Tim O'Brien On Purpose-Based Strategy and Redesigning Business for Good
Tim O'Brien is the founder of Hatched, an advisory firm that designs business models that have a purpose at the core. He helps businesses articulate why they exist, and strategically designs their businesses to do good and be impactful.
Tim believes business is a powerful force for change. The businesses he helps build are proven to be more resilient, productive and ultimately profitable – he brings a human approach and practical business perspective when designing and implementing purpose-based models.
He is a designer and protagonist for purposeful strategy and transformation for start-ups, scale ups and more established businesses, listed companies and large corporations.
Tim shares his wealth of experience in redesigning businesses for good and discusses how business can be transformed to solve today's social and environmental challenges while also becoming more profitable.
Highlights from the interview (listen to the podcast for full details)
[Amedeo Watson] - To start off could you please share a bit about your background and what lead you to start Hatched - a company that develops purpose-based strategies? [2:04]
[Tim O'Brien] - I spent about 15 years working for or within large corporations, both in Australia and in London. I would basically do a combination of things. I started off with customer strategy, then moved into marketing strategy and then also got into innovation. So in London I was part of the team that developed PayPass for Mastercard in the early days and I helped develop apps for Vodafone as well. So I did a lot of work in that space. It was really interesting. It was all about, at that time, helping those companies better meet customer needs and leveraging technology to do that. But there's something in there that I kept asking myself - there has to be a better way of doing this.
Essentially, I knew we were helping their everyday lives be a little bit better, but were we really making their lives better or different?
And so about three years ago I set up Hatched and four years before that, so about seven years ago, I worked for a large financial services company in Australia. My job there, which was a pretty awesome job, was basically to help that company manage disruption. Whatever those external forces were - help them manage those so they wouldn't get disrupted. So essentially remain relevant as well as to change. We're in a time at the moment when the world is changing so rapidly. I would literally identify, based on the system of the business, what would break and I'd go out and hang out with interesting people in the world to learn about how that change was happening, because it’s not like you can sit at your desk and work out how the world's changing. These were people who were building blockchain, building the next Fintechs and actually building purposeful business. So I would go out and hang out with those people and learn about what they're doing and bring it back to the board and tell them how to change their business. It was pretty cool.
I was really interested in social enterprises, impact organisations - so I was on advisory boards for those - and I was doing a bit of work in Fintech. I loved that innovation space, but what really got me excited was meeting BCorp. I think it was about seven years ago that I met the team that brought BCorp out to Australia and New Zealand and we formed a strategic partnership. Essentially, I was their advisor and I thought, 'This is everything. This is how you run businesses in different ways'. I felt that when I was doing the work, it was the most disruptive thing I actually thought of. So people might think blockchain's really disruptive or that Fintechs are going to take down financial services. But what got me so excited was that if you looked at BCorps, and for anyone who doesn't know what BCorps are, they are essentially businesses that get validated for having a social and environmental purpose, and these businesses were meeting customer needs in new ways - having extraordinary customer satisfaction and loyalty. They had the best teams internally with this amazing staff satisfaction. They've just started to get better access to capital, so better investment, cheaper loans, and they are starting to grow really rapidly and are ticking every box. So they are all the things that I felt were what businesses were worried about most, and when I started to look at those things...
I realised that the key part of managing disruption isn't necessarily about the forces, which are important and are the risks that are emerging; but it was just yourself - knowing your purpose, the deep why of what you do.
And if you understand yourself, you can navigate that change in a much more meaningful way. And so I was like, 'I'm going to go and help these businesses because I love them, and I'm going to help them be the disruptors in the world'. So I set Hatched up essentially to go and help businesses have an impact in the world.
What exactly is ‘purpose’ and how is purpose different to vision and mission? [5:18]
It's interesting, when I first started the space around purpose there was one dimension of it that I was fascinated by helping businesses understand their deep 'whys'. So understanding the thing that drives you as a business and explains everything you do - it's underneath the surface of it. So sometimes people in a business might say, 'Oh, purpose is what we do', like a hammer - puts a nail in the wall - thats your purpose, that's what you're doing, right?
But 'purpose' to me is actually a higher purpose or a deeper purpose. So it's something that has an impact in the world. It either has a social or environmental impact and it's something beyond profit and that's what drives you.
So if you can understand that and the mission - the reason for being - that to me is what's truly purposeful. But just recently I have been fascinated by another element to why I think that purpose is really important and it's been really intriguing me, and this is something that's deeply human.
To me, purpose is actually a combination of a higher purpose; so having an impact around a social and environmental cause. Well not a cause, but you know, having an impact for a particular challenge or problem that you're trying to meet. But there's also something around the deep human need that you're meeting as well. Is it love? Is it identity? Is that evolution? This gets a bit 'hippie', but there's something really important about this, and this goes back to the work I did around self-awareness. There's the purpose part, but there's also the human need.
I think this is really important. I'll give you an example - at Silver Chef, which is an Australian based company, they are one of the few publicly-listed BCorps in the world and they provide finance solutions to hospitality businesses. Essentially, it's like a rent-try-buy for equipment and it's a really great finance solution because it gives people the means to go open a restaurant when they might not find finance elsewhere, but it also helps them manage cashflow in the business so that it ultimately becomes more successful. So it's really cool. Their purpose is purpose-fit finance to help people achieve their dreams. So their purpose is to help people open restaurants, cafes so they can achieve the dream they are passionate about, and they also have a massive program around helping people out of poverty. So they've got this nice thing about helping people in developing countries achieve their dreams through micro-loans, through partnerships with Opportunity International and this other thing which is around helping the cafes and restaurants achieve their dreams. As they are opening new markets as well, it gives them a lot of meaning. So people are really attached to that at the company. We did some work recently with them around this idea of the human need and when we started to tap into about 70 people in the business (and we've had this conversation with a number of their customers as well), we spoke about why people open or run restaurants and we got to this point of it being being partly like self-expression. So it's something about your history or identity that you want to put it onto a plate. One example was that 'I've got Hawaiian and Chinese parents. We want to make a fusion cafe'.
So there’s this self-expression, but there's also this independence. I want to go out and do my own thing, and that's really deeply human, right?
It's really important as a human to go out and do something that's a reflection of your identity and also the fact that you're going to do this on your own.
Then secondly, there's this thing about food. You know when people make you a meal - I think Michael Pollan explains this in one of the Netflix series; it's called 'Cooked' - there’s something deeply human about when you cook something for someone. It's this expression of love, connection and what you achieve when you're around the table when people are eating and you're providing for them. About what can actually be achieved in the world. So once you understand human need of self identity or self expression, and then this loving/giving to the community, as well as the human need around helping people achieve their dreams; once you understand both those things you've got something that to me is truly purposeful. There is so much scope within that about what you can do as a business.
That is fascinating. Hatched I think, identifies something more profound that drives people and in doing that you're setting people up for success, whatever that success might mean for that person. [8:49]
I love that. I mean if you talk about the work that Hatched does, it's a combination of a new form of strategy (how do you actually transform business?), but what it’s mostly about is that human connection. Connecting with that founder, CEO or their teams and trying to reflect back to them what the essence of their business actually is. The reaction that you get when someone goes, 'Oh my God, this is actually why I do what I do and I can see it now and you've helped me articulate it', and 'Oh my God, look what I can do next and how it could grow and how proud I would be of the business'. It gets back to what you said - if we can connect with them, truly understand someone and reflect it back to them in a really simple way that gives them clarity, it's amazing. People cry and people get so excited. That's the magic of what Hatched does. That's why I said in my introduction, when trying to define what we do - it's deeply human. When I used to do strategy, I was putting figures on a page to convince someone to invest in a business or convince someone to work for you. But no, there's something more meaningful and yes, if you get that right, you can then provide for your family, you can then provide to investors, you can then provide to other people.
But what it's really about is that essence - what actually drives you. Once you get that right, my gosh - that's when the sky's the limit.
And why 'Hatched'? Why is it called 'Hatched'? [10:07]
Funnily enough, I actually wore the jacket that kind of inspired Hatched today. I read this book, and there is the story of a furniture store called ‘Truck’ from Japan. I love his story. He started off in a little garage and he decided that he really wanted to do two things (I'm probably going to tell this story in a way that's not quite correct) - he wanted to make beautiful furniture and he also wanted a green and luscious environment to work in. So he set off in this little thing and he had this little showroom. I love the story because it essentially shows the organic nature of how to create a business as who you are, and it's purposeful in its way. I also love the simplicity of the word 'Truck' and obviously he's Japanese, and I just wanted a simple word that felt dynamic and felt like it sort of made people feel a little bit happier. I don't know if that's the case.
So Hatched to me was the dynamic that happens, which we have spoke about, when you kind of go, 'Oh my God, this business is who I am'. That's the feeling of Hatched. I love that it's a short word with hopefully some meaning. Plus, I also grew up with a whole bunch of chickens and I loved them so it kind of made a bit of sense (chuckles). It's not meant to be about the egg, it’s meant to be about the representation of the business and you, and rebirth is a big thing. You know we are going through (and we'll talk about it later), a lot of stuff around the economic challenges, social challenges and environmental challenges we've got at the moment, and we want it to be positive, fun, challenging, exciting and innovative and hopefully Hatched as a word captures that.
I'd love to hear about the tools and processes that you use to help business leaders develop a purpose-based strategy. What are those? What are those tools or methodologies that you apply? [11:22]
It was interesting - when I first started this, I knew how to write a strategic plan, do financial modelling and how to launch new products. I knew how to do all that stuff and obviously it worked. If you go back and look at my career, all that stuff worked. But I knew when I was about to start Hatched, that I had all these skills but I needed to work out how to change some, and shift and adapt them to this environment because it had to be different. These businesses are doing something different. So why would you apply the same strategy?
So what I did when I first started, is I'd go meet clients and they'd say, 'Hey, I want my purpose strategy' or 'purpose program'. It's not like I'm an accountant or getting branding done; people don't have a word for it but they knew I could be helpful. I'd go in there and say, 'Okay, give me a half a day and we'll work on something together'. And so when I did that, I started to realise how that might adapt. I'd literally just draw things up on the board and talk to people, listen to people, and then suddenly a process emerged. There are two parts to it. One is a new form of strategy which is a very visual strategy and there is this idea about listening to organisations, understanding how they tick, what's working, what's not working, and then the deep impact that they can have and how to reframe that change that evolves etc.
That results in the tool. Essentially, it’s called a 'Purpose Program', which provides your purpose, your vision, your mission, your model, and it comes in an 'Impact Model' - a visual representation of your business that you can use anywhere, and is also essentially your strategy. So that's phase one - the formal strategy. Then the second one is transformation. So once you do that, what do you do from that? It's a program which we support many businesses doing - like Aesop or Silver Chef - and most of the purpose programs result in some sort of implementation. Given my background in innovation it’s kind of applying this approach where you experiment with a lot of things because a lot of the stuff we are talking about, people haven't really done before. Cultural change, embedding purpose into business, changing the way organisations are run, changing the way boards and leaders make decisions. That part about what I call 'culture'.
Then there's a part about launching new products and services, so we've done that recently with a client - we've go a whole new service that's about to launch that's hopefully going to make a big impact for them and also be profitable for them. Then there is stuff around helping them become a BCorp, which we'll talk about later, and certifying and validating impact or actually innovating around your sustainability and impact. So with another client, we're looking at the sustainability of the design around their packaging and their stores - what can we do in that part? So it's quite broad, but really it's about how you represent your business, how you understand who you are and then how you implement that and transform the business based on it.
And from that, what do you believe are the 3 most important traits of effective, purpose-based strategy? [14:10]
There's a lot of frameworks and books and all that kind of stuff out there, but if you hang out with Hatched and see the work - and anyone is welcome to - you'll see that it's basically us drawing on a board, asking lots of questions, connecting with people and listening. There's three things that I think are important, and I think we've talked about this - Human, so business isn't some kind of big artificial structure in big buildings, they are people buying selling stuff. Something humans have done for a long time. The second one is clarity.
So these big business plans or these things that you stick on a wall - your values and all that - it's not the way of doing things anymore. People want to see it, they want to visualise it, they want to get attached to it.
So getting visual, which is really important, so that everyone understands it. That's the second thing. The third one is integrated impact.
A lot of people will put their doing good part on the side. They'll have a CSR department, or have this really great thing they do with charity, but no one knows about it or nobody is engaged with it.
Or their product might have a big impact, but they're like, ‘Oh, we're just going to sell some stuff’.
Integrating all that together into a model so you understand what you do internally, how you do that externally and then how your product and your purpose all fits together, and the impact that you're having as part of it is all integrated.
So human, clarity and integrated I think are the three things that are really important.
You spoke about your idea of business being an organisation in a big building. So I guess you're alluding more to corporates. Given the disruption in the market around companies that have that 'BCorp' mentality of combining profit and purpose, how is that disrupting the corporate sector? [15:23]
I was in New Zealand recently working with their economic and innovation development arm called Callaghan. We were trying to work out how we might extend what they're doing so it could meet, (depending what word you use for an impact organisation), social enterprise or purposeful business. So we had a whole bunch of workshops with social enterprises. I love New Zealand - amazing companies and they're all doing extremely well and it's exciting. Then we actually had something like 16 of the biggest corporates in New Zealand in the room. And what was exciting was we got them to map 'where are you on a purpose journey?'
All of them were saying that they understand why purpose is important now and when I produced the framework and I looked at this thing around what I talked about earlier - about understanding yourself, the human need, the purpose and those things that can disrupt your business - they saw that as a framework around what emerging risks are coming, what strategic risks are coming and they see purpose as fundamental to managing the change that's coming. They get that if they understand their purpose, their business, and what they need to transform, they can make that happen.
You spoke about your idea of business being an organisation in a big building. So I guess you're alluding more to corporates. Given the disruption in the market around companies that have that 'BCorp' mentality of combining profit and purpose, how is that disrupting the corporate sector? [15:23 - continued]
A lot of businesses are overwhelmed by the change that's coming and they don't have an approach to do that and it's hard. If you're a CEO and you're on a board or leadership team, most of them are having a discussion about this stuff coming. We're not prepared for it, and we know we need to make investment in it. A lot of those bigger businesses also know that there are big startups coming through. If you look at the US now and who was in the top ten in the share market 10 years ago, it's completely changed. There's two big fears I think. One is how do we remain relevant? And the second one is, when I retire, when I look back on what I created as a CEO or Founder or board member, and I look at what I created for my kids, the next generation, what have I done? I may have made money. I may have created a nice house for them. I may have got them university education, but have I created a world that I'm proud of my kids to live in. I hear this a lot. People say, 'I want to look back and make sure it made an impact.' For me the first question is really important, but the second one is more powerful.
Those leaders who are doing this are actively wanting to make their business have an impact in the world so that they can feel proud of what they created, and have a legacy that makes something better.
To me that's the biggest challenge that corporate leaders have - actually waking up in the morning and feeling proud of what they've done.
And that is what people come to me. As I say, when you get back to that thing, when you find out that purpose and transform a business, how proud people are to work for it, how proud they feel of what they're creating, it's amazing. You can see that transformation happen - from 'I'm scared, we could be doing better’, to 'Oh my God, look what we're doing in the world'. Then the financial results flow from that. So that's the biggest challenge, waking up in the morning and being proud of what you're doing.
Corporates have these pressures from shareholders to generate shareholder returns. How can they combine the two? How can they have an impact, while also being able to achieve shareholder return? [18:22]
There are a couple of dynamics to this. One is the fact that there was a perception or an assumption that shareholders or investors didn't care about this stuff. I've worked quite a lot with big businesses and publicly-listed companies - working on the narrative around how this works. First and foremost, what’s interesting is what we're finding is that those businesses that are doing this actually are having a better shareholder return. They're getting better outcomes and they're more resilient, which is pretty phenomenal. So if you look at clients that I work with, broader purposeful businesses - their growth is phenomenal and the returns that they're providing to their shareholders are amazing.
What we're starting to see is that shareholders are starting to look for businesses that are BCorps, purposeful or have their mission embedded because they know they’re a better bet.
So that's exciting.
And is that being communicated? I feel that more generally people aren't aware of that. I mean, maybe that's just my immediate environment here, but I feel that there are challenges in people accepting that. [19:16]
I think there are. I think in Australia we're doing it in pockets and in certain communities, and there is amazing stuff happening. But if you look in the U.S. and Europe, and the conversation that's happening, the conversation is happening more often over there. It's also interesting that investing communities might come out and say, 'We're investing in purposeful business' or in 'environmental and social return'. They look for that, but still they're communicating based on the returns that they're getting. So stories aren't getting out there enough. I one hundred percent agree with that. The second thing that's really important is that because of the director's liability in Australia and in other markets, there is a challenge around boards' and directors' ability to make decisions more broadly around stakeholder return.
So in a scenario where you might say, 'Okay, we're in a big company. We've got a scenario where we need to work out where our next call centre is going to be'. So scenario one is that Call Centre 1 can be overseas and you are going to increase predicted share price by 30 percent (people try to predict this stuff, and get it wrong anyway. So it's kind of false logic). Scenario two is the fact that you can keep the call centre in Australia and your share price might remain the same or it might go up slightly. I'm not not saying one scenario is better than the other in terms of call centres being bad overseas or not, but in scenario two you work out the impact that you're having on customers, the impact that you're having on staff and you realise that it's actually a better scenario than putting it overseas. However, shareholders can hold the board liable if they make a decision on Scenario 2 which didn't maximise shareholder return over Scenario 1.
So the challenge is the fact that boards might want to be doing this stuff, but actually because of the way the law and the legislation works, they're liable to maximize that return. We're lucky that there's something happening - and it happened in the U.S. - and it's growing and hopefully will happen in Australia. It’s called a Benefit Corporation. It's embedded that there's stakeholder returns, so they're actually able to make decisions that might actually privilege Scenario 2 over Scenario 1. So part of the thing is boards having permission to do it. Part of the thing is telling the stories better, but also actually demonstrating these businesses are delivering it. The third thing, which I'm fascinated by is this good governance. The important part of this is actually the fact that boards will need to evolve the way that they work. If you look at some stuff (I've been doing a lot of work in integrated reporting, integrated thinking, new ways boards can make decisions, and new ways boards can report through governance stuff), it's really important that they start to build capability to make these decisions. Because if you're making a decision that holds not just one capital - meaning financial - against five, which are social, environmental, workers etc., it could feel much harder to make that decision. However, actually making those decisions can be more impactful if they're looking long term. So there are some structural challenges in business, but also there's capability gaps in those boards as well. So when you go in there and talk about how to do this, it can be challenging for them because they are used to working in a certain way. But looking at those boards that are doing this, it's really exciting because they can actually make better informed decisions - ‘I can make impact and it's actually more meaningful to me being on a board where I can come in and make these holistic decisions’.
Very interesting to hear what is going on in that respect. You’re also quite involved with BCorporation - a global organisation that is redefining what success means in business. Could you please tell us a bit more about BCorp? [22:16]
Basically it started when the founders were running a previous business and when they sold it, all the things that were important to them around the way they looked after staff, the way they looked after their customers, their supply chain and all that stuff, the buyer pretty much eroded all that value and that was a really successful company.
What happened is that financial performance started to go down and they thought, 'there has to be a better way of doing this. How can we make sure that when someone either sells a business, or the founder moves on, how do we make sure that the mission is still embedded in the business?' So BCorp is essentially a framework and a certification that validates your purpose. We talked about purpose earlier - the higher purpose where it's either social or environmental. It's like what Fair Trade is to coffee and it's to your whole business. So it looks at your governance structure, it looks at the way that you interact with the community, it looks at the way you look at the environment, your workers and there are also impact areas around what impact you have through your business. It's a robust framework which most businesses find very difficult to achieve and essentially certifies you as a business. There are 200 plus in Australia. There are 2,500 worldwide and it's an extraordinary collection of businesses like Patagonia, Ben and Jerry's, Silver Chef, and Hatched too - we're a BCorp as well - and they come from all different areas. I love the fact that it's not like everyone is an accountant, or everyone is a marketer. This is a diverse network of FMCG companies, of consultants, of accountants - it's amazing to see all these different businesses all have this common goal of actually transforming business that does good in the world. When you get them together, the collaboration that happens is amazing.
What are the benefits of being a BCorp? One would obviously be that strong community network that you get, which is now global. But does that certification then help those BCorporations get more support, whether that's financial or non-financial, to develop their business? [24:15]
The biggest benefit I think, is that if you say what you do this, it says that you're the real deal. It backs it up and says, okay, well if this is what impact you say you're having, you actually deliver it.
So in an age where people are either 'Green Washing' or 'Purpose Washing', it provides that transparency that consumers, your staff and investors are looking for.
That transparency is huge. That's the first thing. The second thing I think is having that validation that what you say you do is actually what you do as a business. It makes you just feel like you’re on the right track. Then the third thing is all these benefits that you spoke about. What we're finding is that as the BCorp brand grows, it's essentially like a shortcut. The first benefit within that is we're seeing basically access to talent. We're seeing those businesses that are BCorps getting really great people coming in. They get the best people who really want to work for someone that's more purposeful.
We're finding now through the investor community that, as you say, people are getting a lot of access to capital. There are some great case studies where it's easy to find investment, but it's also people getting lower costs for loans because banks and capital providers are seeing that they're going to be more resilient because they're a BCorp. Then with entering new markets, if you're going from Australia to the U.S., there are huge benefits because again you're part of that community. So people want to help you and collaborate with you, but consumers also know what's happening there. Then I think the last part is that collaboration. Working with different BCorps. So if you're looking for consultants, or you're looking for clothing or apparel, companies can actually find like-minded and values-aligned partners they can work with and that's a huge benefit as well.
A very powerful and comprehensive thing. Today, we face a number of challenges; political polarisation around notions of the ‘nation-state’ versus a more inclusive global community; financial and political challenges around the effectiveness of such institutions to address today’s pressing issues; environmental challenges around energy and global warming… The list goes on. What impact do you think these challenges have on today’s business environment? [25:56]
This is interesting because I think a lot of the work that I do and have done, particularly with a financial services company; I worked with those risks and when you look at the state of each of those, it can really get you down. The thing that gets me out of bed every morning and the buzz that I get is that Hatched and the clients that I work with are trying to be part of the solution. So as part of business we're actually trying to solve these challenges in new and interesting ways and that gets me really excited. To that point earlier, when we spoke about what businesses are fearing. Most of them aren't having the conversation around these challenges. There are two ways to look at these things. First, seeing that it is going to impact my business at some point, if not already, so it's a risk - an emerging risk or a strategic risk depending on whatever word you want to look for. Or secondly, this is an opportunity - through solving a problem like this we can create both value for ourselves, monetary, but also value for whatever problem you're trying to solve. So there's a huge upside in the opportunity that's happening there. Basically it's almost like these things are going to impact you.
You have to make a decision - are you going to be part of the solution?
How are you going to manage these things? And when you actually start to see the innovation that's coming from the work that we're working on and the impact that's having, you start to feel like there's a bit of hope and there's a bit of possibility.
I think we're also in the age of social media where if you look at what's happening around plastics on social media, consumer activism is massive.
The ability to have social media, the ability to have a say, the ability to connect with individuals, the ability to see what's actually happening through Twitter or Instagram, that technology has enabled the activism to happen.
So through having the technology, it's allowed transparency which has allowed people to connect. So what's exciting about it, is the fact that marketing is shifting to tap into activism and campaigning and there's something really exciting around that and doing it your own way that I'm loving at the moment. So tap into it, because it's there and you know you've seen people just turn off from businesses. For example this whole divestment movement which happened with some universities and the banks. A whole wave of people started to move their products away because they weren't happy with some of the decisions that were being made, the policies and where the investment stood.
People will move away from your business if you're not doing the right thing and they'll find out about it really quickly.
Or Volkswagen - 'we have environmentally friendly cars’ and then suddenly they were found not to be testing them properly. Overnight it had a massive impact on share price. So you can't tell me that purpose and impact don’t actually have a financial impact. It comes back and bites you in the butt.
To finish off, could you please recommend a few great books or articles that you think would inspire our listeners?
There are great books out there. There's more and more good books out there in the space as well. There wasn't a lot when I started because as I said, we were kind of making it up as we went. I love reading. I love listening to podcasts, but my life is pretty busy, which I love, so I don't do it that often.
I have two pieces of advice for this question. One thing I do when I travel through airports, or I go to someone's house, or I'm in unfamiliar environments, is I pick up a magazine I would never read. I pick up one of those trashy celebrity magazines and look at it. Because that's a part of society I am not always attached to, so I learn so much from going 'Oh my God, look what's going on here'.
Pick up a book or a magazine that you would never normally pick up.
The second thing would be, and it's the thing that I get most value out of, is having conversations with people. Doing it in an unlikely environment. You know when you're in an environment and you go, 'I would never talked to that person. They're completely different to me'. Go and have a conversation because you'll learn so much.
So my biggest piece of advice is the things that you don't know much about, go and seek them because you will learn different perspectives.
Understand how the world is working and challenge yourself to go and do something you wouldn't do.
It’s the hardest thing to do, but you will learn so much more than picking up an amazing book and learning a couple of things. You'll probably learn more from reading a trashy magazine (laughs) - counterintuitive, but trust me, it's good.