A man from Bute who created a ‘not-for-profit’ inside one of the most profit driven corporations in the world has written a book to inspire others.
Gib Bulloch (50) is the founder and former executive director of Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP), a corporate social enterprise formed within Accenture. Since 2003, ADP has taken Accenture’s business and technology expertise to the international development sector on a not-for-profit basis.
Speaking about his book – The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent – Gib, explained the title.
He said: “I led a team of people that tried to create a social arm inside the business, to work with charities and foundations to make them more efficient. Individuals typically volunteered to give up half their salary for six months to work for us, going all over the world to help. The company wouldn’t take profit and that allowed us to help these organisations.
“So it was helping others by staying in the inside as an in-trepreneur not an en-trepreneur. Changing the company I was in. This gives you more leverage. Social entrepreneurs stay to scale, they don’t get very large. So start within something that’s large and try to make it more socially and environmentally responsible.”
Gib revealed how his journey led him right back to where he began, after he had a breakdown and spent five days in a psychiatric hospital.
He said: “I didn’t think it could happen to me. Since coming out of hospital I’m holding a mirror up to the system and asking if I went nuts or is the system crazy?
“After hospital I went back to my parents’ house on Bute. It just so happens that the after care was in what used to be my primary school on Union Street. So I found myself aged 47 back in my old P2 classroom seeing this shrink! So the book starts there, with me at school and ends up back there.
“The book is not like your normal business books. It’s all from a businessman who finds answers in this crazy world.
“Shaking hands with presidents once week and then in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest the next week.”
Explaining why he started ADP, Gib said: “When I left Bute I went down to join the London rat race. I was ticking all the boxes but I was missing something in my life. I had lots of money but I didn’t have meaning in my career. I thought there had to be more to it than making money. I had a fancy car, a fancy flat but I needed more, I needed a purpose.
“I grew up in a very strong community and I go back regularly. Everybody looks out for each other.
“I went to Kosovo and took a 90 per cent pay cut but felt more valued and better about myself. I was serving more of a purpose.
“I couldn’t leave it, I was an addict for this purpose, this meaning. When I came back from the Balkans I had this crazy idea of running a not-for-profit company helping charities. I wrote the idea as a press release which got me a meeting with the director.
“I then spent 14-15 years running ADP. In the first 10 years it probably delivered a quarter of a billion pounds of support in some of the most deprived parts of the world.”
Gib hopes his book will inspire change. He said: I haven’t written the book to make money,
“I want to generate discussion around businesses and how they can help others. To take businesses away from the old stereotypes that they are greedy and only look after themselves and shareholders.
“That has to be driven bottom up by younger employees, intrepreneurs. This is about someone who wants to invite and use business to serve a social purpose beyond just making money. It’s about how can we get inside the bowels of these large organisations and move them into more positive directions?
“I have spent 30 years working in large multi-national companies. I’m not anti-business. I’m against business as usual.”
Gib will return home for a special event for his book at Bute Museuem on April 28.