Invest in your people – they are your company’s most valuable asset, so take care of them. I cannot stress this strongly enough. A company’s success is a direct reflection of its employees’ passion and dedication. So my advice is to look after their needs, reward their service, give them a platform to share their ideas, and promote a diverse and innovative culture guided by clearly defined values and principles.
Create leaders, not managers. Create them at every level in your organisation. And inspire each and every one of them to inspire leadership in others. If you put your business in the hands of responsible, intelligent leaders and arm them with the right incentives and intentions, your business will have every chance to flourish.
I can tell you what keeps me up at night in 2020, and it isn’t Brexit – but give it a few years! The Isle of Man’s ageing population is a major socioeconomic threat, not just for Microgaming and its ability to attract and retain top talent in the future, but for businesses large and small across the island. I also think about the purpose-driven workforce we are cultivating and how to meet their growing needs – I expect that to become a considerable challenge long before 2030. And then there’s climate change and conservation. I’m deeply passionate about the environment, and it’s an area we are supporting even more through Microgaming PlayItForward, our CSR programme. If there’s a CEO on the planet in 2030 who isn’t up at night thinking of ways to make our world a healthier place to live, then I would regard that as an abuse of power. As leaders, we have a responsibility to help protect and preserve our home for the coming generations.
Is it bold enough to predict that humans will have successfully landed on Mars by then? In truth, I don’t think we’re in a position to be making bold predictions about the next 10 months, let alone 10 years. We’re living in an era of unprecedented change. Looking specifically at the online gaming industry, we operate across ever-shifting sands, in markets that invariably support or stifle growth. As a business and industry, we need to work out how best to respond to that dichotomy between rapid growth and increasing regulation, which naturally we embrace and encourage. It’s not a prediction, but with Microgaming focusing more and more on CSR, which for us includes responsible gambling, I hope to see the industry working together on delivery of a zero-harm gambling product long before 2030.
I think I’m realistic, so my answer would have to be both. I would say that I’m optimistic about Microgaming and the online gaming industry, notwithstanding the pace of change that makes the latter such a challenge. I’m optimistic about the Isle of Man’s future, too. The island has a unique heritage and character, enriched by an increasingly diverse population. It also has a spirit of resilience and facility for reinventing itself that I think will stand it in good stead no matter what happens. On a more negative note, I am deeply pessimistic about the environment. Unless there is radical change on a global scale, I think the legacy of our actions and inactions today will limit life on earth for generations to come, particularly in respect to animals and wildlife in general, with so many species being driven to extinction.