MY BEST ... The best decision I ever made was not to go to business school. It would have stopped any anarchic or counter-culture thinking, taken all the creative process and shaped it into a business-speak strategy. By not going, nothing suppressed the spirit of adventure of the idea. If I'd presented the notion of the Body Shop to a business school, I would have been laughed at. And people who go to business school are more often than not middle class and have an awful lot of money and I don't think that's the spirit, especially if you're a bootstrapping entrepreneur. It's because of this that I established the New Academy of Business in Bath, to champion values-led management.
MY WORST ... ... was to bring in a management consultant, which nearly killed us. He could have run a great army, but in terms of a creative, idiosyncratic, very feminine-run organisation without much hierarchy it caused more corporate anguish than I'd ever experienced. He was trying to shape a creative and brave organisation that acts more like an NGO than a serious business into a more disciplined, bottom-line focused company. You need a counsellor, not someone hard-arsed and rapacious. It taught us that we shouldn't look for the comfort of strangers - our answers are among ourselves.