The Bullog – May 2018
I know what you’re thinking: “If I get one more of these flaming GPDR data protection emails I’ll $%&**£! the person who sends it!”. I feel exactly the same way. There have been literally hundreds of them and frankly, I’m going to be quite delighted when my inbox gets far less spam starting from tomorrow.
As most of you know, The Bullog is my periodic missive on all the things I write / talk / care about and goes out to people who have been careless enough to give me their business card or, heaven forbid, have signed up on my website to receive it. I don’t have a data protection policy, nor do I store any of your personal or financial data beyond your email address, which, I promise to never share with anyone attempting to sway elections in far off countries.
Phew. Glad that’s out the way. For the handful of you still listening, here’s my quick synopsis of activities of note in the past few weeks.
Of course I’m going to start with my ‘baby’ – the book! Yep, “The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent” was launched at the Skoll World Forum on 10th April. Then there was that nail-biting wait for the reviews to come in. What will people think of it? Will they smile politely and write a decent review out of pity? What will happen when it gets a proper, honest review from someone I don’t know? I told myself to get ready for people to tell me that the three years of my life spent agonising over every page was a “one star” waste of time. Well, I’m happy to say that my worst fears have not (yet) come to pass and the reviews on Amazon have been incredibly flattering, as was the first formal review on Devex which described it as a “raucous book”. The key messages of the book seem to be striking a chord with many and as a novice author, I can’t begin to tell you how rewarding that is. Please, please do keep the reviews coming in.
It’s still early days, but I’ve spent much of the past few weeks launching #TheIntrapreneur in places ranging from Oxford and Geneva, through to Rwanda and even the Vatican where I attended the Humanity 2.0 forum. However, the launch event on my native Isle of Bute, Scotland must get a special mention as it was held in the local museum library, where my dear old Gran was librarian for about 30 years. Yes, I’m just a hopeless nostalgic.
I don’t have a hot shot publisher who can buy shelf space in airport bookshops and so am having to rely on word of mouth and a volley of articles and blogs on social media to promote the book. I wrote a column in The Scotsman about the issue of attrition amongst intrapreneurs, gave a podcast on Mark Bidwell’s Innovation Ecosystem and also an interview to Business Fights Poverty.
In terms of speaking events, I was honoured to give the after dinner speech to 400 delegates at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Annual Meeting in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. I was also very privileged to be asked to speak at the Entrepreneurial Scotland Conference in the sumptuous surroundings of Gleneagles Hotel. No, I’ve not exactly been slumming it this past while.
One of the main reasons for writing the book is to talk openly about the taboo subject of mental health in the workplace. I joined a panel at London Business School mid May with Geoff MacDonald, former Global Head of HR for Unilever who is a great advocate for this cause. Geoff sent me a thought provoking article from Stanford Business entitled “The Workforce is Killing People and Nobody Cares” which is a fascinating read on the dangerous role that organizations play on the health of their employees.
It’s also been a very business period for the broader intrapreneurship movement. A group of us organised awareness raising events for the League of Intrapreneurs in Geneva and Zurich and then I spent a few days just outside of Berlin where 30 new Fellows of the League were brought together for several days. A really amazing bunch of people and gives me a lot of hope that the whole intrapreneurship movement is gathering steam.
Lastly, I’m just back from a trip to Rwanda with the Board of The END Fund, a private philanthropic initiative that seeks to channel money to Neglected Tropical Diseases, or NTDs as they’re better know. I’ve served on this Board for the past 7 years and now that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has taken a keen interest, these diseases are thankfully a little less neglected than they were! While in Rwanda I took part in the Kigali Peace Marathon and completed my first half marathon – a bit foolhardy given Rwanda is known as the country with 1000 hills and Kigali lies at 1600m above sea level. There was also a mix up on the distance meaning that I ended up running for 24km as opposed to the standard 21km distance. Despite that, it was a really fun event and the green rolling hills made for a stunning backdrop.
That’s more than enough from me. I’ll be back in touch soon, inshallah and GPDR restrictions willing.