Understanding the problem

A lot of my work involves helping my clients to solve problems. Perhaps funding has been cut, or performance is down or something has happen that has thrown things into turmoil. Either way, there’s a problem. And something needs to be done about it. But there’s a gap in the middle there that often gets missed. You need to know what the problem is that you are trying to solve. Continue reading

From data to action

I’ve been working with one of my clients recently to help them to put together a strategy and action plan for an area in which they’d like to see some improvement. They knew what they wanted to do, but they were struggling to get the necessary senior people on board. Not because they didn’t have great ideas. And not because they didn’t have the data to back up their ideas. But because they weren’t using the data in a convincing way. Continue reading

Evidence, evidence, evidence

I’m a big fan of evidence-based decisions. But the number of people who feel the same way I do appears to be on the wane. Whether it’s fake news, dubious think tank reports or unsubstantiated political claims, the idea of being able to support what we say and do with actual facts seems to have lost its appeal. Well, that’s not how we roll here at Sockmonkey HQ. And here’s what I’m doing about it. Continue reading

On planners and planning

I had the honour last week of being invited to present a workshop at the annual conference of the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. It was a great event. And I met some fantastic people. But it was the amount I learned in two short days that astounded me. Continue reading

The wonderful world of maturity models

A maturity model is an excellent way of measuring and improving your organisation’s performance. It is also, if I’m being honest, my favourite performance management tool. So here’s my quick guide to designing a maturity model and to making it work for your organisation. Continue reading