Talking Business

One of the most important elements of any successful business is that of research and development.

Companies like Mercedes Benz, BMW, GlaxoSmithKline, and the like, have large research & development departments which are staffed by experts in their field. These R&D departments are tasked with developing the next big technological leap which keeps the individual firm ahead of its rivals.

Clearly large multinationals throw vast resources at the function of developing the latest satellite navigation system or headache cure, but what about smaller enterprises, how do they compete?

It is said that 1000 hours of focused reading creates an expert in anything! Whether this is true or not it would undoubtedly improve the knowledge of anyone doing so that’s for sure!

Books were my solution to the knowledge gap I had at the time.

I believed then, as I believe now, that anything you need to know can be found in a book. In my case this meant frequent visits to public libraries to research my latest business idea! There is no substitute for properly understanding your subject.

Of course the internet has interrupted this thinking to some extent as so much information is available online, but printed books still provide a potent source of knowledge.

In my opinion a reader is less likely to put a printed book down and pick up another midway through, in the way that clicking onto yet another website is so easy online.

As will be seen from the photograph above I have developed a learning programme based on discussion about a given subject.

Originally created as a business book review series, whilst I was Entrepreneur in Residence at The British Library in London. The program was initially called Talking Books with Stephen Fear, however from December the 1st 2016 the series will be called…

“Talking Business with Stephen Fear”

Due to be filmed bi-monthly in front of  a studio audience at The famous Arnolfini Theatre in Bristol, which has been the location for BBC TVs Political programme, Question Time, the series of six programmes annually, will cover subjects of interest to entrepreneurs & businesses globally.

The entire show will go out online about ten days after the live event so whether you are based in New York, London, Madrid, Tokyo or Sidney you can still hear what my panel of experts have to say.

All shows will involve a Q&A session with the studio audience, similar to that used in the Question Time format.

If you would like to be part of the studio audience in Bristol please apply by emailing or watching for online announcements including twitter. Follow me @fearstephen or Leon @Leonfear for further information including dates and future subjects.

All shows are recorded at the Arnolfini Theatre in Bristol.

I use a book, relevant to the given subject, as the anchor for a wider discussion of the topic, rather than a conversation about the book itself.

Our inaugural show which took place on September 29th was well attended despite many people being held up in huge traffic jams due to the construction of various road projects in Bristol, including the new metro. Hopefully by December these traffic issues will be less obvious.

Many thanks again to my wonderful panel of experts on September 29th where the subject was China & its ongoing relationship with the United Kingdom. The book we used as the anchor for the discussion was ‘One Billion Customers’ written by James McGregor, who was a previous head of The Wall Street Journal, China, and The Dow Jones,China.

My panel were…

  • Professor Jane Harrington, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Provost, The University of The West of England.
  • Debbie Wilcox,Leader Newport City Council
  • David Parkinson Chairman, DPS Global

All were marvelous panelists who brought great expertise, intelligence, & common sense to the discussion.


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