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James Timpson OBE, Chief executive of Timpson; Rachel O’Brien, Commissioning editor, RSA Journal

James Timpson is awarded the 2015 RSA Albert Medal for successfully uniting the commercial and social benefit aspects of business.

Visionary business leader James Timpson operates an “upside down management” structure, with a high level of autonomy given to front line teams; everyone else is there to help them provide excellent service.

The success of the long-running family retail company springs from robust and democratic business principles and an innovative and philanthropic approach to recruitment.

Working closely with prisons across the UK, James has built a training and employment model which offers opportunities to ex-offenders wanting to change their lives for the better. 

James Timpson visits the RSA to receive the 2015 Albert Medal for innovation in enterprise management, and to show how empowering individuals creates business value.

James Timpson explains his business philosophy (PDF)

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