Hire and Fire!
Up or Out!
These terms have always been an important part of the corporate vernacular, particularly in the world of professional services. The implicit deal seems to be that you surrender all sense of long-term job security or loyalty from your employer in return for mega-bucks. Make hay while the sun shines.
I’m sure that Sacha Romanovitch made a lot of “hay” during her 28 years in the Grant Thornton sunshine. However, the dark clouds arrived in the form of a coup from her peers in the leadership and she’s been nudged out. It’s an everyday occurrence at the top of business. So why should we care?
Well I believe Sacha’s case is bit different. I’ve watched with admiration form a distance as she’s tried to bring purpose to a very traditional city accountancy firm. From what I can glean from news reports, her “crimes” included capping her own salary, sharing profits with employees, taking proper summer breaks with her family and not doing email. Her popularity amongst employees was at a staggering 88%. Clearly she was less popular with her senior Partners. Being a woman in an Old Boys Club would undoubtedly not have helped her case. I’ve been asked to write a piece for Ethicalcorp on this so watch this space and feel free to send me your opinions.
It’s certainly a mad, mad world. Which brings me to the MadWorld London Summit I attended at the beginning of October, the day before World Mental Health Day on 10th October. It’s great to see the increasing profile this taboo subject is getting in business circles and speakers included Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Barclays, Professor Sir Carey Cooper and the charismatic Geoff McDonald, former Head of HR at Unilever turned mental health campaigner and advocate. I discovered that mental health costs £70bn (or 4.5% of GDP) each year in the UK alone and that the issue of “presenteeism” is twice as costly as absenteeism. That’s people showing up at work while being unhealthy, disengaged or completely burnt out. There’s clearly a strong business case for addressing this in the UK and of course globally.
I unfortunately couldn’t get a speaking slot at this event, but I was able to make some great connections around my book. I was asked to give a presentation at a launch event for The League of Intrapreneurs in Lausanne and to a group of The School for International Training in Nyon, just outside of Geneva. Both audiences are perfect targets for the key messages of my book which, for those of you who are new to The Bullog or have been on Mars for the past 6 months, is called The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a corporate insurgent. It’s hard to believe that it’s now 6 months since the book came out and I wrote a brief update on Unbound platform to all of the kind souls who supported the book. In short, I’m really pleased with sales so far, but it’s the positive feedback and reviews that are most encouraging. At the risk of nagging, if you read and liked the book, please pleeeease take two minutes to write a quick review on Amazon. It will help drive Amazon algorithms that recommend the book and will make a huge difference to my chances of taking the book to other countries. Thank you for any help you can give.
Speaking of books, I do not just want to promote my own missives in The Bullog and will happily share recommendations of others. I find holidays are the best time to get stuck into a book and when I took my mum on her annual pilgrimage to Crete last week, I brought a copy of The Spiritual Atheist by Nick Jankel. I was introduced to Nick by a mutual friend and thought I should find out what his book was all about. I found it a fascinating read and will appeal to all of you who are intrigued by where science meets old wisdom traditions, but who are put off by what Nick terms “New Age Woo Woo”. Pretty thought provoking – I’d encourage you to take a look.
Next month I’ll be heading off to Australia and Singapore as the book tour continues. I’ll send you a full update when I get back.
Best wishes, Gib
* Bullog = Bulloch + Blog
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.