Neil is an independent strategy advisor who has been fortunate enough to have worked all around the world for businesses of different sizes and sectors, for international NGO’s, and for the agencies of several governments.
"My book is the result of a career that has allowed me to form a view of the world that I know I share with many others. I believe that businesses should and need to be a force for good and I am convinced that many of them could and would be - if they only knew how.
One year after graduating from the London College of Communications in graphic design, I founded a design business in Chelsea, London. We specialized in literature, packaging and corporate identity design. Coupled with my background in the military (I was in the British Army and for a very short period, the French Foreign Legion), I think design helped refine my decision making, and the discipline and organizational focus needed to run a business. By the time I sold it, my team had delivered some fantastic solutions for the likes of the BBC, the AA, Virgin, Nintendo, Best Western Hotels, the British Tourist Authority, the FT and many others.
After selling the business I went on to work as a creative director and strategy consultant at WPP’s (and the world’s), largest branding agency. Here I had the opportunity to see how global corporations employed our branding advice to help position themselves favorably in the minds of their audiences. Working for the likes of Anderson (as in Arthur Anderson), Merrill Lynch, DeBeers, Standard Chartered Bank, BG Group and BP I gained first hand experience of the power and potential of brand and importantly having a defined purpose.
When I was eventually made redundant (the dot com bubble burst and so did lots of jobs), my young family and I took the opportunity to move to Auckland, New Zealand. It was the best decision we ever made. Not only is it a fantastic country full of wonderful people, its an amazing place to develop ones knowledge and test ideas. As an independent consultant advising some of NZ’s most famous businesses I further developed my skills and at the same time got to understand how what I had learned could be put to ‘good’ use.
And that is what I’ve done.
On my return to UK I dedicated my focus to the international development sector and those in the private sector that wish to make a contribution to society beyond CSR and philanthropy. Today my global client list includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE, CRS, Global Communities, The World Bank several UN and human rights organizations and, of course, businesses that have put economic and social purpose at their core."