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Case Study: Simply Business

We review the working culture at Simply Business which can be described as "capitalism with a social heart".
© University of Exeter

Jason Stockwood is the CEO of the award-winning UK insurance broker Simply Business.

Jason has previously worked for the global dating website match.com, Travelocity Business, Trailfinders, lastminute.com, Skyscanner and The Drinkaware Trust. In 2016, Jason won overall Best Leader at the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For awards. His first book, “Reboot: A Blueprint for Happy, Human Business in the Digital Age”, was published in 2018.

In this cartoon video, (12 minutes) Jason describes the 5 key principles that underpin his leadership style:

  • Value people over process

  • Build the suit not the machine

  • Equality and participation as standard

  • Define and live by your values

  • Be present – make conscious decisions rather than letting stuff happen

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Jason describes his approach as “capitalism with a social heart”. He notes that only 13% of people in the US are happy with their jobs, and that a major change in the way we structure society is pending. Regulators are at least 10 years behind developments in technology. Businesses need to take some responsibility for lowering the gap between the rich and poor, and not just focus on making money for their shareholders. We need to share the benefits of technology more fairly, and focus its use in positive rather than negative directions.

Simply Business employees are not allowed to use any devices in meetings – they can choose which meetings they wish to attend but they have to be fully present active contributors if they do.

The company has set an objective of giving every employee in the service centre a four day week by 2020 – with the spare day to be used as they wish.

Would you like to work for an organisation with these values? What benefits and challenges do they bring?

© University of Exeter
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