Why does everything cost £4,999?

Workarounds, common behaviour? Obviously ‘everything’ doesn’t actually cost £4,999. However, if you work in public services sometimes it feels like a lot of things do. It’s linked to some common behaviour you see around procurement and ‘workarounds’. The magical £4,999 figure might be something you are familiar with if there’s an organisation procurement policy with […]

Rip up your Culture Change Road Map and learn to use a Compass

Road Map Fatigue. One of my (many) failings is getting irritated by the ‘change road maps’ you see on office walls. You know what I mean. I’m particularly triggered by those proclaiming a ‘road to a better culture’. Please can we rip up the road maps and start learning to use a compass – because […]

Homologation Special! Regulation *can* Drive Innovation.

But, it depends… Whether or not a regulation process (including inspection, audit and any other ‘control’ method you can think of) actually ‘drives’ innovation depends on a lot of things. For me, the biggest influence is ‘purpose’. If your main purpose is to ‘enforce’ compliance with clearly defined rules or standards it could be a […]

What does the Military have to do with Net Zero?

Quite a lot as it happens. But first, consider this… Fleet Oaks. Fleet Oaks is the name given to oak trees that are planted with the sole purpose of providing the building material (wood, specifically oak) required for naval ships. Growing oak trees isn’t a quick enterprise. My interest was triggered by a recent Tweet […]

I do not like that person. I must get to know them better.

Hold on to your undergarments. I’m going to explain an Abraham Lincoln quote through the lens of Mean Girls. Yes, you did read that right. Mean Girls, the 2004 American teenage comedy film. At last, I understand Mean Girls. Last night I was watching Mean Girls (with my wife, who provided running commentary) and it […]

Scaffolding: Temporary, Lightweight and a Utilitarian Metaphor.

I’m a bit of a sucker for metaphors. Which one of these descriptions works best for you? Option A. “To make this project something that will be a success for many years we need to put up the right sort of ‘scaffold’ to help it develop…” Option B. “To ensure the successful delivery of the […]

Nemawashi. Digging around the roots for sustainable change.

Digging around the roots. If you’ve ever transplanted a tree, or spent time digging up deeply rooted brambles, you’ll get what I’m talking about here. If you haven’t, I’d recommend it. There’s a lot to be learnt from nature*, and a bit of ’17th century Peasant work’ as my son described it. It does a […]