How to run a business – Lord Wolfson

According to The Times, Lord Simon Wolfson, boss of Next, is the longest serving and highly successful CEO in the FTSE 100, having clocked 14.1% compound annual EPS growth over the last 20 years – hence his rules for creating the right company culture on how to run a business are well worth considering


Take decisions and make things happen:

    • Do not take minutes at meetings – only record action points
    • No actions probably mean a wasted meeting
    • All that matters is what happens as a result
    • Judge people by the things they make happen


Managing change is part of everyone’s work:

    • There is no ‘business as usual’
    • Business constantly changes


Invest for a return on shareholders’ money:

    • All our activities work towards that goal
    • Do not make ‘strategic’ investments


Keep things simple:

      • Speak plain English
      • Business jargon is so unhelpful – it makes simple things sound complicated
      • Then everyone can understand, contribute and be more effective


Be open, honest, considerate with others:

    • Teams that get on well together are more likely to achieve their aims
    • Employees are not competing with others internal – they are on your side


Be demanding but never nasty:

    • Whatever you do, you may need to give people uncomfortable feedback
    • At the same time, try to be considerate and polite

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