First up is Alasdair McGill, founder of Ashton McGill, a Dundee-based Design and Innovation company, specialising in Customer Experience. After qualifying as an accountant with EY in 1992, Alasdair has spent 24 years starting, growing and running businesses in a variety of industries. He is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Dundee, and was recently named as one of Scotland's top ten digital disruptors
What brings you to the Milk Bar?
I'm very interested in the future and in making the world a kinder, better, more equal place, so I'm naturally drawn to the Milk Bar. We need events like this, which stimulate discussion and make us think about things collaboratively. Together we can make things better.
In your opinion how will technology change the future of work?
Work is being increasingly automated. Every day a new app is launched promising to 'revolutionise' things. However, automation and technology is not always the right answer. We need to be mindful of how we utilise technology. It needs to be an enabler, however it will never be able to take the place of person-to-person relationships. So I'm worried about the relentless drive towards new technologies and the impact that will have on society.
Do you agree that companies who see flexible working as a strategic imperative rather than an employee perk will benefit by attracting, engaging and retaining the best talent?
I agree with this 100%. Indeed I think that only view this as 'an employee perk', will suffer at the hands of their more enlightened competitors.
How can businesses provide purpose to their employees and the wider community?
First of all, they need to care about people. Both staff and customers. And by that, I mean PROPERLY care, not just lip service. We need to have a clear vision for the purpose of our organisations - our Why. And we need to share this widely and help our people to understand why this is important to us. Finally we need to do meaningful work, which supports that core purpose. If we do that, then the profits will come. We shouldn't make profit the core purpose.
We’re looking forward to hearing you present, could you tell us briefly what your talk is about?
We're busier than ever, always connected, searching for that elusive work-life balance. We long for workplaces where we can be ourselves. Where community, passion and purpose sit comfortably together. There has to be a better way to work. In my talk I`ll explore what we can do to change that.
Don`t miss the opportunity to meet Alasdair at the Milk Bar on Friday, 11th November 2016, 3:30 -5:30 pm at West, Glasgow Green.