spite your face in order to progress the ethos, and keep it going down the ranks. Every now and
then, you have an amazing line supervisor whose productivity levels in the factory are incredibly
good, and they are not doing it with the right… so they have to go.
You have to have this open format where anyone can come forward, anyone can email me, a
director or a manager, anonymously or under their own name, and can say, ‘This is what is
happening’. Every team that we employ, I spend one hour with them and I say it. I say, ‘Come to
me if this ethos is not carrying on across the stores and across the company’. I cannot recruit
people anymore, but I can say it. Then they can think, ‘I am sure she said something how if…’ The
middle managers are sometimes the hardest to get onboard, because they feel that they have earned
that nameplate on the door. They want that parking space at the front of the car park. Those are the
ones who have to get onboard with other means.

Marg Mayne
I really liked this conversation about the value of staff engagement and the value of soft skills. It is
very clear that every member of staff makes a decision every day that they come into work about
how much discretionary effort they are going to put into their job. They can do their job, or they
can really do their job. It is not necessarily about staying late or working longer hours; it is just
about applying some effort, focus and energy, and all the things that we know. To make that
happen, that employee can contribute 10-20% more to the organisation than they might otherwise
have done. They choose that every day.

Laura Tenison
It is not always money.

Marg Mayne
A bit of effort, motivation and engagement that gets that effort into what the organisation is trying
to do just hits the bottom line, ultimately. It is very hard to quantify. It is not a logarithm, but you
know when it goes.

Peter Cheese
If you believe in this engagement – and I am a passionate believer in it – what do you think is one
of the biggest drivers of engagement?

Participant
Communication.

Peter Cheese
It is the heart of what we have been discussing here. It is about trust: ‘I trust my CEO, I trust my
line manager and I believe in the purpose that they are espousing. They are acting accordingly. I
get it. I am linked to that purpose’. This discussion about trust ultimately becomes so important




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because it translates into very direct bottom-line benefit, because you know, if you have a more
engaged workforce, you will get better results. Trust sits so centrally to that idea.

Laura Tenison
Trust and recognition are so important.

Peter Cheese
Absolutely, there are other facets.

Julie Spence
The other point that was raised – and I do not know if it is just a private-sector thing – was around
being driven by the employee saying, ‘What are you going to do for me?’ I would not have that. I
would say, ‘We are in a partnership. I will support you in your development but, equally, I expect
you to do this for the organisation. You want to go off and do that but we need to go in this
direction, so you cannot at this juncture’. The argument that will come back is, ‘We are a
public-sector organisation delivering for the public; therefore, this is not about an ego trip for you
going there. Together we all work so that you achieve your objectives, but you have to get
full-square behind the organisation’.

Peter Cheese
The Americans use the expression, ‘Wake up and smell the coffee’. There has been a lot of
research on Generation Y for the last 10 years – the most researched generation in history, and all
this stuff about expectations has been coming through very loud and clear. The parlance of the
Americans would be, ‘When they finally get into work, they will surely wake up and smell the
coffee, and understand that it is not all about them’. That is what I found so interesting about the
research we did in the last six months, which said, ‘No, it does not quite work like that’.

Matthew Gwyther
Peter, do you really think that Generation Y is any different from the way we were at between
15 and 23?

Peter Cheese
That is an interesting question.

Matthew Gwyther
It is a cyclical thing, is it not? The whole generational thing is that, as you grow up, you change –
your attitudes change. I think they are wonderful. I have three children: a 16-year-old, a
four-year-old and a two-year-old. Watching him getting towards that now is a huge pleasure. The
reason why you like it is because you see those elements of yourself in it, as you were then. I think
that, if anything, they are better than we were. They have all the huge technological advances,
although I spent two weeks on holiday with the 16-year-old – he does not live with us all the time –
and he read 60 pages of one book in two weeks, and I just thought, ‘I want to bang my head against
a wall’.

Richard Sexton
Was it on Kindle?




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Matthew Gwyther
It was driving me crazy. Then, when you go out in the evening and you spend a couple of hours
talking to him, he comes out with stuff and you think, ‘Well, that is alright’.

Richard Sexton
They are very different. They have a confidence.

Matthew Gwyther
Are they different?

Richard Sexton
They have a confidence that we did not.

Robert Care
They are better informed.
[Cross talk]

Jasmine Whitbread
It is hard to generalise. In the same way that you have rightly pointed out that there are journalists
and journalists, is there not youth and youth?

Richard Sexton
I was trying to make the comment on a like-for-like basis that, if you look at the people going into
similar businesses in 10-year horizons over the last 30 years, with the 1,200 graduates or so we
bring in each year, the level of confidence of those graduates has increased dramatically. To be
fair, their access to information and technology has increased dramatically, and our expectations
that they will have access to it have gone up enormously. When I went for job interviews, there
was an assumption you might know roughly what the business was about. Today, you are expected
to have looked at the website. You are expected to know what the values of the organisation are.
Indeed, that is what fuels their challenge with their values: ‘What the hell are they? I ought to
know what they are’.

Robert Care
The challenge is for the people who are doing the interviews to have done their research, because
the kids will have done research – absolutely no question. They will know about your firm than
you do.

Peter Cheese
They will know about you.

David Kershaw
People talk about the death of deference, but I think that, in a corporate context, the death of
deference is a really good thing. We have about 12 graduates a year, but they will come in and they
will challenge what the old farts are saying, and they are not afraid to do it. The important thing, of
course, is to create a culture in which they are not afraid to challenge. You have people coming



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through much more quickly and having a real effect on the organisation and changing it, so there is
a good side to being sceptical about authority, which is very productive.

Matthew Gwyther
They have had a terrible summer because of the riots and, suddenly, youth has been given the
placard of helpless and feckless etc. I do not think that they are – even the ones who were doing
the looting. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, I was boring beyond belief.

Julie Spence
They would not have been caught.

Matthew Gwyther
I always think in my industry of someone like Felix Dennis, who was up in front of the judges and
could have gone to prison for the Oz trial etc. He is worth £300-400 million. I am not going to be
so complacent to say they are going to be fine, but I think that they have a lot more going for them.
The opportunities are that much broader and things have progressed to. In the very short term, the
prognosis is not great, because trying to find them jobs is not easy at the moment.

Julie Spence
I just wonder if that is going to make them more reflective. They might come back to Generation Y
because they are now in a competition and a fight. They realise that they have to do more
themselves.

Peter Cheese
They do, I agree. There have been a lot of positive reflections of Generation Y, all the way from
talent-management practices, clarity and career direction, training, and all the things that we
promise to our employees but do not always give, through to the use of technology, the ways we
work.

Laura Tenison
There is a worry about the level of work ethic in youth. There are 3,700 vacant apprenticeships in
central London. I do not know the exact figure, but you get £10 a week more on an apprenticeship
than you get on Jobseeker’s Allowance, ‘So why am I going to bother to work for £10?’ The fact is
that you might get a full-time job at the end. Out of goodwill, because we do not need any more
staff, I have opened up the opportunity for apprentices to come and learn the job, because we do
always have new roles and, as many of our wonderful eastern European employees go home, there
are new jobs. Someone who has done an apprenticeship will be useful after six months of careful
training.
They are not taking up these positions, which frustrates me, because the youth of today do not have
enough positive role models and it is up to us – the heads of departments – to bring people in. I
would expect that some people in bigger organisations would struggle to find roles for unskilled
people who leave work. You have internships for people with firsts from Oxford, and they are
coming in for free, so why would you bother to take someone in on a –

Peter Cheese
You pay them less and they are likely to be more loyal. I do a lot of work with Business in the
Community on this and on apprenticeships. With Boris, and nationally, there has been a big push


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Trust Index Roundtable                                                 Institute of Learning and Management


on apprenticeships, and there is that sense that, sometimes, British young people are not always
applying for jobs. From the point of view of the employer, the employer has to rebrand or invent
what apprenticeships are about, because we have lost a sense of what apprenticeships are about.
Historically, in construction, shipbuilding and engineering etc, that was the way you got into the
work. Then we lost it and it all got mashed up in polytechnics becoming universities and sending
everybody to become graduates.

Robert Care
It is still possible but it is very difficult for people to come –

Peter Cheese
It is much harder, but, as I said before, I think that we are beginning to see the tide starting to turn,
partly because of higher-education fees and partly because businesses are asking, ‘Why am I paying
all this money for graduates when they do not stay, they are not terribly loyal and they have very
high expectations?’ – and I am generalising very much – versus technical skills.

Matthew Gwyther
Robert, how many graduates are you taking on this September from the UK?

Robert Care
We are taking on roughly 80. I said, ‘What the hell are you doing? The bloody Australians are
taking on 110, and they are a third of your size’, so we are now taking 150. I believe that you have
to get the shape of your business right. The graduates are our future, so we have to take on
graduates. If you have to deal with other issues, you have to deal with other issues, but you have to
get the shape of your business right, so we are taking on 150. That is in the UK. There are more in
South Africa etc.

Matthew Gwyther
What do you pay them as a starting salary?

Robert Care
I have no idea what we pay them.

Peter Cheese
It is probably roughly half what you pay –

Matthew Gwyther
Do they all have firsts from the top –

Robert Care
No, they do not all have firsts. Certainly, firsts from Cambridge and Oxford. I have a real problem
with that.

Matthew Gwyther
Why?




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Trust Index Roundtable                                                Institute of Learning and Management


Robert Care
Because that is not where I came from. You have to look at the character of the people. It is more
the character of the people. I was advising a university on a programme that they had, and they
were trying to decide whether they went for the people who did well at high school or those who
had the right talent. I argued very strongly that you interview them for talent and attitude first, and
you can train them for the other bit. That is how Arup employ people. It is about people who will
live the culture and the values, and deliver it. You can train them for the other 50%. It is
fundamentally important.

Peter Cheese
I so agree with that. One of the large UK retailers said in the last week or so that they were cutting
down on the number of graduates they needed to recruit – they wanted to recruit more
school-leavers, which is even better – but that they were going to restrict their graduate intake much
more to Oxbridge. I thought, ‘Oh, my God’.

Matthew Gwyther
Which one was that?

Peter Cheese
Sainsbury’s. It sent all the wrong messages. First of all, it is about an elitist system, and it should
not be about an elitist system. I so believe in what you said, Robert, that what we should be
focusing more effort on is recruiting for attitude and alignment of value and purpose. The fact that
they have a university education says that they have reached a certain level of academic capability.
Oxford or Cambridge does not predispose people to be more effective in business; in some ways,
you could even argue the opposite.

Robert Care
There is no doubt we want clever people, but it is actually how those clever people come together
that is also important. In fact, I put notes out on a regular basis to get around the middle managers,
so that I communicate directly with everybody, including the middle managers. That is really about
the whole thing of attitude and behaviour. Fundamental to the success of my business is how
people behave, and their attitudes to what they do. Whether they have a Cambridge first or
whatever –

Julie Spence
The Oxford and Cambridge stamp is quite strong. I have worked both in Thames Valley Police
with Oxford, and clearly in Cambridge, and yet one of my front-office staff when I was in Bristol
was a first from Bristol University, because he just could not cope with the responsibility and
everything that comes with management. There is something around academics, and I have met
them in all different shapes and sizes, that, just because you go to those universities, you are not
suddenly moulded for the top jobs. Sometimes, you need them in some of the factories and –

Robert Care
It took me 30 years to recover from having a university education, but I am almost there.

Matthew Gwyther
At that point, we will stop.


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Trust Index Roundtable                                     Institute of Learning and Management




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