Change you can believe in

I’m all for trying out new things. After all, this is how we develop – both as individuals and as organisations. But changing what we do and how we do it takes both time and effort. And, frequently, money. So it’s important that, before embarking on a new initiative, project or programme, we have a clear idea of what we are trying to achieve, how it will work and how we will know whether or not we have actually achieved it. Continue reading

Using prospective hindsight to manage risk

Nobody likes an Eeyore. When we’re planning new projects, it’s tempting for team members to focus on the positives and to gloss over all of the things that could go wrong. So when the inevitable does hit the fan, it can come as somewhat of a surprise. But what if we could think about project risks without looking as if we’re trying to jinx the whole thing? And what if we could benefit from 20:20 hindsight right at the start? Welcome to the world of prospective hindsight and the project pre-mortem. Continue reading

Desirability, feasibility and capability

Like much of the public and not-for-profit sectors, several of my clients are currently faced with the difficult choice of which worthy projects and activities are to benefit from their financial support. And as the amount of money available goes down, the decisions get harder. In such cases, it’s vital to have a robust and defensible way of determining which ideas we support and which we have, regrettably, to let slide. Continue reading

A time to reflect

It has been a busy year. Not just for me, but for us all. Across the public and voluntary sectors, there have been legislative changes to understand, new strategies to develop and implement, stakeholders with whom to engage, staff to manage and funding cuts to cope with. And when things are this busy, it’s all to easy to focus on the here and now. But now, more than ever, it is important to take time to reflect on the past. Continue reading

All change in local government

As the funding cuts start to bite, things are changing rapidly in local government. But this is only the start. My own local authority, for example, managed to find savings of £17.5m in 2011/12 and needs to identify another £30m by 2015. And if the trend continues, they estimate that they will have to cut expenditure by a further £39m by 2018. This will leave the Council with only half of the resources that it had in 2010/11. Continue reading