Being a Force for Good, Force for Growth: Driving Diversity, Constructing Confidence & Learning To Lead | Three Stories With Tom Moody

Being a Force for Good, Force for Growth: Driving Diversity, Constructing Confidence & Learning To Lead | Three Stories With Tom Moody


On the latest episode of the Alan Turing Podcast in partnership with Boss Digital, James met with Tom Moody, Senior Vice President & Managing Director for Procter & Gamble, Northern Europe.

Interview Highlights

“When people think about the charitable world in the UK, they think about big charities who do amazing work, like UNICEF or Marie Curie, but the way I think about that sector is: there are about 6,000 small charities who are often a couple of friends who have got together because something in their life has inspired them to start a charity. They are often tiny, tiny setups. And what In Kind Direct does is tries to distribute products to these charities so they have the lowest possible costs so they can do what they want to do. P&G has been involved with In Kind Direct for the last 20 years, I have for the last 6 years. I sit on their board because I believe in them really strongly.”


“The real complexity isn’t in running the business model well, it’s in looking after your organisation because people are way, way more complex, I think, than businesses. The thing I think I’ve learnt over time is to work out that different people need completely different things from a leader. So when I first started leading organisations, I think I had preconceptions that perhaps what a boss did was direct people and tell them what to do. And in reality, sometimes that is the right thing to do and sometimes it’s the completely wrong thing to do.”

The thing I think I’ve learnt over time is to work out that different people need completely different things from a leader… and in reality, sometimes that is the right thing to do and sometimes it’s the completely wrong thing to do.

“The thing I’ve learnt the most is: when somebody turns up with an 8/10 idea, the thing to say to them is, “That’s fantastic. Is there anything you need from me to make that happen?” Because the risk of trying to turn an 8/10 into a 10/10 is, first of all, it’s not their idea any more and second of all, what you’re really saying to that individual is: “Your idea was awful, so I’ve given you a different one”. And confidence in an organisation is just as important as competence… I’d far rather have an organisation who are making a hundred 8/10 decisions a day versus trying to turn them all into 10/10 and knocking their confidence.”

I think there’s terrific energy behind building more diverse organisations, and diverse on many, many different levels.

“When you think about where the world of work is going at the moment, I think there’s terrific energy behind building more diverse organisations, and diverse on many, many different levels… Whether it’s social background or neurodiversity or sexual orientation, we have to get more and more diverse. I want my board and my organisation to reflect the people that we are trying to sell products to.”


“A couple of years ago, one of my Directors came to me and said: “I want you to come on the Pride march with me in London. And I said: “Okay, cool, but surely no one wants me to come on this, right? They want to go and have fun and if the boss turns up, that’s going to be terrible. Do you want me to just be there for 10 minutes and then disappear so you can have real fun?” And he said: “Listen. You’re completely missing the point because what the gay part of our community wants you to do is to turn up and show that you are specifically pro this community. They want that gesture. And if you give that gesture, it helps everyone to bring their whole selves to work.””

People wanted to know that you were anti-racist and that you were prepared to stand next to them, prepared to talk to them about the microaggressions that were happening in their lives. All these things are facets of inclusion

“We’ve just seen a very similar thing play out with Black Lives Matter after the horrible murder of George Floyd. People wanted to know that you were anti-racist and that you were prepared to stand next to them, prepared to talk to them about the microaggressions that were happening in their lives. All these things are facets of inclusion.”


“A good judge of a company is not just the public statements it makes, but the things that it does that it doesn’t publicise. There are so many things I could tell you about which never make the public domain but we do just because we think it’s the right thing to do for society… My advice would be: I think we should judge companies by whether they can back up the public statements that they make but also by the things that they do that they don’t publicise.”