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Insight 04 January 2024

Insights Co-Founder receives MBE in New Year Honours

Andi Lothian, the co-founder of global people development company Insights and originator of the term ‘Beatlemania’ has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List 2024. Andi is being recognised for his contribution to personal and professional development as well as for his philanthropic work.

Andi said, “This is very humbling and I’m truly grateful to be honoured in this way. When I left school at 17-years-old, I had no idea of the life I would go on to lead, the people I would be privileged to meet and work with, and the legacy I would create. I share this award with my wife Sheila, and my family. I honour also, my late father Andy Lothian (violinist extraordinaire and bandleader) and mum Frances. And I cannot forget the many people who have invested their time, energy, and commitment to the empowering work we do at Insights.”

A colourful past

After leaving school, Andi formed the East Coast Jazz Band. At just 20-years, playing bass to his father’s arrangement of ‘The Piper O’ Dundee’, Andi’s band won the Scottish Jazz Championship in front of an audience of around 2,500 attendees at the Glasgow City Halls.

During the 1960s, Andi moved into theatrical agency, touring, managing, and promoted some of the 20th Century’s most iconic artists. These included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Who, The Bee Gees, Jimi Hendrix, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cat Stevens, The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Joe Cocker, Freddie and the Dreamers, The Moody Blues, The Ronettes and the Spencer Davis Group.

Andi brought The Beatles to Scotland in 1963 and, during their breakthrough tour, he famously coined the phrase ‘Beatlemania’.

Andi said, “The bouncers were struggling to keep control of excited crowds. The chap next to me said, ‘What’s happening Andi?’ And I said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s only… Beatlemania! The word itself, for me, was entirely unconscious. Only later did I discover that it was indeed an unconscious representation of what is generally called an Archetype; it’s within us awaiting expression.”

Andi closed his theatrical business in the late 1960 and, with wife Sheila, established Lothian Insurance Brokers. During a 20-year career, Andi qualified as a Chartered Insurer (FCII); a Fellow of the Life Insurance Association and chairman of the Examination and Education Board (FLIA dip). He was a Founding Member of the Society of Financial Advisors (Dip PFS).

A life-changing Discovery

In the late 1980s, Andi discovered the work of Swiss psychologist Dr Carl Gustav Jung and analyst Dr Jolande Jacobi. Andi’s discovery sparked a desire to help people become more self-aware, using the power of increased awareness to support themselves and their relationships. This began as a small business in 1988 and, after inviting son Andy Jnr to join him, Insights Learning and Development Limited was established in 1993.

Insights flagship solution, Discovery, uses colour to represent Jung’s attitudinal functions, giving people a simple way to understand themselves and others, and improve business performance. Andi further developed Discovery after his experience being in Washington DC on September 11, 2001, when terrorists carried out coordinated attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. A fourth plane went down in rural Pennsylvania.

Insights currently employs around 700 people in 19 countries, with its global headquarters located in Dundee. More than 9-million Discovery profiles have been produced and it is used by some of the biggest names in the world of sport, pharmaceuticals and technology including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn and the NHS. Insights reported sales of £94.6 million for the year ending March 31, 2023, an increase of 42% on the £66.5m achieved in 2022.

Andi said, “Discovery’s depth, simplicity and accuracy is cited as having a significant and sustained impact on staff engagement and retention as well as measurable reductions in stress levels and staff absences.”

At 83-years-old, Andi continues to work full-time in the business, researching the next generation of Discovery, which includes a newly developed questionnaire and a more in-depth personal profile.

Paying it forward

Although born in Aberdeen, Andi is a life-long champion of Dundee. Andi and his wife Sheila have six adult children, 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. After 60-years of playing double bass professionally, Andi can still be found playing in the folk group of his local church at the weekends.

In 2017, in memory of his celebrated Dundee musician father, Andy Lothian, Andi created the annual Lothian Family scholarship to support four University of Abertay students each year who face significant financial challenges. Along with other charitable interests, Andi sponsors several thousand children in five schools in Malawi, who receive a free daily meal and access to education by sponsorship through the international children’s charity Mary’s Meals.

The Insights Foundation, the charitable arm of Insights, recently donated £100,000 to Mary’s Meals and £100,000 to homeless charity Social Bite, which will go towards a £1.9m recovery village in Dundee to help vulnerable people struggling with addiction.

Previous recognition

Andi’s personal contribution to learning and development was recently recognised with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Abertay. Previously, in 2008, the University awarded Andi an Honorary Fellowship.

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