Briefly…

You are involved with a profound organisational change that depends as much on enthusing people and earning their cooperation as it does on delivering new structures, processes or technologies.

My skills are in change strategy, facilitation and communication: engaging people and spreading ideas in ways that make change very much easier.

My experience is in complex government organisations: enabling the significant changes in both capabilities and mindset needed to adapt successfully in the digital world.

I study and offer consultancy services to support business change, technology reform and digital transformation in government.

For more, see Services below…

“You brought that little bit of magic that made the difference between delivery and a first class (and expensive) cock-up”

The (plain-speaking) director of a government programme I worked on

Services

Mark Foden

When you may need me

For your change to be successful you need the willing cooperation of people outside your authority. You’ve organised meetings and workshops, spoken energetically at every opportunity and written until blue in the pen. But stuff isn’t happening the way you’d like.

You feel that, despite doing the right things, it’s hard to make change stick. The unexpected too often causes delay. Traditional, programmatic approaches seem too hard. Business cases look unrealistically ambitious and depend too much on hand-wavy assumptions about “culture change”. Things are just too unclear, too complex.

You may be using agile methods but progress is slow because your wider organisation isn’t very agile. Maybe there is too much emphasis on technology. You sense a lack of connection between those creating new capabilities and those who use or support them. Perhaps there is conflict.

What I do

I support organisational change programmes. My skills are in…

Change strategy – Working with management teams and individuals to develop ideas, approaches and behaviours that bring about genuine change in complex, uncertain situations.

Facilitation – Running events, workshops and conferences in inventive ways that connect and inspire people. (Without yoga, eye-closing or hand-holding.)

Communication – Writing things, creating presentations and making videos that explain complicated stuff simply and capture people’s imagination.

I work on business change, technology reform and digital transformation in government; which I also write and speak about.

Typical engagements range from a few days on something specific to longer periods providing more general support. I’m available through the government’s Digital Marketplace.

What you get

What you get depends on the situation. I cook from fresh. Here are some examples…

The Four Ex Model – A government organisation I worked with was struggling to get innovations into operation effectively. I found that the problem was the model of delivery; so I developed a new one – which I called the Four Ex Model. They liked it. And it fixed things.

More Tea Vicar – Some SME leaders new to providing services to government asked if I could help connect them better to people who might want their services. I started a discussion and networking group called More Tea Vicar. It grew to several hundred strong, with members from both SMEs and government. People met people and good things happened.

The Gubbins Video – There was confusion about the future architecture of government services. I made a video called the Gubbins of Government. It went viral. People were less confused. And many were delighted.

And there’s other stuff – but with duller names.

What I get

What I get is the satisfaction of using my skills and everything else that I am to enable others to crack hard problems. I like helping people and the acknowledgement that comes from that. (And, with luck, I get to make a living as well.)

Ultimately…

Change is very much easier when the people involved understand and believe in what is happening. Get this right… and good stuff just starts to happen.

“A work of considerable genius”

Tom Loosemore of GDS about the Gubbins of Government

Blog

Why I go to Glastonbury

12 July

Recently I’ve become a fairly regular attender of the Glastonbury festival: I went to the last one a couple of weeks ago. Friends are curious about it. I end up in many discussions about mud, camping, drugs, toilets, noise and crowds. And I’m quite often asked why (on Earth) I go. Here’s my conclusion. It’s […]

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Watching the clouds

31 May

Lately, I have been thinking about measurement in organisations. A memory from over 40 years ago has been nudging me. In the summers of 73 and 74 I learnt to sail on cruising boats with the Ocean Youth Club. I remember my first time at the helm. Somewhere in the Channel. Sea – rough. The […]

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Drop the pilot

23 May

This is about pilots. The kind of pilots you do before spending a lot of money on something. The idea of them bothers me. I don’t want to be got wrong. Pilots that don’t make presumptions about what comes next – ones that are genuinely about learning – are fine. It’s those where the logic is: […]

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The unquestioned folder assumption

7 April

This is about organising information (and behaviour change). Something happened to me over Christmas. I decided to reorganise my filing system… I’ll give you a moment to un-roll your eyes …and the result was remarkable. My (digital) filing – now over 10,000 items – lives in an online service called Evernote. I’ve been using it […]

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“I’ll talk to our developers about it”

6 April

This is about change in the world of government technology. Just before Easter I used the new online Lasting Power of Attorney service. In the circumstances I was dealing with, there was a problem with the technology. I had to phone the help line twice, on different days, to sort it out. Got a bit […]

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New chums

18 March

After recent changes in Foden Grealy and a period of strategic rumination, I’m hugely pleased to say I’m joining Rainmaker Solutions as an associate – see Rainmaker welcomes Mark Foden. I know quite a few of the Rainmaker team from my work on the G-Cloud programme and I’m delighted to be working with them again. I’m already involved with a […]

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“Your Four Ex model is deeply embedded in the organisation – it’s become part of how we think”

A senior change manager in a government agency talking about my Four Ex capability maturity model

Contact

 

 

Or you can write to me at…
1 Church Cottages, East Woodhay, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 0AL