My Jericho co-founder Christine sat next to someone at a wedding recently who asked “I hear good things about Jericho Chambers… but what do you actually do?”. Three years in and Christine’s friend is not the first to ask.
While I always say we’re working with clients to make the world a better place and help them thrive in a fragile environment that many still describe as “the new normal”, the work we’re doing for clients brings it to life.
We have written previously about tax. KPMG in the UK originally engaged us after hearing a speech I gave on trust. They were pretty clear that the “old normal” approach wasn’t working and were unsure how to positively engage on difficult and complicated issues around tax. Working together we realised that the polarised, shouty media and political debates weren’t getting anyone anywhere. So we decided to explore instead the purpose of tax and together created the Responsible Tax project, which subsequently evolved into “Responsible Tax for the Common Good”.
Since the early days of the idea, Think Tank CoVi has independently curated the project and the web platform. We were clear all along that no-one, KPMG and ourselves especially, should try and be in control. Together, we have built a community of expert stakeholders that has grown from an initial group of fourteen in the summer of 2014 to nearly 700 today, with 100 of those actively involved via the web platform and frequent events. Last summer’s Think Piece, written by CoVi, recommended the establishment of an APPG on Responsible Tax – you can track the All Party Parliamentary Group’s progress and current scope here. With KPMG, we are now in discussions about making Responsible Tax a global movement. It has been at times a challenging but ultimately worthwhile and important journey.
The CIPD – the professional body for the HR industry – came to us with a similar challenge. They had initiated a debate about Better Work and Working Lives – and whether it was possible to have principles at work (and, if so, how to embed them)? This revealed deep interest in a much bigger discussion about the future of work.
An initial group of sixteen contributors helped convene a community around the “Future of Work is Human” which we have helped grow organically, from within, to more than two hundred people in under six months. It’s a mix of business leaders, HR professionals, academics, educators, policy-makers and the third sector. Earlier this month, co-hosted with CIPD CEO Peter Cheese in a bright and energised room at the RSA, ninety of us examined the subject. To find out more, you can read a Storify of the event – and a more detailed write-up on the Jericho website – together with this great blog post from Blueprint for Better Business Senior Adviser Loughlin Hickey. The community is now moving towards a Big Tent event in September at which we expect more electrifying contributions. If you would like to participate, please let us know.
Common to both the Purpose of Tax and Future of Work programmes is an understanding that “men on mountaintops, shouting through megaphones” (to quote KPMG’s Jane McCormick) doesn’t work anymore (if indeed it ever did). Our belief is that the future will be negotiated, not imposed and a new social contract is urgently needed between business, government and civic society. We need to create spaces for real debate, to welcome dissenting voices and to build co-produced outcomes that work in the real world. If you’re not sure, just ask George Osborne.
Living It, not Lip-sticking It
To “Bremain” or “Brexit” is obviously a question that will persist for some time yet. Jericho’s Brussels partner, Catherine Stewart, an EU veteran, points out that the referendum is only one part of a much wider, sadder European malaise, while Neal Lawson argues that Britain must learn from Scotland if a more progressive European consensus can be built.
Wearing his other hat, as Chair of Good Society pressure group, Compass, Neal has helped launch both the Good Europe and Good London projects. Robert contributed his thoughts on mayoral obsessions with housing and the Nirvana Fallacy is this post for Good London.
Guest posts this month include Project Everyone’s Amanda Mackenzie on Living It, Not Just Lip-sticking It (a very personal and uplifting story) and Blueprint for Better Business Loughlin Hickey on Re-Imagining Organisations.
We are delighted to welcome Andrew Gunn as Jericho Chambers’ latest partner. Andrew brings a wealth of experience with him, following spells at Ipsos Mori, Penn Schoen Berland and, most recently, Populus. In line with the Jericho core commitment that accountability is as important as measurement, Andrew will be introducing a compelling new suite of products and services that speak to the radical honesty and transparency of specially assembled stakeholder and citizen crowds.
Andrew’s arrival at Jericho also enables us to offer a full-service market research consultancy (qualitative and quantitative; on and off-line; crowds and individuals; UK and international) alongside our boutique strategic advisory service. To find out more about Evidence @Jericho, please contact Andrew.
How To @Jericho
In response to client requests for help re-imagining leadership in the new normal , Jericho has teamed up with publisher Toby Mundy and John Gordon, founder of the How To Academy to offer a new Jericho programme – How To @ Jericho.
How To @Jericho is a Board and Executive Committee leadership programme dedicated to bringing challenging and fresh thinking to some of the biggest issues of our times. From data privacy and cyber security to mental and physical health and wellbeing in the workplace – to the nature and demands of leadership itself.
How To @Jericho combines discussions with provocative and leading global thinkers and authors, all specialists in their fields, with on-going mentoring, reading and workshops. For more information on this, and to understand some of the speakers and provocatuers involved, please contact either Christineor Robert.
Changing The Legacy (reprise)….
When we conceived Jericho in Spring 2013, we knew what we didn’t want (bullshit and bureaucracy being the most obvious). We had a good idea about the direction in which we wanted to travel: somewhere between a Think Tank and a Consultancy, with the close counsel that you only get from a genuinely informed and trusted advisor.
Since then we’ve evolved what I sometimes reference as The Jericho Road: a collaborative and challenging framework to take on the biggest issues of the day, in a way that is positive and accountable. It speaks to the Public Leadership and Public Value spirit of my book – activist, co-produced, citizen-centric and society-first.
In addition to the programmes on Tax and Work, we are applying these principles to consultancy projects with corporate clients and membership organisations across a broad range of sectors – from financial services and pharma, to property, travel and retail.
The addition of Evidence @Jericho, with its emphasis on accountability and crowds, and How To @Jericho – accessing some of the smartest and most dynamic thinkers in business and society today – makes us feel more complete. Christine and I, together with our partners, are still as impatient and as determined as when we started out in 2013. We are hugely appreciative of everyone who has shown their commitment and support. Together, though, there is still much more that can – and should – be done.
March 29 2016