On being a curious generalist

How do we move forward into an uncertain world? A curious generalist recognises that whatever their interests and various areas of expertise, they are moving forward into an unknown world. They develop ways of thinking about and acting in the world to ensure it is fit for future generations that transcend specialisms and single disciplines. […]

On starting points for change

By definition the status quo holds. The way things are settles into patterns of conformity and repetition, defaults and norms. The here-and-now of our lives processes with daily, weekly, monthly rituals and rhythms. It’s an effort to keep challenging and enquiring into the possibilities of different. It takes bandwidth to see the opportunity, effort to […]

On linking pay and performance (part 2)

In part one I explored the views of human nature that often underly moves to link pay and performance, even now. I suggested that individual performance is the product of the system within which people work, and that to hold individuals to account for their performance in these complex systems of work is misguided at […]

On linking pay and performance (part 1)

“If you want people motivated to do a good job, give them a good job to do” F. Herzberg⁠1 In previous articles I have explored approaches to managing performance in complex environments and offered some insights and ways forward*. These are alternatives to the industrial management complex which assumes that all staff are inherently lazy, […]

On levelling up (part 3)

Life’s lottery deems it that none of us have any say over the families and communities into which we are born. Some of us are luckier than others, given the wide inequalities in social and economic outcomes that manifest across the estates, schools, businesses, clubs and high streets that together form the different places we […]

On music as a barometer of social change

The baseline thunders through your body, primeval, uplifting, manifestations of Gaia’s energy of life. You’re dancing around a fire to the rhythm of the pounding drums. The sparks fly upwards into the sky and you’re lost in the meditation of the moment. Ten thousand years later and you’re in a dark club in the early […]

On transformation and change (part 3)

In part one of this article I explored some frustrations with traditional approaches to transformation and change in our organisations and how all too often they are driven by finance, HR and IT. In part two I offered an alternative approach to institutional transformation and change (T/C) management based on Cultural Theory. In this final […]

On transformation and change (part 2)

In part one of this article I explored some frustrations with traditional approaches to transformation and change in our organisations and how all too often they are driven by finance, HR and IT. As Matthew Taylor, my former Chief Exec taught me, artfully describing the problem is not in itself enough. We need to back […]

On transformation and change (part 1)

Scanning job ads is a fascinating insight into the solutions companies think they need for their pressing challenges. Packaged up into a job description the answer comes in the form of a new hire, whose role becomes reactive, to fix, change or improve something, or proactive, to invent, build or take a opportunity for something. […]

On the archer’s connection

I feel the ground under the soles of my feet, solid and – at my scale of time – permanent. I lift my gaze slowly, the crown of my head rising up, imperceptably to others, obviously to me. My spine straightens as the vertibrae align and I stand taller, straighter, stronger. My eyes remain unfocused, […]

On the need for mainstream investment in our communities

Supporting our communities: time to move from false-competition to needs-based investment The winners of the new Community Renewal Fund, the precursor to the post-Brexit Shared Prosperity Fund, were recently announced. What does this tell us about the Government’s approach to investing in our communities and the desire for ‘levelling up’ across the UK, and what […]

On understanding performance

How can the framework that I developed in order to help track and respond to the changes precipitated by crisis offer a new way to think about how we track individual goals and performance? I had practiced my archery as much as I could during the winter months. I was fitter than ever, I had […]

On the wisdom of Mavericks

As we turn our minds to the work that will be needed following the global pandemic of Covid-19, the challenges that confront society remain significant: from preventing the climate crisis to tackling racial justice, improving mental health to ending poverty. We need new ways of thinking and acting in the world. What can we learn […]