Our CEO, Roger Philby, shares his view on why human behaviour is so fascinating.  And why girls are trouble!

So it’s a mild February morning and I have just dropped my youngest daughter at school, my son is sitting in the shotgun seat of the car, traffic is slow…up ahead a young girl, probably 11-12 years old, ignores the little red man and sprints across the road dodging an oncoming car…


“Why do you do your job”?…a random out of the blue question from my son, who is at an age that means he is contemplating what the world of work means to him, his timing was immaculate…


I asked him if he saw the girl sprint across the road. He had.


What he hadn’t observed was the boy, who hesitated just 5 seconds before following her and the other boy, two-strapping his rucksack, who had steadfastly waited until the green man appeared before striding across the road.


There in a nutshell is why I love my job…who cannot be totally fascinated as to why the girl, made the judgement to shoot across the road, and why rucksack boy, despite the girl’s teasing and taunting from the other side, refused to budge.  Why was his judgement so different to hers?  Parenting? Genetics? Experience?  And what about the boy, who clearly didn’t want to “chance it” but was compelled by the act of the fast moving female in front of him. Will the girl grow up to put her life ‘all on black’, will rucksack boy follow the rules and be risk averse all his life?  Will the besotted chasing boy, always be a follower?


20 second episode on a February day, summed up why my job is so fascinating, truly understanding human behaviour and then predicting future behaviour is just about the coolest thing to do…


After what I thought was a truly colourful explanation to my son, (he really didn’t seem as excited as I thought he should be), I dispensed two bits of sage fatherly advice:


  1. The world needs more people like rucksack boy, who refuse to follow, who have principles and don’t change their mind because someone tells them they should
  2. Girls are trouble


Fathering done for the day J

Roger Philby CEO of The Chemistry Group