Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Mike Harris - If I Had to Start Again

Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Mike Harris - If I Had to Start Again

Article excerpt

I would not stay as long as I did with my first big company, and perhaps not as long as an IT specialist. I joined Midland Bank in 1972 when I was only 22 and left 14 years later, by which time I'd become responsible for all systems development at the retail bank. It was much too long!

After that, I had to take a lot of risks to get on a fast-track business career path. The risks came off and were fun, but I wish I'd jumped earlier.

Looking back over your career, there are always things that, in hindsight, you might have done differently. Two stick out for me: driving a reinvention of Mercury Communications a little bit too aggressively in 1993-94, when a bit more patience would have been magical; and underestimating the investment required to deliver a French business of scale with Egg.

I'd also have leapt on some missed career opportunities - for instance, while I was at Mercury in the 1990s, when there was an attempt to put together a formidable competitor to BT. …

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