MBS Inspiration

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    is Europe’s leading executive search boutique operating exclusively in consumer facing industries.

Ben Helfgott - an inspirational father

Posted: 15 June 2012

It is always interesting to see a marketing campaign that is based around a particular event. Often, those sorts of campaigns fall flat and can end up being quite naff. So, imagine a brilliant, authentic and genuine campaign so timely and poignant that it is not only perfect for Father’s Day and The Olympics, but also for Euro 2012.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Can big companies care too?

Posted: 01 June 2012

In April 2008, just after the (RED) campaign was launched, The MBS Group hosted an event called “Conscience Consumerism: Shopping That’s Good For The Soul.” The evening was held five months before Lehman Brothers collapsed – the economy was booming and, while there were many companies who were working hard on corporate responsibility, there did not seem to be the same sense of consciousness of people and planet that there is today. When Marks & Spencer launched its brilliant ad campaign, Look Behind the Label, it was the first time a major high-street retailer had engaged its stakeholders on these issues on such a scale and it delivered the message through national advertising, in-store merchandising, employee communication and their website.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Companies that care

Posted: 17 February 2012

I don’t know if you read the piece that I wrote about youth unemployment back in January? In response, I received some interesting emails about companies that are being proactive and that are really doing something to address the situation. I am sure that those are the companies that will benefit from their initiatives in the long run. As with all good initiatives, someone in every organisation has to be the champion and has to have the drive to make things happen. I passionately believe that business today has to be ‘not only for profit’.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

A helping hand

Posted: 27 January 2012

I really don’t want to depress you, but the simple fact is that unemployment in the UK has risen to 2.68 million, with almost half that number being 16-24 year-old school and university leavers who have received little guidance on how or where to find work. The stark reality faced by young people today was the backdrop to a dinner my son, David, attended this week, led by one of this country’s most successful and socially aware entrepreneurs. David and 10 other youngsters discussed the difficulties of finding work and the role business can play in helping them do so. Here are some of his thoughts:
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Inspiring the next generation - by David Benigson

Posted: 09 September 2011

Having written on Monday about my visit to the One Young World Summit in Zurich, I have been thinking about what makes a visionary leader.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

The food revolution

Posted: 02 September 2011

This is my last piece on my trip in the USA looking at retail and consumer brands. It seems to me that there are just too many stores in too many identikit shopping malls and retail parks, with very little real differentiation. It feels unsustainable, especially as more and more people begin to shop online. However, what stood out on this trip were the individuals who have been consistently successful and who are doing things to give back to their communities. As you know, I went to California armed with a list of restaurants from the team at Jamie Oliver Enterprises. Included in my list was the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Truck, which is doing an incredible job teaching people to cook. Impressive!
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Not only for profit

Posted: 15 August 2011

Following on from Friday and the theme of giving back, I came across another brilliant entrepreneur who works in the ‘not-only-for-profit’ sector. He somehow reminds me of Jamie Oliver. Aged 31, having already started five successful companies, Blake Mycoskie (who lives on a boathouse outside Los Angeles), founded a shoe brand called TOMS, whose strap line is: “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.”
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

The price of cool

Posted: 27 May 2011

This week, I was reading about how Puma, the lifestyle, footwear and clothing brand, has introduced an Environmental Profit & Loss account to measure the full environmental impact of its operations and supply chain worldwide. This is a bold step, to say the least, with Jochen Zeitz, Puma’s chairman and CEO, leading the move right from the top.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

High street blues

Posted: 08 April 2011

I am beginning to think that in the world of retail, apart from independents, who have to be outstanding to survive, we are moving towards one (or, maybe, a very few) of everything: think about chains that sell electricals, music, video games, books and even wine. The majority are struggling for survival, many are in the intensive care ward and some are on their way to the angels.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Floor to ceiling

Posted: 25 February 2011

I have been very busy this week talking about the Davies Report on gender equality, a subject that comes up at least once a year. My conclusion is that I am going to have to try to persuade chairmen (and women) to re-address their hiring criteria, insist on balanced shortlists and help them hire more women onto their boards. Only then will business reflect and serve the needs of the society in which we live. If I don’t steer the thinking of board members to realize the potential of such hires, then legislation may be considered and we really don’t want that to happen.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Fri Oct 08, 2010

Posted: 08 October 2010

I love snacks. It’s just part of my being, and I am always on the look-out for good, healthy snack bars. The best one that I have found so far is KIND, made by PeaceWorks Foods. PeaceWorks, founded in 1994 by Daniel Lubetzky, is a “not-only-for-profit” company that fosters economic co-operation among neighbours striving to co-exist in conflict regions worldwide. Daniel is an exceptional individual who is inspiring to talk to.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

The legacy lives on

Posted: 16 July 2010

Who said that when big companies buy niche brands they usually destroy them? There are actually some very good examples of global companies that have managed to retain the spirit, integrity and authenticity of the niche brand they acquire. Just look at Ben & Jerry’s. From a consumer’s perspective, it’s hard to believe that it is not still being run from a renovated gas station in Vermont, instead of from Unilever HQ! As I have mentioned before, Unilever has also managed to take the brand’s corporate sustainability to another level – testimony to a great heritage. Which brings me onto The Body Shop.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility as the key to future success of community and business

Posted: 09 July 2010

On Monday night, I had the privilege of listening in, along with sixty others, on a conversation between Moira Benigson and Jamie Oliver. As I surveyed the daunting audience littered with CEO’s, Presidents and important-looking business people (Terence Conran amongst them) I felt intimidated merely sitting on the sidelines.
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Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

An evening with Jamie Oliver

09 July 2010 | Charlotte Street Hotel

Posted: 09 July 2010

On Monday night, at a central-London hotel, a group of 60 guests and I had the pleasure of hearing from Jamie Oliver, in lumberjack shirt and flip flops, on his plans to improve the health of our nation. The simple and shocking statistic is that the children in school today are the first generation in the last three who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Why? Obesity, stemming from poor diet.
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Category: Cat In conversation with... Tags: Tag Social Responsibility

Leadership The Nelson Mandela Way: Lessons For Business

Andrew Feinstein in Conversation with Moira Benigson
17 July 2008 | The Soho Hotel, London

Posted: 17 July 2008

The cowhide-seated screening room at The Soho Hotel is a suitably African-inspired setting for a conversation with Andrew Feinstein, former ANC politician-turned-business advisor, and author of the South African best seller After the Party. Andrew was fortunate to have worked closely with Nelson Mandela from the time of the negotiations that led to South Africa’s first democratic elections, until Mandela’s retirement from politics at the conclusion of his five-year term in office. An audience of 50 business leaders working in consumer industries around the world is eager to hear what Andrew has to say on his former boss’s leadership style and, as at all MBS Group events, to engage in stimulating debate about issues and trends in business and beyond.
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Category: Cat In conversation with... Tags: Tag Social Responsibility