Finding your tail in the rural business landscape.
In today’s business world, ideas around successful organisations are often defined through terms such as ‘profit-maximising’ and ‘growth-driven’. While relevant, these terms don’t necessarily support the full picture for ambitious businesses in rural regions. Creative businesses that are closely linked to community and place need more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to business strategy.
Professor Donald MacLean's 'Red Squirrel' research suggests that there are distinct benefits to developing a rural approach to business development and growth. We can play to our strengths and offer a form of organisation and business that not only places sustainability, personality and community values at the forefront, but fosters the agility, innovation and creativity that our international partners – and competitors – increasingly seek.
So, why do we call this research Red Squirrel? Watch our video to find out more!
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Strategy Consultant and Research Professor
Professor Donald MacLean lives in Connel, near Oban. He combines research at the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School with commercial activities throughout the Highlands and Islands.
As a key member of the Institute of Directors’ development team in the Highlands and Islands, he has worked on strategy and development with scores of businesses in the region. In his academic work he has published extensively on strategy and creative action internationally and has been researching Highlands and Islands businesses for more than a decade.
Having spent a decade with blue-chips in the global optoelectronic industry, commercial activities still account for the greater part of his time. He holds a range of consultancy and board roles. He chairs SRSL Ltd, the commercial arm of SAMS the Argyll-based marine laboratory (of which he is a also director).
Having finished his term as chair of the Highland and Islands Music and Dance Festival he continues to play an active role in its development – and is involved in the development of Oban as a university town.
His latest book, "Strategic Management: Strategists at work” is aimed primarily at practitioners and introduces to an international audience some of the distinctive aspects of strategy and leadership in the Highlands and Islands and elsewhere.
About the video
This video was produced by StrategyStory. Donald is a co-founder and co-director of StrategyStory. We are a new business breathing fresh life into strategy and business development by putting creativity and the arts at the heart of business progress. We do this by combining expertise in business development with programme making. strategystory.co.uk
Thank you to Donald's son Duncan MacLean for producing the soundtrack to this video, with vocals by Donald!... and also Tristan Aitchison, award-winning film-maker based in the Highlands and Islands who directed the video.
We hope you enjoy.