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Business Leadership leadership, CSR

by Nigel Peters


The Importance Of Leadership, CSR And More…from the heart of the City

Effective leadership is a key part of successful business – but how does CSR fit in? Alium’s Managing Partner Nigel Peters attended a third sector event in the City recently and shares his thoughts from it.

What Impact Does CSR Have On Effective Leadership?

I had the pleasure recently of attending a senior leadership breakfast with the City’s CSR body Heart of the City, in the grand setting of the The Mansion House.  Hosted by the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London who is also Co-President of Heart of the City, Alderman the Lord Mountevans, it was an excellent occasion with a prestigious panel from the third sector.

There were lots of great insights, but with increasing public and media concerns about the ethics and transparency of the charities sector, escpecially in light of the recent failure of Kids Company and the funding approach of Age UK, the sector needs some reform.

The panel was chaired by National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) CEO Sir Stuart Etherington and his words of advice were simple and clear if you are part of the leadership of any organisation across this sector:

  • Have defined and achievable indicators of success - ie KPIs but aligned to the outcomes of the charity,
  • Understand and manage your risks,
  • Identify, set and achieve the highest possible standards.

With these simple forms of governance in place you should be able to provide the basic oversight of what can often be an unnecessarily complex sector.

heart of the cityThe discussion moved on to cover much of the issues surrounding CSR in the City and its importance. One topic was the challenge faced with the conflicting demands of a profit and loss account and the delivery of social values.  I personally see no conflict in this space and while each element brings its own pressures, they can sit easily together and are not mutually exclusive. Living by your values and promoting these has always been at the core of Alium and one which is so important to us.

Several companies at the event were also keen to understand how to start off down the ‘CSR’ route and I always think it is important to understand that both big and small companies can take part in CSR. From our experience in the last year, and with winning a Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award, I know I and the team gained huge insight on how to set up a simple and successful CSR programme.  As ever, do engage with people and ask them what they want to do and provide them with the wherewithal and resources to succeed. The results are a more engaged, more retentive and happy workforce, as well as the benefit to  your local community and charity partner. It is also a great differentiator too.

In sum a most interesting and engaging morning. I commend the work of Heart of the City and if you wish to learn a little more of their achievements, visit their website:

What are your thoughts on effective eladership? Does CSR have a role to play? Share your comments below.

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About the Author

Nigel Peters

As well as his strategic role of Managing Partner, Nigel also has responsibility for the Private Sector practice. Heading up this division, Nigel and his team are responsible for the immediate provision of senior interims and transformation teams to lead business solutions across a wide span of the private sector from FTSE 250/100 to private equity and AIM listed businesses. His team provide director level and senior management roles across the traditional functional areas such as HR, finance, IT and procurement, as well as business leaders to deliver transformational change and integration expertise.

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