My First Blog Post

  • by Sean Kearns
  • 23 Apr, 2016

It’s official, I have a blog and I know how to use it.

I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. It's the first in a series to help you consider how your organisation makes a difference and maximises its impact.  Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.

Thought Leadership for Social Impact

by Sean Kearns 13 Nov, 2017
I have been working with a number of fantastic charitable and social enterprise clients recently supporting  various elements of their organisational and business development. In every case,  I have been struck by their commitment to delivering to their organisational purpose and  how focussed they are in measuring the impact of their services, often with limited or over stretched resource. Some of the challenge, particularly in the third sector, is finding resource to lead on areas of change and the presumption that existing internal staff have the capacity or capability to deliver the outcomes. 

My clients have valued an external perspective on their organisational strengths and their areas for development, shining lights on their rising stars, their capacity & capability gaps and their business development opportunities, some of which had been sitting in their blind spots.

So what are the reasons your organisation would consider using interim leaders, do you have a clear policy on their deployment or a policy for actively avoiding their use? I would be interested in understanding the different view points in different sectors as to why you would or wouldn't engage interim leaders within your organisation, where you see them adding value and where they detract from your business objectives?

I look forward to understanding your viewpoints.

by Sean Kearns 19 Oct, 2017
How often are we so caught up in the moment dealing with issues and unplanned events we find ourselves adrift of our  goals and being blown with the wind? 

Its not always a simple case of plan, do and review in business to ensure we are on track and continuously improving. Political and competitor policy or customer actions mean we are constantly re-assessing our own decisions to take advantage or mitigate  an impact. A series of adjustments to meet multiple threats or opportunities may leave us no choice but to re-assess our previous strategic assumptions.

How often are you spending time lifting your head above the desk to assess where you are  against your strategic plan, or are you content to ride the jet stream unconcerned about where you might land?  

This is the perfect time of year to reflect and take advantage ready for 2018. If you need any help is re-defining your strategic plan we would be delighted to help. With Brexit still undefined, scenario planning is no bad thing, so that the consequences seem less unplanned or unintended!
by Sean Kearns 29 Nov, 2016
Ofsted have just released their latest report into the performance of schools in preparing young people for employment. 

Their headline reads:
" The nation's economic prosperity is at risk because the majority of England’s schools fail to prioritise enterprise education and work-related learning.  The survey, ‘Getting ready for work’ finds that only 4 of the 40 secondary schools visited by inspectors were demonstrating an effective approach to this aspect of the curriculum, despite the government’s commitment to take forward the recommendations made in Lord Young’s 2014 report into these matters. The survey also finds that poor coordination between schools and businesses and the absence of any overarching government strategy are leaving large numbers of young people – particularly the disadvantaged – unprepared for the world of work. Enterprise education involves teaching pupils the knowledge they will need to be future employees and potential employers by providing opportunities to raise their awareness of problems and solutions in the context of business and enterprise. It also involves teaching young people to make informed choices about their finances."

So are there too many conflicting government policies where funding pressures are impacting on the breadth and quality of curriculum, particularly those elements that appear to have marginal benefit on qualification outcomes? I fully understand the benefits of a balanced employability programme involving all employment sectors, combined with independent impartial careers guidance to help the young person make their career choices based upon their abilities and aspirations. 

The current mix is still too patchy and leaving our potential future employees blind to too many career opportunities.

See the full report here .

Source: Ofsted November 2016
by Sean Kearns 29 Nov, 2016
The Early Intervention Foundation have published their latest analysis on the cost to the public for late interventions in public services. The cost impact for Government Departments and Local Authorities for late interventions for  education, social care, unemployment, public health  and policing. Nearly £17 billion per year – equivalent to £287 per person – is spent in England and Wales by the state on the cost of late intervention. This has not fallen since their report in 2015. To see the cost impact in your area view this map

Are cuts to public services based on evidence of IMPACT of spend or a necessity to reduce £££? Surely services should continue to fund evidence based approaches that demonstrate outcomes and long term value to society? Cuts to some services have false short term economies and because of the interdependencies on other services have a deeper unintended consequence to the public purse and our wider society. 

For full details of the  report 

Source: Early Intervention Foundation 2016
by Sean Kearns 25 Oct, 2016
How often do we find ourselves immersed in the day to day of our organisation and lose sight of how we are doing against our long term strategy? Managing the day to day activities are important as that keeps us on track to achieve our annual business plan objectives. But if we aren't getting our heads up and looking at where we are heading against our  long term strategy, we can end up in cul-de-sacs and make poor short term judgements that impact our longer term objectives. 

Its important as business leaders that we balance our time , to give focus on the current performance and for those strategic longer term developments that need more than a moment to nurture a concept or idea. Often we are seen as idling our time away when others are busy in the day. If no-one is being creative and visionary what is your organisations future? Give yourself permission to take time on a regular monthly basis to look beyond the next quarter and this years business plan.  Taking time for strategic planning is an investment necessity not a luxury! 

Sean Kearns, Managing Director, Thought & Impact Ltd

by Sean Kearns 01 May, 2016
I had a really thought provoking discussion with colleagues last week on the impact for our organisations of a Brexit. The conclusion of our hour was that we hadn't all fully assessed the impact from our organisation's perspective and the potential consequence for the next generation. 

One aspect of the discussion was on the consequences or opportunities for the next generation who aren't eligible to vote next month but for whom our decision will impact. We all reflected that none of us were old enough to vote back in 1973 when our parents voted for entry into the EU. So are we considering what might be the unintended consequences for the younger generation of our actions when we vote next month? 

I for one will be making sure I know the facts, not just the media spin, for both a Brexit or Remain before I cast my vote. Will you also do your due diligence or will you just follow the media messages? Your choice, beware of unintended consequences of our actions!
by Sean Kearns 23 Apr, 2016
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. It's the first in a series to help you consider how your organisation makes a difference and maximises its impact.  Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.
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