The Bullog – February 2022

Greetings Bullogers!

Changing companies

Should I stay or should I go?

These immortal words from the 1981 hit single from The Clash pose a question that probably applies to many of us when it comes to how we’re viewing our current jobs.  2021 has been described as the year of The Great Resignation and lots has been written about the reasons why this is happening. Partly it’s down to the availability of new jobs and economic opportunity, but for many people it’s a result of the pandemic giving them the space to pause and reflect on their life and the role of work within it. Many yearn for more meaning and perhaps a better work life balance.  Indeed, apparently a quarter of all employees are considering quitting in the coming months, more than double the normal average. 

For those of you who are considering changing company then I’d ask you to pause and reflect on this important question:

Should I change company or should I stay put and change the company I’m in?

Regular Bullogers know that the topics of social intrapreneurship and employee activism are close to my heart.  It’s my strong belief that we all have far more agency than we realise to drive change within our organisations, irrespective of status or seniority. After all, nudging a supertanker just one degree in a different direction can have an enormous impact downstream.  Given the five largest global corporations would make the G20 in terms of economic clout – that’s enormous latent potential for change.

When employees have made the emotional decision that they are willing to quit their jobs, might they actually have the most potential to drive change by staying put? That’s the time when they’re prepared to take more risks, push boundaries, to demand more from their employers.

My friend Patrick Andrews uses the analogy of a Samurai warrior:  only when the Samurai are fully resigned to their likely death, can they give their all on the battlefield. Japanese historian, Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, describes this in colourful terms.

 Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death.

I wonder if intrapreneurs are the Samurai of the business world?   Their willingness to go all in on an idea at significant personal and career risk, may determine their level of success.  In 2001 I was disengaged and yearning for more meaning from my job in Accenture. The company listened to my audacious request to create a not-for-profit business internally and I ended up staying another 15 years!  

There’s a message for leadership here too. The costs of voluntary attrition are enormous, estimated at over $30,000 per employee in a recent report but I suspect in many large corporations who invest in training staff over many years, the costs are  much higher. The onus is therefore also on leadership to create the opportunities where employees feel empowered in their roles and feel listened to when they put forward new ideas.

So, what was that big idea that you were harbouring about driving impact in your company but never raised it to avoid putting your head above the parapet? Didn’t you plan to call out your company for the difference between their stated ESG performance from the PR Department and the reality on the ground? What if they sack you for rocking the boat?  Well, for at least a quarter of people, the answer is that you’ve got nothing to lose as you were ready to leave anyway.

Virtual Events

I was delighted that many of you were able to join us for another Reset 2022 which took place on the 16th of January.  Over 170 signed up for the event which I think is a reflection on the desire we have to start the new year in a different way when it comes to our work life balance. Amelia Parisien from our Core Team curated the event and brought in many of our Cast Members such as John Zimmer on Slowing Down and Presenting, Alexander Inchbald on Masterpiece Creation and artist Marina Kurikhina from ilovecreatives on Music and Flow States. The feedback has been incredibly positive, and we will aim to offer similar events periodically in the future.

Craigberoch were also invited to run a session at the Business Fights Poverty “Together for 2022” event on 17th January.   Again, we assembled a powerful Cast including Viki Lazar, Gina Badenoch and Mike Dixon who provided some fabulous music.

Best of the rest……

I was invited to give a talk to a Swiss-based business group called Executives International who have been running events locally over the past 50 years. Like most organisations, they have been forced to go online with their speakers which has allowed them to attract an audience internationally.  The talk seemed to be well received and generated a rich discussion on the usual themes of intrapreneurship, innovation and deceleration.

One of the most random and exciting experiences of the month was when I was visited on Bute by Craigberoch past participant Graham Simpson who asked if he could bring a friend to visit the land.  This friend turned out to be none other than Darius Campbell, who some of you may remember from Pop Idol fame.  Darius went on to bigger and better things, including opening for Shakira on her World Tour.   Now, I’m no celebrity watcher and if I’m honest, had my concerns I might have to deal with a prima donna.  But Darius 2onoswas a gentle giant of a man whose belief systems and values are as deep as his voice.  Celebrities are not known for their humility, but Darius had plenty and was a pleasure to host. He seems enchanted by the island, inspired by the vision for Craigberoch and has kindly offered us his support. Help comes from such unexpected places sometimes!

On the personal front…….

I very much enjoyed a few months on the Isle of Bute over the Christmas period and into the middle of January. While I was on Bute, it was also an opportunity to meet local people who are supporting the project in different ways. Archaeologist Paul Duffy, is helping us locate an old access route to the ruins. We also met with local craftsman Paul Simpson, who has been building off grid pods out of old shipping containers.  We’re considering putting some pods on the land for our co-working programme, Be on Bute..

Given it was such a long stay I brought Penny the Dog and she enjoyed roaming around the beautiful countryside and beaches on the island but probably less the long drive home. I’m now back in the Alps just outside of Geneva enjoying the mixture of fresh powder snow and bright sunshine.

OK, that’s more than enough for now folks. If you enjoy this monthly ramble then do feel free to suggest others sign up here.  Until next month,


* The Bullog  = Bulloch + BlogMake 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. 

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