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 […]

Measurement is a Smorgasbord.

Buffet v Smorgasbord. A ‘buffet’ is a cornerstone of society round these parts. From the most ‘interesting’ of family gatherings through to the most soul draining of organisational morale boosters; there’s always a buffet. Basically a mixture of foodstuffs, something that will more or less please everyone. The range and randomness can vary a lot, […]

Every organisation needs a Historian (Cofiadur)

Why do organisations need historians? In straightforward language, to avoid repeating the very obvious mistakes of the past. In addition, I’d suggest that it’s to help cope with ‘policy boomerangs’ and ‘faddism archaeology’. Organisational memory can be a fragile and ephemeral thing. So, if was in charge… every organisation of up to 150 people you […]

Obsessive Measurement Infinity Loops (OMI Loops)

The Raspberry Jam Test. The recent post about The Duke of Wellington and failure to account for jars of raspberry jam, in a sandstorm (link here), seems to have struck a few chords. That’s given me a bit of confidence to open up about what I think is a terrible modern day curse, Measurement Obsession. […]

The Ministry of the Predictable. Eliminating Uncertainty, Risk, and Resilience.

For every complex human problem, there is an answer that is simple, obvious and WRONG!* But it is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Ministry of the Predictable (MOP). The MOP work by; developing universal policies, providing conditional funding, linking funding to milestones in a project plan/programme and measuring your progress against the targets […]

Far, Far Away Land Syndrome

Life in Far, Far Away Land is so much better than here… I’ve been watching a lot of Shrek recently. I’ve also been attending seminars and learning about good practice through the medium of beautifully presented case studies. For anyone not familiar with Shrek, it’s your classic fairy tale. Everything we need in a good […]

Asshole friends. Why are they necessary?

We need ‘difficult’ friends. I think everyone needs a ‘difficult’ person in their life. That awkward git that won’t shut up and tells you exactly why your brilliant idea is doomed to failure. They aren’t afraid of offending or hurting your feelings, publicly embarrassing you, treading on your toes and causing a ‘stink’. Just what’s […]

Getting Excited About Governance

Governance isn’t one of those words you’d typically associate with ‘enthusiasm’ or dare we say it ‘excitement’. Strange as it may seem, governance is something that we (Kate and Chris) do get excited and enthusiastic about. We probably spend more time talking about it than might be considered reasonable. There are good reasons for this. […]

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 […]