I currently lead on customer centred transformation at the RedQuadrant consultancy having first worked as an associate and then agreed to help develop this aspect of their client offer.
In particular developing customer centred service transformation
I have spent most of my career working within or with the public sector on delivering change and new capability.
It started with the Ministry of Defence on its science and technology fast track programme and I have now worked within or with most of the major Central Government departments. Principly Cabinet Office, DWP, DH, HMRC, DfT, Directgov and CLG.
My most prominent role within Government was with the Cabinet Office where I provided advice to Ministers and Departments on the economic case for digital services and I have remained in this area of work ever since.
Endurance and Challnge
One of the themes in my life that has emerged alongside my work in transformative change is my interest in what some would call ‘extreme’ or ‘endurance’ sport.
The connection is probably my desire to ask ‘what if’ and ‘how could’ questions and then go and test the answers myself.
What I have discovered is that these events have a lot in common with transformative change:
- The majority of people and organisations can do extraordinary things if they have the desire and self-belief to do them
- Achieving the extraordinary typically requires a combination of technique and commitment to achieving the outcome even when it may seem impossibly difficult
- Technique and belief are essential and can be learnt and developed so ask those who have gone before you how they did it, they are usually happy to share
Long Distance Running
Like most people the idea of running a marathon was initially daunting in the extreme.
However, the need to test what was possible made it inevitable that with a little encouragement from a friend (thank you Chris Lightfoot) I migrated from 10k to half to to a full marathon and now I’m playing with hill marathons and ‘ultra’ events.
Marathon running and change programmes have a lot in common, you first have believe that it is possible, then you have to put the training and preparation in and finally, one day, you just have to stand at a start line take your first step and keep believing.
There is also a similarity in that success often depends on things you really didn’t get to understand until you started the journey. In the case of ultra events like the Endure 24 race, success lies in training yourself to eat and keep a sense of humour rather than to run. If you can’t keep eating and smiling then running is almost irrelevant.
Cold Water and Open Water Swimming
I pretty much married into swimming and I was well into my 40’s before I started learning how to swim and enjoy it.
But, its one of very few recreations where the first objective is not to die, particularly in open water. Stop running and you stand, stop swimming and you may drown.
Last year I took on the Dart 10K which is one of the UK’s most loved long distance swimming events and was possibly the hardest mental challenge I have ever taken on.
The event itself was pretty straight forward and enjoyable, the learning along the way to it was the hard bit.
Having to entirely re-learn how I swam and realise how ineffective I was turned out to be a hard set of lessons.
But, in the end it was essential before I could learn what I needed to learn.
The name trapeze for a website name came to me during a brainstorming session when I was attempting to identify what’s different in organisations that really get change to work for them.
Success on the trapeze turned out to be all about focus, nerve and trust and with those you could achieve extraordinary things like a flying trapeze catch.