Opinion: Home truths from new John Lewis chair show scale of challenge

George MacDonald

Dame Sharon White acquitted herself well at her first appearance before the John Lewis Partnership’s council last week.

The first outing before staff at any business is a key moment for any incoming leader, but at an institution such as the Partnership, whose mutually owned status and heritage make it unique, it is all the more important to get right.

The Partnership’s new chair came across as authentically aligned to the organisation’s values, but at the same time told some home truths, making it clear that things cannot continue as they are if the department stores and grocery business is to survive and thrive.

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