There are definitely pros and cons of living in Switzerland. The flag for example is a big plus (apologies, I couldn’t resist that one). But one new con that I can add to the list of many pros, is negative interest rates. That’s right, you have to pay Swiss banks to keep your money for you. Can you imagine? Thankfully when I read the small print of the letter I received from UBS in Geneva, I discovered that I would need to have a current account credit balance of over Fr.250,000 before this policy kicked in. …

There are relatively few times when old age is actually an advantage. One such example is that it nudges you ahead in the queue for the COVID-19 vaccine, especially if you live in a richer country. But we’ll come to that. Now that I’m approaching 50 (from the wrong direction), I was given my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine last week in Geneva and have the second one lined up in late May. As you might expect with the Swiss, the process was quick and efficient and I was out within a matter of minutes.

Lucky me. However, I…

No, I was not at all happy to read the headlines two weeks ago

that the most progressive CEO in the world today, Emmanuel Faber had been forced out of Danone by so-called “activist shareholders”. Faber had been a long time champion of stakeholder capitalism and was a strong proponent of healthy foods and environmental causes in the French food giant. Naturally, this had put him firmly in the sites of activist shareholders who bauk at anything that deviates from short term profit maximization. A dip in sales during the current Covid crisis provided the perfect pretext for these corporate…

It was back in the summer of 2018 that I first got excited about the latent potential of employee activism. In the June 2018 Bullog I wrote about the Google Walkout and Microsoft workers protesting about the technology support the company was giving to the Trump Administration’s immigration policies which separated Mexican kids from their parents. A letter to the CEO saying “not in our name” initially had 100 signatories but rapidly went viral within the company forcing them to ditch the multi-million-dollar contract and add a clause around Human Rights into all future contracts.

I’ve tended to view employee…

The myriad shortcomings of global capitalism is a recurring theme these monthly epistles. I often say that I’m not anti-business — just anti-business-as-usual. However, the eyebrows of even the most vociferous supporters of the current economic system must have been raised this past week and with the GameStop investment fiasco.

For those of you who may have missed this (you’d have to have been in self isolation on the moon), then let me give you the briefest of summaries. A group of major hedge funds decided “to short” (or in layman’s terms, bet against) the stock of a fairly troubled…

Even if you’re not a huge fan of Formula One racing, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill and excitement of watching the skilful Lewis Hamilton, now heading the list of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. Yet, any of one of these F1 heroes will tell you that it is not difficult to simply drive fast. The real skill is in the timing of using the brake — knowing precisely when to slow down and when to accelerate.

In business, we have certainly mastered the accelerator pedal. Indeed, we’ve had a proverbial foot planted firmly on…

Switzerland is something of a dichotomy for me. I’ve now lived in the country for more than a decade, but still struggle with coming to terms with some of its inherent contradictions. In some ways it’s a very progressive culture, with a well-functioning direct democracy, a very high quality of life and is a relatively safe place to live. Oh and the flag is obviously a big plus (!) Yet behind the snowcapped mountains, stunning lakes and marvellous chocolate there is a slightly dark underbelly of high levels of domestic abuse and outdated attitudes when it comes to gender parity…

…..long live democracy!

You would have had to have been living on another planet not to realise that there is a rather significant election happening as we go to press — one that is arguably going to be the most important election for many decades. I’ve sometimes joked that, given the impact it has on the entire world, US Presidential elections are far too important to be left to Americans alone. Perhaps the rest of the world should each get a partial vote or some kind of say in who the country picks. …

Greetings Bullogers!

The “Pret-Effect”: Re-imagining the future of work

As we approach the end of the holiday season, it’s that time of year when our minds turn towards returning to work and the long run towards the colder months that take us to the end of the year. Sorry to remind you. This year is a little bit different, however. Many people will be wondering if they’ll even have a job to return to. If they do, will they be in the office or continuing to work from home, perhaps in quarantine depending on where they’ve been on holiday.

Spare…

Greetings Bullogers

Having worked extensively in sub-Saharan Africa, when people referred to the “Big Five” they were usually speaking in the context of a weekend safari trip to see some of the continent’s most popular wildlife species — lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros. In recent years it has been used to describe a very new species, but some would argue, no less dangerous. Namely, the global tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft. These five companies alone make up approximately 20% of the total value of the Fortune 500 and their combined market capitalization of amounts to an…

Gib Bulloch

Gib Bulloch is an award-winning social intrapreneur who consults, writes and speaks on topics relating to the role of business in society. www.gibbulloch.com

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