In today’s conversation, I speak with Paul Skinner, author and founder of the Agency of the Future, an organisation that helps clients to drive purpose-led change and better mobilise stakeholders for lasting success.
His first book, Collaborative Advantage: How collaboration beats competition as a strategy for success, proposes that we have reached a turning point in history from which creating Competitive Advantage may no longer be in the best interests of an organisation, or perhaps indeed, of our species. It has been acclaimed far and wide, not least by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founders of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, who praised the book as offering “the perfect recipe for successful businesses that improve lives”. His second book, The Purpose Upgrade, takes a deeper look at the core raison d’être of enterprise and its role in society, a theme which sits at the heart of Paul’s work, bringing positive change to businesses, governments and civil society.
He has advised clients as diverse as PwC and the United Nations, Sony and Save the Children, and in 2014 Paul was awarded an honorary visiting fellowship at Edge Hill University Business School. He’s won the Consultant of the Year awards from the Chartered Institute of Marketing twice, he’s an advisory board member at the Museum of Brands and is also an Advisor at the Future Strategy Club.
As well as working with institutions of international and global governance, and pioneering social change organisations, Paul also finds the time to lead MarketingKind, a membership community he founded which brings together business leaders, marketers and change-makers to tackle social and environmental problems through their businesses, volunteering and advocacy.
This was one of my favourite conversations this season, not least for the richness, nuance and open-heartedness that Paul brings to the complex questions we explore. And if you’d like to see the shoe on the other foot, you can watch the fireside chat I had with Paul when he interviewed me for MarketingKind, the link for which is in the shownotes.
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Recorded 20th June 2023.