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

What If We Replaced All Our Managers With Robots? 


Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done Peter Drucker Management is the greatest inefficiency in any organisation. Many of you will be familiar with the work of Gary Hamel , but his explanation of how management ‘spreads’ is always helpful. Typically a small organisation might start off … Continue reading What If We Replaced All Our Managers With Robots? 

Why We Are So Bad At Defining Problems


If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions. – Albert Einstein I don’t know whether Einstein ever used those words. It may be just like the Henry Ford “Faster Horses” quote – something perfectly phrased and also perfectly true that … Continue reading Why We Are So Bad At Defining Problems

The Social Sector Must Rebuild Trust Through Equal Partnerships


This is a edited version of an article originally written for Inside Housing There is a growing realisation that many of our social institutions and public services have run their course. Communities need something different from what’s currently on offer. We could be at the tipping point, the moment when future relationships between citizens and … Continue reading The Social Sector Must Rebuild Trust Through Equal Partnerships

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

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?