Author Archives: "John Bruce-Jones"

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Culture in crisis 4. Once the novelty wears off…

Aug 11th

In a crisis, people pull together. Competition and disagreements are swept away, replaced by collaboration to get things done. We often hear, ‘If only we could always operate the way we did in the crisis’.

Recent Pulse surveys across organisations show marked uplifts in scores on engagement and confidence in senior leadership along with other key metrics of a high-performing organisation. It’s as if they needed a terrible external crisis to strengthen purpose, collective leadership and motivation.

Feedback reveals changes valued by employees, including ‘Home working has shown we can be trusted’ and


Culture in crisis 3. Black Lives Matter – transforming inclusion and diversity

Jul 28th

As a society and in business we have taken steps towards an intent of equal opportunity. But the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that exploded after George Floyd’s killing in the US has penetrated our consciousness in unexpected ways, leading many to question themselves quite deeply. Organisations and individuals are confronting difficult truths.

One is that we measure progress on equality of opportunity by numbers: hitting diversity targets, counting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people recruited. Some organisations use these numbers as a proxy for genuine engagement on inclusion


Principles for principles

Apr 11th

What do we mean by organisation design principles?

When I’m asked to help define the principles for an organisation redesign, the first stage usually ends up as a long shopping list of what people wish for.  The hard work in the next stage is unpacking the different kinds of things that people call ‘principles’ and then excavating, boiling down, negotiating and refining into a usable set of principles for organisation design.

The root of the word ‘principle’ is in the notion of what you ‘first catch’, hence the idea of a principle being first


Why structure is good and more structure may be better…

Apr 05th

 ‘There’s a whole lot of new ideas on org design out there – flatter, more agile, non-hierarchical, cellular, networked – how to know what might help in our reorganisation?’

You want to find an organisation design and structure that won’t just not get in the way of organisation performance but will help drive results by allowing the work, the information and the energy of people to flow. You want an organisation design that will be able to shift and re-balance itself in an agile way to respond to or anticipate changes