How can we help?

We enable organisations to identify, share and apply lessons and good practices - so they stick. The main elements are:

  • Reviewing and analysing past experience to date, articulating lessons and good practices, and, where necessary, creating logical definitions and new classifications or taxonomies to provide clarity.
  • Deliberating on the lessons and good practices with internal and/or external stakeholders, drawing on a range of perspectives and experience.
  • Using tools for deliberation (e.g. Brain-Pool Workshops) which preserve the anonymity of participants, to encourage openness and honesty.
  • Validating the lessons and good practices, and developing action plans to implement them. This could involve designing new or modified approaches.
  • Engaging relevant managers and funders, as necessary, to ensure that the organisation 'owns' the lessons and good practices, and the proposed actions.
  • Developing tools for implementation, including communication tools.
  • Providing training and mentoring to promote and embed new approaches and mindsets, so that the lessons are learned and good practices are firmly embedded.

All this work embraces, as appropriate, processes, systems, cultures, mindsets, behaviours, responsibilities, accountabilities, supporting IM/IT platforms, opportunities, values and targeting. We support implementation for organisations, teams, and individuals alike.

'Learning lessons' makes obvious sense but is rarely done well. It requires broad and construictive thinking - not assigning blame. Challenges include: creating the culture for constructive discussion; accurately specifying the lessons; identifying solutions; implementing the solutions; and making the lessons 'stick'.

Specific applications for our services include:

  • Silo-busting - so people appreciate others' perspectives in order to take decisions optimised for the Business, not the Function.
  • Challenging established ways of working to improve efficiency and effectivesness - e.g. tackling firmly-embedded but inadequate ways of consulting stakeholders and developing policy.
  • Supporting the development of cross-sector standards based on good practices - e.g. to standardise data requirements and formats to facilitate regulatory approval for new technologies.
  • Accelerated team development - especially critical in the wake of merger or acquisition.
  • Post-project reviews to extract and apply lessons following a project in order that the organisation can execute future projects more effectively or take-on more such projects.
  • Developing business networks and communities - boosting the effectiveness of existing ones or kick-starting new ones.
  • Reviewing funding programmes - learning from the experience of funders and funded organisations alike to ensure that future support continues to be cost-effective and deliver desired outcomes.

 

We strongly recommend the use of Brain-Pool Workshops in this process. These:

  • Provide a structured process, striking the right balance between creativity and logical processing. They are valuable in articulating and validating lessons, developing the business case for change, defining specific useful actions, and getting personal buy-in.
  • Combine anonymous and group work. This ensures full and honest disclosure of root causes, defuses any attempts to 'blame' individuals, and keeps the focus on collaborative development of solutions.
  • Draw on our skills in articulating and framing propositions, so that they can be systematically reviewed and developed. Our input provokes significant new thinking and increased productivity.
  • Involve independent and non-judgemental facilitation. Rather than passive flip-chart recording, we use insight, challenge and distillation in a positive climate to capture lessons in a non-threatening way.