It is not controversial to say that the third sector acknowledges that it needs to change in an increasingly fast-paced World. It is also a golden time to be in charity innovation with much investment. I have led two teams myself.
There is a small army of people skilled in human-centred design, user experience, sprints, agile and all the other tools of innovators. It is a genuinely amazing thing. Expectation, however, is neither realistic or being met. If the sector does want to change, it is struggling to articulate how - beyond short-term financial targets.
So, innovation is the answer but what is the question? The key is to point this wealth of talent at strategic challenges that break the 'charity' paradigm that, for example, brought us a homogenised fundraising sector. To get to those challenges we first need to ask the right strategic questions, diagnose the problem, understand our part in the system and look externally and to the future. Each organisation has an amazing cause and associated assets that is unique to it. Why don't we start there?
I want to help create strategy that innovates. Strategy that optimises the use of the powerful innovation skills that are already in the sector. This will yield greater return on investment, greater buy in organisationally and, most importantly, greater change.
We made up the rules. Let's change them.
- Strategy that Innovates
- Design & Systems Thinking
After 20 years as a strategic innovation leader in the third sector I decided to set up Fundamental.
Fundamental because that is exactly what good strategy is for the success of innovation. Good strategy is not a dark art, it just starts with asking good questions and that's where I can help.
Formerly Head of Innovation at the RNLI, I set up, defined and led the role of innovation across a diverse portfolio of fundraising, new funding models as well as lifesaving interventions, new technology, and manufacturing, having previously set up its first Fundraising Innovation team. Central to much of the work was bringing in expertise from industry and academia to help us solve our challenges.
My charity journey has brought me here through building creative corporate partnerships with cultural organisations, sponsorship director for festivals in Mumbai and Petra, service design for a national mental illness charity via Lifeboats, so I have a real blend of front line and strategic leadership experience.
If you'd like to chat I'd love to hear from you.