Return to homepage Skip to navigation Skip to site search Skip to main content Skip to footer


Scottish business ‘needs resilience and humanity’ says former Minister Jim Mather

27 March 2013

The future economic success of Scotland as a small nation rests on adopting a new approach to management, according to former Scottish Government Minister Jim Mather.

Mr Mather, now Chairman of Gail Ltd, will make his call to open the Collective Intelligence Conference at the University of Abertay Dundee on Tuesday 14 May.

He believes that Scotland has a unique advantage due to its size – and as a small nation can act as a ‘teaching hospital’ for testing new approaches to business, with that innovation being critical to the country fulfilling its future economic potential.

Jim Mather, Chairman of Gail Consulting and former Scottish Minister for Enterprise and Tourism, said: “Scotland has the opportunity to leverage a proven approach to management that has been successful in manufacturing, amending it with humanity and compassion to work in the Scottish service sector.

“We need to create more resilient public and private services that wholesomely align with the interests of both customers and staff.

“It offers us the chance for Scotland to become a ‘teaching hospital’ – adopting what works, taking advantage of being a small country where we can involve everyone, and then being able to teach the world with the credibility that is deservedly the unique preserve of successful practitioners.

“For our universities, we need to arm future generations of students, of any and all disciplines, with a skill set that will help them be much more operationally effective and much more personally resilient.”

As well as Mr Mather, speakers at the Collective Intelligence Conference include Margaret Williamson, Director of Boardroom Development; knowledge management consultant David Gurteen; and social media expert Euan Semple, who has worked with the BBC, Nokia, the World Bank and NATO.

Dr Allan Taylor, conference organiser from Abertay University’s Dundee Business School, said: “Scotland is experiencing unprecedented changes in economic, social and industrial landscapes.

“Not only is the country facing the global downturn of the economy, the effects of climate change, the reform of public services, but also the possibility that for the first time in 300 years it may become an independent country.

“Never in the history of Scotland has the need for innovation been so sorely needed, and by bringing experts together for the Collective Intelligence Conference we’ll look at what this means for Scotland – and how new approaches to management can fulfil our nation’s potential to grow.”

More information is available on the Collective Intelligence Conference website.

An early bird discount on registrations is available until 7 April.


For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Manager) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E:

Back to News