Tales from the table

In Business We Believe

   03 October 2018 at The Black Penny, Covent Garden

What happens when a business's ethics or purpose clash with bald, blunt performance indicators? What does it take to stand up for personal values in a professional environment? If seen as part of living in a more integrated fashion, are there no boundaries between the personal and professional? What does that mean for employers' responsibilities and employees' accountability?

This was a breakfast exploring the vast implications and significance of spirituality in business. In a conversation that was deeply sustaining we covered everything from:

... how employers attempt to navigate the fine line between pastoral responsibilities towards their staff with the need to extract optimum commercial results;

... the perils a business runs by neglecting its staff's wellbeing and individual development;

... the difficulty of finding a place for ineffable, reflective matters (including spirituality) in a corporate culture that is rated by metrics and speed;

... whether many business models depend entirely on their size and dominance for their success;

... the conditioned tendency to park one's faith with the car outside the office; to

... what happens when a business meeting starts with a prayer, and whether we can ever really sell a proposition that is based on being poorer - but happier?

Plus so much more! Thank you hugely to all who came and shared their insights and ideas so generously.

Themes of the Breakfast

  • Business in the twenty-first century
  • Modern mindsets for living and working


Ian Hislop's series for the BBC on the Age of the Do Gooders

Arthur Brooks was mentioned in the context of the importance of risk taking and moral courage

Reid Hoffman et al writing in the Harvard Business Review: "Your company is not a family"

Lenore Skenazy is "America's Worst Parent", and the force behind the Free Range Children movement

Does Schumacher - with his theory of 'Buddhist economics', have the answer to whether you should opt to be "poorer but happier"?

An interesting perspective on changing an organisation's approach to developing its staff

Recommended event

Some organisations offer more than a commodity or service: they represent an identity, are the lodestar of a community. This breakfast explored how those communities are best enriched and sustained, the best tips and techniques for developing a sense of "belonging", what that even meant (and didn't mean) and much more...

View breakfast