The Bullog – June 2018
Welcome to the June edition of The Bullog*, which I’m trying to get out on a fairly routine basis each month. Famous last words.
Location, location, location! Is that not the mantra of every good estate agent? If aspiring authors were to have a mantra, then I think it would be reviews, reviews, reviews. My book, “The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent” continues to be selling well and I’m delighted to say that it’s now got 30 reviews, with all bar a couple being five star. Positive reviews are the lifeblood for future sales so to do keep them coming on Amazon and / or Goodreads. The last thing I’ll say on the book for now is to draw your attention to quite a fun podcast I did with an Irish guy called Aidan McCullen who runs The Innovation Show on RTE and online. Be warned – it’s an Irish accent combined with my Scottish accent and not a subtitle in sight – but it was a very fun chat and you can downloaded on iTunes or Spotify here.
One of the things I enjoyed most about writing was to be able to float some crazy ideas about the future of business . That’s the kind of dialogue you can get away with when your book is set in a psychiatric hospital. I float the notion that we need to consider ‘democratising’ the multinational corporation – these enormous de-facto ‘Super states’ are controlled by so few and yet impact so many. With this in mind, I’ve been watching with great interest the shenanigans with Trump’s immigration policy that saw kids being separated from their parents and put into cages. Pretty appalling to watch. Some of you may have read the related article about the 100 Microsoft Employees who wrote a letter to their CEO, Satya Nadella, demanding that the company terminate the contract with the US Government’s immigration services which they claimed, was using Microsoft’s software platform for this purpose. (read How Silicon Valley workers are revolting against Trump’s immigration policy)
It claims there are signs of employee activism elsewhere in Silicon Valley with the tech giants Google, Amazon and LinkedIn. I wonder how long it’ll take to spread to workforces in other parts of the world and indeed, to shift from political issues to more social or sustainability issues. Could these actions be early indicators of a new employee driven democracy within the corporation? I certainly hope so and have a blog half written in my head around this – so watch this space.
In terms of other news, it’s been another busy month for presentations in different parts of the world – not great news I’d admit for my carbon footprint. In Washington DC, I gave a Flash Talk at a large 1000 person global development conference called DevexWorld. It was titled ‘Confessions of a corporate insurgent’, my topic du jour, and I did something similar at a Circle of Young Intrapreneurs meet up the night before. The following week I was in New York and was flattered to be a guest of honour at the Music Beyond annual fundraising Gala. In my short keynote, I drew parallels between following a musical score and following the rules in business – sometimes the best results are achieved when you improvise.
I also moderated a couple of panels at the EthicalCorp Responsible Business summit in London. Speakers from companies such as Hilton, Pernod Ricard and Canon who talked about the challenges of getting buy-in from the top around innovative change and how employees can be used as brand ambassadors. Lastly, and closer to home in Geneva, I was interviewed about my book by my old friend Berry Magarinos, The Chief Sustainability Officer for Firmenich, the flavours and fragrances companies. She was holding an internal gathering for the company’s Sustainability Champions which meant that it was informal and fun. The fact that she bought a good chunk of books for this senior audience was very welcome as well. If any of you are interested in doing something similar then let me know and I’ll negotiate a bulk deal with the publisher.
I usually like to finish off with a bit of an update on recent activities on the personal front. This month, these included a few days on the beach in Tulum, Mexico and an altogether more energetic hike in Glencoe, Scotland with my climbing instructor mate, Wilf, who decided to put my claims of vertigo to the test. However, from a social perspective, the highlight would have be the annual Archie Gemmill Night organised by my good friend Chris Magennis. The what night? Well, it’s in honour of the legendary Scottish football star who scored the best goal in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. For a few short moments the Scottish nation rejoiced at the prospect that we might not come crashing out of the tournament, which of course, we did in style. So this special evening is to celebrate moments of joy from the previous 12 months – something we don’t do often enough in our day-to-day lives.
I’ll close off with a bit of a teaser to make sure you tune into the next Bullog where I hope to talk about a very unusual, and some might say crazy, property purchase.
Until then, have a great month.
* Bulloch + Blog = Bullog
Make sense? Not bulldog, nor is it bulls**t although I’ll let you be the judge of that! It’s a brief synopsis on recent articles, events and opinions from my world and the things that have caught my attention over the past few weeks. If it’s not for you then feel free to unsubscribe below.