There’s a lot of talk about collaboration these days — and with it often comes a worry about making decisions. The more you try to include people and decide things together, the longer it all takes — right?

Wrong! At least, it’s not necessarily so.

People who want to be inclusive can easily get caught up by thinking: Everybody must agree; and Things shouldn’t happen before everyone’s been properly consulted.

The trouble is, life simply isn’t like that. Decisions can’t always wait, and there’s always more than one solution because our minds are compulsively creative. …


If you’ve ever sent supportive notes into a void — never knowing if they’ve been read, let alone been helpful — this very brief story is for you.

A few months ago I was walking the dog when a car screeched to a halt on the other side of the road. The driver waved madly at me, and leapt out to rush across the road.

“I drove past you a minute ago and had to do a U turn to come and see you” she said. “I wanted to apologise because I’ve been absolutely rubbish, and haven’t replied to anybody’s…


Chairing meetings well is an art. Poor chairing results in underachievement, but do it with skill and you’ll get the best performance the group can give. There are plenty of good guides about how to chair meetings (see below), but there’s a big difference between knowing what to do, and knowing how to be.

What I do is pretty simple — I seek to keep us on time, on topic, and on task — then reflect back a summary of what we’ve agreed with actions and responsibilities. I also keep a steady eye on the purpose and watch out in…


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.

When…


Image by Jason Tester — https://www.flickr.com/photos/streamishmc/

“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…

Mike Zeidler

Constantly Curious Serial Optimist. Writes about things that work well, sharing the good stuff and adventures in life.

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