Podcast Transcripts

Tracey Harrison, Strategic Change Consultant on Leading with Inclusivity

Tracey Harrison is a business leader, a strategic change consultant and a passionate advocate of social inclusion and mobility. She has lived and worked in Manila, Paris and Texas, she describes herself as restless, a person who enjoys the novelty of the new, but thrives on bringing a degree of order to chaos. She enjoys working with businesses and individuals who share a similar purpose and whose passion for inclusion is heartfelt and action-driven.

In this episode, I chat with Tracey about her passion for inclusion, building resilience and confidence for the next generation, getting out of reactive mode, asking for help – and what we can learn from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


Colin Hunter: [00:06]

Hey, folks, and welcome to another episode of the Leadership Tales podcast. My name is Colin Hunter and today I'm delighted to be joined by Tracey Harrison. Tracey and I go back about 20 years where I was doing some work on delivery for our team, and we'll talk about that today. But also, she was one of my team, started coaching her own and again, interesting background from a career where she's been working in the spaces of EY, Accenture, but early part in her career as a probation officer. So she's got a journey of different experiences, of being from a mixed race family, being an organization's being in places where she's either felt that she could wear a cloak that fit fitted and was light and bright and felt one that she could take off at the end of the day, but feel comfortable. And she'll talk more about some of the other roles where she struggles with a cloak that she was wearing felt very heavy and there loved the analogy that we're we're going to go into today. And a lot of this is driven around her, her drive for inclusion and equity, and the analogies that will take on terms of the cloak to do that, but also the work that needs to be done is something as a business that we're working on with the 500 and looking forward to to working with Tracey to support us on that. Tracey, as part of our advisory board, sits on our advisory board, provides a real strong view, strong direction in how we we tackle these things and I'm delighted that she can. She can talk it through with you today. Enjoy the conversation.

Colin Hunter: [01:43]

Delighted to be joined today by a very good friend, client advisor now to us within potential squared, Tracey Harrison. Tracey, welcome.

Tracey Harrison: [01:55]

Thank you Colin.

Colin Hunter: [01:57]

It would be useful for me. I know quite a bit you were trying to work it out 20 years, hopefully.

Tracey Harrison: [02:03]

Making me feel quiet old. Yes.

Colin Hunter: [02:06]

Yeah. It started at a very young age.

Tracey Harrison: [02:09]

You have more, haven't you?

Colin Hunter: [02:13]

Thank you. I wondered if it would be useful to to share for the audience around your background and and almost say, I keep saying this, but why people should listen today. What? What are you going to offer? What is your background that you're bringing today?

Tracey Harrison: [02:24]

Okay, let me start with who I am. I mean, it's a mixed heritage. I have a Jamaican father and a white English lover. I was brought up in foster care in rural Oxfordshire, so very much a feeling of otherness there. So both being in foster care but also on entering school. While I was very sure I was one of the very few mixed heritage of black people within that school. I'm usually for Carolina. I went to university. I deliberately chose London because it's a more diverse place. I targeted the big cities and I'm the mother of two teens and the stepmother of a 23-year-old. What keeps me awake? What keeps me driven is that I have a passion for inclusion and equality and fairness and really think about integrity. So it's probably me. In summary,

Colin Hunter: [03:14]

That's great. And tell us a bit about your career, then tell us about what you've done in your career. Let's go to that and I want to. I want to dive into a couple of bits you talked about already, but just a bit of a career. Potted history will be useful.

Tracey Harrison: [03:28]

OK, so I've been thinking about my career a lot in the last year because I came out as being a partner and being a managing director in two big organizations. It was a partner, Accenture as a managing director and intend to expand to 6 years unless to talk about it. So, in fact, to sort of reinvent myself in the last two years you know I said I was retired, I wasn't really. I was just trying to find a new boss, which was more for me, personal purpose. So, I sort of been reflecting about and I think I'm sort of I'm the woman who's been working with a few clicks over the last few years and my career really one of the things I reflected upon when I worked in my early years as a career, I was a probation officer in a community where I could also have British Rail. So very much public service, doing things around social justice, social mobility, etc and the sort of cloak I wore there was a very light cloak, very comfortable there, enjoyed the work that I did television, but also feeling like I was really adding some value to individuals and in some of their lives. Some years later, I joined the corporate world and I sort of put on a new cloak, the professional woman who, when she did a degree in sociology and social policy then worked in the community, was actually very capable of working in an exciting and thriving corporate environment such as Accenture. A Couple of examples from there in terms of who would be working at the London Stock Exchange. When I went from flow to electronic trading, nice. Honestly, we worked incredible hours. I discovered both cappuccinos because I didn't like coffee until we had to do lots of all-nighters and wine and champagne celebrate. And another one would be the Philippines, where I worked there for just over three years. As the Philippines scaled up from ten to 30,000 employees. And then during that time, I would say I was wearing a suit you chose of Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was very exciting, really enjoyed the work. I'm going to other times. I've worn the cloak more heavily, particularly actually in recent years, I've been sitting around leadership tables and I've sometimes started dissonance between the cultural values and then the behaviors that actually have been displayed. So that kind of actions speak louder than words. I've felt it a few times as I've sat around the most senior tables and thought, Actually, I need to come out of these environments because that dissonance is making me wear what it feels like a quite happy cloak. So, I've come out, as I say, I'm now doing work that much more aligns to my values, my co-workers and I feel like I am wearing the lightest, brightest cloak at the moment, more easily worn, a joy to hang up at the end of the day.

Colin Hunter: [06:14]

Nice. I like the cloak analogy, we could go many different ways with the cloak analogy sort of there. I want to dig into a couple of things because it is fascinating for me you know, as a person of my age talking about British Rail probation, then you're talking about your own background, mixed heritage, foster care, then you're talking about equity, you know inclusion, all of those things. If you had to nail it down to one thing that you're only allowed one thing that you're going to nailed to the mass, I'm reading a book called Be More Pirates at the moment, which is a. So, all my oh yeah, oh, my analogies seem to be going that way. But you know, when they talk about nailing your colors literally metaphorically to the mass, which is the of those experience, do you think or which of the things within that? Are you most passionate about?

Tracey Harrison: [07:04]

Inclusion, I can say that quite clearly because I think there's a lot of work to do around equality, diversity. But at the heart of it, if we were all more inclusive, we wouldn't need to use a number of the other terms that we use at the moment in order to. So, we need to focus on that. And actually, what we need to focus on is creating environment spaces both in the corporate sector and the public sector and in the not-for-profit as well that are more inclusive and where people feel that they can be equally allowed access to equally allowed career progression that equally allowed to access the products, the services that they have been thought about when those have been designed. So, yes, inclusion to me is a really important word if I am allowed one word. But you know, I'm not good at just one word.

Colin Hunter: [07:55]

No, I know you're no good. And that's why I've asked you the podcast because I spent more than one hour but that's great. Though the inclusion piece. So if we went back to was driven you because you talked about a step son talked about two teens, you talked about the foster care, upbringing and inclusion, and you talked about going into one part of your career, which could have been seen as a British Rail, was highly unionized. Other pieces probation service. And then you could almost say, and I'm going to put this in here, you could say unless you went to the other side, which might be and went in and experienced something that a lot of people of mixed race and background in theory don't get to experience told me through the thought process of how you've carved your career and crafted your experience.

Tracey Harrison: [08:44]

I mean, in a way I was going to end up working for the corporate sector anyway, because at the time the tires that pushed me for my last role there was working at a my I might have to junior level on the interpreting the passengers Charter, which was all about privatisation of British Rail. So in fact, I had thought, well if I'm going to be privatised anyway, let me just choose where I'd like to be privatised. I ended and I was quite out, I'll be honest, I still believe the rails should remain nationalised. But anyway, that's another conversation. So, I went to work with a logistics company. And actually my plan had been at that time to step into the corporate world. I mean, when you're in the public sector, you're often looking into the corporate world and thinking it's more effective because you're told this it's more effective, it's more efficient, you know, if we could bring some of those practices into the public sector, how much more value would we get from taxpayers money, how much more impactful we could be? And so actually I stepped into there quite deliberately anyway, and thought that I would step in there lightly. Do a little bit of research almost whilst doing the job. Find out how it's done properly and step back into the public sector. But I have to say I got distracted I joined that center and you'll know Colin because this is what you know work with and across Accenture cover, I hardly had time to stand still, the work is so exciting during that time that every time I pause for breath, something new was offered to me. And then I have my two children. And it felt like a safe place to be as a working mother with a good reputation already. So that sort of kept me there for a few more years. And how have I found it, it's quite interesting. I think for a while, I was so absorbed by so many other things. I didn't join things like the black network, etc. But at that time, it tended to be just a lower key than some of the networks on now. But I knew that we had a problem about access, I knew that black and ethnic minority people were underrepresented. I also knew that disadvantaged people, people who came without the qualifications of a degree from a Russell Group university, that those people didn't have access to us. And then we have CSR programmes, they seem to be about showing you what it would like be like to work in a corporate rather than a programme that would invite you into the corporate, we can talk about at some later stage, but you'll know that I've brought in a number of programmes to corporates to help them with their inclusion, I thought quite a few baffles actually around that, just because it felt wrong to me, that we had such elitist views around what it meant to be eligible to work. isolations. So you could you know, and my own kids in recent years have walked into a building and sort of set didn't see very many people who came from black and minority ethnic groups, but did notice that when the catering came into the room, it just was embarrassing, I became slightly embarrassed as though I was somehow colluding in keeping our organisations as they were, despite my efforts to try to bring a little bit more inclusion and diversity within them.

Colin Hunter: [12:01]

Yeah. It's fascinating to me, because you and I have similar views on this as the inclusion tends to be sometimes funnelled down one avenue, whether it's Black Lives Matters, you know, as a father of daughters, the gender piece, and we've talked a number of times around this, this concept that, you know, inclusion is so much wider and as so much more impact, even to the point of you know, as an individual who suffers massively from imposter syndrome, just this intellectual or non intellectual has been my biggest battle with my grandfather, being a professor, my dad being a doctor, I never felt worthy. So you want to talk to me a bit about the wider definition you say, of inclusion and how that's laid out to you.

Tracey Harrison: [12:43]

Yeah, I think when I look at the groups that are most underrepresented, it basically is those people who have been, who come from social disadvantage, which has it has an impact on educational outcomes. And then also people from black and minority ethnic groups. So my passion is around those two groups, just because they are so underrepresented. Now, I also have a passion around just overall inclusion. And I get frustrated when we have programmes that, you know, let's differentiate and focus on this group. And let's differentiate and focus on that group. And I do think that some of the programmes that are put in place, I just know, one, you know programme for black and minority ethnic people within a corporate though we somehow need to go to remedial classes, because you don't know how to behave within that organisation might not be a better idea to change the culture of the organisation such that it is more open and embracing of everybody, then you wouldn't have to send people on remedial course. And that's how I view it. I've had some quiet face and discussions. The corporate thinks it's doing a really good job, we've got these special courses for you. And I just think you shouldn't need those special courses, you should be focused instead of focusing on us and telling us how to behave as though we're somehow not capable of reading some of those signals that you're giving us? Why didn't you focus on giving us some different signals about you know, your policies, your procedures, but moreover, your practices actually are embracing of all and don't favour one particular demographic, or even two particular demographics?

Colin Hunter: [14:32]

For me, I had a colleague who once described that he was asked the question so you know, how can we learn to play the right music for the right people at the right time as well? Why don't you ask them what type of music they want to play and what they're bringing in to the audience and therefore, there is a bit about and I do believe this is you know, this is be more pirate going to mention it again, but this concept that you keep to your pirates, folks and pirates there you go. And it's interesting because when you start to look, this book starts to look into the background of the pirates, the pirates were the first time to have equal sex marriages. On the ships, they were female male captains of pirates, they had an equality system where, you know, the plunder was shared out equally. They also had a lot of doing good for society and how they operated. So there is a bit where in those days, the East India Company was the one who was fighting the pirates. big corporate, yeah, versus the pirate. So there is something in here about, you know, we are living in a world now where in theory, we're trying to innovate. We're trying to do different things. We've got more inclusion by technology. But there's still barriers to getting people into decision-making seats.

Tracey Harrison: [15:52]

It's quite odd for me, because, you know, I, I have worked at a very senior level. So I've been a partner in a while a managing director in Accenture. And what mystifies me is it seems to mystify actually, and leadership is, normally when you invest millions of pounds, most of these large corporates will have invested millions of pounds into diversity programmes and initiatives and targets and staff is that there seems to be this idea that they don't understand how it is that we've arrived at where we've arrived. And, of course, the death of George Floyd by the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. And also, the impact of the pandemic has made people think a little bit more over the past year. But what really perplexes me is how it can be that when corporations normally spend millions on something, firstly, the CEO owns it. Secondly, it is then talked about every board meeting or every leadership meeting, and it is reviewed for why it isn't being successful or what leaders have been pulled to make it successful. And very rarely do you have a let's carry on spending millions, but it doesn't matter. What we're concerned about the outcome don't seem to be getting anywhere. And this is a thing which really perplexed me on inclusion in the millions have been spent and are still being spent, and yet somehow, very little has changed and moved. And I think it's partly, I will be bold here and say it is partly because the CEO has not owned this as a critical part of their business agenda. And it's interesting, because I've started doing a little bit of work with a couple of corporations recently, it's interesting. But when they have it in there as part of their objective, when it's shared as a strategic objective around the leadership table, richer conversations are had and people who may actually have a view and who feel marginalised within the corporation, or feel that the group that they belong to has been marginalised, start having a better conversation, and they're being consulted, in a more open way. And it has been quite interesting that HR has been responsible for a lot of the inclusion strategy. And it's been pretty much a close shot with HR going out, finding out who might provide a service, signing it off, and on one occasion, signed it off, and then asked me if I'd like to participate in what they'd signed off. And I thought, Well, I think I might have had a view on how you might have wanted to do that. Who actually did you ask? And when I then when I did, then did the who did you ask the master and a few other of the black senior people, HMP, senior people within the organisation, they haven't actually included them in the conversation, they just come on we know best. So there has been a little bit of either metabolism paternalism Call it what you want to be, the approach has not been overly inclusive. So the very people who are setting up inclusion programmes have not been inclusive, and it's quite well, it's not entertaining, but it you know, if you could write a book on this and say, seriously, but there's lots of books being written, I'm not suggesting that he's writing more books on it. It's quite clear what needs to change. And it is CEO absolutely owning the agenda, and setting targets. And the reason I say to set targets is if you have targets set for anything else, and you're falling short of them, then you start to look at also what needs to change underneath there in order to drive better success. So, I'm not always achieved the target. But I think the target helps you to examine why the gap exists between what your aspiration is, and what your impact is actually, what you're achieving.

Colin Hunter: [19:40]

I love that there's two things springing out to me and this is having been the chair and running a diversity network in my time and being the only white male heterosexual on that group with those three categories. And every time I raise my voice or put my point of view across He looked at me as it says, So why you speaking you have known for a nasty way, but almost as if I was part of the problem taking the beam or wrong philosophy and how people can start to explore this. What's your view around that? Because, you know, I hold my hand up by holds of held biases in my life as it goes through whether they're conscious or not. And I've made a mistake. And there was one particular one that is a very simple one is it was I grew up with lads and lasses in Newcastle. So therefore, I'd started talking to boys and the girls in a room saying boys over here, it goes over here. And I got a real backlash from don't call me a girl at that time. And so I removed that word, but where do we learn to, to understand what the new way is, and I'm just interested in your views on that be more wrong philosophy.

Tracey Harrison: [20:50]

Project report to be, you know, a leading expert, but I, you know, I have my isms, you know, it's quite interesting, you'll know yourself having teenagers, you know, I got caught the other day by them, I said something, and it was just a throwaway comment. And they have absolutely when Tammy both of them this was our Sunday dinner. at me, and I thought, fair enough. And then the following Sunday, obviously, she come to our Sunday dinners, the following Sunday, I send her something and it was a bit iffy. And we both pulled him up. And what I said to my daughter, because I was slightly concerned that she might go off and, you know, tell all our friends when I started, what I had said or whatever, and I said, You know what, you have to have places that are safe, where you can use language, and where you can have a discussion about why that language or that perception or whatever it may be why that perhaps needs to be challenged. You know, I know myself, if somebody jumps down my throat and starts shouting at me or telling me I'm wrong or embarrassing me. I'll remember the embarrassment more than the learning. Yeah. And so I do think we've got to find safe spaces to have conversations, I think we need to be less condemnatory about people making mistakes, I personally am off, I don't go on Twitter and things like that I fear for things that might react to people being intolerant, showing my own intolerance, I just think we need to be a little bit more tolerant a little bit more, but not intolerant of lack of inclusion, but intolerant of the fact that people need to learn a new way of working and a new language. And if you want and in terms of the be wrong for me, is that I believed that over my career, I kept on thinking if I chip away here, if we chip away there, if we have a conversation here, we have a conversation there, that actually, by now we would be more inclusive. And I have been shocked at how little progress we had been made. And one of my reasons for stepping out of the corporate world is that actually I think I can be more impactful. And when I say you know, chucking rocks, at people, it's not quite as bad as that, but it is about, you know, I think I can be better heard challenging people from the outside, then I can, by being frustrated and feeling as if I'm colluding on the inside. That's taken me a long time to get there. I do feel that we need co-ownership safe places. But we do need to accelerate and push ahead. So, I'm definitely I have been wrong. I believed it would just happen gradually. Because I suppose because the demographic that I live in and the people that I spend time with, in work outside of work, etc. But they all seem reasonable people they need to get up in the morning going on going to be racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. But some of them might, but they certainly that was me. But you know, I don't think people the majority of the population is not getting up every morning, saying I'm going to be those things, and yet somehow, is not embracing welcoming is intolerant of people who are other than themselves. And it's important, I think, for us to be a little bit kinder. I think kindness actually kindness is all the rage at the moment, isn't it? Kindness to one another if we all learn, you know, and I'm not saying that I am good every day, and that that plays that I have to challenge myself. But you know, if we're all a bit kinder if we all do a little bit more time to talk to people and to understand them. And actually, we probably ended up being more inclusive.

Colin Hunter: [24:34]

It's an interesting one for me, because when I was working with somebody else, or talking with somebody other day, who's given up trying to do his consulting business in large corporates because he doesn't believe he can change them. And he decided that he only wants to focus on start-ups or smaller, fast growing organisations where if he can get his people operating system in place, then he can shift the culture In a more agile way, and start to build it up, and I do wonder whether you know, rather than trying to, to pull down the big corporate structures, there's something about, you know, throwing stones into the pond to create ripples in smaller organisations. To do that,

Tracey Harrison: [25:18]

I can see why they're doing that. But then I look at sort of organisations that have really grown from nothing to huge corporates, such as alphabet, Facebook, all of those, they started at the time where I naively was thinking we're living in this lovely inclusive world. And yet, they have exactly the same problems, or worse in some cases than some of the big corporates. And I don't think we're going to change to an economy that's going to all small to medium enterprises in the next 2030 years. And these big corporates like it or not, if you start your career in any of these organisations, you automatically end up with a CV advantage, you end up with a CV advantage, because you've been welcomed into a brand name that is associated with excellence, you also end up with a lifetime, if you choose to continue in that sector, you end up with a lifetime advantage, and monetary advantage because the salaries that you are paid when you start your first job, and the training that you get, enables you to leapfrog people all over the place in terms of getting onto the housing ladder, you name it. So I don't think we can ignore the corporate, I understand why your friend has done this because like, I have need, I have felt a need to step away from them as being within them. But I certainly not going to ignore them, they have too much power and influence over. And they have also, because they've got large numbers of people, they have the capacity to do things that a smaller organisation can't do. A couple of examples. You know, in Accenture when we bought in the no quality qualifications, apprenticeship scheme with 40 apprentices him, you can't do that in a small, he probably can't even learn until the Skills for Life elements come in, you probably can't even bring in an apprentice at the moment. It's too complicated. But if you're a big corporate, you've got the machinery in place to manage these people to ensure that you've got enough mentors, enough projects to bring them through. And then I think about things like you know, the delivery Centre in Northern Ireland that we set up in Belfast, a delivery and Innovation Centre, where we took him under unemployed people. And for many of these people, this was their first jobs that gave them a regular hours a proper salary and career opportunities. And that has grown substantially both of those programmes have been going for many years, both of them have been very successful. But they both Joakim people who would be counted as other in terms of what those corporations traditionally took it. So no, I'm really sure that we need to chip away I think there's work to do in every space and the charities are not for profit sector are equally lacking in inclusion. And a lot of them have been examining their own policies recently, practices and noticing that actually, there was a sense of feeling good because you're working for a charity or not for profit. And then suddenly, as I say, with the Black Lives Matter and job flows, murder, people have gone hang on a minute, maybe I do, let's let's have a look at it in our organisation and they are equally lacking in diversity.

Colin Hunter: [28:38]

It is fascinating to look I was watching Nomad land, learn if you've seen it, it's a harsh reality because it's a hard watch. But actually, to understand I remember the apprenticeship programme we working together to listen to the stories of people who have been disadvantaged, and even just a recent bid that we were putting together for prison leavers to bring some of our development work to them to realise that the impact of maybe mistakes people have made from the prisoners side we have but also about the way the circumstances that are brought up into the choices that they had or didn't have. Yeah, it's for me,I was passionate listening just to a couple of the mentors for this prison leavers session, because these are people I would recruit. But it was fascinating to me, because I do believe that, like in corporate world, there's a piece in here that people make mistakes, and a lot of the times that mistake can ruin your career. People sometimes make mistakes earlier, and it can ruin their lives. But a lot of these people don't have choices.

Unknown Speaker: [29:42]

Or they may have choices, but the choices they made would be advice and were their circumstances different. They would not have made that choice. You're hearing here for an ex-probation officer who says, Well, you did have the choice about whether or not you, but I understand how you got into that position, how do we ensure that you don't get into that position again? So I do agree with you. And, you know, I talk about with my own kids about, you know, the whole thing about the sort of white collar crime, you know, I can, I'm not suggesting a handle, well, you know, I could steal some paper from the office in, in London that is going to take in a notice, let's just say I went out with some paper and a stapler. And let's say that the value of that was 20 quid, well, if I went to a shop and did that, to get some food or whatever it may be equal value, 20 pounds I actually shoplifting and unlikely to be caught. Again, you know, the impact of doing a similar activity actually has a completely unreal fit. And I'm hopeful that the courts are going to overturn some of the fines that were issued for Coke during the COVID-19 lockdowns because I know it's quite a political statement to me, I live in a lovely house with lots of space, a garden, etc, etc. Even I wanted to escape from this space that was on top of me that I wasn't living on the 17th floor in a flat with, you know, without my own space, etc. And I was chatting to somebody the other day about that whole thing around one of the things that we've known for a long time, but which has particularly impacted people during this pandemic has been that thing of space poverty is most impacted people in terms of their need to get out of the house, or flat or whatever it may be. But also, it's impacted multi-generational families where they've been living sort of on top of one another and caused the virus sort of goes through families, etc. So yeah, I could go on about that. But I won't.

Colin Hunter: [31:48]

Because the virtual world is an interesting one because you can take the people on the 17th floor, but you can also just take the work we do with Indian companies or Indian teams and just think about the offices, the space to get out because they live in houses where there's ten or eleven people in those houses. So, they couldn't do the calls in there. But even then, you're talking about inclusion, you're talking about young parents with young families being asked to have their children work at home. Do all of that plus work. So, it's been an interesting year for looking at empathy and understanding around it. And maybe there's an opportunity out of this in terms of the hybrid world to look at where people really live and the impact it has on their work.

Tracey Harrison: [32:30]

I hope that I'm going to look at lots of things, you know. We're going to have a different view about people who are unable to work and are on benefits because there have been many people who have been technically, they have been taken from the public purse over the last year and people who would not have been expecting to do that, who might historically perhaps have views about two people being on benefits. Well, actually quite a large swathe of our population this year, including people who are self-employed, etc, etc, have had to avail of the public purse for this year. I hope that people a little bit more empathetic towards others saying that, you know, sometimes your situation is such that your cards are kind of stacked against you a little bit and maybe just getting through every day is enough. And once you've gone past that part where you can get through every day and maybe you can get through every week, maybe you can now start looking about how we can help you to scale up so that you can re-enter the workplace or enter it for the first time or whatever it may be. I'm just sort of hopeful that we will start being a little bit more, a little bit less judgmental about people who have not perhaps be most successful as whatever successful means, successful in the way that our society assesses success.

Colin Hunter: [33:52]

I agreed. It's interesting because when we want to focus down two things I have got in mind. One is this conversation that you and I have had around us? We're looking to target the 18 to 20-year-olds group because, you know, there's a there's an opportunity to do good things in there to help not only those individuals who might not have equal chance equity in that space, but also organizations who are looking for new talents, you know, new ways of working and fresh ideas. The 18 to 20-year-old group is an interesting one to target. What's your views on where we are because you do a lot of work in that sector as well?

Tracey Harrison: [34:37]

So, I think we can have a bit of a lost population. I mean, people will have dropped out of school this year. People will not have achieved what they expected to achieve. And I felt like we were sort of moving forward a little bit. You know, we've had quite a lot of changes in education in the last few years. But as I say, I have teens and their motivation definitely dwindled during the lockdowns. And, you know, I've been sort of cheering them along to keep going away and being tested to within an inch of their life. Despite the fact that there aren't any GCSE levels this year, this spring seems to be getting noticed. So, I think we'll find that that age group is going to feel as if socially they've missed out as if academically, they have missed out and therefore their life chances. And we're seeing that there's much more mental, many more issues of mental health. So many more people with mental health issues from anorexia to depression all across the spectrum of mental conditions. So I think this population needs will need rebuilding. I think we will need to give them confidence. We need to listen to them to hear their stories. You know, I worked for some Canadians commission and, you know, some of the stories of people's lockdowns, and they are incredibly different to my own and my children. And you know, the importance of your family supporting you is having access to so many things, you know in my demographic which take slightly for granted. So I do think that this population is going to need a lot of support and just time spent with them, you know, not telling them to get to school during them long stay in the house, don't do this, do that. They got a lot of instruction. Yes, today you're not allowed to do this tomorrow. You're not allowed to do that. Don't have a test. Give me the results. Do this test from COVID to academic unit. They really have had a rough time of it, all of them. But some have had a much more difficult time than others. And I think we need to think about that and how we can best help to rebuild those people in a way that doesn't necessarily require them to go out and get all GCSE, The A levels of formal qualifications that we somehow put so much store by, but actually build their resilience, rebuild their resilience because some resilient people have gone into this pandemic and come out feeling quite destroyed by it. Rebuilding resilience and confidence and just giving them some time to think, Who am I? What am I doing this? It's all been a reaction to a pandemic for the last, well 18 months, really.

Colin Hunter: [37:24]

I do agree. We could go talking about there's no need for that for the rest of the day, and I'd love to and maybe we need to book a second one set to open up into different avenues. I wanted to come back to close this today. You talked about cloaks of giving up pirates and we're going to leave that to the side. But let's go back to the cloaks. I wanted to think about the cloaks you've worn because there is something about when I think about people going into work and today I don't have this expression. I don't do work-life balance, I do life balance. So when people put on a cloak to go into work, you know, sometimes that cloak takes as much energy to put on and keep down all day. So interested in your thoughts about the cloaks you've worn and the learning? If you had to crystallize for the people listening, what are two, three things that you've learned about the wrong type of cloak or the wrong attitude or the reason you do? What would they be?

Tracey Harrison: [38:20]

So, I think my biggest learning would be, you can't. I think you and I have this conversation years ago, you can be exhausted by being in a place and sensing the dissonance and always reacting to it. I think this thing of sort of pick your battles and you don't always have to look at something terrible. I wish. But one learning would have been, you know, back to your one word, it would have been, what particular thing do I want to focus on? I think will bring real value and change in terms of inclusion, and I haven't been scared trying to do it all over the place. It did it in the Philippines. I did it and never ended up in trying to chip away because I come from that place of love. And so I always I can always see the other. There's not engagement, you know, I walk into a room and I will see people and I will spot who perhaps feels uncomfortable. I can send, I'm going to talk to them because I come from that place where I've always felt different. And so my learning would be to be a bit more focused on that. The times when I've probably struggled the most have been where I've said yes too many times to the multiple roles I have. This doesn't happen to, but I'm actually quite good how to do something and I'll just get to that place. You know, when we're in the Philippines, I was a large team and I was just got settled them. So can you take on India and China like this that settles into that? I remember. Can you just get us through an accreditation across the whole of? And that was and every time I said, yes, Matt was exhausted. But to be frank, and I don't think I gave my family the attention that they should have been given. And so that would be another thing. And then the final thing is always ask for help. So I do actually seek always to have, you know, I used when I was struggling a bit after kids for school and I didn't know where I was going to go with my career getting a coach from potential squared. And that changed the whole way in which I then went forward. Simple question of where were you happiest last at work? Result of me going into coaching and working in the Philippines and having a coach over there, George from Campo. He was my mentor while staying there, and now I have to have a son who helps by doing this, given that I'm doing to be trustee and non-executive life. So the times when I haven't had those, I felt slightly lost. So, I had Gram Swann, and when he left, I must say I hadn't realized until I reflected now. Actually, I was a bit after he left because there wasn't anybody else that I particularly wanted to, I could place in that position as mental.

Colin Hunter: [41:19]

Hmm. Yeah, it's interesting. You're making me think because I think, you know, when Ian Ritchie, my old boss, left the Oxford Group at the time, I felt lost and I can go back to each of the bosses or the mentors or the coaches on how they had an impact. But you know, I have the tools and expression. You can't tickle yourself, so you need somebody there to, you know, to do that for you. It's fascinating to work into. So just coming back to now and you've talked about the three learnings, you've talked about the quote. What are you doing now and have you learned from that sprinkle, not focus or focus, not sprinkle?

Tracey Harrison: [41:59]

Oh yeah. So what I have learned, though, I would say that when I first came out of corporate life, you know, I deliberately jumped out without a parachute because I want to explore. I had some ideas about obviously what I wanted to do, but I wanted to start with a sort of blank sheet of paper, which was quite scary actually to suddenly do that when you, particularly in the shelter of corporate life and public sector life for so long. So what I'm doing now, I focus on a number of different areas, so I'm on a number of boards to do education. But education and training are two of the ones that I focus on. And then other ones include change or something else. I'm sure it's about the adults because I do believe that they will be a game changer for people, I find them restaurateurs. And those are basically the areas I've been working in and will continue to work, and I find those areas very satisfying. I work with you, your team in Times Square, on your advisory board, and so I work with Blueprint for all their strategic advisor. You know, I'm early in my career and I've got six roles, all of which are absolutely it's funny because when I first started, I thought, Well, I could only do one or two of things could explain how much time that they take and the fact that I do enjoy work and particularly I chosen things that I really enjoy and that I really want to make a difference with. It doesn't feel like I'm working those days now. It feels like I'm doing the things that feed my soul.

Colin Hunter: [43:39]

What a great way to end. I mean, it has been brilliant to talk to Tracey. Feeding the soul is a key thing in my life in terms of making sure that you're doing what you're passionate about. And we are lucky and it's about us trying to find a way of helping other people to do that as well. So, thank you for taking the time. Lovely to talk to you.

Tracey Harrison: [44:00]

thank you. Bye.

Colin Hunter: [44:03]

What a conversation, cloaks analogy and an ending with Joseph and his amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat analogy and there and the cloak and the hanging up at the end of the day for me does it and it's a lot of us are thinking about, so how heavy is our cloak and how light and bright is our cloak? And how well does it fit us? And how well does it serve what drives us in terms of our passions and our values and our purpose? So it's a great to hear that story from Tracey. It's also great to hear that the journey that she went on from the trading floors and working in there, and the long hours the probation officer work and then through to the work in the Philippines, from going from 10,000 to 30,000 people in the scaling in there. And so it is a fascinating conversation and one of the reasons that she is on the board is to provide us with that diversity of thought and also her passion around inclusion and equity, which is one of my passions as well. So delighted to have that conversation today. Hopefully enjoyed it. Love to hear your feedback and loved who I'm hopefully going to welcome to another episode of the Leadership Tales podcast very shortly.