Jeremy Dale of Likewize: Five Strategies Our Company Is Using To Tackle Climate Change & Become More Sustainable
My personal philosophy is: “Be authentic, care deeply, act justly. Create something amazing, believing everything’s possible, embracing punk-rock attitudes. Make every minute count, surrounded by great people, loving life’s game.”
As part of my series about how companies are becoming more sustainable, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Dale.
Jeremy Dale is CMO of Likewize, a global premium technology protection and support provider whose customers span Amazon, Apple, Telefonica, Samsung and Virgin Mobile. He is also an author, speaker and change agent. His book, The Punk Rock of Business, focuses on the required changes in how we work due to the technological revolution. Prior to Likewize, he was employed by some of the biggest tech brands, including Microsoft and Motorola. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Although I don’t admit to it very often, I trained as an accountant. I did it because I always wanted to run businesses and a key attribute for any successful business leader is to understand “the flow of money” — the way
Although I don’t admit to it very often, I trained as an accountant. I did it because I always wanted to run businesses, and a key attribute for any successful business leader is to understand the “flow of money” — the way in which your company makes money and the ‘levers’ you can pull to grow profitability.
However, I was always an accountant who had a commercial view. So, one day my boss moved me into the commercial team and then into marketing. Through a series of fortunate events, I moved into consumer technology at Nintendo where I launched Pokémon in the UK. From there my career went to ITV, Orange, Motorola and Microsoft. I have been blessed to join some great companies just at the time they were launching amazing products. The rest is history.
What is the mission of your company? What problems are you aiming to solve?
The mission of Likewize is “every tech problem made painless.” Technology has fundamentally changed the way we live, work, and interact with each other. We are now always connected in this ‘mobile first’ world, but this has placed an unprecedented reliance upon our devices, such that we cannot function productively or live happily without them. So, Likewize exists to ensure that when someone’s tech goes wrong, we make it right. We protect people against every possibility. Whether a phone is lost, stolen, damaged, malfunctioning, in need of an upgrade or simply if the user doesn’t know how to do something, Likewize resolves the problem quickly and painlessly.
I said about a decade ago that I would never work for a company that didn’t make the world a better place. I’m proud to be at Likewize as we do indeed that. We keep people connected, we resolve their tech problems — whatever they are — and we are protecting the planet by repairing, recommercing and rehoming tens of millions of devices every year.
Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?
We live in a disposable society where we are all super-reliant on our devices. When they go wrong many of us have been guilty of resorting to buying a new replacement quickly because we cannot function without them. Likewize provides a more environmentally friendly solution with rapid repair services and when it is time to upgrade to a newer model, we operate the trade-in programs for many of the world’s leading phone manufacturers and mobile carriers. We are proud to say that we rehome 95% of the devices we receive, which keeps them out of landfills and in people’s hands.
We also run our operations as sustainably as possible, operating out of green buildings, using a high proportion of clean energy and all the things that good companies should be doing today.
How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?
I am encouraged that consumers these days buy into what brands stand for as much as what products they make. For example, I loved Lacoste’s endangered species shirt campaign. Lacoste wanted to give the endangered animals some extra attention, so they replaced their iconic green crocodile with an animal facing extinction, such as a rhino or sea turtle. The shirts were all limited edition, to emphasize the message that there are not many shirts available, just like there are not many rhinos or sea turtles left either. That message is incredibly powerful and delivered in a very consumer friendly fashion.
I also love Patagonia. They ran an advertisement showcasing one of their jackets with the headline ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket.’ They then go on to talk about how we all need to consume less and ask you to consider if you really need that jacket before you buy it. It may put some people off buying it, but it also stimulates people who really do need a jacket to buy that one. As a society we are becoming more conscious consumers and If I am to buy an outdoors jacket, I want one that has some morals and is principles. And yes, a jacket can have both of those.
So, I believe that in these examples both brands were more profitable as a result of the products they created or the way they marketed them.
In your opinion what are 5 things a parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.
From my own personal experience, today’s teens are more in tune with sustainability than the parents. I have been inspired by my children, their awareness and their decision making. They constantly harangue me if I place one item in the normal garbage which should be in the recycling. During one such telling-off I remember saying to them once “I haven’t committed a crime” to which they replied — deadly serious — “Oh yes you have. A crime against the planet”.
But the five things I think we all need to do are as follows…
Educate people with the facts and confront misinformation.
Help people realize that many small actions can amount to something huge.
Make it tangible. For example, one of my daughters will always say “that’s another polar bear you just killed,” every time I fail to make an environmentally responsible choice.
Make it part of your responsibility to society. Make it anti-social to not recycle.
Inspire people about how the earth can heal itself when we stop to poisoning it. For example, during the first lockdown we saw how dolphins returned to the canals in Venice. I also saw Lake Michigan change to be a far more vibrant blue. If we allow the earth to heal it is amazing how quickly it can restore itself.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
Never allow anyone who regularly brings negative energy to work to remain in the team. No-one should have to put up with people who make their life more miserable.
Dream big and deliver. I believe almost anything is possible for talented, optimistic teams. Too often people define difficult things as impossible and never even try them.
The number one job of any leader is to create a team and inspire them to deliver amazing things.
Never, ever work for a jerk. It makes you miserable and it just isn’t worth the energy.
Talk to everyone and talk to them all in the same way, whether they are the Chairman of the Board of Directors or the most junior employee, they are all valuable team members and deserve the same respect.
Have confidence. Believe in yourself. Say it as it is.
Say exactly what you think. Don’t modify it because you don’t want to offend someone, or you worry people won’t want to hear it. You’re employed for your opinion, so give it and be honest. If you phrase it carefully you can deliver almost any message so that it garners the right reaction.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of people who I have learned from throughout my career. I am an eclectic combination of all of them. It started with my Grandad (Pop) when I was eight years old. He started taking me to work in his shop on a Saturday morning before going to the soccer game together in the afternoon. I learned so much from watching how he treated his staff and customers.
However, the people who have contributed most to my success have been the people who have worked for me. Their hard work, creativity and brilliance is what brought me success and for that I am truly grateful. Every leader’s number 1 job is to build a great team, provide the direction, inspire them and then set them free to deliver something fabulous.
You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
My movement would be to “Be Kind”.
There is so much power in showing kindness to your fellow man. There are so many reasons that it is a great movement but here are just a few:
Anyone can do it
Lots of opportunities every day
Doesn’t take a moment
Kindness benefits the receiver and the giver
Kindness stands out like a beacon in today’s selfish world
Kindness is the right first reaction because we don’t know what battles someone else is going through
Kindness is contagious
Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?
Be true to who you are. This is all about being authentic and seeking to be the best version of yourself daily. For me that is only possible if you really know who you are and what you stand for. A few years ago, I wrote my personal philosophy, which is a statement in 25 words which defines who you are and what you stand for. This helped crystalize who I was. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t done this before I was 50.
My personal philosophy is:
“Be authentic, care deeply, act justly. Create something amazing, believing everything’s possible, embracing punk-rock attitudes. Make every minute count, surrounded by great people, loving life’s game.”
If you want to know where the punk rock phrase fits in, you can find it through reading the first two ten pages of my book “The Punk Rock of Business.”
What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?
Readers can follow Likewize on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/likewizecorp
Personally, I’m not that active on social media these days. I wrestle between the positive and negatives of these platforms. If people want to know more about what I believe in or lessons from my career, I tell 88 stories (all with critical lessons) in my book The Punk Rock of Business.
Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.