Be the Business

NWBLT Productivity Task Force Chair, Richard Carter, welcomes the launch of Be the Business’. Richard is managing director of BASF companies in the UK and Ireland. ‘Be the Business’, is a movement which will inspire businesses to be the best they can be, providing practical tools to assist them and be a catalyst for change.

‘Be the Business’ is the brainchild of the Productivity Leadership Group (PLG). Founded in 2015, the PLG is a group of some of the UK’s best performing and internationally recognised companies. Chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield, chair of John Lewis, it was formed to address the under-performance of productivity in the UK.

If a lot of companies do a little bit better it would add £130bn in value to the UK economy. The PLG today launched ‘Be the Business’, a movement which will enable businesses to improve their own operational processes and commercial excellence through benchmarking, collaboration, better leadership and talent management.


Richard Carter (BASF), Charlie Mayfield (JL) and Juergen Maier (Siemens)

Sir Charlie Mayfield explains: “We aim to support businesses in three principal ways. By inspiring leaders with actionable insight that helps businesses to set goals and measure progress. By providing modern tools that enable businesses to work out how good they are compared to others they choose. By encouraging sharing of best practice within communities of businesses across the UK as a catalyst to enable people to find out what’s worked best for others seeking the same improvement.”


Richard Carter added “NWBLT are delighted to have hosted the first regional meeting of the PLG in Manchester last month and we are now working across the North West region to develop a pilot based on these discussions.  There are some great examples in this region that can be used to stimulate ideas nationally to ensure there is improved productivity throughout the UK as a whole”.



Introduction from Charlie Mayfield: Join the Productivity Movement

Productivity is vital. Yet the UK’s productivity trajectory is flat – so now it’s time for action. By building a dynamic movement involving thousands of businesses we could add as much as £130bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy each year.

Productivity drives growth as well as increasing social prosperity and improving living standards, but Britain never recovered from the global crisis and recession that followed. Now the turbulence following the vote to leave the EU risks even more economic uncertainty. If productivity growth was important before the Brexit vote, it is crucial now.

The resolution to our lacklustre productivity must come from us: the business community. And it is time for concerted action. The routes to improvement are many and varied but they all depend on strong ambitious business leadership and enduring action on the ground.

We see the potential in business-driven, “bottom-up” change and continuous improvement among individual businesses. Our analysis confirms that productivity should – and could – be better in businesses of all sizes and sectors, with a dramatic potential £130bn boost possible each year.

The question is how? The answer is “Be the Business”