What issues and theories are the world’s greatest business thinkers focusing their intellectual energy on today? Stuart Crainer presents the first in a series of regular work in progress reports.
“Philosophy and philanthropy are my two current concerns. I am just finishing a book, Myself and Other More Important Matters, to be published by Random House in Spring 2006. In it I have tried to work out what I have learnt from various episodes and periods in my life, to discover, in other words, what my underlying philosophy of life has been. My hope is that it will challenge or prod the readers, if there are any, to reflect on their own experiences and set of beliefs. It has been intriguing to write. I only hope that it will be as intriguing to read.
I was shocked to realise, for example, that some of the causes I embraced in my earlier life, such as business education, I no longer believed in. On the other hand it allowed me to air some of my hobby horses, the growth of the free agent economy, the waste that is development aid to the Third World, the need for a new kind of Company Law and, not least, the changing definition of success as life progresses. As I grow older I find it easier to be honest about my beliefs and to be less worried by what others might think of them. That’s why it has been fun.
The other book I am doing with my wife Elizabeth, a portrait photographer. We are profiling some twenty-five of the new philanthropists, entrepreneurs who have, in mid-life, turned their entrepreneurial skills to good causes. It is called Beyond Success and will, we hope, encourage more of the young and successful entrepreneurs to give of their time, their skills and their energy as well as a bit of their money to start up new initiatives for good.