On not rushing through transitions (part 1)

There was a moment, sitting nervously high up on the edge of the gantry from which I was to jump, when I realised I couldn’t reach the trapeze. I had to launch myself forwards, focused on the bar, and anticipate catching it, quite literally letting go of the safe and familiar to leap forward, confident(ish) […]

On dreamspace

Some things can’t be rushed. We know this. The maturation of a wine, the build of a three hour NFL game or a five day test match towards its denouement, the germination and development of ideas, the growth of a forest or the development of a child. But today’s world seems to have been gaining speed […]

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 transitions and loss (part 2)

Transitional periods are a mix of both letting go of the old and experimenting with the new. Relationships, habits, patterns, behaviours, identities, ideas… It is not simply the case that a transition is a clean switch between two known states, the before and the after. Usually the after can’t be known. It arrives after a […]

On transitions and loss (part I)

Covid-19 is precipitating change the likes of which we haven’t seen for generations and the extent to which we can only currently guess. Out of necessity, and against the odds, we have seen communities, the wider public sector and civil society step up and work together to respond to local needs, largely in the absence […]

On the tube

It’s so long since I last took the tube. The Thursday before I started working from home in response to Covid-19, so my last tube ride would have been March 12th. Exactly a year ago. I’m realising it’s possible to have a degree of nostalgia even for things that previously felt like a necessary evil. I […]

On developing my change framework

Over the last 12 months I’ve been exploring what we are learning about crises and change as the pandemic continues. Here’s an abbreviated run through. Early in Lockdown 1 I was trying to figure out what would have helped me, back in my local government days, track what was happening in response to Covid. And […]

On building culture

For reasons irrelevant to this post (and despite probably being detrimental to my general wellbeing) I follow the Arizona Cardinals NFL team, a historically bad franchise. Last season was founded on high hopes and a positive start but ultimately dashed by an all-too familiar slide to mediocrity. Pundits and commentators were critical of player leadership […]

On fault-lines and foundations

In the first lockdown the RSA coined the phrase ‘building bridges to the future’ to describe how learning, adaptation and innovation during the crisis might shape and prefigure a better future. Over the last ten months we have tested these ideas with a wide range of partners turning categories and propositions into concrete examples and […]

On the markers of distance travelled

There’s a phenomenon when you take a new journey whereby the journey out seems to take forever compared to the homeward leg. It seems to be true however you’re travelling, so long as the route home is the same as the route out. I remember as a kid being surprised how quickly we seemed to […]