Just over two years ago I was approached about the role of Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Strategy at the University of Dundee. I’d never worked in a University, indeed since I left EY in 1992 I’ve only ever worked in a business that I’ve been a director & owner or shareholder in.
It’s been a fascinating journey, I’ve enjoyed the freedom to explore and create, the privilege to design a strategy for such an esteemed institution, and the opportunity to work with some truly amazing, inspiring people. People that change things, who make a difference to the lives of many, who move the human race forward.
But ultimately, I’m an entrepreneur. I need to be designing and creating my own ventures. I need to be in control, accountable to myself and my family. And so it is that I find myself writing this blog post and announcing my departure from the University of Dundee at the end of February.
My son Andy joined me in the business in the summer, and since then things have been taking off for Ashton McGill. Enquiries are coming in for our services from all over the UK. We’re working with some great clients. And now is the time to really push this forward.
We have a number of exciting new developments in the pipeline. A range of workshops and courses are being designed and should be ready to launch during Q1 of 2016. We have new clients coming on board with us in 2016, and our content marketing strategy is already paying dividends. Our YouTube channel is setup and ready to go. I just need the time to be able to do all of this well.
So to all my friends at UoD, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve amazed and inspired me. I’ve loved working with you, making a difference to the lives of the students that we’ve taught. We’ve also introduced the benefits of design thinking to many and I’m excited to see the results as that scales out across the university. It’s right that in Dundee our approach to enterprise & entrepreneurship should be a design-led one.
I hope to remain involved with the University in some capacity, perhaps in an Ambassadorial or advisory role. I still have a lot to contribute, but as I’ve learned from my friend Chris Marr, I need to focus on One Thing, and for me that One Thing is building our business.