S2E3 – The Remote and Co-Located Business Edition with Adam Harris
James chats with Adam Harris, who’s entrepreneurial streak showed itself early when at age 12, he ran a neighbourhood car-washing empire, nearly got kicked out of University for E-mailing all 28,000 students and staff (pre-GDPR), has been a Professional Lookalike, owns a business that has 1500 blow up dolls….. now Adam helps business leaders by going DEEP through his laser-sharp challenge and questioning.
A trusted advisor, coach, mentor, and the youngest Vistage chair in history, Adam brings the requisite gravitas and authority to his Vistage group combining it with boundless energy, enthusiasm, and an eagerness to facilitate results.
Presentations more sleep-inducing than thought-provoking? Adam will wake you up with his trademark enthusiasm and vigour – and get you thinking about YOUR opportunity and possibility.
They discuss the challenges of running remote and co-located businesses, moving to New Zealand, war gaming, the 50 foot rule and celebrity look-a-likes.
T: +44 (0)7779 714387
James Nathan 0:55 Hello and welcome to The Only One Business Show with me your host James Nathan and on the show today I’ve got a fabulous guest for you and I hope you’re really going to enjoy the conversation. His entrepreneurial streak showed itself early at the age of 12 when he ran a neighborhood car washing Empire. He then nearly got kicked out of university for emailing all 28,000 students and staff. It’s been a professional look alike, owns a business that owns 1500 blowup dolls, but now helps business leaders by going deep through his laser sharp challenge and questioning a trusted business advisor, Coach mentor and also the youngest Vistage chair in history. He brings the requisite gravitas and authority to his Vistage group, combining it with boundless energy, enthusiasm and an eagerness to facilitate results. Please welcome Adam Harris. Adam. Hi, how are you?
Adam Harris 1:49 I’m very good. That’s a really quite good intro. Actually.
James Nathan 1:52 It’s not a bad one is it’s left me with about 50 questions.
Adam Harris 1:56 Where do you want to start?
James Nathan 1:57 Well, I tell you what, I’ve got know about the blowup dolls and I presume the GDPR thing wasn’t in place at uni. Before we before we started recording you were mentioning that you’re, leaving the shores for 1950s England in the South Pacific.
Adam Harris 2:16 Yes. Sad to say speaking to an Australia that I am. I’m moving to to New Zealand. It’s a move that’s been on the cards. Probably, we started talking about it five years ago. Yeah. And the end of this year. We’re off to New Zealand.
James Nathan 2:33 Yeah, I can…… Australians and New Zealanders Have a lovely rivalry. It’s a bit like English and Welsh really, that I could have a lot of fun with. But I won’t because it sounds really, really exciting. So your businesses here, what are you doing, how you’re changing things.
Adam Harris 2:49 So I’ve been a coach, speaker and facilitator for the last 12 years and did a lot of work through an organization called Vistage, which is mastermind group for chief execs, and MDS. So kind of I’m going to quite a small provincial area in New Zealand and I kind of looked at the, looked at the area thought, I’m not really going to get a huge amount of work from kind of the locality. So my background’s within tech. And I started looking around and realized that actually, there’s a lot of organizations that are starting or have been going for a while that are kind of remote or what they call co located where they’ve got small offices in lots of different locations or a full distributed business where they don’t have any physical office. Everybody’s online, right? So my wife and some of the other team within the organization have got quite a lot of research experience. So we’re we’re doing and building a lot of research.
For in and around that area, and space to create community of leaders within kind of the remote space, whether they’re existing or they want to move into that space and know there’s some of the challenges and the issues and the opportunities that come with that.
James Nathan 4:10 It’s a really interesting concept. I was talking with someone on the first season of this podcast series, who’s Steven Dowd you may or may not have come across set up a business recently called Gigl, which is a alternative recruiter in the in the gig economy. You know, and his sales director’s in Australia and somebody else’s somewhere else, and, you know, got me thinking about the number of businesses that must be like that, but obviously, there’s a huge number, especially for you to go at.
Adam Harris 4:39 Yeah, it’s a it’s a definite growth market. And I think, what’s beginning to happen when you kind of look at the baby boomers who hierarchical structure was it was a big thing. You then look at kind of the millennials that are coming through there’s a great speaker called Henry Rose Lee who talks on millennials and generations and these days, with technology, you kind of can get access to whatever skill set or knowledge base that you actually need. There’s a challenge for a lot of people with regards to, if I can’t physically see somebody, how do I manage them? And how do I know what they’re doing, but when you can build the level of trust and rapport, and at the same time set the expectations, is that you can actually, you know, you can create a team from anywhere in the globe. I mean, you know, most people these days have got access to a phone and a laptop and WiFi. Why do we need to be constrained by sitting within an office from you know, nine to five, and the world is changing. Organizations are already doing it. Those that are have been established for a while have got to start thinking about change on how they work and operate because otherwise the best talent, and you’ll know this as a recruiter, the best talent is going to go elsewhere that’s going to fit and deliver on the needs of what the employees what
James Nathan 6:01 It’s a really interesting thing. Particularly, you know, the hunt for worldwide talent is always a difficult thing. It’s getting easier with technology, we have to identify the people we want to identify. But then being able to work with them has been difficult. It’s only in the last kind of few, a handful of years really that the tech’s good enough.
But I remember when I set up my my recruitment business, I left a big corporate and went out on my own and that was in the back bedroom. And then I got an office in town because I thought I needed that then I got a landline number because I thought needed that. And actually, at the time, you weren’t taking particularly seriously if unless you had those things. Now no one gives a damn. No one cares where I am. If they can contact me, that’s what they want to be able to do. And if I’m available to them, they really don’t mind where I am. And I think it’s interesting that that’s sort of come full circle now to becoming almost mainstream.
Adam Harris 6:53 And I think the other thing is, is that you look at the way that the software platforms and now delivered. Historically used to have to, you know, kind of have on premise solutions, and you had to pay a huge, and vast sums of money and only the large companies could leverage, you know, the technical skill set and availability. And actually what’s happened over the last probably 10 to 12 years, you know, software as a service, where you, you know, on the rental model, you know, on a per seat per user basis, a lot of the time on a monthly basis is that, you know, you could be a very, very small company, but have the skills and the resources that historically for many, many years, you would only be able to have if you’re a large organization, and actually, you can have the flexibility now of the workforce, and scale up or scale down as quickly and as much as you need to, you know, you then take into account things like you know, fiverr.com or people per hour and, you know, if you’re smartYou can literally, you know, in fact myself and my wife go to a conference this weekend about kind of digital nomads who are literally traveling the globe, you know, social and professional influencers. And literally all you need now is a laptop. Because the world is changed and is constantly changing. And I think as business owners, we just need to make sure that we’re aware of what is happening around us. I mean, one of the questions I say to a lot of my coaching clients is, if Amazon entered your marketplace today, what’s the one or two things that they would do instantly? You know, and I was saying this to kind of a recruitment company the other day, and, you know, they were saying, Well, if Amazon came into the marketplace, you know, their ability to be able to communicate would be far greater than anybody else that’s, that’s out there. And we need to be thinking a little bit like this. Don’t wait for the change to happen, be the change and make it happen.
James Nathan 9:04 There’s plenty of businesses aren’t there that have have gone by the wayside or missed opportunities, I guess like that. Oh, the big, glaring one in my head is Royal Mail. You know, when email started Royal Mail ignored it, you know, Royal Mail should have owned that marketplace, but they chose not to. And now, I guess they’re probably there’s probably a dozen others who could say the same thing. You know, we didn’t see it coming when actually, you know, you should have seen it coming and you should have reacted faster.
Adam Harris 9:33 Yeah, I’m a I’m a massive advocate. Again, there’s another speaker guy called Chris Pattan, who talks about War Gaming. He’s kind of ex-forces, as you’d kind of imagine. And if you think about what the what the forces do, but also then look at a lot of the successful sports teams, it’s all about situational experiences and saying, okay, if this happens, how and what are we going to do so you preparing you know, the combat team or in the sporting case of what are the eventualities is going to happen? My experiences that within businesses, we don’t, we spend next to no time sitting down first and foremost reflecting on some of the things that have happened, and what are the lessons that we’ve learned from that? And or second of all, let’s do our own War Gaming. So often when I go in and I sit down with clients, within the board meetings, you know, I’ll go with some pre prepared solutions or situations, and say, right, okay, there’s a number of situations. I want you now to open one and you know, one of the famous ones that I do is I say, right, okay, look, you know, they open the envelope and it at the envelope says, right, the chief executive, the MD of this organization, has now been been knocked over by a bus so they’re completely unavailable. Okay, so use the MD turn the chair around, sit at the back of the room, right guys, what you going to do as a team?
And all of a sudden, you start to realize things like, you know, the bank account details, or the contingency plans, or you know, the organization, all of these things, some of the things that are really, really simple, they’ve just not been thought about. And businesses don’t spend enough time thinking around some of the situations and the issues and the problems that may well come up, because they will do because that’s just business. We need to find a way as leaders of organizations to look at these things that are going to be happening.
James Nathan 11:33 And so that kind of peer to peer group, this teaching and the like, do that quite well. Don’t know. But no, yeah, you suppose you’re looking at?
Adam Harris 11:41 Yeah, I think I’m, I think we all need to find a way of being challenged. First and foremost as an individual leader. But second of all, as a board or a senior management team, and some people that’s going to the challenge is going to come from within, sometimes it might well be coaching, sometimes it might be a peer group or a mastermind. But I’m always a massive advocate that we need to find a space that we feel slightly uncomfortable in, that is going to stretch us and challenge us and move us to a space that is going to move our thinking because, you know, fundamentally, as humans, we’re lazy, we will take the path of least resistance. So we need to find, you know, people or situations that are going to prod us to make sure that we’re on the top of our game.
James Nathan 12:31 Well, what someone said to me years and years ago, you know, we only do two things in business, the things were checked up on and the things we want to do. And I think that’s probably pretty right. Can I just slip back into….. when you talking about these businesses, the online businesses or people remote businesses, how do they build a culture? Is that is that something that’s difficult to do? Or is it something that’s not necessary so much?
So I’m great question and in the research and the conversations that we’ve been having, there’s not much… there’s the same challenges, as within any organization. But at the same time, there’s a slight difference. So if you think about any startup business that you know, gets created, you’ve got the founder or the two or three founders, and then you kind of grow to the next stage, which might be half a dozen, and then to a dozen and then to kind of 25. So a lot of the situation that you’re in the challenges are very similar. And the culture is sometimes different, because the rules of engagement become fairly easy, more easy, more evident when you’re physically within the same space. So you’re able to read the body language or you’re able to have what they call kind of the water cooler conversations. So organic culture tends to pick up a lot quicker when you’re dealing with kind of an online, remote or co located business.
Adam Harris 14:00 There has to be very much more of a conscious decision and effort as to how and what is it Are we going to do to have this culture within the organization? So, meetings, pulse, times and situations are really, really important. You mentioned just before kind of about the accountability piece, how and what is going to be the accountability piece? And also what are the tools that we’re going to use informally, as well as formally for communication. And in the companies that we’ve been working with and having conversations with the more prescriptive that is, the better because then what you’re doing is you set the expectation for anybody new that comes on board, right? And then the successful ones are meeting at least once a year, some twice where, you know, if you’ve got a disparate workforce across the, you know, distribution across the globe, is they’ll pick a week, the same week each year, they’ll pick a, you know, a lavish location. And they bring everybody together for a week. And it’s really interesting. I’ve been to a couple of these events as guests of my clients. And it’s really interesting to see the dynamic where you’ve got individuals that have come into the team over the last 12 months, that have been, they’ve got a relationship, they’ve and they’ve had that for, you know, say anything up to him, you know, 9, 10, 11 months.
They’ve built the rapport, they’re built the relationship, and to a degree, a level of trust, and all of a sudden you put them together for the first time physically. And what then happens is that the depth of relationship goes down to another level. Because they connect on that physical basis. So we’ve been a massive advocate and we were actually starting to run a number of retreats for clients where we help shape the agenda to enhance and build that trust in that relationship further, and most importantly, celebrate the success of the of the previous year. And also have a lot of fun. Because, you know, that’s especially millennials were speaking about, you know, the workforce earlier. Millennials want a lot of that they want, you know, the fun, they want the recognition, and they’d like to party same time.
James Nathan 16:26 Yeah, no, look, there are so many things that bounced through my head when you were talking then that, you know, having worked in a very big corporate with lots and lots of offices all over the place. You know, even with physical locations, you still need to get people together, particularly when they just end up working better. The fact that they’ve met, they’ve had a drink, they’ve had a chat, they’ve had a laugh together, they’ve enjoyed each other’s company. It gives them, you know, a common focal point but also that rapport building you mentioned just goes so much deeper. You know, people often say about a training course, you know, the most beneficial part of training courses is the beers in the evening. And quite often, I think that’s probably the case.
Adam Harris 17:09 I think a lot of the times is that there’s been some research done with what they call the 50 foot rule. And if you’re in the same…. you know, and you think back to when you were in corporate, if you were in, you know, if there was somebody within the office that was more than 50 feet away, the chances are, you probably would only actually engage with them when you actually needed to. So what’s important is that you find ways and methods to, you know, have the touch point. And I think this is the interesting thing for me about when you kind of you are remote is that you have to have the conversation about, you know, on a scale of one to 10 James, what how would you rate our relationship because we’re working together, even though we’ve not actually physically met, how is the relationship working? What do we need to do to improve it? You can have the conscious conversation, whereas I think what a lot of the times happens within, you know, within office environments is it kind of just gets lost? And there’s many assumptions that are made is that because we’re in the same building, that relationships are good and strong, and actually, they’re not. And that’s something that, for me has been really, really highlighted through this processes as we’ve been starting to work with these organizations.
James Nathan 18:27 And is this something that physical businesses can learn from this then?
Adam Harris 18:31 Yeah, I think for me, the learning is around actually have clarity around what the forms of communication are that you’re going to have. So one of the things that we’ve been doing is there’s a system called entrepreneurial operating system. If some of the listeners haven’t heard there’s a great book called Traction by a guy called Gino Wickman, which is about systemized and processing and they have a system that you can follow that I’ve implemented with a number of clients. And one of the things that they talk about is they talk about having these pulse meetings. Their language and terminology is a level 10, 90 minute meeting, same time, same day, starts on time finishes on time, every single week. So when you get into the rhythm and the routine from a formal perspective and you know it goes back to the accountability is that you create the pulse you create the rhythm. So I think for me that the learnings around consistency, what’s the purpose of the of the engagement of the meeting, and then also actually having the conversation around how we going to communicate informally? You know, Trello, Slack WhatsApp, Messenger, you know, Skype, you know, the technology now is there, what’s what’s going to work well within the organization, as well as what what will work for people that may well be either working from home or out on the road. It’s about, you know, mapping that out and and creating the culture and setting the expectations to this is how we’re going to communicate through.
James Nathan 20:10 I really like the sound of that, it’s something that, you know, having a regular meeting in a business is an important thing it doesn’t matter of you’re a thousand miles apart or 50 feet apart or five feet apart. A lot of the software that people are starting to use, you mentioned a number of them, they’re really good. But I think the point you made or the way you phrased it was was interesting in that it’s choosing the communication device that suits your business rather than saying, hey, Trello is great, let’s make that work. You know, because it may not work for everybody that way, and actually Skype or Zoom or whatever else might be a preferred way and for a lot of people, humans are social things, social animals, and, you know, for a lot of people they need that social connection to to feel normal in the world,
Adam Harris 21:01 I think there’s one important thing that I want to mention. And I think the other thing is that it’s also reviewing those on a consistent basis. So when I say consistent, it might be twice a year or once a year. But it’s not being afraid to say, actually, you know what, this piece of software is now not fit for purpose. There’s something that does it better needs to be reviewed in the right way. But it used to be the case that software was incredibly expensive. And people’s resistance to move was around sunk cost. Actually, what we now need to do is we now need to look and go, does this does this solution serves the purpose of what we’re trying to achieve? Has the purpose now changed? Do we now need a different solution that is actually going to work better for us? Or, and I think this is something that, you know, organizations really need to consider, that actually the majority of our workforce are going to be more comfortable in using something that they’re going to be more used to. So you know, I mean, I don’t know what you’ve seen, but the adoption of kind of WhatsApp within, you know, organizations has been on the massive increase, because it’s the environment that a lot of people are on on a daily basis. So if that’s where people are intuitively going, does that then become the right solution for the business at that time.
James Nathan 22:17 You know, mentioning WhatsApp’s quite interesting. Recruiters are constantly struggling to get ahold of people. And often they don’t like to text message because it feels a little bit intrusive it’s a little bit too personal. Where email can you know, they have gets gets lost in the, in the ether at times or not physically, but certainly in an inbox, where WhatsApp seems to sort of bridge the gap somehow it’s not quite as personal as your text message might be, but actually gets responded to very quickly and it’s actually it’s a very nice solution for a lot of businesses.
Adam Harris 22:53 Yeah, it does. It seems to be more conversational and if you look at the language, it’s very much more informal. So I think that, you know, if, again, if that’s where, you know, the market or the customers are going, and that’s what they need, and that’s what they used to. That’s the thing is that you got to look at and go, Well, you know, does that mean does that give us a competitive advantage? You know, a lot of the more traditional recruiters will go, will follow the formal route, you know, whereas the kind of, you know, you know, the FinTech, you know, the startup you know, recruiters, etc, you know, if they’re using WhatsApp because they’re going to get and they’re going to get this to the screen a lot faster and a lot quicker. And that’s what the customer desires. So you sometimes you just gotta go where where the need and why the customers are.
James Nathan 23:46 It falls straight back to being customer focused and customer centric, doesn’t it? You know, people say they are businesses always say oh, yeah, of course we are. You know, if your fingers properly on the pulse and you know what your clients like and one of the questions tha we teach recruiters when they’re when they’re very new is to ask a client. How do you like to communicate? What’s the best way of keeping in touch with you? Really simple question. But if that changes over time you change to. There’s a lot of dinosaurs going out of business.
Adam Harris 24:12 I mean, what a great way to be learning from your customers as well, going oh, that’s a new one, not heard about that. Tell me more? Well, it’s great. It does this, this, this and this, you know, I mean, what a great way to be building rapport, relationship and depth with a customer because I got, you know, I’m pretty sure that, you know, the competitive recruitment companies not asking that question, they’re just following their own process, which may well be antiquated and outdated.
James Nathan 24:40 I’ll tell you what it is. It’ll be email. It doesn’t work. Simple. It’s that simple as that.
So completely different question, Adam. You were a professional look alike. Tell me about that.
Adam Harris 24:52 OK. It’s quite an embarrassing story. So I used to manage a Sunday league football team. And as a lot of teams do, everybody has a nickname. So for for many years my nickname was was Chopper, famous 60 footballer called Chopper Harris. Also tended to be the way that I played as well. And then one of the guys came in and goes, I’ve got a new nickname for you. We’re going to call you Guesty. So there was a guy that was, he was Michael Jackson’s best friend. He was married to Liza Minnelli and it’s a guy called David Guest. And some of the listeners will probably know and some of them won’t.
James Nathan 25:42 I’m laughing because he’s a lot older than you is he?
Adam Harris 25:45 Well, yeah, he’s now sadly dead, but he was nearly twice my age. He had a lot of plastic surgery and he looked not the best. So I had this nickname for probably, I don’t know, four or five years and then the program I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. That’s where a lot of people may well remember him from, he ended up being on that.
And literally the night that he went in, I must have got about 50 messages and a few emails, but not many text message. It was before WhatsApp, people going, oh my god, I can’t believe it. You’re, you know, you are the spitting image of of David Guest.
James Nathan 26:32 Thank you very much.
Adam Harris 26:33 Yeah, exactly. You know, so, a friend of mine who’s a photographer, so we decided let’s do a bit of a photoshoot, have a bit of fun, and then sent it off to a couple of lookalike agencies. And then literally two or three days later, I get a call. And I ended up doing a couple of guest appearances as David Guest, one of which ended up being on Richard and Judy.
James Nathan 27:00 Fantastic. Yeah, dizzy heights.
Adam Harris 27:03 I couldn’t sustain a long term career out of it, but it it got me into some very interesting prices. And I had a lot of fun as a result.
James Nathan 27:12 So I tell you know, when you go to those, you go into a course or you go into something and they, you know, say who are you? What’s your background? Tell us something interesting about you? You know, I used to tell people, I was born in the same hospital as Rolf Harris, which for years and years was fine until, you know, he was found out and I haven’t done that since but I I’ve never been a look alike for for Michael Jackson’s best mate. I think that must go down really well.
Adam Harris 27:38 It’s quite a good intro, isn’t it? You know, especially when you come in on stage and literally people are just kind of gathering. So I’m trying to work out…. and then you know, you tell them and some of them some people get it straight away, and then others go, oh, I see it now. And sometimes I’ll put a big picture on the screen. And I actually have got a picture of me and him next to each other. So, interesting.
James Nathan 28:01 I know you a lot of what you’ve done in the past and I’m sure you still do lots and lots of is helping people network better and introduce each other to each other and you know, be that sort of more memorable. Does that get in your way?
Adam Harris 28:18 So I’ve kind of gone through my, my life and career and just kind of been, I am who I am. And it’s part of my story, it’s part of who I am and there’s more people that are going to see the funny side and connect and empathize and build a relationship with me. Those are the people that I want to work with that I like that I end up caring about. If somebody doesn’t get me to be honest, I’ve been doing this a long time. I’m fortunate that I get to work with great people and I love what I do so I just don’t to be honest. If it if it on the odd occasion it happens, I just kind of step to one side and go. I’ll just move over.
James Nathan 29:04 I think it’s interesting. What you’re saying, though, is if there’s enough of the right people that you’ve got a market. Yeah, need thousands of clients, you just need enough.
Adam Harris 29:12 Yeah. And I think we attract people who are like us. So, you know when you meet somebody, or you get introduced, I actually had this last night. A friend of mine, put me in touch with somebody else and said you two need to talk. Because there was the trust from both sides. Neither of us really, you know, didn’t know she didn’t know me from Adam. We got on and literally within 30 seconds, you know, we’re connecting there’s rapport, and that’s based on the fact that the person that introduced us, trusted us and a newest both well, and I think when that happens, it just, life just becomes really, really easy. And then you know, you don’t necessarily need to sell? Because you’re connecting on many different levels and relationships and mutual benefits, etc. And then, you know, I think that’s where, you know, a lot of times business actually doesn’t have to be complicated. Just have lots of conversations with people that are like you, and then they’ll introduce you to people like them. And you know, before you know it, you’re doing great things with great people and adding value.
James Nathan 30:26 Sounds so simple.
Adam Harris 30:28 Yeah, so I think sometimes we try and complicate things a little bit too much. I think we sometimes listen to the wrong people. Again, I think that’s important to surround ourselves with the people that we know, like and trust, but also some people that are going to challenge us or get us out of our comfort zone. In my experience of speaking and working with a lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders, intuitively, they know what the right thing is to do. It’s often the case that they’re looking for the verification from somewhere else. And I don’t know if that’s because, you know, human nature means that we’re insecure, or that we’re looking for self verification or verification from others. One of the things I often say to people is, is that the difference between a manager and a leader is that a leader will make decisions, which are the what I call the best level thinking. So it’s the best decision at that moment in time and move on. Because we’re never going to make all the right decisions. We just got to make a decision.
James Nathan 31:37 Every decision is a right decision at a time based on the information you have in front of you. So it’s only a mistake in hindsight, isn’t it?
Adam Harris 31:44 Yeah. And I think that we, you know, your view on this might be interesting in the fact that the culturally often within the UK is that often we’re looking for all of the answers before we can make the decision. I haven’t experienced it as much within North America, I don’t know what your experiences with kind of, you know, Australia in that poor little country in New Zealand as well.
James Nathan 32:08 I don’t know New Zealand I’ve never been.
Adam Harris 32:10 So what I mean in a decision making in Australia experience?
James Nathan 32:15 I think it’s more similar to Britain and America, I’m that people are less likely to just run with an idea. And I think there’s also… America is an interesting place in that people are very supportive of those who go out to try and build a business. If you say look, I’m going to do this I’ve got this great idea. You know, people will pat you on the back and say yeah, go and have a go. Good luck to you. Where I think in Britain, they’re much more reserved about it. And in Australia. It’s kind of closer to the British side. So you will end up with people saying I yes, a good idea, but it’ll never work or, you know, why would you do that? So I think yeah, I think that kind of enthusiasm that Americans have is fantastic. It’s one of the things that I like about globalization is that some of that idea of you know, anyone can be anything they want to be is rubbing off. And businesses, people are prepared to go in and try and start something because I like the idea of it, and they think they might be able to make it with enough effort, they probably will.
Adam Harris 33:28 Yeah, and I’m finding it quite interesting at the moment, you know, my daughter’s 11. You know, both me and my wife are former teachers, and the education system doesn’t allow for kind of, you know, the ability to kind of not fail, but just not succeed. You know, we’re teaching our kids that you’ve got to get it right first time. And that’s not what being an entrepreneur and running a businesses is about. In fact, that’s not what life is about. You know, trials, tribulations, challenges, issues, opportunities, that is life. And I’m not necessarily sure that we present and give, you know, our kids and also the workforce, the opportunity to try things, and not necessarily succeed and just learn from it.
James Nathan 34:21 I’ve talked a lot on this podcast series about education and the systems that we are in and, you know, my son’s 12, my daughter’s 10. And so they’re not wildly different ages. But Ben’s going into, he’s going into year eight tomorrow, but he’s, you know, he’s gone into a private school for the second half is education. And there’s a marked difference in the style of learning. It’s far more about understanding and thinking than it is about regurgitation. I think that kind of thing is great. But in terms of decision making, and prepping people for the life outside, I don’t know if there really is a is a proper answer or a there’s a, there’s a magic bullet.
Adam Harris 35:04 No, I agree. I mean, we tried homeschooling, which addressed some of it put brought some different challenges as well. And to be honest, that’s one of the reasons why we’re making the plunge to move, we found a school that is pushing the boundaries, it’s a shame that we’ve literally got to go off the way around the world to go somewhere like that. I’m going to be really interested to see how they work and how they operate. You know, as somebody that in theory has kind of been a teacher or a guide with business owners, I’m going to be fascinated to kind of be sitting in and observing and just seeing how they do things, you know, with the youngsters because, you know, when we look at the current education system it’s antiquated, out of date, you know, and I’m sure you have this with your son, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll just go to Google. And you know, the regurgitation that, you know, that was there when you and I went to school….. God we sound old…
James Nathan 36:10 I feel every inch of it at the moment.
Adam Harris 36:13 It’s just not fit for purpose. And another thing. First and foremost, as parents, we have to acknowledge what is our role in how that we, that we teach with our kids. But also, I think there’s a wider responsibility as a as a business owner, or as a leader in how and what are we doing with our staff and our teams? You know, how and what are we doing to educate them and support them and to push them into different areas? Because if we look at the millennials, you know, they’re really smart switched on, you know, millennials, you know, our kids that are coming through the demands on what they’re going to want from us, as leaders of organizations in you know, now and in the future is going to be different. We’ve got to adapt and find ways of being able to offer them more than what we were probably offered when we were, you know, in the workforce.
James Nathan 37:10 It’s not even just, it’s not our kids, it’s already the, you know, the 20 somethings that are, you know, making up the bulk of the workforce. It’s the expectation is different. We need to understand it. They also need to be taught how to work with old guys like you and I. Because, you know, we’re the ones who pay the wages, but also were the ones that they’re pitching to, were the ones that they’re contacting and in, in, in touch with for the time being, anyway. But also, I think we need to be much more sensible about how we operate our businesses, and how we design them. So when you start talking about, you know, co locations and things like that, I think it gives an amazing opportunity for the people who want to work in that style of business. Not everybody will but it’s an opportunity for people who want it. And flexibility is becoming incredibly important to people.
Adam Harris 38:08 No, I agree.
James Nathan 38:09 Adam, we’re about to get onto a high horse on education, so I’ve deliberately pulled back from that because it just…..
Adam Harris 38:16 I could speak on this for hours….
James Nathan 38:18 It’s fun too, it’s more, it’s probably better around a campfire with a bottle of wine. But before we go, and I’m really conscious of, thank you for so much of your time and your thoughts. What’s your one thing, Adam, what’s your big Golden Nugget that you’d like to leave listeners with that they could do in their businesses today to make it better for now and better for the future?
Adam Harris 38:41 Can you put a big question on me to finish didn’t you? Um, I think often, the golden bullet is something that we can’t necessarily find. It just finds us. So I think that’s sometimes really, really key in the fact that we’ve got to be reading, listening, watching, being challenged. And if you’re doing something that is pushing your boundaries, the Golden Nugget will come to you at the right time. So different people have different styles and different ways of learning. I think you need to… I think my golden nugget would be understand how you learn best, on your own, with others, reading, listening, watching. So once you understand that, ensure that you’re spending the time that’s appropriate for you, again, different for different people. And then as long as you’re consistently finding ways to learn, be challenged, listening, etc. The golden nuggets will find you.
James Nathan 39:50 Fantastic. Adam, thank you so so much. It’s been great chatting with you.
Adam Harris 39:55 My pleasure. Loved it.