John Timpson is renowned for championing socially responsible business and his upside-down management philosophy puts the customer at the top of the matrix and management at the bottom.
He allows all his employees the day off on their birthdays, subsidises staff holidays by investing in villas which they can use for free and has supported the recruitment of ex-offenders - 10 per cent of the company's employees have spent time in prison. Employees, all of whom are called colleagues, also enjoy an unusual degree of autonomy in the running of the individual shops.
John Timpson's talk is part of the University of Winchester's Centre for Responsible Management
's Responsible Business - Leading the Way 2017 series, which has included speakers Carolyn Fairbairn, Director of the CBI, and sustainable development pioneer Jonathon Porritt.
"Management maverick John Timpson is an engaging public speaker and a role model for those who want to do good through the power of business. Timpson
is a very successful family business with a culture that puts people first and John's experience and unique take on business is sure to be inspirational," said Dr Karen Blakeley
, who leads the Centre.
The high street retailer was started in 1865 by John Timpson's great-grandfather and is now run by one of his sons. A private business wholly owned by John Timpson and his family, it has over 1,800 branches nationwide with a turnover of £260m and profits of over £20m. In 2004 John was awarded the CBE in the Birthday Honours List for services to the retail sector.
At 6pm, there will be light refreshments, John Timpson will speak at 6.30pm and there will be drinks and networking from 7.45pm.