Category: Social Innovation

How Much Good Does Your Organisation Really Achieve?

We don’t usually think of achievements in terms of what would have happened otherwise, but we should. What matters is not who does good but whether good is done.” ― William MacAskill, Doing Good Better We all love an uplifting story of a simple innovation that solves a tricky social problem. Anyone who’s been to ...

How Do We Know Our Organisations Are Really Succeeding?

Every day, organisations promise to make the world a better place. How do we know they are really succeeding? The National Health Service we are told is the world’s best healthcare system.  Yet the NHS has a poor record on one fairly important indicator – actually keeping people alive. We often hear that housing associations prevent homelessness , but ...

Is Your Organisation Making The Impossible Possible?

2016 was the year the social media bubble burst. The year we woke up to the fact that – despite what Twitter and Facebook tell us – a lot of people think exactly the opposite to what we do. It was us, not them, who were in a bubble. I spent New Year travelling – ...

Moving Away From The Reactive Organisation

Our job is to the mind the gap between the bureaucracy of our systems and the opportunities in our communities – Cormac Russell The first step is realisation. Accepting that most of us in the social sector are employed because of failure. As Matthew Manos has written – it’s a field of business that profits ...

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How Organisations May Stifle Community Creativity

One of the many challenges for the public sector is that it must start believing in people and communities again. We know that many organisations are out of sync with technology , but there’s an argument that they are increasingly distant from an economy where sharing and collaboration trump paternalism and top down protocols. One of the ...

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How Connected Citizens Are Mobilising Social Movements

This post is long overdue and has been sitting in my “must edit” file for a couple of months. The prompt to finish it has come from events in the past few days where online campaigns and watershed moments in the media (traditional and social) have again found our politicians wanting.  In June I was on ...

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Our Next Innovation Challenge: Stop Talking To Ourselves

“Wicked problems”—ranging from malaria to dwindling water supplies—are being reframed as “wicked opportunities” and tackled by networks of non-governmental organisations, social entrepreneurs, governments, and big businesses. The challenge is connecting the players and closing the gaps. – William Eggars Global Public Sector Research Director at Deloitte, speaking at Lab Works 2015 I had one huge takeaway ...

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It’s Time for Us to Unleash the Hidden Power in Communities

“It’s so tempting for those of us who provide services….support workers, housing providers, social workers, community workers, health visitors, GPs…to see ourselves as the ones with the gifts. The ones with the solutions. The superheroes ready to fly in and save people.  Maybe there is already a superhero living on their street”  – John Wade  ...

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We need more people solving problems – not professionals.

Everyone has a story to tell, everyone has strengths beneath the conceptions that you have of them. But if you’re curious enough, you may just find that the answers you’ve always been looking for are there, often right beside you. – William Lilley Everywhere you look at the beginning of 2015 you will see a crisis. ...

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A Revolution in Care Requires a Revolution in Thinking

It would appear that a revolution is required in our thinking of older people as a ‘demographic time bomb’, ‘burden’, ‘bed blockers’ and an economic liability all of which engender ageist attitudes. We’ need to recognise the contribution of older people in the workplace, supporting families, friends, neighbours and society. We also need to radically ...