On shadow work and bandwidth

The promise of going paperless is one I’ve been chasing one the last three years, digitising much of my world and opting out of being sent bills and correspondence in hard copy for environmental reasons as well as an attempt to simplify my life. I’ve scanned, recycled. Yet paperless is not synonymous with simple, uncluttered […]

On creating new habits

Campaigns to get us more fit and healthy are the norm these days – it can feel like there is barely a month without one. Did you make it to the end of Stoptober without a cigarette? Or manage to Go Sober for October? Time to start with a confession: I often get home tired […]

On designing for ease

Arriving at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof the first thing you realise it that it really is a thing of beauty. Designed and opened in time for the 2006 soccer world cup it is a gleaming multi-layered intersection of shops, escalators, lifts and platforms. Lots of platforms. Some for trains, of course, others for the S-Bahn, still more […]

On knowing if a thing is a thing

When conditions are stable it is easier to spot an irregularity. A regular heartbeat suddenly shows an arrhythmia, a heathy person develops the ‘flu, freely flowing traffic backs up into a jam, someone’s hitherto stable behaviour starts to show peaks of seemingly irrational action.  Is it easy to spot these when you don’t have a […]

On paying attention

Multitasking is a myth – handling interruptions at work actually requires rapid task-switching, which can bear a cost to our health. “Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for […]

On diverse opinions

In 2016 the voice of those feeling socially disenfranchised and economically side-lined was heard. Even if you consider the fact that others might hold a diametrically opposed view to you, it can be difficult to understand why they might do so. Understanding why requires a different perspective, looking at the world through new eyes, imagining […]

On opportunities from a tube strike

Five million people had to find alternative ways of getting around London yesterday. I for one was ill-prepared to cope with my first tube strike. But what if everyone was prepared to see the opportunity in the chaos? How might we collectively take advantage of this moment in time when the patterns of behaviour of […]

On learning from my sabbatical

At the end of 2015 I left work with no clear next step. I knew it was time to take a chance in life and figure out what inspired me to give my best contributions to the world. A year later I’ve enjoyed my sabbatical, finished my Masters degree at LSE, sold my house and […]

On target setting

I have had to do things as part of my roles in Local Government that made absolutely no logical sense to me, yet they still have to be done, especially when they are a legal requirement, and so I did them to the best that I could. The performance regime in local government is one […]

On email, but not as we knew it

How many people have received an email from someone asking if you’ve seen their email? Is there anything crazier? That’s just people making work about the work. Time to back up a it before getting back to email… Office software has traditionally adhered to what I like to refer to as ‘faster horses syndrome’. This […]

On social models of health

We often hear about the strain on the NHS: rising demand with limited finances. The NHS has a five year plan for change, and one of the main changes planned is for greater patient involvement and greater public participation. This is where the RSA’s work, bringing together leaders from across healthcare to realise what a […]