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

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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Changes in Foden Grealy

22 January

There have been changes in Foden Grealy over the last year. Very, very sadly John McCubbin, our closest associate, died after a short illness. He was a great supporter in so many ways, not least in the unknotting of things that led to the Gubbins video. I shall miss him a great deal. My long-time […]

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Good facilitators can make powerful stuff happen

19 December

Great post this morning from Matthew Taylor about the human dimension of public sector change – The path to transformation: ‘Help’ I was particularly taken by a story. Matthew was facilitating a meeting of people from various public and voluntary sector agencies. One of the presenters, from the NHS, spoke of the severe difficulties of […]

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Stuff (and things) about making videos

7 November

Here is a post I wrote for the (very marvellous) Comms2Point0 blog about making videos… Stuff (and things) about making videos Last year I made ‘The Gubbins of Government’, a simple animated video about the future structure of government services. I made it to explain something that had been confusing me. It turned out to […]

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Complexity and the Hollow Men

3 November

This is a huge gap in Whitehall but the system has gone so wrong few even realise the gap is there and those who do cannot do anything about it. Over the weekend I read The Hollow Men II: Some reflections on Westminster and Whitehall dysfunction, an essay by Dominic Cummings. I thought it was […]

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Government doesn’t get complexity

20 October

I wrote an article for Computer Weekly about complexity this week… Government doesn’t get complexity The London 2012 Olympics was a blinding success. Universal Credit is struggling. Why do some government things go well and others not? The reason – complexity. This is not the garden variety “something jolly complicated” sort of complexity that most of us talk […]

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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