Failure: We Need To Move From Slow And Stupid To Fast And Intelligent


In the history of pointless technology, it takes a lot to beat the Twitter Peek. Aimed at those interested in Twitter, but who didn’t own a smartphone,  it asked customers to spend $100 plus a monthly subscription. With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly designed to solve a problem that didn’t really exist.  If you were … Continue reading Failure: We Need To Move From Slow And Stupid To Fast And Intelligent

We Need To Be Boringly Reliable and Radically Disruptive – At The Same Time


Our organisations are generally bad at innovation. That’s because they are designed that way. Just as your body is designed to fight a common cold, most of our cultures protect the organisational DNA from any foreign antibodies. Add something new and it can get rejected. It’s not personal. It’s just an automatic survival mechanism. Purposeful thinking – … Continue reading We Need To Be Boringly Reliable and Radically Disruptive – At The Same Time

5 Reasons You Need To Question What Customers Are Telling You


Despite little evidence of impact, each year millions of pounds are spent on market research, focus groups, and ‘coproduction’. The danger of listening to customers is you end up focusing on wants not needs. Often what a customer wants is diametrically opposed to what they need – and want is often more of a powerful … Continue reading 5 Reasons You Need To Question What Customers Are Telling You

Ending The Myth Of Collaboration


The best organisational cultures are tolerant of the loner, the thinker. – John Wade “If I was you,” said a colleague recently “now would be a very good time to involve customers, to get more people involved”. No, I thought, right now that would be the worst thing we could do. Collaboration can kill creativity. … Continue reading Ending The Myth Of Collaboration

We Need To Promote Outcomes At Work Not Presenteeism


“Presenteeism is the biggest threat to UK workplace productivity. Workers coming in and doing nothing is more dangerous than absenteeism” – Professor Cary Cooper A full car park and people appearing busy at their desks is zero evidence that any meaningful work is taking place. UK productivity, our output divided by the hours spent producing … Continue reading We Need To Promote Outcomes At Work Not Presenteeism

Complex Problems Require Rapid Experiments


“Multiple iterations almost always beat a single-minded commitment to building your first idea” – Peter Skillman Most of you will have taken part in the Marshmallow Challenge or a variant of it. It’s the team exercise where you get a load of spaghetti, some tape, a marshmallow, a piece of string, and 18 minutes to … Continue reading Complex Problems Require Rapid Experiments

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 … Continue reading How Do We Know Our Organisations Are Really Succeeding?

Technology Won’t Kill Meetings – But We Can


Technology failed us. We thought the world of work was to be reimagined. The death of the office. The end of email. A utopia of work/life integration fueled by work-where-you-want technology. It hasn’t happened. Six years ago 2.8 million people made daily commutes of two hours or more. In 2016 that’s risen to 3.7 million. … Continue reading Technology Won’t Kill Meetings – But We Can

Why Change Fails: Four Ways To Hack Your Culture


All over the the world our organisations are experiencing profound change. The most common way to react to that is the corporate change programme. Every year businesses will embark on a series of reports , meetings, visioning sessions , training events and communication strategies. In almost every case the goal will be the same: to … Continue reading Why Change Fails: Four Ways To Hack Your Culture

We need to encourage organisations to seek risk – and forgive failure


“I’ve focused on the idea of failure being the engine for innovation. Not being afraid of failure but seeing it as a learning opportunity, and the value of getting out into the world and testing things earlier rather than later.” – Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, Google X Risk is still a toxic word across much … Continue reading We need to encourage organisations to seek risk – and forgive failure

12 Months of Failure: Lessons Learned in Year One of Bromford Lab


Guest post by Tom Hartland One year ago the Bromford Lab was established as a way of accelerating new ideas, driving innovation in the business and building our external networks. ‘Failing fast’ was a founding principle, any idea was a good idea and our 12 week window to complete work was the target to aim … Continue reading 12 Months of Failure: Lessons Learned in Year One of Bromford Lab

Five Questions for Prospective Digital Leaders


Engaged leadership in the digital era means not chasing the latest apps and gadgets. Being an engaged leader in the digital era means knowing what your goals are and what tools to use to achieve them. It also means being brave and bold enough to step into the fray: listen to followers, share yourself with … Continue reading Five Questions for Prospective Digital Leaders

Lessons From a Year Spent on a Two Pizza Team


Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team – Steve Wozniak In the early years of Amazon , as the company was in transition from fledgling startup to world-eating behemoth , managers held a corporate … Continue reading Lessons From a Year Spent on a Two Pizza Team

How to Make Innovation Part of Everyone’s Job


The average colleague has seven ideas per day about how they could improve where they work.  For our company that’s 9000 ideas per day. Or 3 million every year. But most of those ideas never catch fire. – Bromford Lab Tokyo, Japan 1936 – Kiyoshi Ichimura , the son of a poor farming family , has an … Continue reading How to Make Innovation Part of Everyone’s Job

The End of Trust (and how organisations can rebuild it)


We’ve seen an alarming evaporation of trust across all institutions, reaching the lows of the recession in 2009. Trust in government, business, media and non-profits is below 50% in two-thirds of countries, including the U.S, U.K, Germany and Japan. There has been a startling decrease in trust.  Richard Edelman The annual Edelman Trust Barometer is always fascinating reading … Continue reading The End of Trust (and how organisations can rebuild it)

Six Ways To Kill Email


Every week more and more organisations are waking up to the tyranny of email, and the part it is playing in the impending death of the office. We spend hours each week , up to four years of our lives, shifting low value (or no value) information from one place in our organisation to another. … Continue reading Six Ways To Kill Email

How To Get Better At Failing


“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.” Neil Gaiman Just before Christmas – in my final catch up of the year with my manager  – a pretty significant thing happened. I was told that Bromford Lab seriously needs to up its failure rate in 2015. Welcome to the parallel … Continue reading How To Get Better At Failing

10 things we learned from launching an Innovation Lab


“If you are going to take an innovation job, make sure to buy yourself some time, and then, use that time to make sure you make a difference.”  Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg It’s now over six months since we launched Bromford Lab. I’ve been asked about setting it up more than anything else I’ve done in my career, … Continue reading 10 things we learned from launching an Innovation Lab

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 … Continue reading A Revolution in Care Requires a Revolution in Thinking