A Farewell Message from Philippa Foster Back CBE

IBE news
30 April 2020


Read a farewell message from Philippa.

Dear All,

It is the time for a farewell message from me and to thank you all for your support and friendship to me personally and the IBE.

These are strange times, and perhaps becoming more uncertain as we contemplate and wonder what some easing of lockdown might look like, and lead to. One thing we all know, it will not be back to life as we knew it, which is likely to be for the good as we adapt based on a better understanding of the society we live in.

In a series of recent calls with some of you, our supporters, it has been heartening to hear how values and doing the right thing are very central to how you as companies will pull through. This has particularly manifested itself in the concern and care expressed for the wellbeing of employees. 

As in any crisis the enormity of the situation is sometimes delayed as survival reactions kick in initially. Many employers are aware of this of course and are seeking to engage proactively with their staff – “just checking in” is a frequent phrase being uttered, especially given the myriad of circumstances we are all in. One quote struck me in bringing this home – “we used to have 180 offices now we have 16,000”! 

Sadly not all companies have fulfilled their responsibilities. Directors might need to be reminded of their S172 duties, in having regard to all their stakeholders in how they have behaved. Some maybe would believe they have had no choice, others perhaps have chosen behaviour we might well question.

I have a glass half full attitude and am pleased to have witnessed the application of ethical values to business behaviour, IBE’s definition of business ethics, to become mainstream over the years. This is now expressed in the focus on behaviours and the culture they engender in companies and organisations.

The more companies who recognise that doing business ethically makes for better business, the nicer our corporate, working and societal environment will be for everyone.

It is with great pleasure I pass the baton and the stewardship of the IBE to Ian Peters who I know with the support of IBE’s experienced team, will continue to listen to your needs and be there for you and your organisation.

With best wishes for the future,