Pebbles skimming on water.

The Skim — March 2019’s business inspiration summary

11th March 2019

With spring on the horizon, March’s collection of musings from the best brains in business is more cathartic than a deep clean from Marie Kondo.

It covers innovating through recombining ideas, pro football coaching, digital entrepreneurship and third sector leadership.

Jeff Hoffman

‘Entrepreneurship — the beauty of it is that you can just design the life you want to live by creating the job you wish you had.’

In episode 130 of her 5 Minute Success podcast, presenter Karen Briscoe talks to serial tech entrepreneur and film producer Jeff Hoffman about intolerance of inefficiency being the driving force behind his entrepreneurialism and what keeps him motivated as he moves from one successful startup to another.

One of his key recommendations is ‘info-sponging’ – spending 10 minutes a day learning about a topic outwith his sector, which kickstarts innovation by enabling him to recombine ideas from diverse sources to create novel solutions.

Listen to the rest of Jeff’s interview here

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

‘Of course, for the players who don’t start, you have to come on and make an impact as I’ve learnt quite often as it can change your life.’

In an exclusive interview from the official Manchester United site, interim manager and Red Devils legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talks candidly about how squad rotation has helped him revitalise a flagging team and the leadership lessons from Sir Alex Ferguson which have helped him adapt admirably to one of football’s most demanding jobs.

Crucially, Ole reminds us that being a substitute didn’t prevent him becoming one of the club’s most impactful and influential players.

Read more management tips from Ole here

Melanie Perkins

‘I wanted to build the future of publishing, so it was important to get people to see the same future as I did.’

Australian innovator Melanie Perkins secured a foothold in desktop publishing and graphic design by starting a yearbook design website when she was 19, then upscaled to found Canva — a $1 billion business that’s transformed the industry and challenged giants like Adobe.

In this recent edition of Guy Raz’s How I Built This podcast, she chats about pursuing her mission to democratise design and keeping faith in her business vision in the face of rejection.

Listen to the rest of Melanie’s insightful podcast here

Michelle Mitchell

‘We want to work with all those who share our mission and our values to accelerate our progress against that big social impact goal which is surviving cancer, so we’re very open minded about how we do that.’

With tight margins and increasing competition and demand, third sector leaders face a unique set of challenges.

In this interview from Civil Society, new Cancer Research UK chief Michelle Mitchell talks to Kirsty Weakley about the personal experiences that inspire her to succeed in her role, navigating Brexit uncertainties and embracing collaboration with smaller organisations.

Read more about Michelle’s vision here


The Skim will return in April with business tips to break up your seasonal chocolate binge.

But chew over these satisfying blogs in the meantime: