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The Bee Book a story of cultural change that has a sting in its tail


Sep 8, 2016

A north east business culture and change management specialist has launched a book that has drawn on his experience of having worked for a vast range of multi-nationals.

The Bee Book, which Craig, who lives in Newcastle, wrote with Guernsey-based Paul Rigby, is the story of a colony of bees facing catastrophic change when the farmer ploughs up a meadow of blooming flowers and the challenges they need to face if they are to survive.

Craig, who owns Flint Spark Consulting and worked for PepsiCo for six years in global operational development roles and also worked as a manager for Northumbrian Water, said: “It had long been the ambition of Paul and myself to write a book that encompassed all of the issues around cultural change that we are so passionate about. We wanted the book to be an easy read but also one that told a tale because imaginative storytelling is one of the most effective ways of engaging staff and changing culture.”

The main characters in the book – Buzz, Stripes, Hover, Greybee, Queen Luna, Queen Sola, Mr Wingit and Zippy reflect a wide range of characters that could be found in any work place. The complexity of the relationship between the characters is based around those that understand and embrace the need for change and those that prefer the traditional path.

Craig added: “The challenges they face vary from general leadership issues, decision-making, complacency, innovation, change, employee engagement and just making simple common sense decisions that any organisation needs to make on a daily basis. We encounter procrastinators, positive outliers, fence-sitters and a hierarchical decision making process.

“As readers progress through the book they will form their own perspective on how to handle the challenges and identify different solutions. After all, in today’s complex world, there is no one right or wrong way to accomplish the end result and not every challenge is obvious to everyone. We are all individuals striving to do the best we can. It is partly for this reason that we took the unconventional step of leaving the final chapter for the reader to complete.”

To complement the Bee Book there is an interactive workshop for leaders which facilitates discussions about similarities in the book to their own organisational issues.

The Bee Book was officially launched at Northern Stage in Newcastle on Thursday 1 September. The event was attended by guests from many prestigious local organisations and included a talk from local beekeeper Mark Chambers from The Travelling Bee Company. Over £100 was raised to sponsor the setting up of a local beehive.

The following day, Craig and Paul hosted a workshop at Northern Stage for training managers and human resource professionals from local businesses and institutions. The workshop explored ways to use The Bee Book to facilitate change and innovation within their organisations.

Further information on the Bee Book, the workshop and free resources and blog can be found on dedicated website www.thebeebook.com.

By Emily