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Achieve More, Live Better: Expert Advice from Mike Hutcheson – Episode 124





draw, years, business, work, learned, sketching, called, realized, people, love, creativity, headmaster, place, pedia, nelson, intelligence, building, adhd, talking, auckland


Mike Hutcheson  00:00

Yeah, I know people who do it better than me and. And photographs are better than then than sketches by by teenage boys. But but the see that in itself that was interesting that the, when you drill down into what skills you have got that can can make it work, you’ve got to be at your best you got to be top of your game. And as I said before I can write and I can draw. I can’t write like Shakespeare. I can’t draw, like Michelangelo. But I know I’m good enough at it to know that it was a good a good idea and a bad idea, a good drawing a bad drawing.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:41

So hello, and welcome to another edition of better business better life. Today I am joined by a man who needs no introduction. His name is Mike Hutcheson, and he is a company director and business advisor these days but back in the day, he was the managing director of Saatchi and Saatchi, amongst other things, and also an adjunct professor at Auckland University of Technology. Welcome to the show, Mike. Thank you very much. I’m looking for I always love our conversations they they don’t often go where I expect them to quite enjoy them. So Mike, tell us a little about your your story. Tell us about you tell us how you got to where you are today.

Mike Hutcheson  01:16

Mostly by accident, and grew up all over. My father was a schoolteacher. And so we moved from places like Motorwagen to Amaru to to organoids and Nelson and the way he taught at various things ended up actually at one stage, being the headmaster of the private school where I was a boarder at age eight, and you may think that there’s nothing wrong with me. But I on reflection, I wouldn’t have sent my own children to a school where my father was the headmaster to be a boarding school at aged eight, because it’s really a recipe for either a beating a day, or a cozying up son of the headmaster for a day. But at the same time, it was it was like actually growing up at Hogwarts. It was quite a prep school. Although I never quite knew my father. It had actually gone to Wall Street after graduating at university. He had an MA in English and French and was begat I guess because he was reasonably qualified. He was sent straight to Santos for his officer training missed the first part of the war his battalion was serving in Greece and Crete. The mistake was that Sanders but rejoined the battalion in Syria, they went through the whole Egypt, North Africa campaign, to Brock etc, ending up in Italy, and towards the end of the war, in a place called Romani, just south and more recently southern Venice. He’s very badly wounded, and never recovered. And not until the end over my mother who was a nurse addressing his wounds every morning. They were super reading his entire life must have been terrible for him. And he became an alcoholic. He wasn’t. It wasn’t itself, I guess they call it PTSD today, but then, of course, there was Pull yourself together. And he committed suicide when I was 10. So I never really knew him, except as headmaster, or, as he asked me to call him, Peter. But so, but I didn’t learn. I think I did my military service by the time I was 10 years old. And I was never allowed to be late for breakfast, or split my infinitives. And so I learned quite a few things the hard way. But I realized then I was a dreamer. I’m currently actually going through a diagnostic process with ADD, I didn’t know I had it until much later. In fact, my son has Asperger’s. My grandson is ADHD and Tourette’s. And apparently it’s patrilineal. So it possibly has come from me. So it’s urged me to, to go and get the diagnosis. So I know a what to do, and how can I help my son and grandson?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:11

So that’s what prompted you to kind of go and get the diagnosis actually discovered you rd ADHD, right? Yeah, I had no idea before that.

Mike Hutcheson  04:18

No, I just thought I was a little bit different. I see things differently. And I’ve always been a natural, contrarian. But I go on in fits and starts, I have amazing bursts of energy while I write a book, and then I’ll sit around stare into space for a while without quite knowing what I’m supposed to be doing or why I’m doing it. And Michelle, my wife, who’s She’s actually my therapy spouse is very much feet on the ground. Then she came across my school report, I think at age 10 or 11 Recently, and it said, Michael is inclined to daydream it He spent less time looking out the window and more time paying attention. Orders for the whole class would not be have to repeat it for his benefit. Nothing’s changed. And I realized then that the only two things I can do a write and draw. I don’t have any marketable skills apart from that. And I sort of very soon realized I actually got an enrolled item article having done fine arts for a year, and I enrolled at the item, but I decided that I was going to go because in my final year Madea 13 At school, Stevens, I was told I couldn’t have first place in class because I just don’t add, or either not in English, I actually kept top of English, but that didn’t really didn’t count.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  05:48

They didn’t. They didn’t recognize English as being No,

Mike Hutcheson  05:52

it was it was odd. It was Mr. Dinham was for Mazda? And is your macro ridiculous? I just, I mean, this onion oil painting? How do I compare that to a boys don’t want to mathmatics? Sibling frequency? I don’t know. And these are well, it’s ridiculous. And there’s going to be platinum sculpture. Do you make pots? I think those are we actually have to do copies of Michelangelo’s David’s hand and nose and feats. And, and he is, oh, is it? Well, I, this is silly, I’m not going to get, I’m not going to I’m going to leave you off. You’ve done quite a different course I can’t put you on the table and the guy got first place and blasted. Finance when only finance and accounting. So got this deep and abiding mistrust and loathing of people who do accounting and finance.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:39

I’ve heard that from you before. That firsthand.

Mike Hutcheson  06:45

I shouldn’t be most of my friends are accountants, I have to keep apologizing to them. But my point is not that I don’t know. It’s just that we focus on the wrong things. And I think that the World Economic Forum has said that the most important skills in the next decade are going to be complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. But they weren’t even on the list 10 years ago. And it’s we’re not going to buy our way out of a recession by selling overpriced houses to each other and inflationary effects on our economy. Generally, we having to think differently, and do new things.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  07:29

And those traditional subjects don’t teach that kind of thinking, do they know that maths or science?

Mike Hutcheson  07:35

And I think that Well, I actually mathematics, funnily enough, although it’s no good at it. I’ve actually come to be fascinated with it now. Particularly new nuclear physics. Well, and I think that the whole notion of subatomic particles and quantum mechanics, I’ve just got an intense interest in now. Because there’s some kind of language out there that I do understand, I don’t understand. Didn’t understand algebra, but I do understand physics. And I do understand the arithmetic of it all and the multiplication. But I think that to me, it’s figuring out new ways to do things, and how to live better. For example, as I said, the only two skills I’ve got to be able to write and draw. And they’re not really no one ever good enough to find me a job. And I’m pretty much unemployable anyway. I’ve had to start my own company to there in order to have a living and there’s nothing. No one else in their right mind would actually employ me for long. I did work for the University for a while and I felt the most detestable, stultifying and soul destroying thing I’ve ever done in my life. I really lost the world. Although, why do you say that? Because it’s bureaucratic, and it’s hidebound. And it’s there’s a close little coterie of what they call the, the, the academy who basically circle the wagons and keep you out. If you’re not one of them, you’ve got to come up through the ranks in order to do it. If you come in from the outside, like I did, as a business person, and I did my Master’s theory, thesis sorry, on the alchemy of creativity and business, and developed a program which is an online program, the textbook is an app. The whole course is run online. And it really went right against the traditional classroom teaching of our most university lecturers. And I found that it’s mediocrity rather than meritocracy in a university. There are a few brilliant teachers and my supervisor from an MPhil thesis was brilliant. Professor well beings but he was a contrarian too, and be a contrarian. If somebody don’t fit in, and they want to be an intellectual wasn’t the pinnacle of success, right? As far as I was concerned.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:08

So tell us about your you’re starting your own business then. So are you.

Mike Hutcheson  10:14

I think I was kind of entrepreneurial in the art room in my final year at school. We was draw nodes for the borders. And so for I think it was a shilling for someone at the beginning. And as I six months was on beginning shelling, if they’re a node, and as I learned that there were things you could do with that, which didn’t make very much money, but one of my colleagues also managed to pull in some sherry out of his father’s cabinet. So on the day is brilliant. McMaster was doing adult stuff in the city. We would have a little soiree in the art room for people who wanted some news. He said, That was my first episode. And then I enrolled that unit back because I was told I couldn’t have his best in class. And I’d been accepted into item. I got the pet Threema toys, and enrolled at law school, which was the silliest mistake of my life. But a cousin of mine was a lawyer, and he said, Look, you’re in the debating team, and you should actually be a good lawyer. And I thought, oh, and quite fancied probably wearing a red cassock. And then in a week, I shifted straight from law school to to the beach. But I realized that law is very tedious. And learning law is basically by rote. And the analysis of stuff, which now because it’s done by Chet GPT, far better than any brain. I didn’t know that. I’d have to say there was perception on my part that one day I’d be done machine. But in fact, I was just bored was doing law. I discovered advertising by accident. And, hey, there’s a business that people write and draw. And it was kind to me. And so we started Kalonzo in the early days, but I took a break from advertising and one state, my wife’s family had a building company, which wasn’t doing well. They asked me to join the board and see if we could fix it, which we did. And then I said, Look, I’d like to, but isn’t only about building. So I took myself to politic and did a primary construction and real estate. So I knew that it was really the standard rang. And I was able to do things like that. And then because of my sketching hobby, I used to sketch old houses and my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, great, great grandfather, great grandfather was one of the early colonial architects and Nelson, but as all Neo Gothic houses, the churches and so on, because the rollin old provincial chambers he had designed in the 1850s. And whenever we went to Nelson for holidays, my mother lived there, so we’d often take the kids there and I gerunds kitchen, the old houses Well, I said, why can’t we have one of those? I said, well, there are Nelson. So why can’t we build one not that well, the builder company now let’s give it a go. And so we’ve tried that and in fact, I went back to the home family and silica this business is going well now. I’d like to buy it and they said no, it’s going well we’ll keep it and so when unmown said a company called replica homes, I basically took the old designs that my grapes great grandfather had designed in the 1850s turned around to face the sun rather than the street got to the seat 1000s of them now in in greater than one Sabine and all the 20 suburbs in Auckland in particular and all throughout the country. And so that was an unassailable franchise building chain throughout the country. But I didn’t know much about Brent or anything, but I’ve always been a pioneer. And what I have learned being a pioneer is you can there up your ass mostly and I went out and found franchise builders struck up a an arrangement with a very well known and very big timber and timber supply and construction company in Christchurch and as an old gharana sell these building packs if you like the all the components these and the doors, the Agra trailers, all the fiddly bits that go into a colonial house ended up franchise built throughout the country. I thought if I started in Chicago, by the time I got to Auckland, I figured out the right way to do it. And so for about 18 years, I just did that and but it was it was a living rather than a business. I didn’t know what really to charge and those under under charging. undervaluing the idea of a franchise, I think I was doing two and a half 3% I should have been six. So I had a bit of a living but not not a business. And I went back into advertising and we started an agency called HKN which went really really well. Until didn’t we grew so fast. It was unbelievable. We went from blank to never five minutes or almost 58 million it was we got the speed wobbles. And then we were we were doing all the clever things But like all these things, like all these things, but like many times the partners don’t get on the enemy is always the enemy within rather than without and, and that fell apart. But then I joined.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:14

What do you think was the main reason? I mean, you said that yeah that your speed was but what really happened grow too fast or go too

Mike Hutcheson  15:21

fast, too fast he goes and quite violent, not not physically violent, but certainly verbally violent differences of opinion about who was in charge, and who was really responsible for the growth. And it it kind of petered out unless you can work together. It just flies apart. So, and that was really sad. But that’s been the the tune for familiar songs in in advertising. And then I joined comunicado as the director for a couple of years, just after the main ones where I learned how to make television programs as these exec producer for a program called, made New Zealand for a couple of years, which I really enjoyed. And but then, Neil Roberts, who was the CEO, Department of TVNZ, they tried to appoint me as the successor but his original partners believe none of it, so that all fell apart. But fortunately, then I got picked up by Kevin Roberts and Jeff Weiner. And Sachi isn’t, so went to Sanchez for a few years, which was, which was great. But that was the first time I actually worked for somebody else rather than a company outside of myself. And so it was good. But it wasn’t mine. And not that I’m particularly selfish. But there are things you want to do on your own, which are different from what you’re expected to do by someone in New York or London, or whatever. And then we’d also launched a UTS University. And I’ve found that the people will have hired dozens of graduates over the years, dozens and dozens. But we’ve got to know the senior team at UT quite well. And honestly, they’re at McCormick and Tillich, I think we’re teaching kids are wrong. I think that we teach the silos need to be engineers, or designers or accountants or copywriter, whatever it is. But well, it’s too complex that no, you cannot have a career in one in one discipline all your life anymore. You’ve got to be more holistic. And so I realized that my own experience and I’ve been involved on nine startups, I’ve learned lots of things. I don’t see myself as an accountant or a business person, although did do accounting briefly for a couple of years when I get bored me. But well, I’m I can read a balance sheet, I can do that stuff. But in doing while, there’s strange terms that accountants used about deductions and impairments and goodness knows what, in retrospect, was me, I’d say, Well, let’s find out where we’re going rather than where we’re being I know where we’ve been. I don’t need to do to redo that. And I think that now, if I’m, if they’re right, and they recognize I’ve got it, I literally go to sleep at a board meeting when it got to the numbers, because there’s somebody else who does that better than me. And that’s where I think that I’ve learned a lot too about, for example, diversity. And we talked about diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, I think that we should talk about diversity in terms of neuro diversity. I think that there’s no point in replacing a boring account of a male accountant with a boring woman, accountant on a board. You’ve got to have somebody who thinks differently. And one of the things that did lead on and the research I’ve done on intelligence and business guy called Howard Gardner, it has developed this notion of multiple intelligences. It’s not just left brain right brain, he postulates that we have at least eight different intelligences if you like in our in our minds we have, we have verbal intelligence, visual intelligence, musical intelligence, physical intelligence, and so on. There’s eight different bits. If you’re a gym bunny, you’re pretty strong and physical intelligence or an athlete. If you’re not strong verbal intelligence, chances are you’ll be you’ll be a writer, there’s emotional intelligence, which could be acting. Then there’s there’s worldly intelligence, which is either politics or you become a hooker. I don’t know. And we all have all those things, but in different demonstrates, some will be dominant traits we that we have, and I find it fascinating to actually get people to To find out what trait they are, and then play to that, don’t try and be what then don’t try and be what you’re not just be happy what you’re doing. And I think that that’s one of the things that kind of recently and I used to get, I still do, I guess, get really upset and angry at people who are intolerant don’t allow for variations and differences in people. And I just I love, I love the diversity of people. And one of the things I’ve done the last 12 months actually is a concept of doing your own. I caught my marketpedia doing a brain dump a lot of people I advise, I consult now to a lot of different groups and companies. And I get them to think about well, what are you really good at? And what do you really want? And it’s really simple. You could actually complicated with all the scientific or commercial nuances or jargon you like but in the end, for example, what do you like doing when you’re 10? Or 12? I bet it’s not much different than that one guy though. The taking over his father’s business, or was going to did the way they really wanted to do it. I’m not. What do you like doing when you’re 10 or 12 is BMX and skateboard. So what do you like doing that? Motocross, I think what’s changed now it’s got a motor, is it? Well, that’s not this business. Okay, but stop thinking about this business. Think about the business as a means to an end, why don’t we focus on building his business over the next decade. So you can sell up and 20 million, and take some money and buy a whole block of land outside of town and sell motocross training, his eyes lit up, he just knew that that was kind of where he wanted to go. So it’s not necessarily an end in itself. But it’s a means to that end,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  21:49

I think it’s really interesting. A lot of people actually say, you know, follow your passion use make your passion, your your work, but it’s not necessarily true. I mean, it’s sort of a, my husband’s actually a musician, and he really enjoys his music in his spare time, he doesn’t want to make a living out of it, what he needs to do is make a living out of what he does, that enables him to do more of what he loves.

Mike Hutcheson  22:08

That’s, that’s exactly. It can be a hobby, my hobby is sketching. Now I’m not, I’m not good enough to make a living out of out of my

Debra Chantry-Taylor  22:18

I can’t sell news anymore.

Mike Hutcheson  22:22

People who do it better than me, and that’s not a and photographs are better than then than sketches by by teenage boys. But but they see that in itself though, it’s interesting that the, when you drill down into what skills you have got that can can make it work, you’ve got to be at your best you got to be top of your game. And as I said before, I can write and I can draw, I can’t write like Shakespeare, I can’t draw, like Michelangelo. But I know I’m good enough at it to know that it was a good a good idea and a bad idea, a good drawing a bad drawing. And so I’m good at actually helping people manage what their skills might be. And the last year I started thinking about, how do you help people find what they really want to do. And I’ve got I’ve got it on what I call my marketpedia. Basically, the Wikipedia is a brain dump of all the things that are in my head, all the things I’m interested in

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:22

and see that in front of us and those of you who can’t see the actual video because of the video version of it. Yeah.

Mike Hutcheson  23:31

It really is just just about hitting so when everyone will be different, but my headings are signs that literature, geography, history and sport, health, food, wine, music, innovation, exploration, philosophy, religion, politics, business, education, and life, love and leisure. And so, under those headings, I put the things under those. What science Well, to me, it’s quantum mechanics. It’s similar dynamics, its planetary theory, neutrons to as I’m just really fascinated with the cosmos. Were the James Webb Space Telescope is taking up a lot of my time

Debra Chantry-Taylor  24:07

to my husband both I come home and I might find him watching YouTube videos on this stuff. Is that okay?

Mike Hutcheson  24:12

But that’s me too. I mean, you can pick up the Galatians I’m really how many? There’s something like 670 quadrillion stars in the universe. 460 million galaxies that they’ve counted so far. Now, that’s all good. That’s a lot of stuff. And if there’s 670 quadrillion stars, admittedly many planets, you could multiply that by five or six, maybe because of the me planets around those things. It’s a lot of planets. And you think and then you’d start thinking about all the origins of life. And I’m fascinated because I actually grew up in Nelson Nelson the middle of cathedral choirs even thinking about going to the church at one stage until I am as a devout Christian. I wasn’t. When I realized that there’s too big there are no absolutes out there. There’s just things that are happening all the time. I was sitting or standing next to my mother who was very devout, and as a choirboy and I was unable to get $3 and chase three times a week and twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday, and so I was very well steeped in I’ve read the good book from cover to cover. And I realized then, that there are too many gaps. There were too many things I couldn’t explain, already explained properly. And I suddenly realized that there’s, there’s no evidence to me there’s no evidence of the existence of a garden, publicly a Christian God. And if you just think, for example, about that 670 quadrillion stars and the planets around them, that’s an enormous number. And I wonder if God has decided he’s going to actually send one of his kids down to save everybody, all living beings on the planet, so if they’re any like us, or he’s gonna say the amoeba onto the planet, XYZ Zaugg in some far off galaxy. And I suddenly thought this is a silly, silly, silly stuff. And it’s actually putting the world in the wrong way. And we can, we don’t have to have any kind of absolutes. In terms of building our own morality, we should be happy with what we’ve got, I wake up most mornings and look out the window. And we’ll have quite near the domain, and it’s looking across the trees, the different colors, and I just marvel and all of the beauty of the planet this morning. There’s a beautiful little tui, is there a decent blue and was looking at, I was fascinated with it stood there for a minute or two, just watching the TV and how lovely that isn’t just the I’m in awe of the world, I’m in awe of the universe. And that’s kind of enough for me. And we got friends and my lovely therapeutic wife consults me through these strange things. And it doesn’t have to be so silly. But but but that’s it. And I just then keep thinking, Well, I’d like to embark on something else. And now, I’m determined to spend the rest of my life helping people find how creative they can be, and help them do their own Wikipedia. So do your Deborah pedia sit down with you and say, Okay, what is it? In fact, we did months ago, a woman who did a course at IU take the recommendation program or to rank as a Could you do it? And I said, Well, yes, a friend of his adult report. And so she hid some of the materials or little it’s fascinating. Can I do it again. But what’s your idea, and what I mean, that’s what the program is really about teasing out an idea to bring it to market, we can help you find an idea if you want to. But it’s really about seeing whether this idea will work in Kenya to do a business. And so she wanted to do that. And so she I got her to do her Enter, Enter PD, enter was her name. She was lovely. She lives with Monica. And she had been a an event organizer. And what I came up with COVID Nova is that is that not all the big events got canceled, so she’d lost her job, but one of the stay in Monaco. And so let’s just drill down into your enter pedia and find if we can join some dots and link the things that you already know. Because I believe that everyone’s everyone’s creativity is already in the heads. Right? I’ve just got to drill down and find out what those things are enjoying some thoughts.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  28:08

So do you think it’s been stifled by the way that we’re brought up? Because I know that when I was growing up, I will really, really love people. I love languages. I loved helping people. I loved running my businesses. And then my parents all said, Oh, no, no, you’ve got to go and do something more sensible. And so you’re good at science as you go and do biochem not actually going to science, and I ended up doing biochemistry. And their rationale was, you know, well, it will help you find a good husband because you’ll be intelligent, you better articulate conversations. And so I end up being a scientist and I hated science. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. And if you think about it, what I was doing back when I was probably 10 years old, I’m not about digging again. Now I’m working with people, I’m helping people, I’m running businesses, but in the interim, I had this whole this is what you should be doing.


Mike Hutcheson  28:49

Yeah, no, I think you’re absolutely right. I think we get we got diverted away from our natural path. Yeah. Perhaps my father had said, Well, I would never have done done so many different things. But I’m quite glad I’ve taken the scenic route through life now. Because I’ve touched lots of different things. I’ve tried lots of coats must have been married three times, which has been expensive, but you get the run. But now I’m happy. And and I think happy is good. And I don’t mean contented because you’re never too restless to be contented always looking for something else. But I found that if this diagnosis program I’m going through now, it turns out to be accurate. What it does do is tell you yes, you wander off and you have attention deficit disorder. Anything that is interesting, I just switch off right I’m often told I’m not present.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  29:50

So how is that different to add versus ADHD?

Mike Hutcheson  29:53

Well, it’s the same it’s the same thing. But once once a deficiency one’s hyperactivity, right, so that my grandson for Example is ADHD. And he’s, he’s got wheels, you know, he’s and, and my son was the same veteran. But visiting a lawyer when we’re quite young and getting organizing funding finance for a house and have made the mistake of taking young son is probably three or four at the time with us down to the last thing is that kid got wheels. And and I think that that’s part of it. But the flip side of that same is is you lose interest fast and stuff you’re not interested in. And so, but you also the, the upside is that you have a superpower is hyperfocus. Yeah, for example, if I’m running about, I’ll be totally focused for three months, six months, whatever it is, and my thesis took me two years. But I get up in the morning, I was four or five o’clock. And I brought away theories, then I’d give myself a target to do that stuff. But as soon as it’s finished, I was there with my feet up looking out the window again. Because until I found something else that was interesting. So the flip side of the inattention is hyper hyper focus. And I saw it in my grandson last Christmas we gave him we gave him a Lego set, it was the stormtroopers head. And I think it cost us 150 Because it was one of those big ones. And it was for 19 years plus another was for adults. He sat down at Christmas afternoon and did it in two and a half hours. He just ran the couch. And and he does that. So you think okay, well, how do we find? Because there must be lots and lots of people out there who end up being disappointed, like your parents hitting off and then oh, no, you can’t do that. And we get creatively knocked down of us. Yes. And we should actually enhance it. Now it doesn’t need to be your job. But it can be it can be your hobby, like a hobby, you do with like a serious concentration. I I keep my I take my sketchbook every week we travel, and it could be in France could be in Vietnam could be wherever it is. And I’ll sketch things. I hate shopping. But I’ll sit down with sketchbook and I’ll draw something. It’s a record of where we’ve been mostly dry, mostly buildings. I’m not really drawing a dry figures. But that might be a bit more practice. But also, I think it’s something like covenant square sketches in my sketchbook. I’ve got 5000 More than 5000 photographs on my iPhone. But I can’t remember many of them at all. But most of those sketches I could draw from memory, right. In other words, that then there’s some great research that came out at the University of Waterloo in Toronto last year that really prove what I’ve always suspected. Is that drawing doubles your capacity for for recall.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  32:47

Yeah. So I even think that writing things down you see a reason why remarkable, I mean, I’m actually a real big believer that actually writing things down as well make commits it more to your brain than typing on a computer or whatever it might be, I really enjoy having a notepad and pen.

Mike Hutcheson  33:02

Yep, well, in fact that they can pay that. But that drawing again, multiplies that ability to something about the mechanical, let’s see is it in your mind, and talked about sketching and talked about writing notes, but but they said that drawings, the ability to draw something, or even simplify it down as, like a mental image, again, doubles your your recall. And I think that I used to do quite well in exams. See, that’s the other thing too. I didn’t, I didn’t I didn’t know I was right. After my dad died, I was really pretty knocked off my perch and got very, very embarrassed that he had committed suicide, but ashamed of it. So I’d go away and I had more often the not and we shifted around quite a lot. So I never, I never had a group of mates forever. A lot of young guys I know, grew up together by age five, and stick with them all the best men in the wedding. I wasn’t wasn’t like that. I’m reasonably gregarious and have a good range of friends now. But in those days, I, I didn’t. I didn’t really, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as it wasn’t steer Any, any, any particular direction. And in hindsight, I’m glad I wasn’t. Because I don’t Well, I’ve chatted a bit of a course. And I’ll just pursue it and doing the things that I that I like doing and making make a business out of the things that I that I love doing. And I’m not a particularly good businessman. But I’m an I’m an Ideator and so I love working with people to help them to build their ideas. And I think that see now I’m on an off track again because we’re going on a rabbit hole was a really important point I was gonna make the Deborah, I’ve totally forgotten what it was.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:04

So so what I suppose, because I think I’ve hadn’t been actually properly diagnosed, but when I’ve done a couple of self analysis tools, I think I suffer from ADHD. And I didn’t, I was a naughty child at school of superbright. But I was always asked to leave the classroom or go stand in the corner, and I behaved myself. And now I just think it was because I was easily bored. You know, I was just there was this, I call it a superpower. I work with 2030 clients at any one time, I always know exactly where I am with each of them. I know exactly what’s going on. And then I get completely distracted and completely bored and go off on things. So, but why? Why was that seen as a negative because I sort of see it as a superpower. Well,

Mike Hutcheson  35:40

I’m exactly the same. And that was gonna make that I thought I was a bit slower. But none because my Mac’s were all over the place. One time, I’d be top of the class. Next to him, I’ll be bottom,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:54

I failed. Like, I did 10 O levels, I fell three of them. And it wasn’t because I couldn’t do them. So retook them got A’s across the board. But I just got a bit bored by doing that.

Mike Hutcheson  36:06

So I think we need it. We’re teaching kids or wrong. And I think that, again, just go back to my grandson. He was older and took the boys to Europe, these Welsh and they took him back to UK and they went to Paris and office in Paris and saw the modern Hammonds. And a few years earlier, I’d been over there and kitchen, sitting in front of it because everyone’s kitchen, and Saturday rain. So I took a photograph of where I’m sitting. So I remember and if at all, hopefully, one day, never did. And then didn’t think about it again until Saturday now a couple of years ago. So I dragged this sketch out and thought I better finish it. And before it’s all gone forever and ever and ever. And then my daughter and little Ben came over, he thought I was crazy. Oh, that’s not around. I said, Yeah. Why don’t you draw it too? So we’ll just copy mine. He’s like, that’s different. I guess I didn’t know it’s not. How do you think the great masters didn’t do the original copy thing copying things? I’m talking not about re recording exactly what it is. I’m talking about you advancing your own skills. At the end, he sat down and basically copied mine. And it’s it’s not perfect, but it’s brilliant for him. And you’re like, wow, I wish I could draw that well, when I was his age. And I realized that it’s it’s the other thing too, when you put up, be self aware and, and I hate this wokeness of everyone being told they’re okay and everything and they’re not. There, you’ll find out very quickly in life, that there are others who are manifestly better than you. And again, at school. Every year in the South Island, they had what they called the South Island secondary schools art exhibition is run by the crisis, there was a traveling show, as the end of every year, kids from all secondary schools would submit work, and the show would go around from town to town from Chicago to Nelson. Then, when it finally did come to Nelson, we got a day off school to help hang these drawings and paintings in the Cedar art gallery. I remember. And I was in my final year, I had three pieces in the exhibition. So that was pretty cool. And I remember pulling a painting out of a crate and going to the headmaster and say do format and I said look at this, I campaign this well. And it was a hawk flying over Tasik and Intellivue a guy called Graham Sydney. I can’t I can’t pay that well. And then that’s what I realized. Even if I go to art school, I won’t be good enough to be able to paint that when that guy was a genius. And I And after we were shooting a TV commercial have done a middle match. And some years ago for spiked and and I met him he lived further up the road and we actually blocked the road up to his place with the Satan’s on. And but one of the guys in the crew knew him. So we’d seen each other whenever a couple of drinks and coffee was. And so I was talking to him. I said, Look, I want to thank you for making damn sure I never actually became an art teacher because I saw and he said he kind of wanted to do it very badly. And he was dead. Right? He was dead right? Because I had a vision of myself in going to art school being posted to gray mouth High School and some little 15 year old kid with freckles and a mullet trying to teach them how to do wallpaper patterns and things. I think I’ve lost the will to live find a thing to do that with a kid and say you got to do what what what are you gonna be happy doing

Debra Chantry-Taylor  39:51

well and what you’re good at? I think we’re the same thing happens in business as well. I mean, in the beginning, we have to be good at everything as a business owner. But over time, you’ve actually got to just delegate and elevate To let people get on with the stuff that you’re not so great at, and that you don’t even like very much. And let somebody else do it. Because much as you and I don’t enjoy numbers, there are people out there who absolutely love numbers and who get a thrill out of it. So let them do it. free up your time to do the things you’re really good at Absolutely.

Mike Hutcheson  40:19

And the best, the best managers aren’t fake managers are not bosses. The some of the best people allow people freedom, allow them to make mistakes, give them give them some freedom and see how good they are. And give them responsibility before you think they’re ready for it, even give them a chance to see and you’ll find it can be sad and seven, because they might break. But allow them to do that to see how far they can go without breaking.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  40:49

And also, you’ll I think you always learn more from your mistakes needed from your squad personally, I think you learn more from mistakes are different than successes anyway. So in some respects, it’s good to have some failures along the way, because you then learn those lessons, you won’t do them again.

Mike Hutcheson  41:01

If you burn your fingers on the stove, you won’t do it again,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:05

I have to say this, how we’ve got a number of parks and close to where we live, we live over in Freeman’s Bay. And you know all these rubber things underneath the playgrounds. Now that’s my hidden because you kind of get there’s no consequence anymore. If you were stupid on the swings and fell off and hurt yourself. You didn’t do it again, because you hurt yourself. Now if you do it, you bounce. It’s not so much consequences.

Mike Hutcheson  41:27

Exactly It is it’s a tough world. And we could enter this country in particular since the other thing I’m gonna real theory about the people who have come to this country be 800 years ago, Walker, or 100 years ago on a sailing ship or eight months ago alone. 380. You come here because it’s as a challenge. And it’s for hope. And it requires courage. You come here because you think there’s something you can do, or add a little bit better from where than where you were. Now that requires hope and courage. And that’s our DNA, sadly, and that would have happened, early Mario would have happened certainly having an early packet has certainly happened. And people from Asia, Africa, wherever it is the refugees that come here, and we’ve got an interesting mix of people. But the the thing that’s in common of all is a DNA of hope and courage. Sadly, that DNA of having character which is passed on to your children and offspring means that the ones who don’t see enough opportunity go off, and the ones that are left at the terminal once. And I think that we are now over a quarter of our population lives somewhere else. And I see it so often. My thesis on the alchemy of creativity and business was really about what what does it take in this country and there is a there is a DNA strand of being unafraid. And we’re not we’re not intimidated by power or prestige. But we do things for example. Although tiny country, we are six in the world, and authoring reports, per capita report, authoring reports and high tech publications that were 63 in the world, behind Senegal, and Bulgaria, about high tech manufactured output.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  43:19

Why? Because my reports are we can’t do it.

Mike Hutcheson  43:22

There’s no money here. There’s no encouragement for us. We’ve got successive governments that have if you’re poor and needy, you’re pretty much what you want. Not what you want. But there’ll be a focus on you. There’ll be a focus on people not hitting the ground. There’s no focus on people exploring the heights. There’s no, we we under spend on research and technology, only 2% of our GDP goes into that, which is half of what most OECD OECD countries does. And there’s no and there’s a safety net for people who fail, but there’s no encouragement for people to try. And even even our education system it’s now a UT now is basically a Marion Pacifica training tool for people in probably interests that wouldn’t have been with a degree 30 years ago. And it gives them a false expectation of what they can do. Because it was initially that under the Helen Clark government it was all about let’s not let’s not force them to take back jobs. Why not? Why not? And let’s train them to appointment and that gives them false expectations of where they can go. And a lot of them can’t even get to university because they’re still poor out and that’s so poor because our government doesn’t husband its resources very, very well at all. There are too many people in kind of walked jobs and government does the social science one so the traffic one lungs are whatever it is, and there are too many of them are public service both in government and local authority has is doubled in the last two decades. It says great, and it crashes at a crushing weight and bureaucracy. I’m sure both the regulations and the cost of them has increased enormously. And in fact, I wrote a blog about it a few months ago, and it was, I can’t read the exact numbers off the top here, but it’s only 243,000 public servants in 2012. In government, there was an 89,000. So just about 300,000. In public service, in 2012. Now, and so that was that 1012 Is that we’re talking at least doubling and in that time, and what benefit for a benefit? And a lot of policy wants, for example, why are we driving all kinds of rules and regulations around bus lanes and cycle lanes at an enormous cost? For who? About five people now? They say, Oh, it’s it’s a Climate Change Response? Is it really, I would rather have a climate change response that’s focused on clean cars. Now, of course, and I think that we’ve now got people buses spewing out diesel, and they’re driving past a whole list of cars who are also spewing that because they’re packed because the bus line has been taken up the park there and idling, spewing stuff into the atmosphere while the bus goes past with 12 people or five people.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  46:38

They’d argue chicken and egg thing is like, if you don’t provide it, you can’t use it. But I don’t know that we’ll ever get to that here in Auckland anyway. I mean, I’ve lived in Sydney for many years and public transport for there was easy, isn’t easy.

Mike Hutcheson  46:49

Melbourne is to the right. Yeah, yeah, there are lots of cities in the world. London is very brilliant. Because there’s one every five minutes and we didn’t build any subways it and it’s on a cycling city. It’s too hilly. LA is good, Christchurch is good. But this place is just, and there’s no center. You’re not we’re not all going to CBD, London or London, hitting into Piccadilly. We’ve got five different centers. And that’s where we don’t have critical thinking. We have people are trained and they would have researched, but the traffic issues up the wazoo, and I’m sure they gets paid a bonus for putting another set of traffic lights.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  47:26

Sorry, now it’s like I used to work for council. I was actually the marketing manager of transport 10. So some of the frustrations you’re talking about right now were exactly the reason why I could not stay there. Because it was just it was bollocks. Absolute bollocks what we used to talk about and nothing ever got done. That’s like come on, when we’re actually gonna do something. So I’ll stop talking and let’s take some action, but anyway, wasn’t a good fit for government. I decided to be the last person. I think. Yah. Okay so going back to our original thing, so neurodiversity, you know, having different people represented people finding their own passion, what are your tips and tools for people who perhaps are feeling like they’ve been pushed down a particular route or not embracing their true selves? What would you suggest they do? Or what

Mike Hutcheson  48:06

I’m what I do, when there’s people that I talk to them is do their own marketpedia or Deborah pedia or whatever

Debra Chantry-Taylor  48:12

it is, what do you do you just put

Mike Hutcheson  48:16

I put a template and let me

Debra Chantry-Taylor  48:18

Share that template

Mike Hutcheson  48:23

I’ll send it to you. Right Thank you. And I can’t even find it.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  48:31

You got how many boxes there

Mike Hutcheson  48:33

12 boxes. But it could be it could be it could be 10 boxes, I think that enter did here enter pedia in and was couldn’t find it now. But it doesn’t matter how many. It’s what your interests are. If you’re a certain horse racing or flower arranging or whatever it is, and underneath, underneath each of those headings, you put which what literature what literature do you you’re fascinated by. And for me it’d be what I what I’m interested in prehistoric will be the Lascaux caves and France or at least the replica base kokosing Leonardo Titian, Michelangelo Bernal eskie, Caravaggio’s Brenda Berlinski because of perspective how he invented perspective drawing and and a lot of the Renaissance painters or whatever but he is dead the Vermeer I love the chiaroscuro of what the minute that like the Shane, and I’ve been trained well painting crash pencil painting intaglio in New Zealand, from Linda turn to him in Sydney. Hurry, Angus. I mean, I just I study those things. I’ve got a good picture in my mind of what the breadth and depth of that might be. I’m not an expert in it, but I could I could sustain a conversation about it at a dinner party and If there’s something there, someone triggers off, it’s like when you’re sitting at someone next to someone at a dinner party and you say, well, they ask you what you do you tell them and they say, Oh, what do you do? And they’ll say, Well, I’m actually interested in sixth century hand and the C ceramics. And they’re gonna say, Oh, good.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  50:17

That’s great. Yeah.

Mike Hutcheson  50:18

Does he say, Oh, wow, tell me more. Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  50:20

Let’s just say like,

Mike Hutcheson  50:21

I’m an astrophysicist. Terrific. I mean, normally when I’m trying to organize a dinner party with some friends who is his friend, as a brain surgeon, oh, maybe want to talk a bit talk about

Debra Chantry-Taylor  50:35

Dinner party? One involve two.

Mike Hutcheson 50:40

And so where it goes, and then again, I mean, just the talk about wine. When I lived advertising a planet opinion, I thought that’s what you do. I’d read a year once. So I bought some land and planted a bunny I didn’t realize how much I hated horticulture to

Debra Chantry-Taylor  50:53

Drink drinking wine is quite different to actually growing.

Mike Hutcheson  50:59

Pick out what but what bit of wine are you good at? And I was good at the marketing and distribution and so on. Yeah, so I mean, to me advice to anybody is, is do their own Deborah PD or micrometre ptptn Donabedian Marissa P that whatever it is, do a brain dump and I’ll sit with them or I’ll coach them through it or I’ll give them a copy of mine and, and beat and force them because it basically will look at it and so on. I don’t remember anything issue. What did you like doing? What was what what fascinated you about? Some singer, Elvis Presley. It was a sequence, I don’t know. Put it down, not something that you’re an expert in. But something that just triggered your fancy all those years ago so you just Tina Turner and her hair. I don’t care what it is. Or it’s the way the butterfly flies or remember that time you went to Hoka falls that’d be a thought about their, the volume of water they got and and just all that sort of stuff. And it triggers memories. And again, and then and for me, my thing and going out the world is sketching. And because I used to worry that I couldn’t paint feelings like I couldn’t do Edvard Munch’s scream, I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to paint feelings. And probably it was a bit stultified because my emotional leave gene disappeared from the validator. And so I felt I couldn’t tap into some emotions the way that other people could. But then, more recently, when I’ve been sketching, I realized that I don’t, I can’t paint the pain or the joy, but I can paint joyfully and or painfully, being in Cromwell road and London, drawing the the gallery, the Museum of Natural History Museum, which is an angry old Edwardian building, and actually drew in my mind’s eye I saw this angry old Edwardian men in a stiff starched collar in a tall bench, you know, with a quill pen, designing it because it’s a grim it’s a grim. waterhouse’s, the name is brother of the guy had to set a Price Waterhouse. I hadn’t in my mind’s eye what that man look like. They were looking at that drawing I did have him kind of, of the building of what an angry building it is. It wouldn’t have been that way if Walt Disney had designed it, and so on. So, but I realized that I’m I’m drawing angrily or heavily or whatever is, it comes through like a sketch of a temple in Bali, as an urban sketching a temple and there was a gamelan orchestra playing in the background. Blank, blank, blank, blank, blank, blank. And when I was drawing, I did it very carefully with a little tiny pin. So I felt gentle. Yes, when I was drawing it rather than rather than an angry that says, I think you realize about yourself. So what I’m saying just try those things. Really simple things that we can all do. Because our can’t be the issue can put down under your job, all the places you’ve visited. And what do you remember and then sit down and look at it. This like we did with Anna. She did her Anna pedia. And she was interested in outdoors gardening, wildlife of native flora and forum stuff, as well. If you can’t do organize your ski races and triathlons and stuff, why don’t you take people on foraging tourism to the bush and tell them what they can chew and eat and how you plan to plant this and where it came from. So we did a little a little business plan for you called the punch punch. And so that she could get people to eat this do that. She rang back about a month later and I got better idea. I’m gonna provide a little garden with great little organic seeds and stuff. And when local visitors from Christchurch or Auckland come to want to get they can tell me what flight they’re on. And I’ll arrange to have a little product Try with them for herbs and Bazelon few chives waiting for them. And they’ll love me and then go on subscription underway database. And I’ll sell them organic seeds at the appropriate times the end. But our newsletter telling them what to plant this month and so on.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  55:19

So came from what her real questions were. Okay, so in terms of the diagnosis that you’re kind of working through at the moment, what do you recommend to treating it? Because I know that I’ve got a few friends who’ve got ADHD, and then they’ve gone and got treatment. And if it’s the best thing ever, I’m a bit nervous, because I kind of think actually, I quite like the superpower that it gives me and so I’m not sure that I wanted to treat it in any way, shape or form.

Mike Hutcheson  55:41

Well, interesting. When I, the I wrote this book 20 years ago with the start. And as well as the Saudis, I always wondered why it’s so hard for critical to sell ideas to non creative people, right. And I got Rebecca is a psychologist friend to come up and it’s been a week in the agency, or four days actually, watch how we behave and explain why our clients don’t recognize our genius. And while they probably think it for it looks for, yes, but given that you are probably antibodies, or Myers Briggs profiling, done by them anyway, to that all the senior team anxieties, apart from the CFO, or on the intuitive side of the ledger, right, we were all ins. And our biggest biggest clients at the time were telecom. And why made them huge public organized, public companies, big organizations. And so betcha they’re all SS. You are intuitive. They’re pretty non intuitive. You’re outnumbered 41. Only 24% of the population is intuitive, and 76% isn’t, and they’ve got all the money. And they don’t want you to come in waving our arms around these fanciful ideas you’ve got, they want you to prove to them that this will work. Whatever it is. And so we changed the way we pitched. And so I think that there was about talking about the interview sequential, so you need to understand who you are, what your preferences are. And also the way your brain works about the goddess I was talking about the different the different different kinds of intelligences, we have self awareness. And so what did they say in the, the temple of Delphi, Plato, or whoever it was, who’s had it built. The inscription above the doorway said, Know thyself. And so in, its that’s been, it’s as true as the day as long as you’ve got to understand yourself so you can understand where you fit into it. So do that, do that work done, always do those tests. So you don’t tell you don’t go to your grave wondering, you may go to your grave, thinking you failed, or you will do one, but you won’t, you won’t wander, you’ll know yourself, you’ll know, you’ve done the best you can with what you’ve got, and you’re happy. And you’re surrounded by people who make you happy. And you can spread your own little. Just say, when your Sunday School Jesus wanted you for a sunbeam is a, you do those things that spread your little light to the world. So that to me, is is really the case, I know yourself, do those simple tests, if they want to give me a call on my website,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  58:32

So yeah, how do they find you?

Mike Hutcheson  58:34

dub dub dub, Mike Okay, perfect. And I’ll take them on for as on a consulting basis, or give them one of the tests that they might do through or at least some to the marketpedia and happy to do a zoom call with them and walk them through it. And, and so that it’s really just a matter of figuring out, you know, what do you want to know what, how do you think I can help? Like you, I’ve got a number of clients who I talk to, on a casual basis, I’m director of a number of companies on a semi permanent basis, but others, I just, I just love talking to people about helping them overcome their, the obstacles they might have to happiness or the obstacles they might have, to what creativity, in particular creativity is and what that means. And there’s some quite clear definition. So my thesis was about that, well, what is creativity and creativity is not just scribbling on the walls with with the ground, like a two year old. Creativity is working within a framework. And it has to have three things it has to have, it has to be original. And when I say original, it has to be a new way of assembling I mean, like Steve Jobs, didn’t invent the telephone didn’t have been screened and invent the computer, but he put them all together in one place. So that was that was the originality but so it doesn’t have to be because because there was nothing original Yep, Ecclesiastes one nine for those of you know the Bible, there is no new thing under the sun. And so and so all you need to do is just figure out How can you put things together in a different way that makes it unusual? So it has to be original. It has to be useful. So have you totally but the utility could be, it just looks beautiful. Or it can be functional. But it has to be recognized. Just because you’re wandering around with people here and, and you’re fat and public. That doesn’t make it doesn’t. That doesn’t classify as creativity, stupidity. So there’s one line between stupidity and creativity. It’s gonna be useful, original, recognized.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  1:00:36

Like, thank you so much. We could talk for hours probably will do it will open up on one moment. But yeah, thank you for your time. Thank you for sharing. If any of you are kind of feeling like a little bit lost or, you know, worrying about the way that you see the world and maybe the way you’ve been forced into the world, do go to my coaches I know Mike, he will absolutely help you. And it’s certainly a lot of fun on the way to. Thanks, Mike.

Mike Hutcheson  1:00:57

Thank you. It’s been brilliant.





Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Professional  EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

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