“Engineers have saved far more lives than all of the doctors in the world” through their inventions. Engineering and science are the “golden thread” that runs throughout nearly all of humanity’s progress, from heath care, economics, defense, to transportation, shelter and more.
That is according to Sir John Browne, executive chairman of L1 Energy former chief executive officer of BP from 1995 to 2007. He is a member of the British House of Lords, chairman of the Francis Crick Institute on genetic research, and chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. Browne is the author of numerous books, most recently, Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation.
In our Masters in Business conversation, Browne explains how many of humanity’s most pressing problems already have engineering solutions; the resolutions is typically a political impasse. This is as true for global warming and energy production as it is for wealth inequality, longevity and health concerns.
Browne discusses why “Coming out of the closet is good business.” He is forthright in describing being inclusive and building teams where people feel wanted and valuable should be every company’s goal. (He notes when people must hide who they truly that is not possible). Brown points out why there are only a handful of “out” CEOs at S&P500 companies, when statistically, there should be 25-50 CEOs. The lack of role models is a detriment to gay employees advancing. After he came out, one of his competitors informed him “John, we all knew you were gay, only none of us were ever brave enough to discuss it with you.”
His favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Bloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Next week, we speak with Sarah Ketterer, Chief executive officer and cofounder at Causeway, an international value manager with $52 billion under management. Ketterer was Morningstar International Manager of the Year in 2017.