Last year, the job market was defined by the “Great Resignation,” when more than 4 million people left their jobs each month in the U.S., resulting in a mass exodus from the workforce and a talent shortage across several industries.
The pandemic was, no doubt, the driving force. It forced people to reassess their work and personal lives. But perhaps leadership, or lack thereof, also played a part in its continuation. When larger global forces—be it the job market, civil unrest, or a health crisis—are at play, it’s up to managers to set the tone for company culture and strive for employee retention and loyalty.
But, how exactly do you engage your employees and align everyone across an organization, during turbulent times? And once you establish a solid company mission and culture, how do you keep everyone on the same page and all moving in the same direction?
Paul Rigby specializes in training professionals how to achieve all the above. Instead of traditional coaching, he uses the power of storytelling to convey lasting lessons in leadership. Rigby is the co-author of The Bee BookandThe Bee Book v2.0. In his book, a hive of bees is faced with a catastrophic change in their environment. The bees need to take quick action if they are to survive. But is the hive ready and capable of adapting to the challenges presented or are they stuck in a world of complacency? Through these business parables, Rigby has trained tens of thousands of people to help them better understand change, leadership, engagement, innovation, intrapreneurship, and digital business transformation. The Bee concept helps readers of all levels internalize the lessons.
Rigby has also written a suite of interactive and highly engaging workshops based on these entertaining stories. Bee Ready For Change, Bee Engaged, Bee Ready For Digital Business Transformation are just some of the tutorials that follow the theme of his two main books. Together, the tools help leaders in organizations to motivate and inspire their employees and to communicate their ideas, strategies and objectives.
Here, Rigby shares the creative process behind his Bee books and how he turned his approach to leadership training into a multi-faceted digital company.
What led you to write these unique business books?
Before writing the Bee books, I enjoyed a great career in the corporate world and also managed my own franchise. My proven ability to conduct business on a global stage gave me the experience to assist organizations of any size or scale to successfully reach their business objectives. Today, my easy going demeanor combined with years of practical business experience continues to make me a valued advisor to all of my clients.
What’s so special about your Bee books?
We make a difference in people’s lives through interactive, thought provoking, inspiring workshops based on our books, The Bee Book and The Bee Book v2.0. We are the catalysts for change. We inspire people to be their best.
What motivated you to take the first step in launching your organization?
We wanted to put something back into the business world. We want to help people be more efficient, motivated, happier, and engaged as better leaders.The world is full of talented people–we want to inspire them to go above and beyond their full potential.
What was one of the hardest or most unexpected obstacles you had to overcome to get your idea off the ground?
Selling the idea to potential clients was and is the biggest obstacle. Clients always seem to either want something for free or something totally unrealistically complex and expensive. We focus on the premise: keep it simple–make it crystal clear. When the subject is crystal clear and easy to understand, more people will buy into it, use it, and make it stick. When we present our learning concept to a client for the first time there is sometimes a push back because of the simplicity in the whole concept.
Tell us about a moment you are particularly proud of in your business journey?
Publishing our first book and launching our first workshop. Whilst writing The Bee Book we simultaneously wrote the first workshop “Bee Ready For Change.” We created the concept in two days because we knew what we wanted to achieve.
Receiving the first copy of The Bee Book was a proud moment as was delivering the first workshop. Seeing the learning guides and books on every table was a surreal moment, one I will cherish forever.
Any advice you can share for someone thinking of getting their own idea off the ground?
Act–action changes things. Do not worry about perfection. We all fail at something. Accept failure, but make sure you learn from the failures and do not repeat them. Also do what you are really passionate about. I do not look at what I do as work. I love what I do. I know that if I can make a difference to just one person’s life then that is a good day.
Also, have perseverance and believe in what it is you are doing but be realistic. Sometimes your dream just may not be achievable–look at other options and do not get transfixed on one idea, as another will come.
Why .biz domain?
We wanted something different. We had the bees brand, so “buzz” was a natural extension. .Buzz was not available so we chose “biz”–it is close to buzz and close to our business. We thought people would find it memorable, too.
What’s next for you?
Well, we have written seven workshops and another book, The Bee Book v2.0, so our plan is to get in front of as many people as possible to help them be the best they can be. We have a jam-packed diary for 2023. We have visited over 60 countries since we started with The Bee Books and the bee workshops and delivered to over 36,000 people using the train-the-trainer concept. The Bee Book is translated into 16 languages and The Bee Book v2.0 into English and French at this time. So onward and upward from here, I hope.