‘I’d love it if we could close our business down’: must-see interview with mental wellbeing advocate Richard Glynn

Watch the full interview with Richard Glynn here

Mental health has been firmly thrust into the public discussion due to the pandemic and for good reason. But Richard Glynn isn’t just talking the talk, his company 87% is transforming the way businesses treat mental wellbeing and the changes are improving their balance sheets too. This is our conversation with the inspirational Richard Glynn, brought to you by Knightstone Capital.

Beginning life in the world of corporate law, Richard Glynn has had a fascinating journey rising through the ranks. He was Chief Executive of Sporting Index in the early 2000s, leading a £52.7m management buyout before heading up Ladbrokes between 2010 and 2015. Richard also served as a Special Trustee of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, a role that had a lasting impact on him, an impact that ignited a passion for improving mental wellbeing.

Richard saw the hospital’s consultants invest in the mental wellbeing of the children, their parents, the junior doctors and of the nursing staff. They knew that if the mental wellbeing of the kids was looked after, as well as their physical needs, they got better quicker. That meant more beds available and more kids getting treatment. This realisation sparked Richard’s belief that data insight is fundamental to any effective investment in mental wellbeing in the workplace and led to him creating his latest venture.

87% is an innovative digital platform that empowers businesses and individuals to understand, measure and improve their mental wellbeing. Based on years of scientific research, 87% uses clinically-designed assessments to provide users with personalised guidance to help them build mental fitness and resilience. By aggregating anonymised user data, it also allows businesses to diagnose, monitor and invest in the mental health of their workforce.

Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed in the interview:

• We’ll start right at the beginning. What was life like for you growing up and did you always have a drive to be in business? (1:40)
• What was your first rung on the business ladder and how did you come across that opportunity? (3:09)
• The corporate world is very much seen as a dog-eat-dog world, cut throat, all the clichés you want to use. Did you ever feel like your mantra of giving back were opposed to the nature of the corporate world? (4:15)
• How did you find the jump from the world of corporate law to running your own company? (6:18)
• You held some high-level positions in Sporting Index and Ladbrokes. The gambling industry will always struggle to shake a fairly negative image, despite all of the “gambling responsibly” campaigns. Did you have any difficulty with that when you entered those companies, or did you see it as an opportunity to create positive change? (7:55)
• Failure in business still has a negative connotation with many people but is a common thread with successful people, do you believe it’s important to talk about it more and have you found attitudes have changed towards it over your career? (10:51)
• We now come on to 87%, many say we’re seeing a mental health crisis in the UK due to the lockdowns. Do you think the pandemic has booted business leaders into giving mental health the attention it deserves? (13:36)
• Could you tell us about 87% and led you to create the business? (15:17)
• If you could ask Government for one or two changes that you’d like to see when it comes to mental health, what changes would you like to see? (20:19)
• Do any figures in your business life particularly stand out that you’ve learnt important lessons from? (23:15)
BUSINESS LEADERS ANSWER THE INTERNET’S QUESTIONS – What do CEOs do all day? (24:45)
• How do people find out more about 87%? (25:46)

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