Company Town?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MqLAxlYGn0 … [Read more...]

Enterprise, community and complexity….

Enterprise, community and complexity.  Slippery words.  But behind the slippery words are concepts that offer the possibility of progress. Lets start with 'enterprise'.  First, empty your mind of all those misconceptions that I must be talking about 'business starts', 'cash flow forecasts', 'profits' and 'Dragons'. I am not. I am talking about enterprise as a measure of 'agency' in one's own life.  The extent to which an individual is able to recognise what 'progress' (another slippery word) means for them and to take action in its pursuit.  This is what I mean by enterprise.  It is the product of clear self-interest (I know what I want) and power (I have the confidence, skills and knowledge to take organised action in its pursuit).  An enterprising person is one who is clear on what they want from their life and actively pursues it.  An enterprising community is one which has many such people - because they are valued and supported. Being enterprising does not make you a good person.  It just makes you someone who is acting in, what you believe to be, your own self-interest.  If self-interest is 'enlightened' then it is likely that the resulting 'enterprise' will make a positive contribution to … [Read more...]

Some thoughts on Collaboration and Innovation

Don't do it unless you have to! If you know what it is that you want to achieve, and you have the power to do it without collaborating then JFDI.  Collaboration is a tool best left in toolbox. unless you have the right job for it. What are you collaborating for? Be really clear on what you want the collaboration to achieve, both for you, your preferred, chosen collaborator (more on this later) and your service users or customers.  What impact do you want the collaboration to make? Develop the vision and rationale for the collaboration - but leave the detailed planning till later Finding the right collaborators depends on having a vision that is credible, compelling and achievable.  But leave plenty of room for your collaborators to get on board with you in refining the vision and getting down and dirty with shaping goals, projects and plans.  You want them to be collaborators remember - not just hired hands... Choose your collaborators with care Make sure that your collaborators being resources, abilities, skills, something to the party that you don't have but that you need to achieve what it is that matters most to you.  Collaborations that bring to the game more of what you already have tend not to … [Read more...]

Visions of the Anointed or Civic Enterprise?

Vision of the Anointed is the title of a book by Thomas Sowell, an American historian, economist and social commentator.   The anointed are usually a small group of 'professionals' and 'political leaders', or 'campaigners' and their work frequently follows a well trodden path: They identify a crisis - a situation that, if not addressed, will lead to disaster They propose policies and interventions to 'solve' the crisis that they believe will lead to a positive set of results The policies are implemented and the results are usually (always) mixed.  There will be both benefits and detriments associated with the implementation of policy The anointed defend the success of their vision and the policies and impacts that sprung from it. We can see this dynamic playing out now with climate change, peak oil, low carbon economics, the benefits culture, anti social behaviour, drug misuse and so on. This archetype for social change is based on an assumption that the problems of society can be identified by the anointed and can be resolved by their vision.  Where does this leave the 'unanointed'.  Those of us who aren't involved in the process of identification of problems and development of vision?  Well we can adopt … [Read more...]

The Specious Notion That Everybody Has to Earn a Living…

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.” Buckminster Fuller … [Read more...]

Olympic Gold – It all starts with a dream….

Shaa Wasmund is a renowned enteprise guru whose own achievements both as an entrepreneur and as a provider of enterprise support have massively outweighed my own.   Shaa asserts that... Every athlete once had a dream to stand on an Olympic stage. But, they didn’t just talk about their dreams, they put in the hours, hard work and dedication to make them a reality. They gave all they had for one moment in time. In my experience many who achieve excellence entered their field because they loved it rather than because they wanted to stand on an Olympic podium or to be a millionaire before they reach 30.  Sometimes it IS the big dream that allows you to put in the hours of dedicated effort.  But much more frequently it is the hours of dedicated effort that eventually allow you to dare to believe in the big dream.  Most of us, to begin with at least, were not motivated by thoughts of winning on the big stage, but by pursuing our interests and exploring possibilities.... Our progress is driven by the dedicated development and exploration of passion and identity.  A journey that often begins with no real clarity over where it might lead, or how far it might go. I think this openness to journeys that start in different … [Read more...]

An imaginary open letter: To those who would ‘engage’ us…

To those who would 'engage' us... We are already engaged. We may not be engaged with you, or in what you think we should be engaged with, but none the less we ARE engaged. The things that we are engaged with offer us what we are looking for, perhaps consciously, perhaps not. Our chosen 'engagements' give us some combination of love, power and money. There is a fourth thing that some of us get from our preferred engagement, and that is freedom from pain. Freedom from the pain of hope denied. Freedom from the pain of optimism dashed. Freedom from the humiliation of yet another 'failure'. This pursuit of freedom from pain is what you label 'apathy'. We may choose to engage with you, and your agendas, if you offer us what we want. Unless we see possibilities for this our engagement with you is likely to be short lived and will change nothing. It might be enough for you to tick the box called 'community engagement', but little more.  Love and fun might attract us for a while, but it is making us powerful that keeps us engaged. Many of us who you find 'hard to reach' or 'difficult to engage' have 'been engaged' with people like you before. We have been sold false hope and have suffered the pain of having that … [Read more...]

Patient Opinions on NHS Services in Leeds

Patient Opinion is an excellent resource that is used to share feedback and experiences of NHS services in Leeds. Perhaps if more of us used it then NHS managers might have to take a little more notice. How about a campaign to encourage the use of Patient Opinion in Leeds? … [Read more...]

Some thoughts on Best City outcomes

The only test of 'best city' is not a position in a league table, but some very personal answers to a complex set of questions, which may include.... Is this the 'best city' for me and my loved ones? Is this the best place for me to make a life of fulfilment, dignity and pride? Will I find people that are willing to challenge and support me with compassion? Will I find opportunities to be stimulated, provoked and changed? Will I find it possible to connect with others with whom I share a common cause? Will I find the space and support to do my best work? Will I find myself in a political, social and cultural system that accepts my values and beliefs? Will it encourage the production of goods and services necessary for a becoming existence or will it do almost anything in pursuit of growth? Will it respect and nurture micro-enterprise, sole traders, makers, community groups and individual activists as much as it 'establishes proactive relationships' with 'large corporate employers'? Is this a place where I can help to shape a better future for my children and theirs? What kind of 'city development' processes would be necessary to allow the majority of us to be able to answer most of these … [Read more...]

To mentor…

http://vimeo.com/43735416 If you want to find yourself a great mentor, then in my experience best avoid those mentor matching services... … [Read more...]

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