Jo MacSween’s Top 5 Tips for Success in Business and Beyond

Jo MacSween, former Managing Director of MacSween Haggis and RGU graduate has innovated and inspired throughout her career. Unafraid to be bold and take up space, she led her family’s business to fresh new grounds on numerous occasions.

From branding as “Guardians of Scotland’s National Dish”, to expanding their image beyond burns, including women and young people in ads and launching microwaveable products. Jo also made sure diverse voices were heard and respected through team cook-school evenings and transformed their stories into an Edinburgh fringe show in 2014.

Giving an Innovation Master Class last month at RGU, Jo MacSween imparted knowledge on the unique dynamics of family businesses and accepting change. She also passed on advice for business success and more.

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Jo MacSween’s Tips:

1) “Innovation is a careful blend of novel ideas and practical application. You can’t have one without the other.”

2) “Are you playing enough? People are far more likely to come up with ideas if they’re having fun. So I would ask you, how much fun are you having at work?”

3) “Visualise your future. You will inevitably get into that depressed moment so it’s so important to have visualised where you want to go. That can be literal. I have been known to have a flip chart covered with pictures just to make it really real and make it compelling to the team. Talk about it lots and lots and lots.”

4) “Collaboration and teamwork. The most successful people I know do this. David Bowie didn’t reinvent himself on his own. At almost every key album change he brought in someone who was as good, if not better than him. I brought in a good team. I paid for some of the best consultants I could afford at the time, some of the best market researchers I could afford. Other times I didn’t have any money, I’d run over to the nearest cafe and say ‘I’ve got this sauce, what do you think?’”

5) “Have a good support group. You need an awful lot of resilience to do this. I’m now chair of a private advisory group of leaders. It’s a lonely place sometimes, leading a business. Even mother Teresa says: “You must take care of yourself so you can take care of others.” Take care of yourselves so you can innovate.”

Find out more about Innovation@RGU on our website.

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