Working creatively and with purpose

Working creatively and with purpose

We work creatively with people to move organisations and systems from ‘here’ towards ‘there’, deploying in a bespoke manner the appropriate range of skills and tools.

Making things stick

For us, success isn’t never-ending assignments: it’s clients not needing us anymore. We feel that the legacy we leave is the most important thing. We focus our attention on ‘making things stick’ rather than ‘sticking around’.

We are huge enthusiasts for (and of course use) new disciplines in public service transformation (including design thinking, ethnography, co-production). But we are also aware that these things can end up being fads, achieving little sustainable impact. Too often approaches are so removed from the practices and capabilities of those who lead public service systems, that impact falls away when particular personnel move on.

“Designers [and arguably other specialist disciplines] now need to find a humbler tone, to pay more attention to results, to attend to the ‘deep craft’ that’s needed for successful public innovation, and to recognise that they are most likely to achieve their best within teams bringing together complementary skills.”

(Geoff Mulgan, Design in Public and Social Innovation: what works and what could work better, Jan 2014)

Bespoke and pragmatic

We bring together multi-disciplinary teams that are appropriately suited to creating impact for a particular client. We have a range of ‘products’ that we might deploy, but only if they are needed. The types of skills/approaches we assemble may include:

    • strategic thinking: spotting the opportunities
    • systems thinking: spotting the linkages
    • translation & communications: creating products to tell the story of what is happening, to land learning and insights
    • design: at a macro level designing a strategic journey; at a micro level maximising the value & impact of getting people together for a meeting or workshop

Mindsets and culture

What people believe about how the world works has a huge impact on their ability to lead new and better ways of improving outcomes for citizens.  We help clients reflect on and challenge their default modes of thinking, and in particular dig into their own culture and practices, working out what needs to change. Some of the ways we do this include:

    • curating learning: developing learning frameworks to gather insights; making the tacit explicit and harnessing the value
    • coaching: for leadership and culture change; making sure that the learning has impact
    • expert facilitation: creating places of trust, where difficult conversations can happen safely
    • story-telling: creating products (films, presentations) to share the story and grow networks committed to a vision