Communicating integrated thinking category
The John Lewis Partnership’s 88,900 permanent staff − known as Partners − own the businesses John Lewis and Waitrose. It is a visionary and successful way of doing business, boldly putting the happiness of Partners at the centre of everything it does.
Integrated thinking and reporting gives its Partners a clearer, more forward-looking perspective on the business.
The Partnership redefined the Annual Report and Accounts in 2013 as a tool for reinforcing the Partnership’s values and culture of ownership and to provide a compelling and consistent story of how it creates sustainable value for the Partners and wider society. It was achieved through cross-functional collaboration, a collective effort across the finance function, communications, corporate responsibility and legal. By aligning the sustainability report with the financial report and with elements of the integrated reporting framework it has been possible to tell the story of the Partnership and how it creates value for all of its stakeholders. Integrated reporting has enabled the Partnership to work across boundaries and enable a much more informed and democratic process.
The greatest and lasting challenge was, and is, making the communication relevant and engaging to Partners while it also continues to serve as a compliance document. More work needs to go into valuing the non-financial capital and the strength of the Partnership’s human and social capital to enable decision making for the long term.
John Lewis Partnership is at the early stages of putting a value on its belief system through communicating their integrated thinking. So far the communication has enabled the company to work across boundaries to create a more informed and democratic partnership.