Ross Duncan Interviews Ben Thomson

Many would not have heard of Pete Conrad, but Conrad was the third man on the moon, but what was more remarkable was that he was dyslexic.

Following behind is Ben Thomson who is also dyslexic and who “has always wanted to go into space”.  For Ben Thomson the desire to go into space is because he thinks outside the box and sees the wood from the trees.  It is something that he would definitely be interested in but the price would have to come down!  Back down on each Ben Thomson is an Ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.

But for Ben Thomson he is used to keeping a healthy distance and space from his competitors.  He is currently a partner in a private equity company specialising in investments in consumer brands, keeping a keen eye on consumer trends and consumer buying power. He agrees that people with dyslexia can identify themselves as viewing things differently compared to non-dyslexic person.  Maybe this is why it had been reported in the Guardian that people who are in business that are dyslexic have the advantage in having the edge compared too non-dyslexics.  Being dyslexic, and being in business for himself has three distinct advantages for Ben; being a strategist, global thinker and being able to overcoming difficulties.

Being effective in business sometimes means that you have to take risks to succeed and because of this it’s not always appropriate to have all your eggs in one basket.  This also applies for Ben outside of the financial world.  Ben has held a number of positions including a prominent position for 8 years as the Chair of the National Galleries of Scotland.  In this role he was able to implement change by approving digitising of 150,000 artworks which are due to be available online next year and making signs bigger and in plain English.  For Ben this was a sense of achievement.

Currently a number of successful US companies embrace and encourage neurodiversity as a positive thing, but for some business leaders like Mark Evans, the marketing manager of Directline, neurodiversity is the conversation that hasn’t happened yet.  For Ben he agrees with this, believing that neurodiversity is very important and certainly, in constructing groups of people, it is one of the key things he looks at.

Ross Duncan

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