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Friday 27 March 2015

Speaker for John Lewis visits Solent

Simon Fowler, registrar from the John Lewis partnership board, visited Southampton Solent Business School to deliver a guest lecture on the unique and successful organisation that is the John Lewis partnership.

Simon’s lecture gave not only the history of the organisation, but shared his own career journey with students, from embarking on his first role at the Tyrell & Green Southampton store (opposite the Southampton Solent Business School) to the managing director of the Oxford Street John Lewis store and finally to the London based head office to his current role.

Students learned how this unique organisation focuses on profit after people and provided the audience with thoughts around ‘could the latest recession have been halted had organisations not focussed so aggressively on profit maximisation?’

In the very full lecture theatre and there were students from right across the Business School, including final year Business Management students who were part-way through a three day strategic management simulation assessment, where the focus was heavily on the retail environment.

Following a Q&A in the lecture theatre, the assistant vice-chancellor – professor Richard Blackwell, gave a vote of thanks and closing remarks, to include the inspiring way this organisation engages staff and from that comes performance and profit.

Gillian Saieva, course leader BA (Hons) Business Management commented:

“It was such a honour to have Simon Fowler accept an invitation from our Business School and to come and present to our students. Feedback was very positive throughout the student base that attended, especially from the students who benefited from the direct networking with such a high profile retail industry leader.

“Again, this is testament to the high calibre links we hold with industry and how Solent as a learning institution is perceived by them.”