Lancashire Forum looks to empower SME businesses to thrive in a post-Covid world

The world has changed. The businesses who thrive will be the ones who change with it.

As hard-hit businesses dust themselves off and look to the future, there’s a real opportunity. An opportunity to recover – but recover differently.

People will hold businesses in the post-Covid world to higher levels of scrutiny, expecting them to be responsible employers, partners, suppliers and customers. Covid has put a spotlight on well-being, on cultures of caring, of communities, sustainability and the importance of ‘purpose’.

As Project Manager of the Lancashire Forum programme within Lancaster University Management School’s Partnership and Engagement team, Matt Hutchinson, discusses how this year’s programme is designed differently to inspire responsible, sustainable, business success.

The difference is ‘responsibility’.

A big lesson from the past year is that brands who care about the world, look after their people and leave a positive footprint with everything they do, are the ones winning on reputation. Whereas poor customer service, neglecting staff-wellbeing and practices that are harmful to the environment are being called out.

But this isn’t about marketing, perceptions, box-ticking or lip-service in an attempt to ‘look good’.

This is about putting ‘responsibility’ at the very heart of your business and entrenching it in your culture. This way it will become a natural part of how you treat people, your operations, your decisions – and it will drive your commercial success.

This culture of ‘responsibility’ is really broad. It means taking responsibility for your people in a post-Covid world. It involves considering the environmental impact of your business operations on communities, society, the global climate. It’s focused on elevating the experience of customers and suppliers.

And it means finding clarity on your true purpose – how what you do contributes towards a better world.

We know this is achievable for every business.

Learn from others

Our ‘Responsible Recovery’ themed programme is not one of structured delivery or going over the ground of other leadership or performance courses. Our approach is one of facilitated learning carried out in peer networks.

We provide a forum for like-minded business leaders to share experiences, work together, find solutions, generate and test ideas, with tools, concepts and strategies supplied by our experts and academics to spark the discussion.

Together we explore the important role of innovation including digitisation, customer experience and business models and focus on leadership and resilience including workforce strategy and communication.

The programme provides:

  • Time to reflect on the purpose and impact of your business, what you want that to be and how to change it
  • Light bulb moments as you get clarity and ideas on how to improve your business
  • The support and inspiration of a network of like-minded leaders in the Lancashire business community which will continue following the programme
  • Practical tools and strategies you can apply to your business right away
  • Confidence and empowerment to lead your business towards a sustainable force for good.

Seize the opportunity

The past year has been devastating. The recovery is going to be challenging. But the opportunities for Lancashire are exhilarating.

If we work together to learn and improve, Lancashire can lead the way as a beacon of responsible, sustainable, business success.

Do you want to be a part of the transformation?

To find out further information visit the Lancashire Forum Programme webpage or contact Jane Hunter on 01524 593712 or email.

The Lancashire Forum is a four-month programme designed for senior decision makers of Lancashire businesses with between 5-250 employees.


2021 cohorts start in June and September.