Gib Bulloch on the power of business to change the world

Keen to know what the massive untapped commercial opportunity is for businesses to engage with social issues?

Today I speak with Gib Bulloch. And he will explain how changing the world is not an impossible dream – not if we’re successful in changing the world of business.

Gib is the author of The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent”, which is a personal story of his 15-year journey to create and scale Accenture’s global "not-for-loss" consulting business, Accenture Development Partnerships. He’s an award-winning social intrapreneur who consults, writes, and speaks on a range of topics relating to the role of business in society.

In this episode we talk about what businesses in this day and age need to truly consider.

How to be ahead of the curve.

And anticipate massive change coming.

We hear what the top talent are looking for. We talk about values versus value.

And Gib provides real examples of how companies should be thinking. And need to think to be competitive moving forward.

And then talks about the magic word: Intrapreneurship.

As the American Psychologist Rollo May says, “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.”

This podcast will not only inspire you to be the change but provide you with the many tools on how to start truly doing things differently.

So, throw on those running shoes, or grab that favorite beverage, have a listen and enjoy!

Please do let us know what you think of this episode. And don’t forget to leave a review, rating, and subscribe.

To find out more about Gib and his Business Decelerator Craigberoch see below:

www.gibbulloch.com

www.craigberoch.org

Grab a copy of The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent here

The UN Business Commission information Gib talks about in the podcast:

And all the Intrapreneur networks:

The League of Intrapreneurs

The Aspen Institute First Movers Program

Unusual Pioneers

Schwab Foundation

Circle of Intrapreneurs

If you would like to get involved with TIE and be a part of the important change that needs to be made in the world, do get in touch: philippa@theinternationalexchange.co.uk.

00:00:07:18 – 00:00:29:12
Philippa White
So the questions are these. How can we really activate the best of the private sector to meet the challenges of the real world? Is there a way to accelerate my career that doesn’t involve boring online or classroom courses? And can I really impact people in the developing world with the skills that I have? Can I finally feel proud of what I know?

00:00:30:04 – 00:01:01:19
Philippa White
Those are the questions and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Philippa White and this is TIE Unearthed. Keep listening and you can follow us on our journey as we show you how we’re connecting the private sector with the social sector to make change. Hello everyone. Philippa Whyte here and welcome to episode 22 of TIE Unearthed Now.

00:01:01:20 – 00:01:11:22
Philippa White
Today I’m speaking with my friend, mentor and guide since TIE began. Gib Bulloch. Gib It is such an honor to be chatting with you today. Hello.

00:01:11:23 – 00:01:19:02
Gib Bulloch
Hello, Philippa. I thought you were going to see since time began. But I feel old. I feel old, but not that old. It’s a pleasure to be here.

00:01:19:20 – 00:01:44:11
Philippa White
It did sound a bit like that, doesn’t it? Now, listen, I’d like to tell people a little bit more about you, because you are an incredible person. You’ve done some incredible things. And I just think it’s important that everyone knows that. So Gib Bulloch is an award winning social interpreter who consults, writes and speaks on a range of topics relating to the role of business in society.

00:01:44:22 – 00:02:16:18
Philippa White
Now, his first book, The Interpreter Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent, which was written in 2018, is a personal story of his 15 year journey to create and scale Accenture’s Global Not four loss consulting business. Accenture Development Partnerships. Now, this innovative venture attracted significant media attention one Accenture International Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and Gib himself was voted the UK’s management consultant of the Year in 2008.

00:02:17:02 – 00:02:38:23
Philippa White
Now, this is what we’re going to be talking about today. Basically the power of business to change the world and how we get there. And as Gibbs says, changing the world is not an impossible dream. Not if we’re successful in changing the world of business. I love that. So, Gib, I’ve got so many questions for you. I absolutely adored reading your book.

00:02:40:04 – 00:03:04:02
Philippa White
Yeah. So let’s let me start with my first one. Now, I remember our first meeting like it was yesterday, and I just I’m saying this one, I know that, you know, obviously you remember this, but I just for our listeners to understand just how important you are in my life and Ty’s life. Julian Love, who was an Accenture employee at the time, he put us in touch.

00:03:04:08 – 00:03:27:03
Philippa White
It was 2004. And I remember I’d stepped out of work at BBH, was working at the time, and I called you in a square just off of Bond Street. I remember I remember the square. And I called and I felt really nervous. And I sort of dialed your number and I said, Hi, Gib, you know? And I explained my tie idea to you and you very graciously agreed to meet up with me.

00:03:28:07 – 00:03:49:18
Philippa White
So a few days later, we were face to face. I remember we were in a pub close to Accenture. It was about 5 p.m. and you walked in wearing a gray suit and I just went on to explain my idea for tie. And you so kindly took your time telling me about ADP, helping me learn from everything that you’ve been through or that you had been through in the previous years.

00:03:49:24 – 00:03:58:08
Philippa White
Can you tell people about your baby, which is ADP and your career epiphany that started this incredible movement?

00:03:59:02 – 00:04:28:05
Gib Bulloch
CRUMBS Well, what a warm introduction, Philippa. Thank you very much indeed. After that, I can hardly wait to hear what I’ve got to say. Appreciate it. And I do remember that meeting, that first meeting all these years ago. And to be honest, I was very early on in the journey that I’ve been going on. So the very quick and prissy history is I joined what was at the time Andersen Consulting.

00:04:28:05 – 00:04:52:23
Gib Bulloch
It became known as Accenture. I joined there in 96. I was you know, I wasn’t trying to save the world at that point. I was trying to have a sports car and, you know, a gold card and the luggage and all the other KPIs of the things that would make us successful. And and on some levels, you know, achieved these things, but was wondering by the early nineties, you know, is this it?

00:04:52:23 – 00:05:28:23
Gib Bulloch
Is there something more that I could and should be doing? I just didn’t feel ultimately fulfilled. And and the epiphany, as I describe it, is I was actually a very simple reading an article in the Financial Times on my way to work. It was not the road to Damascus. It was the the district line, I think. And I went to a client in the city and it was obvious all the volunteering charity meeting business people, they didn’t get enough doctors and nurses and teachers and things needed more business people and they wanted to partner with large corporates.

00:05:28:23 – 00:05:55:10
Gib Bulloch
So it was it was an idea that was ahead of its time. It partnered with companies, boatloads of people for six months or so. And within a year I found myself in northern what’s now called Northern Macedonia in the Balkans. And it was just after the Kosovo war. So Macedonia sits next door to Kosovo, and I was in a 90 something percent salary reduction from the kind of megabucks fast lane of business that I’d been getting used to.

00:05:55:22 – 00:06:22:14
Gib Bulloch
But I was more motivated than I’d ever been in my life, but probably not having that much of an impact, if I’m totally honest. And in the long winter nights in Macedonia, I was thinking, you know, how much more could I get done with my normal team of people? Is there a business model to really industrialize this? If I was happy and motivated on a massive salary reduction, maybe people would work for a lower salary.

00:06:23:09 – 00:06:53:05
Gib Bulloch
And that was the genesis really, of the idea that became known as Accenture Development Partnerships. I came back with Fight in the Belly. I talk about this in more detail in the book, but with a sort of fake press article about Accenture launching this audacious nonprofit. It, or I prefer to call it Not for Lost Business, but it was at the time when it consultancies were doing pro-bono, a lot of pro-bono give it away for free to charities on their doorstep.

00:06:53:05 – 00:07:15:15
Gib Bulloch
But it wasn’t getting business and technology expertize to parts of the world where there was a great need and and with very little access to these skills. And that was the mission that I set about trying to to address and create this business model where there was a contribution from employees in the form of taking a salary reduction, the firm gave up profit.

00:07:16:20 – 00:07:47:05
Gib Bulloch
And the charities, the nonprofits that we worked for, all the nontraditional clients, if you will, from Accenture, these were organizations we wouldn’t only work with. They paid something, but they paid maybe ten or $0.20 in the pound, cents in the dollar. And that was it scalable sustainable not for loss business unit. So a pause there but that was that’s it in a in a nutshell in terms of how we got going and we launched I think we piloted 2000 and to launch 2003 super at the time.

00:07:47:14 – 00:07:50:24
Philippa White
So when I met with you that was literally right at the beginning.

00:07:50:24 – 00:08:00:20
Gib Bulloch
Yeah, right in the beginning. So no I would have relatively little to tell. But I suppose a a year of learnings at that point, that’s why what you were trying to do really resonated with me.

00:08:01:05 – 00:08:27:17
Philippa White
And tell me just because obviously ADP has is still going obviously, but while you were there and in the so many obviously discussions at the firm, what would you say was the benefit for the firm, you know, supporting an initiative like ADP? Why on earth would a huge consultant company want to do something like that?

00:08:27:17 – 00:08:48:00
Gib Bulloch
And it’s a question I asked often and have been asked often why? You know, with a business that’s all about making profit, have a non profit. And I would say that that first generation of the business case, let’s see for the first few years was very much your own people. So it was a magnet for attracting and retaining talent.

00:08:48:00 – 00:09:15:06
Gib Bulloch
It was a leadership development tool. Yes, there were positive PR benefits in terms of, you know, newspapers starting to write nice things about what consultants would do with their supply chain skills and apply them to getting medicines the last mile or, you know, technology, you know, e-learning platforms to train nurses in Kenya. Pretty cool. So people were super motivated, attracted a disproportionate number of the best performers.

00:09:15:06 – 00:09:44:17
Gib Bulloch
Yeah. Many years in and see I did a analysis of what we were doing and found that it actually reduced high performer attrition by 32% I think and that was a lot of people that the analyzed and interviewed. So it was an attraction to the interesting sort of second generation business case that wasn’t on the cards when we first started was around how we were able to actually extend and enhance the relationship we had with commercial clients.

00:09:44:17 – 00:10:15:20
Gib Bulloch
So yes, we were working primarily with the nonprofits, but over the course of 2007, eight, nine, ten people cast their minds. Back then we started hearing about things like shared value and inclusive business and sustainability and all these terms that have sort of cropped up over the years. So the likes of the Unilever or the Coca-Colas or the Barclays, we’re starting to engage in these agendas, starting to look at how we could partner with other organizations.

00:10:15:20 – 00:10:52:12
Gib Bulloch
So we started finding that we’d be working with Coca-Cola on their last meal logistics expertize and inventory management expertize, and applying that to health systems in Africa or with Barclays on Village Savings and Loans programs, where we partnered with an NGO funded by Barclays to get finance the last mile things that Unilever and smallholder farmers with Oxfam. So that was you know you never quite know what the benefits will be but my my key point is there needs to be a business case for doing this stuff.

00:10:52:12 – 00:11:06:18
Gib Bulloch
It cannot be appealing to the heartstrings of a particular benevolent leader at that particular time, because we move on, they go under the bus and then you go onto the bus with them. If you.

00:11:06:18 – 00:11:30:05
Philippa White
Yeah, absolutely. God, I. Yeah. So I mean, just this brings me beautifully to just the next thing that I wanted to talk to you about because, you know, many years ago there was a lot of talk around CSR, corporate social responsibility and and it was like you say in your book, like it was a very much a secondary strategy to the main part of business.

00:11:30:05 – 00:11:57:07
Philippa White
Right so it was sort of the doing good. AAM and I remember back in 2005 so I you know we met in around 2004 2005 at the end of 2005 I quit my job came to Brazil, started writing the business plan for TIE and sort of making it turn into something you remember in about 2006, 2007, I’m back in London talking to companies and I heard over and over again, yeah, you know, sustainability is just not really our priority at the moment.

00:11:58:18 – 00:12:29:15
Philippa White
And in the book you explain how things have moved on significantly since then. And I just have a few questions along this line of thinking, you know, what comes out in the book loud and clear is how it is possible to change the world from inside big business. And actually it’s a huge opportunity. And so the first the first question I have, because you also touched on this in the book, and I just it reminded me because this happened to me as well in business school.

00:12:29:22 – 00:12:58:08
Philippa White
I remember sitting in the classroom at business school and the teacher asking all of us sort of say, what’s the main goal of business? And then we all had to chant while hitting our fists on the table to make money. And, and we we had to do that. Well, I actually I then it felt so wrong. And I, you know, this was I was I had no business experience at this point.

00:12:58:08 – 00:13:03:21
Philippa White
I was just a business student. But what is your response to this? I’d love to know your response to this.

00:13:05:11 – 00:13:34:22
Gib Bulloch
Well, you can imagine what it was like. I was the MBA in the early, early nineties and there were similar chants and always felt wrong to me. And yet there is still, to this day, I believe in many businesses, particularly at the senior levels, this this false dichotomy, I would say between on one arm we do business one on we do business and it’s core business and we make money and we make widgets for profit.

00:13:35:04 – 00:14:00:02
Gib Bulloch
And on the other hand, we do good. And there’s still that sort of belief that these things are mutually exclusive in some way. And of course, they have to and they are converging. And so I don’t have a problem with businesses making a return on investment, with businesses making a profit. But I do want that to be done with a purpose.

00:14:00:02 – 00:14:28:17
Gib Bulloch
And I do think that businesses are increasingly having to articulate what that purpose is. If you today want to attract and retain the top performing talent from these business schools around the world, you need to have a story, be beyond just how much money you’re going to pay them. And it’s my firm belief that in the old days you talked about CSR corporate responsibility.

00:14:28:17 – 00:14:56:12
Gib Bulloch
When we had this kind of black and white between doing good and doing business and we had a few people in the CSR department doing the good, it’s my firm belief that actually these things that we’ve traditionally called CSR or charity stuff or philanthropic stuff, the Sustainable Development Goals, is that is the latest incarnation, the latest proxy. These are huge untapped opportunities for business.

00:14:56:16 – 00:15:27:08
Gib Bulloch
We’re just really talking about how we how we feed and nourish the next billion that are coming onto the planet. And they are coming already. They’re already born. They are coming. We need to provide them with clean energy, with access to education, with access to water and sanitation, you name it. These are yes, the UN goals, but they are, it’s estimated, a $13 trillion opportunity for business to engage by 2030 to achieve these goals.

00:15:27:08 – 00:15:51:05
Gib Bulloch
There’s a paper I can read for your notes. I’m not for the UN Business Commission, so let’s reframe these things as opportunities. Let’s reinvent business models, let’s rethink profit and and shareholder maximization in the short term to look at which shareholder optimization, stakeholder optimization in the longer term rather than the short term view.

00:15:51:17 – 00:16:01:05
Philippa White
Yeah. And I mean, Mark Carney, his books coming out has come out now I think is in it, which is it’s about values, not value isn’t it.

00:16:01:21 – 00:16:15:19
Gib Bulloch
Yeah, that’s great. And, and in that I just heard them speak on another podcast, not as good as you as obviously but you know, this, this nonsense about you compares Amazon and the value of Amazon versus the Amazon.

00:16:16:08 – 00:16:16:20
Philippa White
Yes.

00:16:16:23 – 00:16:39:03
Gib Bulloch
Oh, yes. And the the Amazon, we don’t put a value on at all until we cut down the trees. And we we ship the timber, which is, you know, and destroy the planet in time, you know, as Amazon is very easy to value. And it’s, you know, it’s a new superstate. It’s a it’s a part of, you know, it touches most of our lives.

00:16:39:03 – 00:17:13:16
Gib Bulloch
It’s enormous. And with size, I think, comes responsibility and businesses. This is the notion that if we can change the world by changing business, you know, give me one degree shift in that supertanker called Mohammed’s version, you know, let alone a 5% or a 10% shift that can have massive impact on so many things. If we took the North Star a week from being small number of short term investors to being the benefit of society.

00:17:13:16 – 00:17:35:11
Gib Bulloch
So I think there’s we could talk about this, but I think there’s going to be more democratizing and starting to come into corporations and what people read to see in what these organizations do and who they serve and how they’re self. If that means unlearning a lot of the received wisdom that we’ve had in our MBAs, in our business school teachings, then so be it.

00:17:35:22 – 00:18:02:16
Philippa White
Yeah. Now you talk about the Sustainable Development Goals, and as we know, the sort of I’d like to think it’s not sort of the next big thing that people I don’t know, the next flavor of the month, which is obviously the ESG, right? So the you know, the corporate ESG is environmental, social and governance goals. But now all these companies are working towards which is obviously helping to reach these sustainable development goals for the 2030 agenda.

00:18:03:12 – 00:18:32:11
Philippa White
And I’d like to think it’s it’s sort of there’s so much potential. I mean, I find it fascinating, first of all, that your book was written in 2018. So this is way before ESG are being talked about, but it kind of feels like now people are coming up to where your brain was at and sort of what we before then, but being articulated in the book in 2018, because this is where I feel like there’s a lot of financial directors out there and CEOs who said, okay, well, we need to kind of get our strategies.

00:18:32:11 – 00:19:05:16
Philippa White
We need to get these these ESG strategies together. But what’s you know, what’s the what’s the benefit to us? How can this now turn into something that can, you know, not just be a strategy, but how can this sort of benefit us? But, okay, maybe we we do need to find ways of this benefiting the world. And I just I wonder, what would you say to listeners out there who are pulling together these strategies of ESG is and yeah, I’d love to know what you think of the SDGs.

00:19:05:16 – 00:19:44:24
Gib Bulloch
Sure. Well, this is this is a topic that’s been close to my heart for a very, very long time. Maybe we were slightly to the bleeding edge of this stuff. The book may have come out in 2008. It was written between 2015 to 17, I guess. And actually a lot of the stuff I put in the book was stuff that had been written in technical papers, you know, in the 5 to 10 years previous to that, talking about this convergence, talking about a fourth sector emerging, you know, a new sector that brings the best of the business world and the best of the DNA of the nonprofit world and creates new business models, new platform

00:19:44:24 – 00:20:17:01
Gib Bulloch
forms that can address these SDGs or SDGs or whatever you want to call them. So I think besides the the real and tangible value, untapped value, I believe that there are in the things that I’ve mentioned that that is, you know, you know that the strategy for business really needs to to look deeply into where money can be made in solving social and environmental problems.

00:20:17:22 – 00:20:56:19
Gib Bulloch
But the second thing, I think, is the shift in power that is starting to take place from the top of business down and outwards. I believe we are starting to see I alluded to this idea of democratization of these new G20 player, massive multinationals. We’re seeing things like Google through its parent alphabet, the alphabet workers union. Who would have thought that alphabet workers union is not talking about safety in terms of conditions and p google, i think the median salary is over $400,000 a year.

00:20:57:05 – 00:21:35:10
Gib Bulloch
They’re paid perfectly well. Yeah, it is business ethics. It is about more employees wanting to have a greater C in what Google does, what it doesn’t do, who it serves, how it does it. And that for me is the thin end of what’s going to be a very thick wage that businesses really need to take significant notice of and be ahead of the curve and anticipate this coming and the authentic story to tell about what it is and why they should exist in the world and what they are doing to make the world a better place rather than just, you know, short term rent seeking or profit seeking.

00:21:36:00 – 00:21:38:17
Philippa White
Yeah. You know what constitutes a value, right?

00:21:39:07 – 00:21:55:12
Gib Bulloch
And what exactly. And profit is a natural outcome. Shareholder value can be a natural outcome of serving customers and solving some of these social environmental problems. But it shouldn’t be the purpose of business in itself, in my view, should be an outcome.

00:21:56:00 – 00:22:24:09
Philippa White
So I can’t help but ask you from your point of view, I mean, obviously you’re very familiar with the TIE model because it’s not dissimilar to ADP’s model. You know, the specifics as to how it works and who the you know, who pays the bills and all that kind of stuff is slightly different. But as far as this simple connecting the private sector with the social sector around the world to create change, but also to be used as a catalyst to then unlock different thinking.

00:22:25:11 – 00:22:28:11
Philippa White
Why is this important in your mind?

00:22:28:24 – 00:22:59:07
Gib Bulloch
Well, of course, I’m going to come on your podcast and I’m going to say nice things about Thai. But, you know, I, I genuinely, genuinely believe what you do you’re doing is super important and it’s so similar to what we were doing beyond the the benefits that I talked about with the individuals. What you’re talking about is exposing people to international experiences, often cross-cultural experiences, cross-sector experiences.

00:22:59:23 – 00:23:25:11
Gib Bulloch
Some would be said, and I don’t know who the quote is from, but I like it. If you want people to think out of the box, then they have to first of lived out of the box. And we are in such a myopic business context where we’ve we’ve had our heads down delivering last year’s KPIs and performance objectives that we were given or handed down by us.

00:23:25:11 – 00:23:51:13
Gib Bulloch
And we, we see things through these blinkers. And when you have an experience like time where people can go out there and really open their minds and have a chance and space to think differently about the role, think differently about what they can do. And the agency behalf to drive change in that organization is crucially important. So there is a massive benefit to business in doing this.

00:23:51:13 – 00:24:17:17
Gib Bulloch
You are basically tapping into the sort of internal Elon Musk’s and Musk message that will exist within your organization and sort of activating them. It’s like pollinating them in some way. We need to be innovators and innovation, social innovation, environmental innovation is going to be the hallmark of success in tomorrow’s business. Yeah. So I think what you’re doing is hugely strategic and hugely important.

00:24:18:04 – 00:24:22:11
Philippa White
Well, thank you. I mean, I appreciate that. But obviously it was a bit of a leading question. I would.

00:24:22:20 – 00:24:23:12
Gib Bulloch
Love.

00:24:25:01 – 00:24:46:22
Philippa White
I would love to know if there’s a story. And obviously, you did you know, you were running ADP for a very long time at Accenture, and I’m sure there’s lots of them. But is there a story that stands out in your mind of someone who had been on an ADP? I mean, you’re obviously one example of what happened when you did an experience like this.

00:24:46:22 – 00:25:11:10
Philippa White
But from one of the people on one of your cohorts who did an experience, found themselves in a completely different part of the world, had their minds blown, had exposure to things that they wouldn’t normally have had exposure to, you know, that cultural intelligence part of it there, you know, necessity is the mother of invention. The obstacle is the way they come back and then they do something at Accenture, too.

00:25:11:13 – 00:25:15:10
Philippa White
Is there a story that stands out for you?

00:25:15:10 – 00:25:39:09
Gib Bulloch
And it’s a good question, which I wasn’t anticipating, and I’m probably going to slightly duck it because I wouldn’t pull out any one individual answer a couple of different ways, that there were many people who went away and did an experience and came back and worked for a year and went and did a second project. A third project, I think some even did a fourth project.

00:25:39:15 – 00:25:57:06
Gib Bulloch
Some came on to a management team. I was lucky enough to have the pick of the bunch, and so it became a sort of hybrid career option for for many people where they could stay within the firm, not leave the firm. This is where the attrition was reduced. You know, they could you could have the best of both worlds.

00:25:57:06 – 00:26:21:15
Gib Bulloch
Keep your pension going, keep your tenure with the company going, keep your skills and your training going. But you feel that you’re having a real impact on something that’s important to you, whether that thing in Africa, whether it was working, you know, in closer to your your home office of the headquarters of an NGO that didn’t always have to be a developing, quote unquote, or southern country that people go into.

00:26:21:22 – 00:26:42:12
Philippa White
And I mean, now that brings me to the next thing that I actually wanted to talk to you about. You know, how about these people that are running these companies? And I’m not talking about the CEOs or the people in the C-suite roles. I’m talking about all of these people that are giving their everything to these companies so that they can function.

00:26:42:12 – 00:27:07:02
Philippa White
And you talk in the book about how the landscape of talent is changing, and you touched on it just now about how an Accenture people were able to almost have that you know, the best of both worlds actually how they there’s obviously a huge part of them that really wanted to make that difference and they could do that with doing one, two, three, four or five ADP of projects.

00:27:07:02 – 00:27:22:14
Philippa White
You know, what would you say the majority of people are looking for now? And obviously you felt it however long ago, and I did and I do now. And I did too then. But, you know, why is it important for companies to truly understand these dynamics? What are these dynamics?

00:27:23:09 – 00:28:10:02
Gib Bulloch
I sometimes see that I think I, I was a millennial trapped in trapped in this Gen-X body. If you my time but if you read reports into what millennials and Gen Y and I know everyone projects you know what they want that generation to do to see or believe in line with their agenda. But the the neutral surveys that Deloitte’s Millennials survey and things like that will tell you that there is a fundamental shift, I think, happening where people are the old levers of motivation around paychecks and bonuses and things like that are diminishing in their power and having people feeling that they are making a difference in something with the kind of feeling that

00:28:10:02 – 00:28:50:07
Gib Bulloch
they are part of something bigger than themselves and through their day job are able to influence something. That is something that I believe is much more the norm now than it was ten, 20 years ago during my generation when it was headline solid. And I definitely include myself in that. And in the late nineties, things shifted for me based on the experience I had in Macedonia and now people are coming into the work place wanting different things and I believe that any company worth its salt will need to be aware of that.

00:28:50:07 – 00:28:59:11
Gib Bulloch
And accommodate that. And many companies are changing their hiring strategies, their. Yeah. What, what they’re doing with these people.

00:29:00:00 – 00:29:04:11
Philippa White
What would you say the is the power, the potential of this untapped resource?

00:29:05:01 – 00:29:10:12
Gib Bulloch
I talk about entrepreneurialism. My book is called The Entrepreneur, after all. So I, I.

00:29:10:17 – 00:29:17:20
Philippa White
And what is an entrepreneur perhaps? Actually, let’s perhaps you can define that for what is an entrepreneur? What is the epitome of an entrepreneur in your mind?

00:29:17:20 – 00:29:56:06
Gib Bulloch
What is an entrepreneur and apologist interviewer French listeners for the twisting of their language. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t make up. But we know what an entrepreneur is. We’ve become accustomed to talking about social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs are people that have business solutions to a particular social environmental problem. Their challenge has always been skill. I would see great social entrepreneurs doing great things, but point to is a handful of examples of really skilled interpreters are take that social entrepreneur and have them inside a big business.

00:29:57:07 – 00:30:26:00
Gib Bulloch
I mean they’re inside a big business. They’re working as an employee, but not in the CSR department. They’re, you know, any gender, any department and someone who’s prepared to be entrepreneurial and and stand up for what they believe in and drive small change inside a large organization. Probably my favorite example of an entrepreneur, and there are many, but Vodafone guy called Nick Hughes back around.

00:30:26:01 – 00:30:51:23
Gib Bulloch
At the time that ADP was starting, he had this crazy idea of using mobile phones in Kenya as an alternative bank account. People were swapping your time minutes as an alternative currency, if you will. And that wasn’t an idea that was immediately rushed by leadership, let’s just say. But with some support from UK governments, it needed a pilot and the rest is kind of history.

00:30:52:17 – 00:31:20:21
Gib Bulloch
You know, it’s not just in Kenya, but it has revolutionized mobile banking, has revolutionized financial inclusion. That wasn’t a philanthropic gesture for Vodafone. It was a new business opportunity. And there are, I believe, so many more opportunities like that as we go into these SDGs that employees, if you can unlock the innovation potential of your motivated, best performing employees and come up with more piece of tape ideas, that’s where the power is.

00:31:20:21 – 00:31:26:07
Gib Bulloch
I don’t see it as being just an R&D department or in the accelerator or whatever happens to be.

00:31:27:04 – 00:31:48:11
Philippa White
I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more. And back to my leading question, I just think I often see in so many of my presentations, you know, the quality of our output is influenced by the inspiration you seek. And if you keep doing the same thing all the time, you know, you’re not going to you’re not going to be able to come up with new ideas or do things in a different way.

00:31:49:00 – 00:32:15:00
Philippa White
And and just having people have that opportunity to step out of their bubbles and out of their worlds and see how things are done in a different way, and then learn from that and then come back inspired. But also with that knowledge and understanding of different solutions that people are finding in other parts of the world, and then use that to help your clients or help your company come up with revolutionary solutions.

00:32:15:00 – 00:32:16:06
Philippa White
It’s just so.

00:32:17:16 – 00:32:48:09
Gib Bulloch
And and I should say it’s bit, you know, this social entrepreneurialism movement is is gathering pace that are bodies led the League of entrepreneurs and involved in that fabulous program at the Aspen Institute as a program the first MOVERS program, the Schwab Foundation of the World Economic Forum, is getting into this. There’s a new unusual pioneers program that, you know, social businesses is is pushing, and these are all about entrepreneurship.

00:32:48:09 – 00:33:01:17
Gib Bulloch
So I would encourage business leaders out there to to sort of wake up and smell the coffee in terms of what’s happening around this, because these networks are gradually moving into a real movement and is gathering pace. Yeah.

00:33:02:03 – 00:33:24:24
Philippa White
I love your music quote that we have in one of our documents because as I’ve mentioned well to you, but to our listeners, I, I love what Dave is doing in the League of Entrepreneurs and his entrepreneurship movement. Maggie Dupree as well. You know, they’re on to something just so powerful. And our one of our final documents, we call it the Post Placement Guide.

00:33:25:14 – 00:33:54:06
Philippa White
We have loads of information for people who go through time. There’s a quote from you give and it’s social interpreters are two thirds change maker, one third trouble maker. Get the balance wrong and you’re liable to be liable to be snuffed out by the corporate immune system. It’s almost as if a set of antibodies are unleashed by the parent organ organization to try and attack anything that doesn’t look like it’s maximizing short term profit in the next quarter.

00:33:54:06 – 00:34:14:04
Philippa White
And I think that’s really nice because it’s sort of it’s tough, it’s a challenge, but at the same time, it’s one it’s what the system needs and it’s not going to be easy. And that’s why it’s being an entrepreneur. You know, entrepreneurship is not easy, but you’re having to come up with new solutions, you’re having to come up with new ways of doing things, and you just have to find that balance.

00:34:14:04 – 00:34:16:11
Philippa White
I mean, do you want to just talk a little bit about that?

00:34:17:10 – 00:34:43:00
Gib Bulloch
Yeah, I guess so. I think it’s fairly subjective. Whether I was the balance was two thirds change maker or trouble maker or the other way around on any given day. And yeah, I talk a lot about this, but one of the chapters I think is the corporate immune system is a phrase I’ve sort of talked about this invisible kind of force that is trying to keep the status cool.

00:34:43:00 – 00:34:56:02
Gib Bulloch
And that is a threat, I think, to the change makers within. And certainly as as you know, Philippa II, I guess I learned bitter experience that I was not immune to that by myself.

00:34:56:07 – 00:34:56:13
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:34:57:06 – 00:35:26:15
Gib Bulloch
I love my job and yeah, it was going going well. I was enjoying it. It was super. But I was working longer and longer hours, flying all around the world doing this. This job. No space, no gaps. It was it was fairly crazy. And this is all sounding like a great podcast and all the successes that the I and their team and I really stressed that it was very much a team effort.

00:35:26:15 – 00:35:40:20
Gib Bulloch
Entrepreneurialism is a team sport. It’s not about somebody on a pedestal. I was leading the team, a great team who did amazing things. But then the wheels came off somewhat. As you know, only 14 don’t know whether you want to go there or no.

00:35:40:23 – 00:35:45:13
Philippa White
Let’s go there. Yeah, I mean, what talk to us about that because I think it’s important, you know? Yeah.

00:35:46:02 – 00:36:12:01
Gib Bulloch
Yeah. Well, as I say, I had been with some great successes in our first ten years or so. By 2013, we worked in 80 or 90 countries around the world, a quarter of a billion worth of services. And what with all the big mainstream charities that you would recognize, all the big brands, we were working with them in their back office, front office.

00:36:12:01 – 00:36:37:11
Gib Bulloch
It was tremendous. But, you know, some of my leadership sponsors had retired or moved on. You know, new CEOs would come in, start asking the questions, why are we doing this in some ways? So you warning for people, you know, you can find yourself sometimes having to win an argument one year and five years later have to win re win the same argument.

00:36:37:11 – 00:37:05:07
Gib Bulloch
It was kind of tough and I don’t really know exactly what caused it, but maybe it was a fever picked up in India. Maybe it was just 2 hours in the crazy pace of life that was going on. But I heard myself having was a burnout. I don’t know, it was just something happened and I found myself out of a manic episode that landed me in a psychiatric hospital in my native Scotland.

00:37:05:08 – 00:37:29:18
Gib Bulloch
Most of you will have detected a Scottish, but I would have thought maybe you could see some subtitles in this. But you know, in all seriousness, and I think I got off fairly lightly because it was a short lived experience, but I did spend five days and nights in a psychiatric hospital, a bit like a sort of cameo role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in some ways.

00:37:29:18 – 00:38:02:14
Gib Bulloch
And and I don’t want to in any way be glib or belittle the experience that the people that are really struggling with mental health issues in the workplace or having I was lucky. Others aren’t so lucky. It is a pandemic I would see in the workplace at the moment of anxiety, of disengagement, of depression. And I felt one of the main reasons for writing the book in the book hadn’t been on the cards until this happened.

00:38:02:14 – 00:38:25:05
Gib Bulloch
But it was a precursor to saying, okay, I need to stand up and be counted. We need to talk about this issue. We need to break taboos over this issue. Yes, there’s all the other reasons for writing the book that we’ve been talking about so far and trying to sort of get across my points of view on on business and what it can be and a sort of route map for aspiring entrepreneurs, I suppose.

00:38:25:14 – 00:38:57:09
Gib Bulloch
But the mental health issue is important. But I guess the angle I’m trying to take on this is that we need to shift the focus away from the individual. All need to have individual responses. We need to have more fruit on the desk or gym memberships or yoga classes. And it’s actually we need to focus more on the mental health of the institutions in the system which were working.

00:38:57:19 – 00:39:24:09
Gib Bulloch
Yeah, somebody made a great analogy that I really liked, but the canary in the coal mine people will know that in days gone by, miners would go down and have a Canadian a cage. Not great for animal rights, but if the canary fell over, then you knew there was some talk of a large, beefy miner. We’d have a bit longer, but you’d better get out quick.

00:39:24:09 – 00:39:46:16
Gib Bulloch
And I think, you know, we don’t blame the canary for not being resilient enough and that we look at why there’s a poisonous environment and that’s the analogy for business, I think. Let’s look at the system. Let’s look at why this is happening to everyone. Maybe what happened to me was a perfectly normal, rational, healthy response to a system that’s gone crazy.

00:39:46:24 – 00:40:06:19
Gib Bulloch
Yeah, that’s making a stubborn view. Let’s fundamentally rethink what companies do, what they stand for, how they do it. And if we start doing that, then we start to address the challenges and know our football in the canteen and yoga and think what is going to solve that problem.

00:40:07:11 – 00:40:24:16
Philippa White
Beautiful. I couldn’t agree more. And just to say I’m so happy that you are well and that you did come out of this actually inspired and obviously doing some amazing new things, which we will get to in a second. I do just have one thing I want to get to before I ask you about what you’re doing now.

00:40:25:06 – 00:40:55:14
Philippa White
And I we mentioned Maggie Dupree just earlier as one of the founders of the League of Entrepreneurs and. I asked her, I think it was in sort of September, I was talking to her about, you know, what, what we do in relation to the entrepreneurship movement. And and I gave her this quote saying, you know, tie provides you with a new perspective and new insights and gives you the confidence and the knowledge and the abilities you have are powerful to make change.

00:40:56:03 – 00:41:21:08
Philippa White
And the idea is inspiring participants to use that drive and energy, a new vision to make change and be a change maker at the company they are working at or a company they want to work at in the future. And as I mentioned, we talk a lot about the League of Entrepreneurs and all of our type material. And I do believe that the entrepreneur ship movement is, you know, or creating interconnectors.

00:41:21:08 – 00:41:41:01
Philippa White
I mean, that’s basically that’s the obvious next step in this journey. You know, we spark the potential entrepreneurialism in people. And then the idea is that we then pass the baton onto you guys, basically. And I just wonder, you know, there are a lot of people listening to this podcast who have either been through TIE or, you know, in the future will go on Thai.

00:41:41:01 – 00:41:53:10
Philippa White
They will come across this. Do you? Yeah, I’m keen to know. Like, what can you tell people who are listening, who would be keen to just know what what’s next.

00:41:54:03 – 00:42:22:02
Gib Bulloch
What’s next? I think I’d like to think that it is getting easier to be an entrepreneur in a company that not only are companies waking up, I believe, to the potential, the innovation potential of their people. So I know of many companies now that have entrepreneurialism programs. It’s an environment that’s conducive to stepping and being creative. Yeah, it’s great.

00:42:22:20 – 00:42:44:13
Gib Bulloch
The wind is on on your back now. Whereas it was rather a headwind I would see in the past. Yeah, there are these various bodies from the League of Entrepreneurs to the other ones I’ve mentioned before, Circle of Young Entrepreneurs, many networks that people can look at, explore. You can maybe have that in your your podcast notes perhaps.

00:42:44:13 – 00:42:45:22
Philippa White
Yeah, yeah, I will I will.

00:42:46:05 – 00:43:25:17
Gib Bulloch
Give you your pure, pure coaching resilience, helping each other out, lots of ideas. So that is a fertile ground, I believe, for doing this. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the individual being prepared to follow that road, less traveled, to have the courage. I think leadership is a lot about courage to break from the herd, to follow that path of less traveled to perhaps maybe your career progression and piece of at risk perhaps put other safer options a bit at risk.

00:43:26:02 – 00:43:43:09
Gib Bulloch
But to follow that little voice that saying, you know, do this, step out, you can do this and be brave. And yeah, so I would I would very much encourage people to try and get to a place where you’re still enough to follow that a voice and a way of taking it.

00:43:43:20 – 00:44:07:12
Philippa White
And I would also just like to add, if this resonates with people, this what we’ve said until now with this podcast, I would highly recommend reading your book as well. It’s just so honest and funny in so many parts, but provides so much direction and experience in this. And actually it’s full of so many beautiful quotes. Oh my God.

00:44:07:12 – 00:44:26:10
Philippa White
I’ve been I’ve been quoting so many of so many of the quotes. All of you, just if you’re listening to this on Friday and you’ve been seeing me pulling quotes over the last couple of weeks, these of these are from Kim’s book. I’m going to say this one, just because it’s beautiful and it’s perfect for what you’ve just said, it’s by an American psychologist.

00:44:26:10 – 00:44:48:20
Philippa White
Rolo. Rolo, May. The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. And I think that couldn’t be more perfect for what you know. Come on, guys. We need to challenge the system if. What are you doing? No, I haven’t asked. Like what? I haven’t asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners as we wrap things up.

00:44:49:19 – 00:45:18:06
Gib Bulloch
Certainly. I’m certainly trying to get a better piece of of of life at the moment. I didn’t dove straight back into the corporate. I took some time out to to to write the book and my own sort of a bit of an Eat, Pray, Love journey, a few, if you will. But where it’s taken me to is another fairly crazy notion, and it’s slight deja vu in terms of people saying This is a crazy idea, but I love it.

00:45:18:06 – 00:45:50:22
Gib Bulloch
I’m trying to create a business. Decelerator on the Isle of Bute. When I grew up in Scotland, which features in the first few chapters of the book, I’ve got a derelict farm I’m trying to bring together and create a retreat center, not just for slowing down and doing nothing, but to connect business people to music art, the power of nature, improv, theater, community, a lot of the right brain stuff that tends to kind of atrophy in business that we tend to keep separate from what we do in business.

00:45:51:09 – 00:46:14:18
Gib Bulloch
So and possessing it much more as a sort of innovation center, a place to really create the soil in which people, entrepreneurialism and their ideas can flourish. So that’s that’s what I’m trying to do, but obviously not able to do a lot of physical things at the moment. So we’re doing quite a lot online and there will be events throughout the year next 1/16 for me.

00:46:14:18 – 00:46:22:08
Gib Bulloch
But people can go maybe and visit to Craigie Baroque. It means jagged Rock, that’s the name of the farm. So see, you know, you send it out.

00:46:22:16 – 00:46:26:13
Philippa White
I will put it, but if you could just say it here as well. I think for listeners who don’t go into the notes.

00:46:26:24 – 00:46:37:08
Gib Bulloch
C, r, e, g, e, r or c, h trig beta. That’s the Gaelic for Jagged Rock. And that’s the business business decelerator.

00:46:37:23 – 00:46:58:08
Philippa White
Great. Oh, well, I’m going to put all of you know, the book, of course, is going to go on the on the notes. Any interpersonal links that you can send me. So I will. I will ask you to send those to me so I can get those onto the onto the notes. And we will obviously put the decelerator, which sounds amazing on there as well.

00:46:58:08 – 00:47:08:03
Philippa White
And gosh, I look forward to things opening up for there actually to be physical ones. I’d like to I’d like to sign up or go, Oh, that sounds really lovely.

00:47:08:03 – 00:47:11:09
Gib Bulloch
We’d love to have you there. Yeah, it’s good fun.

00:47:11:16 – 00:47:35:16
Philippa White
Good. Well, listen, give we’ve come to the end of the podcast. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your time. I can’t help. I just. And also just all of your support ever since the beginning of time or time, as we said at the beginning, I just feel like so much of the the basis of tie came from a lot of your direction.

00:47:35:16 – 00:47:45:10
Philippa White
And materials and support. So yeah, I am very grateful for your time and for this podcast and for everything. So thank you to.

00:47:45:20 – 00:48:01:21
Gib Bulloch
Your very kind indeed. Thank you. I think have not had as much effusive praise since. I don’t think my mother would be able to match you in the stream. The kind full up and right back at you as the saying goes. So thanks for that, my friend. I think.

00:48:01:21 – 00:48:04:08
Philippa White
So. I.

00:48:10:05 – 00:48:37:15
Philippa White
Hey, everyone, this is Philippa again. So this is your chance to get involved with Tai? We have three absolutely amazing virtual opportunities available, all rooted in connecting the private sector with the social sector to make change. TIE has never been more necessary than right now, so if you’re looking for life changing leadership development opportunities for your employees and you want your company to impact the world, we’ve got you covered.

00:48:38:02 – 00:48:57:05
Philippa White
If you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and use your skills to make a difference and keen to meet other like minded professionals with similar values, then our TIE Accelerator program is for you. There are so many options, so I urge you to get in touch. Go to the international exchange, Skoda UK for more information or just shoot us an email.

00:48:57:20 – 00:49:20:21
Philippa White
Better companies, better leaders. Better world.

BE A BETTER LEADER

Everyone has the power to inspire, guide, and amplify team success. 

But before you can better lead others, you need to fully understand yourself!

This free tool is a powerful way to reveal the qualities you already have so that you can utilise them to become an even better leader.

Better leaders > better companies > better world.

created with by jessica lynn design
web development by carolyn sheltraw