At the unusually early age of eight, Greg Jackson learned the word “alienation”. His single mum was studying sociology at university and writing essays about Marx and Weber. He’s never forgotten it – that vision of work as hell, where you’re going around in ever-diminishing circles, and your soul is being slowly destroyed. “It’s still happening,” he says. “One of the things I’ve learned about most big businesses is that they recruit intelligent, creative human beings – and then knock all the humanity out of them.” As founder and CEO of new-kid-on-the-block Octopus Energy, he’s had a good opportunity to do things differently. “You shouldn’t have to leave your personality at the door,” he argues. I had a good roam around his Soho office, up the road from Piccadilly Circus, and not one of the people I spoke to there seemed the least bit alienated. And they definitely have a lot of energy. Rebecca talked to me about the branding strategy of Roman emperors, Lily was keen on saving the planet, and there was one guy who seemed to be mainly concerned about coming up with playlists. If you phone Octopus, the hold music you hear will be the song that was… Read full this story
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