Welcome to the show Cris.

Good morning.

So I’m curious. You obviously do a lot of things in the area of innovation and creating innovative organizations. How did you get started in this business?

Good question. I suppose I originally trained as a product designer, product and industrial designer. I spent about 10 to 12 years in that industry. And really, that was the precursor to this whole to my work on innovation and creating innovative organizations I suppose, because in a design and design thinking that whole process is fundamental. You know that’s a fundamental part of innovation.

I was lucky enough to build a fairly successful group of companies, and I acted in 2008. Very, very fortunately just before Lehman Brothers crashed, and I mean days before Lehman Brothers crashed.

Great. Great timing. Is it lucky or smart?

Well, as you know I do a lot of speaking, a lot of keynotes on creating innovative organizations, and I always you know, strategically I had the forethought that this may happen so I it’s a tall tale. It was just incredible luck. The direct answer to the question, moving on from that, was I started to get asked by some of my existing clients, and these were big global corporates, big companies.

How do we, as a senior team use design and design thinking, strategic thinking, all these different buzzwords that were flying around at the time. How do we use those to solve business challenges and business problems and creating innovative organizations in the same way as you and your team have helped to solve creative and design challenges? It sort of snowballed from there, really. The requests came in and around 2010, 2011, 2012, innovation really sort of became one of those core things that senior teams were talking about, and putting on the strategic agenda. The demand for what I do – creating innovative organizations, and how I do it, has grown since then.

So, what are the most common reasons that you get brought into an organization to address? What are the main causes?

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The mantra behind some that are creating innovative organizations.

There’s several really. I mean the big thing is and as we know and as everyone listening to this will know, innovation is just absolutely everywhere at the moment and it has been for a few years. But ironically, there’s still a real uncertainty about just exactly what it is and there’s a thousand books on innovation that say, “Innovate or die. We must innovate. You must learn how to disrupt,” so senior teams really get the fact that they have to do this. They get the fact that their competitors are differentiating, new entrants are coming into the marketplace and stealing, literally overnight, huge chunks of market share and that’s never really happened before.

So senior teams recognize and we all recognize the world has changed and is changing, and that means businesses need just a different approach. It’s time for a shift in, how we operate, run, and lead businesses. The demand for thinking differently in innovation is now there. They know they need to be creating innovative organizations. So the core reasons, two or three really, one, competitive advantage, organization seeing loss of market share and seeing competitors doing things differently, and how do they respond to that. Changing needs of customers and consumers; customers becoming more savvy about what they buy, why they buy, how and why they engage with an organization. Over and above now just the core product, and the homogenized world we live in now is part of the reason for that.

Then there’s this whole thing around the digital landscape which personally I’m not doing a huge amount in terms of innovation around the digital landscape, but the requests are there, the conversations I’m having at board level are definitely there in terms of how do we react to a world which is basically now online. How do we as a traditional, sometimes bricks and mortar, face-to-face business, how do we now operate and what do we need to do? How do we innovate in a world that requires us to behave in a completely different way? So, two or three core things.

Am I right in saying that a lot of the organizations you’re working are more of the mature industrialized businesses versus the fast-moving startup software kind of organizations?

Not necessarily. One of the things I’m known for is how is enabling and helping senior teams build innovation as a capability in itself. So, how do they create innovative organizations and how do they build the tools, the frameworks, the governance the actual nuts and bolts of innovation.

But the other thing I’m really known for is how do we embed that into culture? The team that worked with me on that are some of the best people in the world on culture change, leadership for this new world that we find ourselves in, and all the multidisciplinary things that innovation requires. So, some of those startups, some of the really fast-growth businesses now know that innovation in terms of how it sits and embeds into culture is a really important part of how successful and how fast they’re going to be able to grow. Because if you just say well, “Here’s the tech, here’s the widget and the things that we’re really good at,” from a leadership point of view, those young entrepreneurs that are building those fast-growth businesses, they understand how important culture is as part of that mix.

So, I’m doing quite a lot of work in creating innovative organizations with businesses who have disrupted some of the bigger more established players, but also understand that they have to build and grow that culture with them, and actually do what the big companies haven’t managed to do which is how do they retain that culture as they grow? And we know that the big corporates, one of the things they struggle with is how do them as a big organization now, start to act in the language is how do they act and behave like a startup? And that’s culture. That’s about behavior. The startups in the fast-growth companies now recognize that one of the things that may happen as they grow in scale is that there’s the chance of losing the very essence and culture that makes them what they are today. So I’m doing a lot of work with companies, helping them retain that culture.

Yeah okay. Very interesting. So, I mean there are two audiences two types of people listening to this. One is the intrapreneur in the large organization who might be wondering whether the company they’re working for is moving fast enough. They might have friends working in startups and wondering why is it so hard to make stuff happen. And the other audience is the executives who are creating these cultures and sustaining them. So for the intrapreneur, that kind of the 30-something perhaps, person trying to move forward an agenda, or a product, a process, an idea… do you come across these in your work? And if you do, what characterizes the ones who are successful versus the ones who are bumping up against the organization or resistance? What are they doing differently in creating innovative organizations?

It’s a really good question, and the whole landscape around intrapreneurship, off the back of entrepreneurship, is really coming alive at the minute. I spoke in an intrapreneurship conference last year in a room full of exactly the type of people you’re talking about, so not necessarily senior execs but really passionate, creative, ambitious people who want to do things differently.

There’s two things here and part of the answer is for both of those audiences as you’ve just described, and the reality is both of those audiences have to meet in the middle somewhere. What I see a lot of is really, really passionate middle of the organization entrepreneurs who have great ideas, who are influential so they can pull and some of the traits are they have real influence around them because people tend to gravitate towards them  because they are willing to do things different. They’re creative, they’re passionate, there’s a buzz around that type of person. So they tend to attract other people which is great, because you then start to create momentum around new ideas in innovation and creativity.

IE 021 | Creating Innovative Companies - Cris BeswickThe challenge that everyone listening to this who’s in that space will face is, “How do they engage the senior team?” And we talked about the new book that I’ve written that you know about. We talked about this and reinforce it all the time; the senior team have to be engaged in creating innovative organizations or it just doesn’t happen. What I see a lot of is really passionate, creative intrapreneurs, leaving the organizations to go towards other companies that really want that type of talent. It’s a real shame because there’s a lot of big organizations that are losing talent. So for the leaders out there, listening to this, your challenge my challenge to you is how do you really engage these people?Because they want to contribute new stuff. Your challenge as a leader is how do you keep them, because the war on talent is the leader’s will to win yeah? So, there’s a real sense of urgency around, how do leaders enable this type of person. The ones that really, really get through, they’re just the really sticky, tenacious every time they get knocked down or get knocked back or told “No, we can’t push forward,” they get up again and they try again. It’s the boxers analogy. They get straight back up and they try. But in fairness to that type of person, it becomes really hard when the organization continuously says, “No, we don’t want to innovate or we don’t recognize or value it.”

Yeah, and it’s like this definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting get different results.

So, we’ve had a couple of previous guests Cris, one is Dorie Clark who talks about building a following. Another one was Professor Rob Wolcott who talked about building bridges way before you need them. I think one of the reasons we’re doing this podcast is because the resilience, the boxer analogy, is good up to a point, but the challenge of course is it can take a lot of bruises on the journey.

Of course. Yeah.

The extent of it is you can actually accelerate that journey and be a little bit more sort of strategic and systematic about it, and that’s what this podcast is essentially designed to try and create these resources for those people in those situations. But, for the leaders, let’s think about what does it specifically mean for a leader to create these kind of conditions, such that it calls forth the capabilities and the talents of the intrapreneurs, to stop them from going across the road to a faster-moving, more agile organization.

For those kinds of leaders, if you think about one of those leaders that you know does this really well, what are they doing in creating innovative organizations? What are they doing different from what they’ve done in the past? Because it might well be that what they did in the past got them to the leadership position, but now, they’re going to do something different going forward. I’m just interested in what are you seeing in this evolution of leadership in this world of creating innovative organizations?

Yeah. It is interesting, and one of the challenges is they have that transition of moving into that leadership role, but also in parallel, there’s this other transition of, when you then start to lead innovation those leadership behaviors and the traits and what is required to lead innovation versus just general leadership, is then a whole shift again. So, sometimes I do feel sorry for senior teams and senior leaders who are not only now having to lead their business. They’re having to lead it it’s innovation-led, if you like, and the skills and behaviors for that are just a whole shift on again. So I do genuinely feel sorry for them sometimes.

But t

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“The [leaders] that I see that are really good are the ones that genuinely articulate the need and continuously reinforce the need for innovation.” – Cris on creating innovative organizations.

So if you imagine as either as a business value or a personal leader’s value of innovation, creativity, intrapreneurship, thinking differently, what does it actually mean for that individual leader or that senior team to genuinely uphold that, and bring that alive on a daily basis?It’s the same challenge that we see in organizations that have organizational values. How many companies with organizational values do we see that genuinely on a daily basis, absolutely live and breathe those values? It’s very rare that you get that because when you delve into the heart of an organization, you start to see things that contradict those values. So the leaders that I found that are brilliant at this are the ones that are in the same vein as the organization absolutely lives and breathes its values, right down to the people on the frontline, right down to the heart of the organization. The leaders that lead innovation really well are the ones that genuinely uphold the behavior that innovation requires.

So risk, creativity, collaboration, diversity of perspective, all those things. How does a leader make those genuinely come alive, and live and breathe and own the values, and the behaviors that innovation requires. The ones that do it well are the ones that demonstrate that on a daily basis.

Of course, if they’re leaders in public companies, quoted companies, they’ve also got the added challenge of delivering short-term numbers but also creating a sustainable organization that can withhold some of these waves of disruption that are hitting them. I’m curious, because I mean you positioned well, you’ve been sometimes called a non-exec for innovation and what do you think is the role of boards in creating the context for this innovation culture to take place during the creating innovative organization? Because there’s not much discussion about it, but clearly, they have a hugely important sort of governance and leadership role in creating those conditions.

I think the real interesting thing is, and the conversation that comes up all the time is how do we pragmatically do all this new creative different stuff, that inherently comes with some risk, and it may mean significant or minor change but it means change, it means doing things differently. How do we do that and really drive forward without disrupting the performance engine? So without as you refer to it, how do we still meet those short-term targets? How do we still keep the business running? How do we do all that without jeopardizing what we already have?

One of the challenges is, from a board and senior team point of view, is really taking that leap of faith, that innovation genuinely over a period of time absolutely pays dividends, but it may require some uncertainty in the short-term. Innovation is a long-term game. Any organization that says, “We’re going to really drive innovation. We’re going to really push it, but we want results within the next quarter,” might as well not to start. So, the challenge I always issue to boards is how can we just realign where and how we think we’re going to get ROI from innovation? And it is going to take it’s a long-term program not a short-term, what are the quick wins and what are the low-hanging there is low-hanging fruit but it’s quite small in terms of bigger picture. The boards are the key ones that can give the senior team confidence to take that longer term view.

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As companies are creating innovative organizations, balance still needs to be kept.

It’s interesting. If anyone has read John Kotter’s latest book called Accelerate.

I haven’t, no.

Okay, so we reference I talk about this in the new book. In Accelerate, he outlines a really, really nice way of positioning this exact situation of creating innovative organizations for senior teams, and he calls it the dual operating system. So how do you keep the core business going? But then, around the periphery, how do you then do all this new creative different stuff but without jeopardizing the core business that actually pays for all this new exciting different stuff? It’s something that senior teams really need to embrace and figure out how to do.

Yeah. I mean we had a similar concept in Syngenta where we talked about holding the ambiguity, and that was essentially continuing to deliver the core business, but also innovate around the core to actually map out the future and drive the business towards that. It’s a hugely difficult balance but it’s one that people are increasingly well, they’re paid, they’re expected to be able to do it, and you’re in the front-line of advising people as to how to do that essentially.

Yeah, and the reality is, that’s exactly what boards and senior teams are there to do. The implementation driving the business forward, driving all the innovation, and driving that performance and excellence, they’re the ones that have to create the framework and the roadmap to bring that alive. But it is a challenge, it’s not an easy one.

You mentioned your new book. In it you have a six step framework for this journey of creating innovative organizations. I’m curious, a couple of things struck me, maybe you can just talk to us through very quickly what the steps are, and give me a sense of the time horizons with which you position this in organizations just to manage our expectations.

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The challenge of creating innovative organizations.

Yeah. So, if I give you the context for the book, I was approached well over a year ago now, maybe even 18 months ago, by our publisher who said, “There are thousands of books on innovation that talk about the need for innovation, and talk about how the world’s changing, and you must be able to disrupt…” and all the language around that. The request from the publisher was, they said, “Look, all our corporate clients, all the businesses that we talk to say, ‘Don’t give us another book that reinforces the fact we have to innovate. We know that, we get it. Our challenge is we actually don’t know what to do. We know we need to be creating innovative organizations not just buy in pockets of innovation. But what the hell do we do and how do we do it?’” So, we were approached because we have a framework and it’s something that we use with clients. It follows the six steps that you just referred to. So the first one on creating innovative organizations goes back to what we just talked about around dual operating system, understanding where we are today.

The first one is, the first stage helps senior teams go through building a picture of where the organization is today. But then also building a picture of what does the organization need to look like in the future. Remember, this is all with innovation as the core context for those conversations.

So, that first stage we talk about in the book about all the things we actually do with senior teams, so, organizational assessment, understanding what the culture’s like, where the challenges are, innovation maturity, and assessing what an organization’s current innovation, you know, its actual innovation capability is. We’ve now just built a tool that can assess that online for any organization in the world. It’s probably the first it’s the first of it’s kind that we know about. So we then build a picture in a stage one of I call it the “sat nav” analogy. Where are we today? Where do we want to get to? Then, what does that roadmap look like? What does the journey look like?

Stage 2 then is about we refer to that as building the leadership team for innovation. So, we then say if we built a picture of where we want to go and how we want to get there, how do we, as a senior team lead the business in the organization for that future vision?

Does that cover what does the new leadership model look like? I mean how do the leaders need to be?

Absolutely. Yeah. How do they need to be? How do they need to behave? What are the new values that so back to the early conversation what do they need to do to really drive innovation and bring it alive in the organization? Those skills are different. The senior people, the leaders that will be listening to this probably spent a good deal of time in business. They will have been on all the corporate leadership, management, development, training, business schools, and they’ve done all that over the years. One of the questions I always ask is, how much leadership development have you guys had.

A senior team will say, “We’ve done this, we’ve done this. We’ve been to this business school and we’ve had the, you know,” and then I said, “Right. How much of all that development on your leadership ability was specific to innovation?” And it’s tiny, it’s just not part of the leadership curriculum, and that’s what we then help leaders do.

We say, “What do you now need to know and do and be able to do and behave in order to now lead in this really different new way.” And bear in mind, we’re now talking about Generation Y, 2020, Generation Z, 2024, 2025, those next two generations will scare the life out of people in leadership roles today. They’re just going to be so different and it’s some of those skills that we start to work on in creating innovative organizations.

Stage 3 then is about agreeing the future. So, what tools and capabilities does the organization need in order to place innovation at the core of its business. So, innovation process, how does it gain insight or intelligence as we call it about its customers about the world, about trends, how does it unearth opportunities, problems, et cetera. So, how does it feed that innovation process with things that need creative solutions, and we help design innovation frameworks, so the governance around innovation, the innovation process et cetera.

The nuts and bolts that you referred to earlier.

The real nuts and bolts of creating innovative organizations, the mechanics of how an organization spots a problem, creates ideas, develops it, refines it and then ultimately get that solution to market. So the real the design process of innovation. Then the final stages then start to migrate on the real embedding this into culture so, we then talk about if you imagine an organization’s been through that process, they’ve built a brilliant vision of the future. They now know how they need to lead as a senior team, and they now have all the tools, the frameworks, the processes. They have an armory that’s full of all the things they need. At that point, we then say they are ready to start to push innovation out into the organization. So the next stage then is how we then communicate and launch innovation across the business.

The first three phases of creating innovative organizations, sorry to drop in, typically when is that? Is that a month? Three months? Six months?

Yeah. It could be six months. Yeah.

Okay. Right.

But here’s the really crucial bit, the reason why the framework of creating innovative organizations only introduces innovation into the heart of the organization at that point is, all my work over the years has all led to the fact that most big organizations that start innovation start in terms of these six stages, they start at stage four. They basically say, “We’re going to do innovation, we’re going to have an innovation launch event, we’re going to put it on the agenda, we’ve got a conference and we’re now just going to tell the organization that we need more innovation. We need to be different and we’re going to ask the organization for innovation. We’re going to ask the organization for ideas.” Is the typical language, and my answer is, “Ideas about what?” It’s a really interesting dilemma. And every organization I’ve been into has said, “That’s exactly what we did, and now we understand why it’s failed because there’s no direction.” You talked about the leadership thing earlier about, leaders actually need followers, and they also then need a purpose. They need a direction.

Well, starting at stage 4 on our framework means there’s no purpose. There’s no vision of what the organization wants to become and where and why. There’s no acceptance that it needs a different type of leadership. There’s no innovation tools and processes, but you launch innovation and you get all these ideas and the organization can’t do anything with them, and I see it time and time again.

So then, stage 5 is then how do we start to embed this all this new great stuff in the organization, and that’s when we start to get into the real hearts of HR stuff so, really embedding the behavior into working practices. How do we add innovation as a core competence in appraisals? How do we make it parts of people’s job descriptions? All the real hard and fast HR things that mean it’s part of the fabric of the organization.

Then stage 6 in true innovation process style is about putting constant measurement and review in place, so that we consistently measure all of those 5 stages and all the progress, and make sure that we’re on track. If we’re not, we reassess and realign, and that then becomes just a continuous thing in the organization, and those fundamentally are the 6 steps.

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The big road map to creating innovative organizations.

We talked about this before the show started, the idea of the ecosystem. You talked about the organization, but the reality of course is that very few organizations have the resources, to have all the right skills right in the table, to actually develop some of these activities to their full extent. So, what are you seeing about how organizations interact with a broader ecosystem outside the sort of four walls of their traditional organizational boundaries?

So, there’s a really interesting approach to this. I created something called just a really simple framework for senior teams called Building a Next Generation Organization. One of the elements tackles exactly this thing. One of the things I’ve seen over the past several years is, senior teams really struggling to understand how they can build an ecosystem, and build an organization that is fundamentally designed to enable innovation. Because enabling innovation in the middle of the organization means giving people the tools and giving people empowerment, and freedom and access to things. But what senior teams what boards and senior teams struggle to do is to understand how what they can do at their level to enable that activity and that behavior in the organization. So I created a framework called Building a Next Generation Organization for senior teams. It’s built on three core things that either enable or disable innovation.

The first one is what I call becoming more intelligent as an organization. So innovation needs absolute understanding of problems, opportunities, the customer, et cetera, et cetera, to be able to start the innovation process of we’ve unearthed a problem or an opportunity, let’s now creatively solve that and build a solution to it and then implement it.

The framework is basically the innovation process but at strategic level. So the innovation process itself, if you boil it down to three things, is how do we unearth a problem or an opportunity? How do we find something that needs a solution? Then the next stage is the creative bit. How do we creatively solve that problem and build and design a solution and iterate and incubate ‘til we’ve got a genuine solution to the problem. And the third stage is how do we implement that? How do we get it to market? But that’s fundamentally the innovation process. So, the framework I created is that process but at a strategic level.

So the first module is how does a senior team help the organization become more intelligent. What can the senior team do to build better collaboration and connections with customers, with experts on futurologists, with trend experts, whatever the organization needs to make it much more intelligent. So fundamentally, the whole organization knows more about not only its customers, but its potential customers, the customers it doesn’t have, future generations, emerging trends, anything like that that’s going to contribute to unearthing problems or opportunities.

What we know from research is that most organizations and specifically most senior teams, I haven’t got the exact of percentage in mind, but it’s somewhere between 60 and 70% of senior teams admit that they just don’t understand their customers well enough. These aren’t acute figures, they’re fairly general figures across most industries all over the world.

The second challenge and the second part of the innovation process in creating innovative organizations is how do we then create solutions if we’ve unearthed something. The big thing that I’m seeing here now is because all of this stuff is new and the problems that are being unearthed are much more difficult to solve, organizations are now having to tap into a much wider network of talent, expertise, technology, perspective, and that’s why we’re now seeing this whole surge of a focus on opening innovation and collaboration.

We see a lot of the big corporates starting incubation centers, tapping into startups and just one-man-bands but with great ideas that might need funding or resources, and I think there’s real value in that. The downside to some of that activity that I see is, that a lot of the corporates are doing that and almost leaving the internal coach role, internal capability around innovation, and putting that second because there’s this focus on, well we’ve built an incubator, we’ve built a startup hub, and we’ve got 6 or 7 startups that’ve got some great ideas in technology and new things, so that’s our focus on innovation. What I see is a real shame that internal talents seems to become in second place, sometimes, not all the time. But the collaboration bit is really important, and again, this came out of research we did that again said, around 65, 66% of senior teams in organizations admit that they really struggle to collaborate and share knowledge, expertise, and creativity inside their own organizations. So again, it’s a real challenge that needs to be solved.

Then the third part of the innovation process and the third module for senior teams is, if you imagine stage 1 intelligence, you’ve now built this brilliant capability to unearth really high-value stuff. Stage 2, you’ve built this  internal and external collaborative ecosystem where you can pull the best talent and expertise together to solve these problems and create solutions better than your competitors. The final challenge is how fast do we get them to market? And again we know from research that most big global companies take almost as long to get new ideas and new products, experiences to market as they did five years ago. I mean that’s a frightening statistic because the world and the pace that we now operate in won’t allow organizations to still be that slow at getting stuff to market.

So the final section is, how do senior teams enable their own organizations to become much more adaptable and faster at iterating, prototyping, understanding minimum viable product, testing with consumers, in order to incubate those ideas, finalize them and then get them to market as quick as possible. Those three activities is something senior teams can do at their level, at a strategic level, so that that behavior and structure, and in everything that they do, that that activity filters down throughout the organization.

It’s fascinating. As you were talking Cris, it struck me that we touched on the leadership challenge of managing millennials, but there’s also, I think the next wave of leadership challenge in creating innovative organizations is going to be, how do you actually lead and manage these collaborations? Because it’s no longer the matrix which has tied up organizations for many years anyway. It’s actually far more complicated than the matrix.

Well one of the interesting things is, so the second dimension to that framework is, if you really focus on the collaboration bit. If you look at intelligence so if you imagine this is sort of, you know, as three circles that overlap right? So, the first one is intelligence. What’s the best way of gaining more intelligence about the world and about your customers, about consumers, right? It’s the second module. It’s collaborating with them. So, we talk a lot about co-creation with customers in terms of designing and developing and co-creating new stuff. Well, I talk about co-unearthing or co-identifying stuff with customers. Why wait until stage 2 to start working with your customers? Start working with them to unearth and figure out what they want, what they don’t want, what they struggle with. So, collaboration with customers is just as big a part of the intelligence bit at the first stage, and then imagine stage 3 adaptability. What better way of becoming more adaptable than collaborating with lots of other different organizations that might be able to build and test and incubate and get stuff to market quickly than you can. So, the collaboration element is the red thread that links all this together

Fascinating. So Cris, let’s just change gears and begin to wrap up on creating innovative organizations. A couple of questions that I gave you in advance. Little bit about your morning rituals first of all. What are your morning rituals, if indeed you have any?

I do. If I’m at home and as you know I’m either on a plane or a train somewhere and travelling somewhere so, the morning ritual at home is normally dominated by my two daughters, about if I’m not already awake about 6:30 in the morning, and I get two faces right next to me in bed. So, they kick off the morning ritual of, “Daddy, are you awake? Can we watch television in your room?” If that doesn’t happen, my alarm is normally set for between 6 and 7 if I’m working from home. The absolute first thing for me is to check my diary. So flick the calendar on and just double check that I haven’t forgot that I should be on a call with someone like you at 5 past 7, or whatever it is. So, there’s just that real sense check, what does today look like? Can I take my time in the morning and just get my thoughts together or do I need to prep for something very quickly? Then the absolute morning ritual for me is coffee.

Coffee. Yup.

Coffee, coffee, coffee. So, check my diary, coffee, and then in my head then I know what the day is looking like, bar anything that comes up, but I get that mental plan of what the day is going to be like. Then coffee is a great enabler of making the brain come alive.

Okay. Great. Second question. What have you changed your mind about recently?

That’s really a good one, and the absolute answer to that is work-life balance. I am guilty. One of the reasons why I think I did fairly well in terms of building the group of companies I have was, at that time in my life I was an absolute workaholic. I have an inbuilt tendency to be a workaholic. I absolutely love what I do. I love travelling around the world, working with amazing, different people. Sometimes that gets well not sometimes that gets in the way of work-life balance. So, one of the things that me and my wife did at Christmas was just had a really honest pragmatic chat about what do we as a family want to achieve? Not, what’s Cris Beswick’s journey and what he’s trying to achieve? And those just this real balance of, “Okay. Let’s just tilt the seesaw a little bit more.” So, work-life balance, quite a big change for me this year.

Okay, and then finally, what advice would you have for your 25-year-old self?

Wow. Lots. Lots and lots and lots. Twenty-five years old, I started my first company at 25. I was not to do all the 25-year-olds out there listening a disservice but I was probably fairly typical 25-year-old male straight out of university, thought I could conquer the world. Thought that my manager was rubbish, and the CEO of the company I was working for was the usual juvenile approach to, “I can do things better than everyone.”

I think if I look back now I was a little bit too cavalier, but what I was was I was really passionate. I was passionate about design, about strategic thinking and about what design and innovation I didn’t use the word innovation in those days but what design could do to solve any type of problem. So, my advice to that 25-year-old self now would be absolutely continue with that passion and never let go of that, and be absolutely confident in your own abilities. But be really self-aware enough that that confidence doesn’t turn into arrogance. So rather than that confidence becoming arrogant, it’s just be a little bit more humble, and I think I’d have built much stronger relationships at that age if I was a little bit more humble.

Okay. Very good.

But that’s a personal thing for me, not necessarily for everyone, but the question was about what would I tell my 25-year-old self.

Absolutely. So where can people get in touch with you Cris?

So you can get me on Twitter.

And your handle is?

Which is it’s @crisbeswick, and exactly the same name that can find me on LinkedIn, and they can find me on my website which is same as Twitter, it’s crisbeswick.com.

So Chris, it’s been a great pleasure to have you on the show to talk about creating innovative organizations.

Thank you.

I’m sure our audience enjoyed it as much as I did, and thanks for your time today.

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.