New beginnings

It’s been a mind-blowing ten months since I said goodbye to my lovely colleagues at NixonMcInnes and set off to find some new adventures. One of my big goals was to spend more time in the great outdoors, and I’ve been lucky enough to go diving with sharks and giant turtles; swim in the pools of waterfalls in remote rainforest and trek through rural villages in the Andes, losing games of football at altitude to the local kids. I’ve also had an infected blister cut out of my foot in a Bolivian hospital and lost my passport in downtown Bogota.

While I’ve been travelling in Asia and South America I’ve also been exploring another passion: how business can be used as a force for good in the world. I’ve seen first-hand how inspiring people from all kinds of backgrounds are using business to protect the environment and improve the lives of people. These people are the future and their stories need to be told.

This blog is about these new themes in business, what I’ve seen and learnt from the people and projects I’ve come across on my travels, and will be used to share and discuss ideas for my new projects once I settle down in the real world again later this year. There will probably be some travel and other bits on here too.

4 thoughts on “New beginnings

  1. You’ve obviously been having a great time and meeting up with some interesting folk.

    In an earlier part of your blog you referred to the fact that one of the organisations which was attempting to a more democratic style of operation had to confront with the fact that some of their existing personnel wanted the organisation to retain a more hierarchical structure and had to let those folk go free.

    Within the many, primarily nationalised, organisations in the UK (and many other developed countries) are you confident that that reaction ‘wanted the organisation to retain a more hierarchical structure’ will not be very prevelant and thus result in either a need to back off from the process of democratisation or a lot of folk being allowed to ‘go free’?

    • There is always a big resistance to change. Changing a hierarchy to a democracy is a big change, and it is not easy. Just like an autocratic regime changing to a democratic country. Some people in organisations – often middle and senior managers – stand to lose traditional power and control through power becoming decentralised and higher levels of transparency. This will frighten them. Others in the organisation may be so institutionalised that they might actually feel like they prefer to have a manager breathing down their neck to taking responsibility themselves. Some will see the overall benefits to the organisation and be able to change, but others will not and will ultimately leave the organisation.

      The good news is that there is precedent for changing large organisations to democracies and I have only ever seen evidence of it ultimately leading to success (e.g. Semco, HCL Technologies.) The place to start is by building trust within the organisation which is often missing when control and secrecy is the norm. Once you have created trust then the people in an organisation will be more open to further change.

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