Innovation is my topic, and its management my theme. I am an explorer of the very latest – and beyond. In this fast-changing world, no one can afford to wait until the route is certain, but everyone wants to know about the best ideas. My blogs are about the best of the latest ideas.
My special interest is in the leadership and management of creativity and innovation. I have pursued this through research, consultancy and peer-to-peer learning.
I have worked in industry all my life. While I started by working in a large multi-national, most of my work has been in SMEs (I bought, built up and later sold an engineering company), and most recently I have been Chairman of a group of venture capital companies.
My research has included a project, sponsored and partly funded by the then Department of Industry’s Innovation Unit, designed to explore the skills displayed by successful managers of creative people. “Managing Creative Groups: what makes people good at it” was a study of some forty such leaders – in science, R&D, sport, the performing and the graphic arts, the findings published in my book, “Releasing Creativity”, (Kogan Page 1999). Another project, with support and funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, called “Ideas into innovations”, was an exploration of processes and practices for turning ideas into new products and services – in six major organisations in the creative industries (including three R&D facilities). Another project has been with the Royal College of Art – about Innovation Workshops: what they do and how they do it. And I have spent some time at Nesta exploring applications in the UK of the ‘Accelerator’ ( – selected small teams of entrepreneurs working for a short period alongside one another on their projects for new businesses with intensive support and mentoring.)
Most of my consultancy work has been in the media industry – for the BBC and Skillset – about future skills needs in the industry.
I have run a large number of peer-to-peer networking/learning groups – for leaders at all levels (from project group leaders, through department heads, to senior managers, CEOs and Chairs) – small groups of leaders who play similar roles in different organisations, who come together a number of times over a period, to exchange experience, thoughts and ideas and to learn from one another.
In parallel with my work in industry, I have been active in local government and not-for-profit organisations – as an elected Councillor in the City of Westminster and on the managing boards of local organisations – a number of them Housing Associations.