BiographyMichael Smith is a freelance journalist and author of books on values in business and the economy. His articles have appeared in the Financial Times, The Guardian and Guardian Weekly, The Times, The Independent, The Scotsman, The Herald (Glasgow) and The Pioneer (New Delhi).
He was Head of Business Programmes at Initiatives of Change, UK, from 2010 to 2017. He was on the steering committee of a series of international conferences on Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy (TIGE), held each summer in Caux, Switzerland, for 10 years, from 2006 to 2016. Since 2017 he has been on the Swiss advisory committee of Ethical Leadership in Business forums, held each summer in Caux.
In the early 1970s he was production manager at Himmat newsweekly in Mumbai for three years and has revisited India many times since then. Returning to Britain, he cut his teeth in journalism as a volunteer on the editorial staff of The Industrial Pioneer, a monthly shop-floor newspaper published in the West Midlands. In 1986, following a year in the USA, he became a founding co-editor, then managing editor, of For A Change magazine, where he remained till 2006. He was Head of Communications for IofC UK before his role as Head of Business Programmes.
More recently he has have given a series of lectures, on Pillars of Trust in the Economy, to MBA students in business schools and other audiences in the UK and around the world, including Denmark, Latvia, Sweden, Beirut, Pune and Chandigarh in India, as well as to 200 business lecturers at a Businet conference in Vilamoura, Portugal, where he was the opening keynote speaker in 2017.
His previous books include Beyond the Bottom Line (2001), Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy (2007) and Great Company (2015). As well as writing on business issues, he has written over 60 obituaries for The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman and other newspapers. He is the author of The Sound of Silence, a booklet which proposes that, in an age of information, real inspiration comes in times of silent reflection. www.soundofsilence.org
He and his wife, Jan, lived in Wimbledon for 38 years, following their marriage in 1981, and now live in the village of Brockham near Dorking in Surrey. They have two adult children.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Ethics in business and the economy. Smith developed a global study guide on Pillars of Trust in the Economy, including Integrity, Sustainability, Cooperation, Purpose and Stewardship. These pillars are now published in his new book, Leading with Integrity. In it he also proposes eight Cs of Trust which affect the Culture of organizations: Contracts, Competences, Covenants, Character, Conscience, Commitment, Courage and Change.
Smith loves reading novels and biographies, cinema, sports events, especially tennis and cricket, country walking and, above all, his family including, now, a young grandson. He is a member of the parish council of Christ's Church, Brockham, Surrey.
By: Michael Smith
Subjects: Business, Management and Accounting
The Daily Financia Times of Sri Lanka carried a major profile interview with Michael Smith on 17 February 2020:
By: Michael Smith
I was priveleged to take part in an international forum on Rethinking Trust in the Digital Age in Caux, Switzerland, 27-30 June 2019. It was the theme of this year's event under the theme of Ethical Leadership in Business, where I am on the Advisory Committee. Outstanding speakers, including Tom Marshall of Deloitts who aims to develop a Trust Incubator, and Peace Kuteesa, founder of Zimba Women in Uganda, whose organization has supported some 10,000 women entrpreneurs in the SME sector. Peace Kuteesa and her team support women's digital needs across East Africa. Even the poorest villagers have cell phones for marketing their products, she said. Other speakers said that we should not be afraid of AI: it will transform lives, and create as many jobs as it will destroy. But the emphasis needs to be retraining for new skills. An American student of Investigative Journalism said afterwards that his experience of taking part had been "overwhelming" and had changed his life.
Published: Jul 12, 2019
Interview with the author and other speakers at the launch of his book Great Company, November 2015.