Find Your Purpose. But Don’t Lose Your Mind.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Have you ever sat at your desk and asked yourself, why am I here? Is this really all there is? Believe me, it isn't.
Over the past three decades, my generation created the enormous machines we call multinational corporations. Today, over half of the largest economies in the world are global businesses - controlled by the few, while impacting the many. Business has the power to change the world. But what if we, as individuals, had the power to change the world of business?
We are in the age of the intrapreneur: where mavericks and rebels bring their entrepreneurial prowess to big business, to change it from the inside out and bottom up. The Intrapreneur is the story of my dream to do exactly that and how you can too.
For over a decade, I led a team within one of the world’s largest global consulting organisations – a corporate “guerrilla movement” working deep within the system, to try to change the system. Our goals were huge: we wanted to revolutionise the role of business in the aid and development sector and offer our skills and expertise to not-for-profits in parts of the world with greatest need, but least access.
This was my dream but, until now, I have never admitted the personal toll that it took on me.
It ultimately cost me my job, my health and perhaps even my sanity as I landed myself in a psychiatric hospital for five days and five nights.
I had found my purpose, but had I lost my mind?
The Intrapreneur is a call to action for a new breed of social activist working within, about to join or completely disillusioned by today’s business world - to be the change you want to see in your company.
So my message is a simple one. If you feel that description applies to you, either change company or better still, change the company you’re in – for the better.
If we strive to create the organisations we desire to work in, which build the societies we want to live in, then we’ll be helping not only ourselves and our colleagues, but the world as a whole. Join us today.
Looking back, I probably didn’t realize at the time just what a profound impact the Macedonian experience would have on me. I’d broken out of the London bubble and seen a whole other side of life. In these long winter evenings, I’d often reflected on why companies like my own were conspicuous by their absence in the Balkans. The obvious answer was that our fee rates were an order of magnitude too high. But just how much more could I have achieved if I’d been surrounded by my usual team of consultants? How might our company go beyond sending a handful of volunteers to “do some good” for VSO and instead bring our capabilities on an industrial scale to parts of the world with greatest need but least access to these skills? Was there a way of turning the traditional high cost, high profit management consulting business model on its head? Create a market that didn’t exist, but where there was a clear need for our expertise? My big idea wasn’t rocket science. It was based on the premise that not every management consultant, or business professional for that matter, is hell-bent on making a fortune. Instead, I was convinced many would be far more motivated by the chance to make a difference. No, not some spare time bullshit of digging wells or painting schools. But instead using their core skills and business expertise. Moreover, I firmly believed they’d even accept a significantly lower salary to do it, just like I had done. So my thinking was that if the firm was willing to reduce overhead charges and waive the profit on this kind of work, and if employees would voluntarily give up half their salary, then my rough calculations indicated that we could make the business self-sustaining and therefore scalable.
These thoughts percolated through my head as I sat in a café in Thessaloniki on my way back to my “normal” life in London. It was an article in the Financial Times that had brought me to Macedonia. How might the Financial Times describe the launch of a new consulting business with a difference – a non-profit business unit? As my daydreaming continued, I began to type into my computer. I chose the dramatic headline - “Accenture Hails CaeSaR” – a play on the acronym for Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR which was all the rage at the time. I cut and pasted an FT logo into it and set the date to be one year into the future. I described what the business would do, the non-profit clients it would work for and the fact that it had a mission driven by purpose instead of profit. Doubtless that little fake FT article I spent an hour creating was the most impactful thing I’ve ever written.
An important question
Wednesday, 10 October 2018
What two reasons make the 10th of October a very special and important day?
Well the first reason is that it’s World Mental Health Day. Probably far two few of us, including me, knew that until relatively recently – and it’s meant to be my new specialist subject! It’s a day aimed at growing awareness for mental health issues around the world and to help mobilise efforts around the cause.…
Out of My Hands!
Friday, 6 April 2018
Well folks. The waiting game is nearly over. I’ve been given my “due date” of 10th of April, when my precious little baby, The Intrapreneur, will see the light of day. The only reason this birth will happen is thanks to the generous support from over 300 family and friends – all of you who are receiving this note (you get quite a bit of spam from Unbound too I’d told - sorry).
Breaking the Silence
Friday, 2 March 2018
Hope you’ve all had a great start to 2018. I realise that it’s been quite some time since you last heard from me. I did send an update just before the new year but I’m not sure Unbound sent it on my email. Therefore you can view this as something of a double update – or even read it first here ("All I want for Christmas is") before continuing with this update.
In summary, I’ve…
All I want for Christmas is........
Thursday, 21 December 2017
Well, it's been a few weeks since my last missive and I feel I owe you a brief progress update on The Intrapreneur as we go into the holiday season.
In true NetFlix series style, here's the story so far: The book got funded at the end of October after just a few days (huge thanks for all your support) and I was then appointed an editor by the publisher for the structural editing phase. My manuscript…
So What Happens Next?
Friday, 10 November 2017
I'm still blown away by the generosity and support I've received from so many people over the past two weeks. Together, you have guaranteed that my first book, The Intrapreneur will be brought to life. Many thanks once again.
So, what happens next?
Well, I'm learning that writing a book is quite a journey. In fact, 'writing' a book is the easy part - it's the editing that takes the time…
We Did It!
Friday, 27 October 2017
You should all have just received a note from Unbound with the great news that we just hit the 100% funding target this morning after just a few days! As a result of your generosity and support, The Intrapreneur will make it into print. Hoorah! I can't thank you enough for your generosity and support, whether you bought a digital eBook or took on the role of Super Friend. Extra special thanks should…
These people are helping to fund The Intrapreneur.