Jericho Notices June 2015

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Radical Hope & Jericho Chambers

And so the General Election came and went.

The car crash result that everyone predicted never materialised; leaders fell upon their various swords (only for Nigel to rise again from his); the country returned to its mid-austerity status quo; Europe climbed the agenda once again; and the crisis of Britain’s semi-detached democracy putters on.

Everyone knows the world is changing fast. In an age of technology, networks and costless communications, the future – for politics and business – will be negotiated, not imposed. The questions that Jericho Chambers is being asked to help answer are: “so what does that mean for my organisation?”, “how can we operate successfully in this new and changing world?” and “how should we handle our big, hairy business challenges when our old modes of top-down behaviour aren’t working?”.

Setting out how we tackle these challenges, Neal and Robert co-authored piece that captures Jericho’s thinking and describes our current work on some of today’s critical issues: taxation; housing; affordability; social impact; wealth inequality. None of these are straightforward challenges. They run to the heart of business’ need to do the right thing – through actions, not words.

But most importantly, we must not give up hope. In his other life as Chair of Good Society pressure group, Compass, Jericho’s Neal Lawson outlined a punchy roadmap for the Labour Party and the progressive left, while the RSA’s Matthew Taylor, in a guest blog, explored similar sentiments, recognising the reform of social democracy as a genuine test of national character.

Who can we trust?

The vexed issue of trust weaves its way through everything. Who can we trust? Seeking to answer the question in less than thirty minutes, Robert delivered the 2015 Anthony Howitt Lecture for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, arguing that the crisis of trust is in fact a crisis of leadership; that accountability is more important than measurement; and that reciprocal vulnerability is the key to building trustworthiness between citizens and society. Robert also returned to an earlier theme – the need for business to re-learn how to apologise – echoing thoughts on the nature of both trust and faith in business. A full text of Robert’s CIMA talk was subsequently published in The Accountant magazine.

Economic Common Good Sense

Jules, meanwhile, as convenor of The Real Economy Lab, is making sense of the new economy – both in blogs and via articles in the Huffington Post and elsewhere. Jules is currently heavily involved in developing fresh thinking for Jericho around the divestment in fossil fuels debate, which will intensify as #Paris2015 approaches, and once Pope Francis publishes his much-anticipated encyclical on climate change later this month. Jules will be co-curating a series of events on the subject, through the summer.

Jericho’s work in the Social Impact Investment space continues – as evidenced by partner Gary Mead’s two most recent articles for ImpactInvestor – and as team Jericho develops the nascent idea of The Public Equity Alliance, a coalition of businesses and organisations campaigning for #publicequitynotprivateequity. We hope to report more on this in subsequent issues.

Properly understanding the common good requires welcoming multiple voices into the conversation – as Jericho has facilitated through the Responsible Tax project, curated by Think Tank CoVi and supported by KPMG. The programme recently took us to Scotland to co-host an energising roundtable with the SNP’s John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, and next month the team will be in Brussels to discuss Responsible Tax at the European Commission. In a recent blog post, Action Aid’s Kerry Stares pointed out why corporation tax will never be boring again.

Returning to the subject of Europe, former Kingfisher Group CEO, Sir Ian Cheshire, a prominent pro-European, will be speaking at Jericho’s Charterhouse Square townhouse on the perils and pitfalls of “Brexit”. If you would like to join us on Thursday 25 June, please e-mail

Back in the UK, the common good for London is being explored through a new publication from the Centre for London, based on an original Jericho idea and sponsored by Capco. Volume One of London Essays examined London’s soft power. Volume Two, scheduled for publication on July 1st, considers the challenges of Future London – and what it will take to remain the world’s greatest city.

PR Is Dead. Katie Hopkins is very much alive

Having sold out in hardback, the paperback edition of Trust Me, PR is Dead goes on sale on June 18th. After his debut at the Hay Literary Festival, Robert will be sharing his thoughts on the future of communications and trust in a number of talks during June and July. The Jericho partners will also be working with a group of business leaders, politicians, academics and members of civil society in an on-going collaborative venture, Chapter 13, which will optimistically attempt to answer the question: “is everything is dead, what comes next?” If you would like to join, please let us know.

By far and away the most-read article on the Jericho website last month (and with the biggest hits for host title Management Today) was co-founder Christine Armstrong’s Power Mum interview with the ubiquitous Katie Hopkins, in which Katie admitted that Social Services had been called in to check upon her kids and explained why stay-at-home mums are “anti-working women”. Christine’s exquisitely insightful article was picked up by a clutch of national titles – and is most certainly Jericho Notice’s own June pick-of-the-pops.


Robert Phillips
June 8 2015

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