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Strategy and sustainability: 6 'P's for socially responsible strategy
Other Talks in the Series: Strategic Management
Prof. Spicer: Welcome to this lecture on strategy and sustainability. My name is Andre Spicer, I'm a professor at Cass Business School, and I'm here with my colleague Jean-Pascal Gond, who's also a professor at Cass.
In this lecture, we're going to look at one of the biggest challenges which many businesses face today when formulating strategy, which is the question of how do they develop a strategy which allows the business to be sustainable and faces global challenges. We're going to look at ways in which companies can do this, and how they can begin to formulate a strategy which will help a company not only to be competitive, but to serve broader social and environmental goals. Cass Business School sits on the edge of East London and on the edge of the financial district of the City of London. It's in a really interesting place, on the one hand we have probably one of the richest parts of the world with highest value of real estate and billions of pounds/ billions of dollars traded every single day. On the other side, we have one of the poorest areas of not just London, but the rest of the UK. Every day we see this big gap between absolute wealth, which is generated through business and trading, and the absolute poverty of the City of London. This got us thinking every day: "How do these two things exist and how do they work side-by-side? Are they simply two worlds which don't see each other, or can they come together in some way?"
One person who we did see bringing these two worlds together was a builder called Steve Rawlings, who was an East End builder, his father was an East End builder, he grew up in the East End in Wanstead in London. In 1981, he founded a building company which was called Lakehouse. This building company was typical of most building companies in the area, they slowly built up from a house in Wanstead with a small group of employees, and they began focusing their efforts on two particular sectors. One was affordable housing (people who are relatively poor are often provided by social housing), and the second sector was buildings for public sector organisations such as education, schools, etc. This business built up from very small and humble beginnings at a house in Wanstead, to today where there are 540 employees with a turnover of 154 million pounds. An important part of this story is