How Technology Is Changing Our Conversation

In 2013 a Communications Director named Justine Sacco landed in Cape Town after a flight from New York. As she switched her phone back on she was met with two messages. The first was from someone she hadn’t spoken to for years: “I’m so sorry to see what’s happening.” The second was from her best ...

Putting The Needs Of The User Before The System

Are some countries more innovative than others? Certainly many have tried to measure it, with the UK being outperformed by the likes of South Korea, Israel and Finland. As the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla has said, the role of Government when it comes to encouraging innovation is crucial: “We need to make sure that ...

Moving From The Reactive To The Pre-Emptive

As Matthew Manos has written, many of us in the social sector are employed in the expectation that the things that go wrong will always go wrong.  Indeed, our work often profits from past societal failure rather than the contemplation of the signals of failures that have yet to exist. The entire premise relies on ...

Ending Our Obsession With Leadership

Organisations need to completely rethink what it means to lead. It’s not about one person or even those residing at the top anymore. In today’s world, everyone has to adopt a leadership mindset. We have to think of ourselves as members of a leadership community  — Patty McCord, former chief talent officer, Netflix Leadership worship ...

Collaboration, Creativity and Crap Offices: The Top Five Posts of 2019

The word blog is a conflation of two words: Web and log.  This blog is essentially a diary of what I’m thinking; albeit a diary that is meant to be read by others, and that hopefully inspires some creativity. I started the year with an intention to post each and every Friday – something I ...

The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable

Never mistake your Twitter feed for your country — Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) December 12, 2019 Now, more than ever, it’s easier to exist within a bubble. We spend a lot more time communicating through screens than talking face to face. Our digital social networks are powered by algorithms designed to feed us information confirming what ...

Why You Shouldn’t Ask Customers What They Want

The customer is always right.  If you involve customers –  you’ll make better decisions.  The only problem with statements like these is that they don’t seem to account for all those occasions when the customer wasn’t right. They don’t explain the fact that, despite high degrees of customer involvement and extensive market research, between 70-90% ...

Redesigning Organisations For Positive Deviance

What if the traditional way that we think change happens is all wrong? What if our focus on the spread and scale of innovative business solutions isn’t the answer – but is part of the fundamental problem? In 1990, an American couple named Jerry and Monique Sternin were sent by Save the Children to fight ...

The Complex Task of Simplicity

If you want to make things truly simple to use by your customers, you will nearly always have to make your organization take on more complexity – Gerry McGovern Yesterday, I delivered a talk at a conference that was aimed at getting organisations ‘back to basics’. The problem, I proposed, was that we live in a ...

How To Keep Focussed (And Remain Sane) In A World Of Complex Problems

In our heart, we know the solution does not lie in reforming silo by silo but in organizing our silos the way people organize their lives, so that the neighbourhood becomes our primary unit of analysis and change – Cormac Russell I’ve spent two days this week with both the Connected Places Catapult in London ...

An A-Z of Office Jargon

Apparently – ‘Touch Base” is the most-hated office phrase for a second year in a row. Certainly – it’s a mainstay of contact requests I get from Linkedin. And if I fail to touch base I usually get someone ‘circling back’ to remind me. But surely the most in vogue phrase is ‘we’re on a ...

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