On tracking what’s new

Since my blog on tracking changes during COVID-19 went viral, I’ve run lots of workshops and sessions helping people apply it in their own context, from community businesses and universities to a range of NHS organisations, religious groups, schools and charities. Far more have picked it up and happily run with it. As a diagnostic […]

On framing change

My original COVID-19 change framework was a simple attempt to help track what’s going on in the aftermath of a crisis event and offer some potential routes forward once things start to settle down a bit. I captured this in the idea that it’s not as simple as stopping what you’ve started and starting what […]

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 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 communities after Covid-19

Grafton, a small New England settlement in Vermont state, had long been home to those seeking a quiet, unintruded life characterised by low levels of government regulation and civic participation. It seemed like the perfect place to develop a community based on logic and free market principles, and that is exactly what a group of […]

On riding the corona-coaster

Can you remember when the first lockdown was finally lifted? It’s easy to be so focused on the present and worried about the future that we forget about the times we have passed through, the distance travelled. This is, in part, why I published a framework in the summer to support people to track those […]

On a stitch in time

I co-authored a report into the value of foresight and futures and provide here my introduction to that work. We set out on a research journey to write a provocation around the value, practice and opportunity of foresight and futures methodologies in different contexts, with a focus on their potential for improving public policy and […]

On creating the conditions for innovation

It’s a recurring theme, that of thinking about the journey to radical innovation in the public sector. It’s one thing to say that innovation occurs within your organisation yet the real challenge is in how to shift systems in more effective directions. System-changing innovations provide significant boosts to public value and, as David Albury recognises, […]

On Altering States (Part 5)

Bear witness to social change  Which leads us onto the second imperative, the importance of bearing witness to change. This was brought home to me by two events only a few weeks apart. First I was at a workshop the RSA US hd organised on the art of change. Changemakers from across the DC area […]