The Champagne Strategy Podcast – Episode 14 – Alison Macintyre

15 October 2020

Alison Macintyre has had an interesting career so far. She’s a self-described, “globetrotting multi-passionate pracademic”, but also a genuine, affable person underneath. Such is rare in the cut-throat world of tech. Her approach to staff and team dynamics is unorthodox, yet extremely effective. So we wanted to delve into the secrets behind her craft. Besides, staff is the critical lifeblood of any fledgling company, especially service companies. Labor forms one of the highest operating costs of any business.

Hire slow, fire fast and blitzscale is the mantra in Silicon Valley.  Alison believes in only one part of that statement. So we were intrigued with her contrarian view of successfully managing global, remote teams.

In this episode, she talks about how recognizing the humanity in your human capital is not just an ethical way to manage people, but the benefits to your employment brand can be viewed as a growth lever.

Her background is interesting to say the least. 25 years of extremely varied work experience has seen her work on farms, in ski resorts overseas, state and local government, health care, as a university lecturer, in research, and consulting. Somewhere in between she squeezed in a PHD in behavioral economics and became Chief of Staff for a startup, which just got acquired by Automatic (WordPress’ parent company).

Alison believes that a good thought experiment for your organization is to, “…imagine what your employees say to their friends and family about work on a weekend at a BBQ, or whatever the virtual version of a BBQ is these days”. We talk about all the ways she has found teams can foster a healthy, human workplace in an increasingly online-dominant world.

Make no mistake, this is not a fluffy, idealist discussion about work utopia or how to write a PDs and JDs. This is about high-level strategy and  tactics which you can implement to ensure your team is operating at it’s maximum, regardless of the location or maturity.

Not many marketers talk about the importance of internal branding and it’s relation to the external, customer-facing brand. But, staff exude your brand at many touchpoints. To ignore their influence on commercial outcomes, is to ignore a large source of growth potential.

Find out how it’s done right, in this interview with Alison Macintyre.

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References Made in the Episode

Prospress – Sold to Automatic (WordPress)

Questions at the End

Books Alison is Reading

Clean Money – Joel Solomon

Favourite Website

HBR – Non Linear Thinking article

Emergence Magazine –

Piece of tech they can’t do without

Apollo (electronic crystal) –
Oura Ring –

Shameless Plug


100 Days of Purpose

Best Method of Contact

LinkedIn  – Alison’s profile is here 

Twitter – Alison’s Twitter handle is @alisonmacintyre but she’s not that active

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This episode was edited and produced by:

John James and Tim Beanland

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