In conversation with Tate & Lyle plc


This week we spoke with Rowan Adams of Tate & Lyle and heard their story of unearthing true purpose and bringing it to life.

Rowan told us that they started their journey with one simple question“How can we be successful as a business and have a positive impact on society at the same time?”

Rowan spoke of the need to be authentic and in order to do that they spent two years not announcing their purpose internally or externally. Instead Tate & Lyle just talked about it, used the language, created experiments and very subtly embedded it in the business so that people got used to the terminology and saw what they were doing. A gentle buy-in from all happened, in Rowan’s view, because Tate & Lyle is a very old company – many colleagues had worked with them for a long time, perhaps even their parents and their grandparents before them. Colleagues recognised that what the team were telling them about their purpose was something that had been around for 160 years and all they had done in 2016 was articulate the words that people had already authentically associated Tate & Lyle with – “it was a nature feeling.” Watch our conversation with Rowan, complimented with contributions from Founder of the Orchid project Julia Lalla-Maharajh, Group HR Director of Devro Anton Zawada and Founder and CEO of Hattiers Rum Philip Everett-Lyons. Graham Abbey, FP CEO also shares some of his reflections of his time at Tate & Lyle plc as Chief Purpose Officer.