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Charlie Taylor

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Part of London's thriving technology scene - and one of the enviable minority able to create commercial sense from data and jargon - Charlie is the Head of Choice and Cash at Octopus, which offers innovative investment and savings propositions to individuals and businesses. His day-to-day entails managing teams that span the breadth of the company's products, customer support, operations and sales & marketing departments.

Why do you do what you do? 

I like to find things out, bring new ways of thinking into new ways of working and design and deliver new customer propositions. Most of all, I'm driven by curiosity to learn and see if there's a better way to understand something and create something new that people will value. I enjoy the process as much as the outcome, to be honest.

And I like to work with people to help them on their own professional journey. It can be just talking, or thinking of new ways they can make progress, or helping to find new opportunities.

What do you think helps make you good at what you do? 

I organise concepts, and that helps me find clear ways to think about things. For example, classifying ideas or relationships between different ideas. I guess it's a scientific (and somewhat reductionist) approach, but it provides a way to clarify and distil in situations that can be murky or overwhelming. I have found it helpful as I've always worked in situations that don't start out with clear, defined structures - like processes or systems or rules. Figuring out "a way to think about X" has always been part of the job, and now it's more or less a habit.

What book or resource do you find most inspiring at the moment?

Recently, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team". I think it will change the way I work - I would have avoided many mistakes if I'd learned its lessons sooner. In particular the lessons on Trust, Conflict and Commitment are things I need to learn and apply consistently.

How could The Hot Breakfast community help or support you or your organisation? 

I'm starting a new role, a big change and step up compared to my experience. I know I'll learn most from the experiences and from sharing and listening to advice, ideas and inspiration from people. That's what I'm looking forward to.

What's your morning routine?
  1. Meditation (the Waking Up app from Sam Harris)
  2. Green smoothie (spinach, broccoli, lime, apple, cucumber, ginger, coconut water)
  3. Turkish coffee (with cardamom seeds)
  4. Cycle to work

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