Indifference Towards Truth: Rebuilding Trust In a Post Lockdown World


If ever there was a time for critical thinking to make a comeback it’s right about now. This post was written in week eight of the UK lockdown , 55 days in which we’ve generated more speculation, more opinion and more outright bullshit than at any other time in human history. (That statement , by … Continue reading Indifference Towards Truth: Rebuilding Trust In a Post Lockdown World

Death By Zoom: Have We Failed The Mass Home Working Experiment?


One of the few positives of the pandemic lockdown was the opportunity to reset the way in which we spend our working day. This was the chance to prove that remote work actually works. As someone whose job it is to run workplace experiments I’d say six or seven weeks is a very good point … Continue reading Death By Zoom: Have We Failed The Mass Home Working Experiment?

How Can We Move From Demand Led Service In The ‘New Normal’?


In the early hours of Good Friday I found myself undergoing emergency surgery after a complication during an earlier test. Even in the midst of some pretty intense pain I was unwilling to go to hospital – a mixture of fear of contracting a certain virus and some overly optimistic thinking about my super human … Continue reading How Can We Move From Demand Led Service In The ‘New Normal’?

Did A Virus Just Bring About The End Of The Office?


Remote work has accelerated 10 years in 10 days. The only thing that could pull people back to the office is the ego of the bad middle manager scared of losing control – Chris Herd The revolution in remote working , when it came, was peaceful. Orderly even. There was no fightback from technophobe hold-outs … Continue reading Did A Virus Just Bring About The End Of The Office?

Black Swans Can Inspire A New Era of Innovation


A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight Back in November I was listening to a talk from Melissa Sterry, … Continue reading Black Swans Can Inspire A New Era of Innovation

The Way We Work Isn’t Working


The office, after management, is arguably the biggest inefficiency tax that organisations layer over themselves. They cost huge amounts to procure and maintain, they become an all too convenient base for meetings (another inefficiency tax), and they set a precedent for the expected hours that people are meant to work. Offices promote lengthy commuting which … Continue reading The Way We Work Isn’t Working

What Coronavirus Tells Us About Risk


As I sit down to write this post I’ve just received an email from a weekly design blog I subscribe to. This edition is titled , alarmingly, ‘Pandemic Prep’. It begins “We are interrupting our regularly scheduled newsletter format and rhythm to advise our clients and subscribers to prepare for the possible impacts of the … Continue reading What Coronavirus Tells Us About Risk

The Creative Value Of Open-Mindedness


Innovation is, essentially, about being endlessly curious. Curious, and a little bit paranoid that the way you do things isn’t the best way. Looking outside your organisation means gathering and understanding trends and weak signals that indicate emerging needs or opportunities. These weak signals are often overlooked or ignored by organisations that will only listen … Continue reading The Creative Value Of Open-Mindedness

How To Resist Corporate Hoarding


Many companies are still using software built or purchased from a time when Blockbuster were fining us for late returned videos. Most of the companies we admire for their innovation , your Amazons, your Netflixes or your Apples have no such legacy ways of working holding them back. They either cleared them out years ago … Continue reading How To Resist Corporate Hoarding

The Complex Problem With Big Change Programmes


Change-washing (noun): the process of introducing reforms that purport to bring about change but fail to result in any substantive shifts in systems, services or culture.  — Thea Snow and Abe Greenspoon One of the unfortunate side-effects of writing a post that becomes popular such as  People Aren’t Sick Of Change. They’re Just Sick Of … Continue reading The Complex Problem With Big Change Programmes

People Aren’t Sick Of Change. They’re Just Sick Of Change Programmes


I don’t buy into the idea that humans intrinsically hate change. I just think that by the time we’re in our 30s or 40s, lots of our experience of change – particularly in the workplace – has been more negative than positive. Instinctively rejecting it is a learned response – Tom Cheesewright People , we … Continue reading People Aren’t Sick Of Change. They’re Just Sick Of Change Programmes

Enabling A New World Of Public Service Delivery


The UK now finds itself in its lowest-ever position in the Global Trust Index, just one place off the bottom, with only Russia below it – Ed Williams President and CEO, EMEA The results are in: Nobody trusts anyone anymore. The 2020 update of the Edelman Trust Barometer, which aims to survey trust and credibility … Continue reading Enabling A New World Of Public Service Delivery

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 … Continue reading Putting The Needs Of The User Before The System

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 … Continue reading Moving From The Reactive To The Pre-Emptive

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 … Continue reading Ending Our Obsession With Leadership

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

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 … Continue reading The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable

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% … Continue reading Why You Shouldn’t Ask Customers What They Want

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 … Continue reading Redesigning Organisations For Positive Deviance

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 … Continue reading The Complex Task of Simplicity