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Phil Jones, MBE 

Managing Director, Brother UK

This past year our focus has very much been on creating a culture whereby the business and its people can thrive. We’re encouraging continuous development and have transformed our portfolio of high quality technology services and products, all supported by a team of people committed to successfully delivering a sustainable strategy for the future.  


This year marks the fifth-year anniversary of my appointment as the MD of Brother UK.

Anniversaries have a tendency to instil a reflective mood and as I look back on the past five years, it is not with nostalgia but with pride. We’ve come a long way in this short time. Our company culture has been invigorated and there is a different energy about the place. It looks different, it feels different and we certainly act differently. It’s often said that culture eats strategy for breakfast, and I believe that’s true. Your strategy is useless without a committed group of people to bring it to life.

Before I became MD, we’d already begun our Investors in People journey, reviewing how we could ensure all elements of what we do remain tightly integrated and aligned. We’ve prioritised both personal and professional development and that shift is paying dividends. People are more self-confident and self-assured. They’re more resilient and more accepting of change. They’re also more engaged, with work, with communities and with each other whilst also developing the professional skills needed for current or future roles.

We’ve also put a strong focus on all elements of diversity, something we call ‘Diversity as a Platform’ (DaaP). Being accepting and appreciative of the differences we all have whether gender, generation or thinking type. Rather than avoiding people who “are not like us” or who “don’t think like us”, we embrace those differences, enjoying different viewpoints and the value they bring to any situation. Investment in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) training has certainly helped in this area – helping everyone to identify, understand and appreciate those differences.

Our community work has also developed radically in the last five years. Our partnership with Forever Manchester has opened our eyes to new ways of providing charitable support, assisting people who are doing good and helping communities solve their own issues in their own ways. Sometimes that’s with funding, sometimes with volunteers, but often with other resources such as providing facilities or equipment.

We’ve also developed a strong focus on education and much of our work in the last few years has been supporting the development of people up to the age of 25. We feel that there is a crisis of employability in this generation and too many school leavers and graduates are not adequately prepared for the world of work.

As a major employer in the area, this creates problems for us when we want to attract and hire top talent, so we’ve been assisting where we can to improve these skills with mentoring programmes, interview training, CV writing and communication skills. We’ve found that our people enjoy sharing their knowledge too, and often come back from these activities with a renewed confidence, purpose and sense of well-being. I was delighted when an audience member of one of our engagement initiatives recently joined us as an apprentice, motivated by the things she’d heard.

The last five years have made me very proud. Not just of what we’ve achieved as a business, but of what each individual in the team has achieved for themselves personally. And with the right people having the right mind-set, I think we’re in a great position to stride forward with great purpose, alacrity and pride.

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