Fraser’s piece in the magazine this week on how California is inspiring the Tories is well worth reading. Fraser makes the point that the Tories are attracted to California because family friendly policies and dynamic businesses go together there. The important thing to appreciate is that these businesses are family friendly not because of regulation but because this is the way to attract the best talent and thus to maximise the company’s profitability.
On one trip to California a couple of years back to visit a friend who was at Stanford business school, I was struck by how Google was regarded as the place to work by the student there not because it offered better salary or stock options but because of the maternity and paternity leave and childcare options it offered.
In the next economy, creative talent will be one of the main drivers of a company’s success and profitability. This means that companies at the top of the value-chain are going to move towards more and more family-friendly policies because of the edge that gives them in recruiting the best employees. This is going to have a knock-on effect on other companies.