All posts by Paul Taylor

I’m a problem solver, facilitator, innovator and designer. I work with organisations to identify problems and solve them in ways that combine creativity with practical implementation. I have a track record in project delivery and service change that crosses all disciplines and has resulted in millions of pounds in business benefits. This work has resulted in numerous acknowledgements and awards. In 2013 I established Bromford Lab as a new way for the organisation to embrace challenge and adopt a ‘fast fail’ approach to open innovation. Nearly everything the Lab works on is openly accessible at www.bromfordlab.com. I'm a regular contributor to forums , think-tanks , and research reports and a speaker or advisor at conferences and events.

How Complexity Kills Trust

Customers trust those who give them control — who put them in control — of their lives. They distrust those who try to control them. – Gerry McGovern Why do you trust the companies, organisations, and institutions you deal with? Chances are it isn’t because they have a customer charter, seek to involve you in their decision making,  or ...

Why Do We Have Such A Problem With Poor People?

It’s an uncomfortable truth that many of us working in the social sector share exactly the same prejudices about poor people as everybody else. Recognising this is the first step to tackling any stigma  I was recently asked to write a piece on the stigma of social housing. (TLDR: I maintain that the ‘stigma’ is not ...

Communities Need A Different Model – And That Might Not Include Us

Last week I was in Sulawesi, Indonesia, a place none of my family had ever heard of – until a devastating quake and tsunami hit Palu, at which point my phone sprang to life with loads of messages checking that I was still alive. Actually, we were 300 miles away at that point, and in ...

How To Avoid Innovation Theatre

Consistent investment, dedicated teams, proper evidencing of decisions, alignment with strategy. A simple but critical recipe for innovation in future-ready organisations – Tom Cheesewright One of the questions I get asked most frequently is“How do you define innovation?” This week I’ve been asked it several times so here’s a short post to recap my thoughts. ...

Does Benchmarking Really Save Companies From Failure?

Even in the very best organisations, bad practice is waiting just around the corner. In 2014 General Motors began the recall of the Chevrolet Cobalt which would ultimately affect nearly 30 million cars worldwide. The problem was with the ignition switch which could shut off the car while it was being driven, disabling power steering, power ...

What Digital Transformation Is Not About

#WAODigital18 I’m hearing a lot about testing multiple small things and spreading what works – rather than investing in single Big Bang solutions. The world is moving too fast… — Chris Bolton (@whatsthepont) June 14, 2018 “How ambitious can organisations be in using digital technology?” was the theme of two recent events I contributed to ...

The Rise Of Business Bullshit – And How We Can Fight It

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this, but we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves.” – Harry Frankfurt  On Bullshit Many people in the social sector will have heard about ...

The Danger Of Listening To People Who Talk A Lot

Research indicates that even when everyone within a group recognizes who the subject matter expert is, they defer to that member just 62% of the time; when they don’t, they listen to the most extroverted person – Khalil Smith Innovation must be founded on a deep understanding of the problem we are seeking to solve. It ...

The Problem With Professionals

Social progress is about the expansion of freedom, not the growth of services – Cormac Russell Our digital networks, Twitter, in particular, are unparalleled listening tools. I follow thousands of accounts, many organised into lists so I can get a sense of what’s going on in innovation, technology, health, housing – and the social sector generally. ...

Why Small Teams Win

In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos came up with a rule: every team should be small enough that it could be fed with two pizzas. The ‘Two Pizza Rule’ signalled that Bezos didn’t want more talking, more line reports and more communication. He wanted a decentralised, even disorganised company where creativity and independence prevailed ...