Category archive

Talks and Lectures

‘I’ve addressed and chaired conferences and seminars of lawyers, judges, heads of global media businesses, political parties, peers, academics, local government officials and civil servants amongst others, given evidence to select committees, made countless after dinner speeches, designed and led training programmes, compered events at signature venues around Europe including the Olivier theatre at the National. My first major public appearance was sharing a platform as President of Manchester University’s Students Union with prime minister Harold Wilson during the 1970 election. On the basis of my professional delivery, laconic response to questions, and the humour count, some have commented that I would have made more money as a tv programme host.’

Talks and Lectures

Stand & Deliver: How consultancy skills and systems thinking can make government work

Event: Worshipful Company of Management Consultants: The Education Supper
Date: 2015
Summary: Why, I wondered, do governments fail so regularly – judged both by our expectations and by the intentions of the elected politicians? Or, to put it more softly by a reviewer of my book: ‘The author addresses a deceptively simple question that has bedeviled generations of politicians and officials: Why does British government never work as effectively as we’d like it to?’…
Keep Reading

Talks and Lectures

Courts and Justice Reform: speech to Courts Services of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales

My question this morning is: “what are you going to do to improve your court service over the coming year?”
What is going through your head right now in response to that question?
Excitement, enquiry, opportunity to lead at whatever level, what to do first, what do I need to do to get round X or Y?
Or, are the organisational obstacles springing to mind?.........
Do you avoid accountability by hiding behind process and secrecy, or do you embrace it? Keep Reading

Talks and Lectures

Why Organisation and Systems theory and practice will solve the enduring problems of government, and politics and more democracy (by itself) will not.

Event: Systems and Cybernetics in Organisations
Date: 2015
Summary: Having spent a working lifetime in and around government in various roles, I became more and more frustrated with its capacity - regardless of the party in power - to produce much beneficial change. I’ve watched able, well-meaning people themselves frustrated by Westminster and Whitehall. With a consultant’s eye it became evident that the problems lay with the system of government - problems common to most democratic countries. Analysing government as an organisation - albeit a very large one - produced the insights as to why it fails, and the basis for designing a new system. Melding constitutional and political theory with this, a ‘Treaty For Government’ should provide vastly better government than that on which many have turned their backs, taken to independence as the answer, protest voted, or become once again briefly hooked on politicians’ promises… Keep Reading

Go to Top