Work, doesn’t work.
A staggering 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged, and more than 9 out of 10 are willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work. Across age and salary groups, workers want meaningful work badly enough that they’re willing to pay for it.
This costs the UK alone between £52 and £70 Billion per year
in lost productivity, and according to research by Willis Towers Watson, disengaged employees make 100 times more errors than their engaged colleagues.
My mission is to be the force that causes a paradigm shift in the world of work - quite simply so it works, so much better.
And in doing so, fundamentally transform the fortunes of all those associated with it.
I know it can be done.
I’ve cracked the code which has been causing workplace misery for so many millions of people, for so many years.
Understanding it, fundamentally changes personal and business fortunes.
Quite simply, it enables work, to work. Brilliantly. All the time.
And I'm on a mission to bring this to every CEO and business who wants transformational performance change, without transformational disruption or cost.
I haven’t always had this view, that work, doesn’t work. In fact far from it.
Fast forward through a university degree in Maths from Nottingham, I entered the world of work as an actuary offering strategic advice to the pension fund boards. It was here where I got my first taste of how inefficient businesses, and specifically board meetings, were run. It both amazed, and frustrated me, and after 9 years I moved on to be a Business Development Director. Different role, different company, same systemic inefficiencies.
As the pensions crisis hit, I decided I’d try and do something about it, and set up eShare to help pension boards be better at what they do, going from start-up to the largest UK-based provider of board portal technology, all without investment.
Whilst the business growth was without financial assistance, it certainly wasn’t without investment in other ways. I was working 80 hour weeks, not having a good time, and making my employees miserable in the process.
I felt I knew what needed to happen for it to be perfect, but that I was being confounded by employees because they weren't doing exactly what I wanted. I started to meddle and became a micromanager, giving them no autonomy whatsoever, setting out exactly how they should be doing things.
They obviously became really demotivated and the more demotivated they became, the harder it was for me to get what I wanted out of them.
My work, wasn’t working. And it hurt.
It took some time, but I did eventually take a step back. It was here I had the realisation. The way you make work, work, is to let it happen, in a way that allows employees to unleash their full value, within an ecosystem that guides, then continuously improves.
Many more learnings followed, but as a SaaS business we were able to begin to crystallise then iterate a formula, a magic formula, that truly unlocked everyone’s fortunes. This system meant I went from 80 hours and a miserable business run by me, to 14 hours, and a business run brilliantly by 75 motivated and empowered employees – each and every one adding value all day, every day. And not only that, but the team that was doing it was exactly the same team that we'd had five years earlier when I took that step back.
I sold eShare in the summer of 2018, as a brilliant business, run by its employees, moving it forward and evolving it an ordered way. It had been a fundamental transformation – of everyone’s lives and fortunes.
Most of all, I recognised my experience wasn’t just happening to me. Everywhere I look I see versions of where I’d been, with businesses and employees paying the price. There is a better way – I was just lucky enough to piece it together. And it’s this I’m on a mission to share.
The realisation that work doesn’t work for me. I wanted freedom, autonomy and the ability to build something that was mine.
Setting up eShare to help company boards do a better job. There were other businesses first but this was when I started to build the thing that would give me that freedom. This turned out to be just a different trap.
After years of wrestling the business off the ground, finally freeing myself from it.
Selling eShare and deciding to solve this endemic problem in business between managers and employees. Starting beSlick and writing the Dirty Word.
Covid making me realise that this is bigger than process and that work doesn't just not work for me, it doesn’t work for a lot of people.
The Dirty Word
Alister Esam was a frustrated CEO and Founder who felt so passionately about his business he was working 80 hours a week trying to make everything perfect. At the same time he drove his employees up the wall. Disempowering them to the point that they could no longer contribute to the business, demotivating them and heaping more stress on himself.
He found salvation in a surprising place. People associate process with control, monotony, routine, the status quo and with an overall death of creativity. It's a Dirty Word they try to avoid.
Alister discovered that if implemented correctly it provided empowerment, autonomy and creativity for employees and delivered business freedom for himself with total reassurance his business was running itself.
It also enabled him to massively accelerate improvement in his business by harnessing his team's collective brainpower.
This book looks at why process is so important, why people get it so wrong and make it so horrible and how to put it in place in a new way which can change the whole culture of a business.
Free Additional Resources
Investor and Innovator
Business is a wonderful thing, the sad thing is too many brilliant companies, owners and teams fail to realise they’re really capable. And that’s my motivation – to help these businesses - financially or otherwise - flourish.
I’m now an investor in multiple startups that are just beginning the journey I have finished. My involvement varies from mentoring CEO's, being a sounding board for their ideas and issues through to being totally hands off. It’s an immensely rewarding thing to do – helping accelerate progress and playing a small part in them realising the success they can achieve.
I combine this with my unerring passion to continually find new and better ways to do things. It’s always been a central part of who I am, the difference these days is that I’ve learned how to best deploy this innovation in a meaningful and valuable way.
If I can help others unlock the value of what they’re capable of, for themselves, their families and their teams - and make their work (and world), work, then I’ll have achieved something amazingly worthwhile. And I’m humbled to have been able to do so.