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tquinlan
Narrate, Clophill, MK45 4BE
Recent Activity
A brief note - but more trips coming up in the diary. While there're specific activities at each stop to be done, I'm open to any conversations/quick meetings. So the travel plans are: Addis Ababa: 1-5 September 2014 Istanbul: 8-10 September 2014 Kigali: 23-26 September 2014 Washington: 29 September-1 October 2014 Ottawa: 2-3 October 2014 Any good to anyone? Continue reading
Posted yesterday at partum intelligendo
There's a new course coming up - one relevant for anyone interested in public organisations, government and policy-making in uncertain times. Luckily, I'm getting to support the course - I'll be getting to co-teach with Thomas Townsend in Ottawa in early October. The course will be running at HUB Ottawa 71 Bank Street, 6th Floor Ottawa, Canada on Thurs 2nd October-Fri 3rd October 2014. There are more details here and you can register here. If you are a policy professional looking for new practices that increase impact by using advances in complexity science, sense-making, and resilience thinking this is the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at partum intelligendo
I've added a new podcast to my already-lengthy list. It's another BBC one - this time a short 2-3 minute piece each day, summing up news stories of 100 years ago in the lead up to World War I. A few weeks in, and I've already learned plenty, but it highlights a number of key elements that resonate strongly, including some that came up last week in a conversation with a government group about how to build a bigger national narrative: A grander strategic narrative is best built from smaller pieces that we know have resonance Each day, a number... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at partum intelligendo
The other week I pointed out the initial voting to decide what the topic of the upcoming Longitude Problem was going to be. The six possibilities were: Flight How can we fly without damaging the environment? Water How can we ensure everyone can have access to safe and clean water? Paralysis How can we restore movement to those with paralysis? Food How can we ensure everyone has nutritious, sustainable food? Dementia How can we help people with dementia live independently for longer? Antibiotics The public vote decided that Antibiotics is the one on which to focus: In order to tackle... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at partum intelligendo
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A compound in a village near Dhaka, Bangladesh Last week saw a return to BRAC in Bangladesh. Working with IRC again, following on from two successful pilots 18 months ago - one around latrine behaviour change, the other around participation and attitudes to Village Wash Committees. This time we were asked back to start a fresh programme, one that is more than a pilot - planning to design it into ongoing work in Bangladesh. The topic this time is to explore issues around hygiene promotion - specifically to gather material to allow the design of new interventions and to help... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Closing on a great week - four day-long courses with Dave Snowden and a stimulating bunch of people in Paddington, some fascinating side meetings, while projects went to field in the background. And yesterday afternoon back for the third year to speak to the IQPC conference. I promised I'd make my slides available from that: Download 001 IQPC presentation on Measure of Effect - June 2014 And now motor through the list before flying out tomorrow to spend a week designing, setting up and starting a brand new SenseMaker® programme in Bangladesh with BRAC. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at partum intelligendo
That was fun. On the bus last night from Paddington where I'm running the four one-day CSM courses with Dave Snowden. (Tomorrow is on narrative - shaping it, understanding it, researching it. The next set will be in September - you really should be there! Book it here.) As the bus emptied at Warren Street tube station, I noticed something left on the seat across the aisle. It turned out to be an Oyster card, with a name and picture of a school pupil on the front. The student had got off a few stops earlier, but I decided to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at partum intelligendo
More trips coming up in the diary. While there're specific activities at each stop to be done, I'm open to any conversations/quick meetings. So the travel plans are: Dhaka: 22-26 June 2014 Istanbul: 30 June-2 July 2014 Singapore: 14-18 July 2014 Addis Ababa: 1-5 September 2014 Any good to anyone? Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at partum intelligendo
I've noticed I have a tendency to dismiss certain approaches, particularly newer ones that may not have a decent body of theory based on good science behind them, as "the Emperor's new clothes." For those who don't know the story, here's Danny Kaye to explain: (Yes, that's a cheap shot to include a childhood favourite...) Working in organisations, it's often the case that we see a new programme or project brought in that, to our professional eye, is doomed to failure or is based on little more than snake-oil. The temptation - reinforced by Hans Christian Anderson's tale - is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at partum intelligendo
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After a good six years of SenseMaker® projects, one of the consistent things has been the difficulty in feeding back results to stakeholders in ways that help them make better decisions. (I'm not a fan of big reports - partly because I think they tend to make great doorstops and bin-fillers, but mostly because I'm a lazy report-writer.) These days I go for interactive sessions (earlier this year we did a great session with one client that combined SenseMaker results, building the Cynefin framework and then Cognitive Edge techniques like safe-to-fail probe design and Ritual Dissent - a great and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2014 at partum intelligendo
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Dawn over Mexico City, 19th May 2014 It's hard to believe it's already been three weeks, but 19th-21st May, I was part of a conference in Mexico on Soft Power and Public Diplomacy with Wilton Park, a UK government-related agency that organises thought-provoking and timely conferences around international topics. The conference itself was excellent - a tribute to the organisers who managed to carry the informal, fierce-minded culture of their English home to the warm mountain environment of the Hacienda Cantalagua in Michoacán. As is often the case at such conferences, I can't attribute comments - it operates under the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Thanks for that Tony. You're right - it's only part of the reaction and hence it's only one question about the story - the whole signification framework is how we look in more detail. Your suggestion of level of interest is another - typically I'll get into that element obliquely via questions like "How long will you remember this story" or "Who should hear this story?".
On the course next week, we'll no doubt get to the Longitude problem and the nature of innovation. If you haven't already heard it, I'd highly recommend Dave's video here. In the spirit of the original Longitude prize - how to solve a pressing problem that will have a positive effect on the world - a new Longitude prize fund is being announced. The new version will have a £10 million prize - but the exact nature of the problem is yet to be decided. There are six options currently being considered - and the final problem will be selected... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at partum intelligendo
One week to go until the courses start in London. Details here Dave Snowden and I are teaching Days 1-3, while Dave is doing Day 4. The brochure is here - now get yourself together and I'll see you there! Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at partum intelligendo
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If that isn’t you, skip this one - nothing to see here… When I’m building SenseMaker® frameworks, there’s one multiple choice question that I almost always include - and when it’s not finally included, it’s because despite deploying my best persuasive powers the client doesn’t see the need. The question is: When at the start of a SenseMaker® project, it looks like an unnecessary complication - but when analysing Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at partum intelligendo
In among the various podcasts I listen to is You Are Not So Smart - an educating and entertaining podcast much of the time. I caught the latest episode when I was travelling and it's highly pertinent to a couple of projects I'm working on at the moment - it was titled Survivorship Bias. From the summary: The Misconception: You should focus on the successful if you wish to become successful. The Truth: When failure becomes invisible, the difference between failure and success may also become invisible. It's the tendency we have to look at ways of improving a system... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Thanks to everyone who came out last night despite the hockey game in Toronto to sit in a warm room for the Toronto KM group session. Great questions and interrogation last night as we talked about the various projects and learnings from the past few years of SenseMaker® work in a wide variety of countries. As promised, here are the slides I used - and as usual, they're fairly visual, so may not make sense without my talking over the top of them... Download 001 Narrative Research presentation - May 2014 Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at partum intelligendo
I'm teaching in with Michael Cheveldave in Toronto today, while Dave and Sonja do the same in South Africa. (It's been a while since we needed simultaneous sessions on different continents.) The London workshops are coming up between 16th and 19th June. Check out the Cognitive Edge website for details and to snap up some of the remaining places. I'll be teaching on days 1-3, while Dave Snowden will be there throughout. There are four courses on offer, and you can take any combination of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-day courses as appropriate. The content is excellent and I'd highly... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at partum intelligendo
I’ve been working with SenseMaker® now in development projects for a few years and I was recently reflecting on how far we’ve come in what we do. Lots of lessons - often learned the hard way in the early stages, but never disastrously. It’s time to share some of those lessons, for anyone who’s interested. Test everything This one is critical. The biggest mistake - one that is thankfully rare in the development world - is expecting things to work first time out of the box perfectly. There are always hiccups, for all sorts of reasons, and resolving problems is... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at partum intelligendo
I’ve noticed that when I find myself micro-managing people or doing detailed work, it’s often because I’m avoiding the bigger or more difficult elements of my own role. This year, I’m re-learning to hand off things for others to do. At this point, I recognise my role is to set direction, to coach and mentor others and to think about the bigger picture. (There’s plenty more than that when I’m engaging with clients, obviously, but I’m reflecting more on what I find myself doing on those occasions where I’m in the office with internal colleagues.) There’s no doubt that when... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2014 at partum intelligendo
This time next week I'll be heading for Toronto, where Michael Cheveldave will be starting the first Toronto course. Details are here - Toronto - 4 courses in May 2014 Last chance to book - there are still a handful of places available for each day. (Although fewer for the narrative day, so be quick) See you there! Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Next week in New York, I'm with Cognitive Edge and UNDP exploring how to scale up projects without falling into the "duplicate and enlarge" trap. Development experts and scientists from ecology, neuroscience and complexity are coming together to look at what new approaches we can fashion that work more practically and effectively than current approaches to scaling up. Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2014 at partum intelligendo
If you've always wondered what it was like to contribute to a SenseMaker® project - this could be your lucky week! Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Through April and May, I've got a few trips in the diary. While there's plenty going on at each stop, I'd like to open up the trip to other conversations than just my own. One thing that might be useful is if you're working on marketing/selling SenseMaker® to clients and need a hand with customer conversations. My first SenseMaker® project was to UK government and while I could handle much of the business conversation, my lack of SenseMaker® experience was a major detriment. I was lucky to have Dave Snowden around to handle those parts of the conversation. Dave would... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at partum intelligendo
Through April and May, I've got a few trips in the diary. While there's plenty going on at each stop, I'd like to open up the trip to other conversations than just my own. One thing that might be useful is if you're working on marketing/selling SenseMaker® to clients and need a hand with customer conversations. My first SenseMaker® project was to UK government and while I could handle much of the business conversation, my lack of SenseMaker® experience was a major detriment. I was lucky to have Dave Snowden around to handle those parts of the conversation. Dave would... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at partum intelligendo