Business Leader Says We Need to Start Believing the British Dream

Business Leader and Chair of Entrepreneurs at Coutts, Michael Hayman was the fascinating The Salon breakfast speaker last week talking about embracing change and fighting for growth and how businesses can survive in the era of perma-crisis.

Michael started his talk reminiscing about coming to Henley in 1990 to help with Michael Heseltine’s PM campaign which he sadly lost.

He went on to talk about living in a mass accelerated world, the comparisons between now and 2010 banking crisis, how Britain has lost its mojo right now and how do we get that energy back.  Michael commented, “How long will it last? When will it change?  The bad news is I don’t think it will change.  The level of change in our memory is immense.  I don’t think we’ve seen nothing yet.  I think we’ll look back and think it was slow back then.”

Michael thinks the biggest business worry right now is – are we innovative enough to grow?  He believes for success you need to have a remarkable brand that is worthy of talking about.  He commented, “Belief really matters in what you are doing in good and difficult times.  You need to inspire people to be more productive and be ethically led.”

“The political cycle, with potentially a new administration after an election next year – where we go will be interesting,” said Michael.  He thinks if Labour get in they will be more “palatable” to businesses.

Michael believes that we are entrepreneur nation of the future world and we should create a new narrative for an entrepreneurial economy.  He quoted Apple boss, Steve Jobs who said, “It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy.  He added, “We need to start believing the British dream.  When London feels good others will change and follow.”

Questions were then opened to the audience who asked how young people will adapt to the future and embrace change, have they lost their interpersonal skills because of the pandemic with Michael responding by saying businesses need to inspire and create a nurturing environment.

The Salon’s next event is a sparkling wine tasting experience on Wednesday 13 December with award winning Rathfinny Wines. Set against the festive backdrop of the Palm Court, the tasting will commence with a welcome drink and canapés at 6.00pm, with the tasting at 6:30pm.  To book please email The evening is free for Salon Members: £45 for non-members and guests.





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