The company is among leading multinational companies, high street brands and successful entrepreneurs backing the initiative – ‘Be the Business’ - the brainchild of the Productivity Leadership Group (PLG). ‘Be the Business’ aims to inspire businesses to be the best they can. It will provide practical tools to help, including a benchmarking and measurement tool and online learning resources. Mike Rake, BT Chairmain, is a member of PLG, a group of some of the UK’s best-performing and internationally-recognised companies and led by John Lewis chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield.
Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “We’re not going to be telling people how to run their businesses. Instead we want to breathe oxygen into thousands of business-led initiatives and communities across the country. We’re going to celebrate and encourage.”
According to PLG, UK businesses aren’t as productive as other companies in Europe and around the world. It says the UK suffers from a long-standing productivity gap, currently around 35 percentage points behind Germany and 30 percentage points behind the US. Mike Rake said: “Over the next three years ‘Be the Business’ hopes to encourage more than 50,000 businesses in the UK to take action to improve their productivity. It will offer businesses of all sizes a bespoke plan, offering practical ideas to deliver tangible improvements in productivity over the long term. And it will provide a resource to connect with a broad range of businesses to create a UK-wide movement of business leaders.”
‘Be the Business’ aims to add £130bn in value to the UK economy every year by helping companies become more productive and encourage UK businesses to share advice, support and mentoring. Tony Danker, Chief Strategy Officer at Guardian News & Media, will take up the role of chief executive this autumn, leading a team of 20 and an advisory group. It will also draw on the expertise and advice of UK business leaders – including BT. The UK Government is endorsing the initiative, providing £13m of funding over three years.