Seven ways I help public and private clients reinvent and prosper – where does your organisation sit?
Speak and write in ‘humanish’ Use accessible and affirming language that focuses on vision rather than problems and calls a spade a spade – what is a ‘Financial Inclusion Officer’ to someone with a debt problem? Doesn’t ‘Create Prosperity’ sounds better than ‘Tackle Poverty’? Let’s also replace don’t do signs and rules with positive guidance and, for heaven’s sake, use more humour.
Lead rather than manage. We need strong and compelling visions and the will to think and act boldly. Take Jaime Lerner of Curitiba in Brazil or Edi Rama of Tirana, both mayors who listened and acted quickly and decisively on citizen aspirations, regenerated civic pride, made massive impacts and created new hope and momentum.
Speed up decision-making and encourage decision-making at all levels – moving from a management to a leadership culture and turning policy victims into policy entrepreneurs. A person empowered to think and act will make things happen.
Focus on participation rather than representation Connect people to the means to shape ideas. This means moving from traditional notions of consultation and creating exciting ways to engage people in future planning. In an age of social media there is no excuse for not doing more.
Involve and listen to children’s ideas and give them influencing roles. They are more connected to the technologies of the future, more creative, more open-minded and ‘can do’ and yet we persist with the adult always knows best policy. Kiran Bir Sethi at the Riverside School in India set her children the challenge to change a billion lives – the impacts they have made are staggering and their performance at school has improved dramatically.
Raise rather than manage expectations. Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, always sets his and his team’s sight on winning everything – they often do. He has never targeted second or third place, which is what I have heard other sports managers aiming for. It’s time to raise the ceiling not the floor. You invariably get what you ask for.