5 Questions with Dugal Bain

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What was the path that led you to Trium?

After six years in investment management in London, my excitement for that work was fading and I wanted to move my career closer to my areas of natural curiosity. I’d also had my fill of slushy streets and stodgy sandwiches. I started searching for a city, a sector and a company that would give me exposure to the critical decision making processes of top companies. Although I’d never visited, friends who were living in San Francisco raved about its unique blend of eclectic culture, spectacular nature, and unorthodox business thinking. Meanwhile, I’d completed a number of freelance strategy consulting projects and found that I loved partnering with senior leaders to unpack complex problems across a diverse range of industries. So the plan came together, and I focused my search on boutique consulting firms within San Francisco. It wasn’t long before Trium was on my radar due to its reputation for deploying a truly unique approach to delivering strategic solutions. Although in hindsight I didn’t fully appreciate what I was getting into, speaking with the partners confirmed that this was a firm that thinks, acts and recruits differently.

What are you most excited about in your work at Trium?

The willingness and skillset to take business leaders outside of their comfort zones and, in doing so, broaden their lens on the opportunities available to themselves, their companies and their teams.

Over the course of your career you have worked across industries, partnered with a number of organizations and seen a lot of what is right and wrong with business. Based on these experiences, is there a problem you see in the business world that you’d like to solve?

I believe that being able to bring your “whole self” to work is fairly fundamental to a content existence. This concept is starting to be discussed more frequently now as employers better understand the negative bottom-line impact of corporate cultures that expect employees to bi-furcate their personalities. I’d love to find a way to reorganize the workforce so that more people work in jobs that allow them that level of expression and leverage their natural interests and talents. While many career decisions are understandably based on money or job security, I believe that someone’s greatest potential is realized when they play at the intersection of passion and profession. I understand the societal pressures that discourage people from making higher risk career moves but I greatly respect those that do make the leap.

What is your proudest achievement to date?

Other than obvious things like building lasting bonds with people close to me and receiving some external recognitions, I am proud that I have been able to continue to evolve. A few years ago I shook off a fairly conservative, low-risk mindset and decided to seek out situations that feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable. That approach has taught me some fantastic lessons that have made me much more effective both personally and professionally.

Finally, what might surprise people about you?

I am an Australian with a Scottish name and Hungarian heritage who has moved from Britain to live in America, and am currently (slowly) learning Korean.

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