In May 2021, nearly 5000 people became local government officials at the elections across the UK, many of them for the first time. Winning the fight can be hard, but making the changes we fought for can be even harder.

To bring their ideas to life, politicians have to work in partnership — with their communities, businesses, the voluntary sector and the civil service. They all bring something important to the table, but they don’t all think the same way. No matter how passionately our newly appointed MPs and councillors believe in peaceful progress for all, the path ahead will…

Getting things done, and doing them well are not the same thing. To do things well, we need time to work out what to do, and the right tools for the job. If you’re trying to fix things with other people, then the right tools are thinking skills. Trouble is, there are so many ways of thinking about things, how do we know what’s right?

I may be a professional business consultant, but I can’t tell you what’s ‘right’ — all I can do is draw on 30 years of learning and experience to suggest an approach that will work…

People are tricky. We’ve got a lot of moving emotional parts, so we do well when we handle each other with care. Innocent mistakes are easily made and work can really suffer if things go wrong when we’re trying hard to get it right.

The trouble is, the saying ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ is true. So how best to deal with that?

I’ve spent 26 years studying people skills closely as I’ve helped people collaborate and build partnerships. This article is a quick share of some of the ‘go to’ books I recommend…

Change is coming, and it’s self organised….

The impact of coworking on UK society is hugely underestimated, but that’s about to change. Coworking leaders across the country are assembling to understand how their efforts add up and to get more ambitious about what they can do together.

The UK Coworking Assembly invites people who run work, community and event spaces to mix with the people who build them, study them and use them. They’re united by their passion for embracing diversity and innovating ways of making a living that are good for the wellbeing of people and the planet.


Image by Jason Tester —

“What do you think will be different about coworking spaces in the future?” asked Cleo yesterday at lunchtime. “What will they have that we don’t have now?” She asked me this because she’s busy doing some research for the Good Ideas team at The Melting Pot on the future of work.

Without much thought, I suggested ‘smarter booking systems’ — it doesn’t sound like much, but they’re a bigger deal than it seems. Here’s why:

  1. It seems likely there will be a continuing shift from a world where the majority are in long term employment towards a world where portfolio…

The problem with being rational, is that what you think is reasonable depends on what you believe. You know science is reasonable and you think you’ve got it licked — but then you bump into quantum physics and find out there’s a liquid that can run uphill, or some other crazy thing like the faster you travel, the slimmer you get. Totally nuts, but true*.

These discoveries were not made by those who ignored or rejected the evidence because they couldn’t explain it. …

The best thing to do is to do the thing you’re best at.

But do you know what that is? And are you making choices that help you make the most of your true potential?

This is a story about a simple exercise I found incredibly helpful when I wasn’t sure what to do next. I’ve often given it to people while chatting and it’s been good for them too. It’s designed to help people improve their chances of success thanks to personal insights that make better choices more likely.

The idea came about when somebody noticed something wrong with…

Don’t watch the clock, watch whatever you’re doing

Image by Author

Last time I baked, I burned the bread. Such a stupid mistake to make, and yet it’s so common. Watch the clock instead of the thing you’re doing, and things will often go wrong. I was paying attention to the wrong kind of time…

If only I’d stuck to the principles of Open Space, it would all have worked out fine.

Open Space started out as a “simple way to run productive meetings, for five to 2000+ people” which we quickly learned also turns out to be a “powerful approach to leadership”.

The way a company is run depends mainly on the goal. There’s lots of guidance like ‘9 types of organisational structure every company should consider’, but most company designs start out ad hoc. It’s not until something significant changes that people start to focus on what they’ve created, as this excellent article from MindTools explains.

Since people tend to feel safer with the clarity of command and control, it’s by far the most common strategy, but it has its pitfalls. Elevating responsibility concentrates risk, and those who shoulder that burden are likely to demand more, and to spend more as…

Anita Roddick at the funeral for NAB and baptism for ASP 2005

Like bees in nature, I think coworkers and coworking spaces have a critical role to play in our future prosperity. That’s why I’m so happily involved with a fantastic bunch of people, creating a UK Coworking Assembly to help this precious sector survive and thrive.

It’s been a heck of a journey — largely accidental, and involving several cycles of death and re-birth. Inspired by Anita Roddick’s trail-blazing vision and boundless energy for action, this is my story.

For those who don’t know, Anita founded The Body Shop — a global success built on her firm belief that business should…

Mike Zeidler

Constantly Curious Serial Optimist looking at people, planet and profit. Nature is everything, learning lights the way, balance is key.

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