Season 1

Episode 8 - New Strategies for Growth

Martin and Suzanne are joined by Paul Atkinson - Business Founder, Board Advisor and Partner with Par Equity. They reflect on issues for businesses and leaders throughout 2020 (and the importance of collaboration), new emerging strategies and actions to drive growth.

Paul Atkinson: Paul is an entrepreneur and serial angel investor. Paul has a substantial track record of building value for companies in the technology and services sector and taking them to a successful exit. Paul had started three previous businesses: Head Resourcing, which was founded in 2001 (2017 turnover – £65 million); Direct Resources, which was acquired by NASDAQ listed iGate Corporation in 1999; and, which was acquired by another NASDAQ listed business, TMP Worldwide, in 2000. Paul has a BSc in Physics from Manchester University and is the Visiting Professor at Napier University Business School.


Suzanne: [Personal Strategy] – step out of your comfort zone by choosing to read something new on a regular basis.

Martin: ‘Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail’ – book by Clayton M Christensen –

Paul: ‘The Big Short’ – film on Netflix –

Par Equity:

Season 1

Episode 7 - Lessons from the Trenches

Suzanne and Martin are joined by Atholl Duncan – executive coach and former Head of News and Current Affairs at BBC Scotland. They discuss changes to supply chains, the need to build cooperation across boundaries and leadership learning.

Atholl Duncan: Atholl is a popular conference speaker who aims to inspire and inform the leadership community. He seeks to inspire a movement of change for the benefit of businesses and wider society. Atholl wrote “Leaders in Lockdown” – the story of 100 days that changed the world of business. It offers a powerful insight into a remarkable moment in history. Through the stories of 27 global business leaders, it tells of how they survived the Covid-crisis and reveals how the world will change because of the pandemic.


Suzanne: ‘Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside’ – book by Gary Hamel and Michele –

Martin: ’12 O’ Clock High’ – film –

Atholl: ‘Leaders in Lockdown: Inside Stories of COVID-19 and the New World of Business’ – book by Atholl Duncan

Atholl’s website

Season 1

Episode 6 – COVID-19 and Gender Equality

Suzanne and Martin are joined by Carolyn Currie – CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland. They discuss the impact of the pandemic on gender equality in the workplace and wider society.

Carrie Currie: Carolyn has enjoyed an extensive career at a senior level in financial services working with a variety of clients from large corporates to the SME and not for profit sector. Roles undertaken include, Head of Business Lending at RBS where she developed and grew the multi-billion-pound lending book. An advocate of continuous improvement, she achieved industry recognition and awards for lending products and a personal award for Outstanding Excellence in SME delivery. Carolyn has addressed the Global Banking Alliance conference in Sydney, Australia, contributed policy papers to the World Economic Forum in Davos, is a member of the UK Women’s Enterprise Policy Group and the Chartered Institute of Bankers.


Suzanne: ‘The Book of Tells’ by Peter Collett –

Martin: ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ – TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie –


  1. ‘Mrs America’ – series on BBCiPlayer –

  2. ‘The Con Job’ – book by Suzanne Doyle-Morris, PhD –

Women’s Enterprise

Season 1

Episode 5 – Brand Strategies and COVID-19

Martin and Suzanne speak to Susie Logan – Strategy Consultant with Royal London (the largest mutual life insurance and pensions company in the UK). They discuss the impact of the pandemic on brand strategies, tensions between social responsibility and shareholder value and strategies for the future.


Martin: ‘Abstract, the art of design’ – Netflix series –


  1. ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’ – book by Daniel H. Pink –

  2. ‘My Octopus Teacher’ on Netflix –

Susie: ‘Impact: Reshaping capitalism to drive real change’ – book by Sir Ronald Cohen –

Season 1

Episode 4 – Serve to Lead

Martin and Suzanne speak to David Farquar – CEO of Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS). They discuss the concept of ‘servant leadership’ through the lens of turnaround and growth. This includes: using ‘culture’ as the core platform for transformation, maintaining convictions and more.


Martin: ‘How businesses can serve everyone, not just shareholders’ – TED Talk by Dame Vivian Hunt –

Suzanne: ‘Organizational Misbehaviour’ – book by Stephen Ackroyd and Paul Thompson –

David: ‘We Die Alone’ – book by David Howarth –


Intelligent Growth

Season 1

Episode 3 – Creating Tomorrow Today?

Martin and Suzanne speak to Bill O’Connor – founder of The Innovation Agency (a consultancy firm based in San Francisco/Silicon Valley). They discuss next steps for businesses and the importance of creating innovative environments. In terms of virtual working, is it enough? Bill poses that this ‘reflex innovation’, which is mainly a reaction to circumstance or crisis, is not true innovation and will not set businesses apart. Instead, leaders must encourage ‘deep innovation’ and real forward thinking in order to survive – by rewarding innovation and giving employees the space to take risks, rather than focusing on rewarding the things they’re already good at.


Martin: ‘The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley’ – documentary –


  1. ‘The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World’ – book by Peter Schwartz –

  2. ‘The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures’ – book by Frans Johansson –

Bill: ‘Snow Crash’ – book by Neal Stephenson –


Bill O’Connor/Innovation Agency website

Season 1

Episode 2 – Brave New Hybrid World

Martin and Suzanne speak to Peter Proud - CEO of Forrit (software company providing content management systems). They discuss the impact of home working on productivity and team working, leadership in a virtual context and new approaches to staff retention and wellbeing.

Prior to founding Forrit, Peter worked as Managing Director of Strategic Accounts and Partnerships for Accenture Interactive Digital Practice, providing integrated marketing, technology and analytics solutions for the digital world. Before joining Accenture, Peter worked at Microsoft for 14 years managing accounts for some of the world’s leading household names and was integral in the establishment of Microsoft’s ‘One Microsoft’ initiative.


Peter: ‘The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth’ book –

Suzanne: ‘Trump’s Coronavirus Catastrophe’ Channel 4 programme –

Martin: ‘How Google Works’ book by Eric Schmidt –


Follow Forrit on Twitter: @GoForrit

Forrit’s website:

Season 1

Episode 1 - Going Back? It isn't an option

Martin and Suzanne speak to Bridget Farrands - an organisation consultant and executive coach specialising in the field of cultural change, leadership and executive learning. They discuss changes in the business world since COVID-19 and challenges for leaders around the world.

From an early background within manufacturing industry, Bridget re-trained as a psychotherapist and created a coaching and consulting practice where the personal issues of change were closely connected to new ways of leading. Her work now takes her into organisations based in Europe and the USA and across a range of sectors. Specific recent assignments include working with leaders in the new South African government, building new forms of collaboration across a global publishing company and developing the leadership team of the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer. Bridget coaches leaders who want to learn how to lead instead of manage. She is co-author of Leadership Transitions: How business leaders take charge in new roles (Kogan Page 2012), based on her extensive research into how executives fail and succeed when they take up new roles. She sits on the board of a non-profit leadership centre based in the USA and is a founder member of APECS. Bridget is a non executive director at MyKnowledgeMap.


Martin: ‘The Head the Hands the Heart of Transformation’ by Boston Consulting Group –

Suzanne: ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix –

Bridget: ‘Crossing the Unknown Sea, Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity’ by David Whyte –


Figure Ground:

Bridget Farrands on LinkedIn: