Angus Jenkinson likes solving complex challenges to get companies into the flow. And he designs methods to help others do the same. As entrepreneur, practical scientist, professor of integrated marketing and business leader, his deep transdisciplinary design skills have made a huge difference to countless companies and people over more than 30 years. He is author or co-author of Valuing Your Customers, From quality information to quality relationships, Liquidity: Flowing Forms in Water and Money, and From Stress to Serenity, Gaining strength in the Trials of Life, as well as many papers, chapters and cases. His next books (2016) are Identity: The life of organisations and Change: Organisational futures, with Philip Pryor.
– 4 free hours anywhere. What would you do?
Head off with my camera into nature or society. Spent hours seeing curious lovely spaces at Sissinghurst in the rain yesterday.
– What is your most important project for the world?
Clarity about organisations and their uniqueness and living identity. This offers a way for organisations to be more alive and more in tune with their people, customers and the planetary ecology.
– Who is your most inspirational human thinker?
Would like Plato and Aristotle but that’s cheating. So Aristotle. It is not (just) that he gripped the European mind for over two millennia across multiple fields: it is that his thinking is alive. He took hold of the universe and tugged. And today, he is if anything becoming more relevant.
– What is your favourite scientific concept?
Metamorphosis. An entelechy flows through its various forms in wholeness, creative life, and coherence. Brilliantly useful. It informs our service approach.
– Which symbol in the world is most significant to you?
I am into symbols. So a tough choice. ⊙ is the symbol for gold, for the sun, for recursion, and for ‘the individual’, who is always situated in the reflection and context of a social circle.
– Who is your favourite artist?
There are so many. Picasso was radically creative. He could sketch brilliantly, turn bicycle parts into a bull, change how we saw, and conveyed beauty and pain intensely.
– What is your most memorable childhood experience?
In Africa, where I grew up, I was explaining camouflage to my little sister and pointed into the bush and said, “There might be a buck there.” And one magically appeared along the line of my pointing finger.
– What is your most treasured possession?
A trillion dollar note from Zimbabwe. Seriously, my pen. I still like writing.
– What single idea could most benefit the world future if taken up?
Love. I don’t mean just sentimentally or ethically, but practically. Maturana is very good on love’s centrality to life, evolutionary biology and intelligence. It is equally true for organisations, brands and the economy.