React Acting for Business

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by React Acting for Business's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from React Acting for Business is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
24 | REACT
Executive Chairman
React training session
Transformation, whether it’s at an organisational level or
an individual one, is always a challenge. This is why React
have sought to employ the techniques and principles of
drama to best support change. They do this under the view
that there is no better way to learn than by doing. Clients of
theirs have reported that React’s services revealed to them the
extent of their own potential. Although this can be fun, it is by
no means superfluous in business terms. The results it has for
individuals, teams, departments and entire organisations have
been, in many cases, immense. Miles Cherry, the Executive
Chairman, tells
The Parliamentary Review
A major undertaking
At React, we are convinced that learning by doing has more immediate and longer-
lasting results than simply studying theoretically. Humans often learn best when
actually performing a task. We therefore seek to make learning experiential and
bring it to life through the use of actors and drama-based methods – all with the
intent of improving an organisation’s performance and individuals’ personal success.
We have a very wide client base, working with large blue chip organisations and
businesses. However, we also work with SMEs and many public institutions like
universities and government departments.
We have been involved in a wide range of projects, from tailored learning
and development initiatives for small teams through to major culture change
»Executive Chairman:
»Founded in 1993
»Based in St Albans,
»Services: Experiential learning
for organisations
»No. of employees: 7, with 250
»Delivers service in 40 countries
to nearly half a million leaders
around the world
programmes involving tens of
thousands of employees over many
months and many locations across
the UK. Our approach is always to
put participants through practical
experiences to effect change.
We believe that UK drama-based
training companies lead the world,
with our expertise now being exported
internationally. As part of our business
strategy, and as the UK training
market becomes crowded, React
have developed hubs of international
associates on five continents to explore
emerging markets.
This means that, aside from expertise
in drama-based experiential learning,
we need organisational prowess of the
highest degree.
Aspects of the market to bear
in mind
Logistical challenges are one thing,
but what’s more pressing is ensuring
that companies are aware of the value
we can provide for them and what
differentiates us. We are, after all,
a pioneering and creative company,
and many institutions still may not be
aware of the value of what we do.
So, in the years ahead, marketing and
communication across all of the new
media is of paramount importance.
We started in 1993, when the economy
was still recovering from the early
Nineties recession, but nevertheless
built a solid business by doing our core
activities superbly and delivering our
service with passion and energy. Even
in those challenging conditions, it didn’t
take long before companies noticed the
benefits we could bring to the table.
As the years have gone by, the key to
continuing getting noticed has been
focusing on retaining our quality and
evolving our products and services to
respond to client demand. I would
summarise our approach as follows:
remembering the legacy of what
made us who we are as a business,
recognising when to evolve and
embrace change, and proactively
facing the business challenges of the
future – seeing opportunities rather
than obstacles.
React innovative products
We are
convinced that
learning by
doing has more
immediate and
results than
simply studying
Highlighting best practice
26 | REACT
Something to keep abreast of is
the ever-changing technological
world we find ourselves in. Artificial
intelligence, and the digital revolution
more generally, will disrupt the market
in all kinds of ways that we cannot
fully anticipate – as a people-based
organisation this could be daunting.
However, we see it as something
exciting that we are ready to embrace.
After all, there will always be a need
for people skills. The context might
change – for example, the leisure
industry could possibly be the pre-
eminent sector in 25 years’ time
– but we will still need people skills,
perhaps even more than we ever did.
This means there will always be room
for a company like ours to operate,
so long as we evolve. We see this
shifting technological landscape not
as a difficulty to surmount, but an
opportunity to take advantage of.
How the government can
help us
In our opinion, there should be a
benign environment for SMEs to
flourish. At present, business rates are
too high and the uncertainty of Brexit
is not helpful either. Another example
of note is the experience we have with
problems with payment terms from
bigger companies, and this can be
particularly damaging for SMEs. Many
big companies will seemingly arbitrarily
move their payment terms from, for
example, 30 to 60 days to 90 to 120
days, which can be disastrous for
cash flow. The government has a bill
which allows charging interest on late
commercial payments but – although
it sounds good on paper – this is not
feasible for SMEs who depend on the
maintenance of good relationships
with bigger companies. Threatening
them with charging interest would
quickly damage these relationships
and lose us custom. There should be
a firm emphasis put on the late payers
making things right.
The technological future
As of now, we’re in talks with
some profoundly interesting and
internationally recognised thought
leaders. It’s hard to come out of
these talks with anything other than
optimism. The vision they put forward
of the future is inspiring and exciting.
Artificial intelligence and advanced
automation will bring the human race
so many opportunities. It is a fact that
technology is replacing some of our
face-to-face human interactions. Only a
couple of decades ago we didn’t have
email, tweets or self-service checkouts
in supermarkets. Many aspects of our
lives, including work, are becoming
more digital, virtual and artificially
intelligent. This can certainly save time
and hassle, but it’s worth remembering
that life and living involves interacting
with other human beings. Our goal
as a business is to support people
and organisations to be successful. So
wherever human beings interact, we
unlock the potential to make those
interactions more successful.
The key to
getting noticed
has been
focusing on
retaining our
quality and
evolving our
products and
services to
respond to client
React – Team India

This article was sponsored by React Acting for Business. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister