John Lewis to advise government
12 August 2010
Department store John Lewis is among a number of private companies set to advise public sector bodies on staff management.
The move is part of a first wave of 'mutuals' which ministers want to establish to give staff a stake in how services are run, including matters such as budget control.
The John Lewis Partnership is Britain's best-known mutual company, part-owned by its staff.
Charlie Mayfield, chairman, told The Daily Telegraph: "Being employee-owned is an approach that has served our business well for over 80 years.
"While not a guaranteed solution to today's challenges, the strengths of an employee-led model – such as an empowered and informed work force and a close alignment of motivation between management and employees – has helped us create a strong culture of trust, innovation and customer service.'
Twelve projects have been selected as trailblazers and will receive mentoring help from organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: "Today's announcement is the first step in creating a genuinely ground-up movement where staff, who are the real experts, can come together to take over and deliver better services.
"I know that across the country there are literally thousands of frontline employees who can see how things can be done better, but at the moment, with the existing constraints, they just can't get it done. Now this is going to change.
'The new models will show us how we best support mutuals, tackling problems when they first arise, not expensively managing them over many years."
The organisations that have agreed to provide mentoring for the projects are: The John Lewis Partnership, PWC, KPMG, Tribal, Baxi Partnership, Care and Share Associates, Sunderland Home Care Associates, Central Surrey Health, Local Partnerships, Godrevy, Greenwich Leisure and The Office for Public Management.