Jericho Four Years On – Just. Doing. Something.

by .
Originally published in LinkedIn

This summer, as LinkedIn reminded me constantly last week, we celebrate Jericho’s fourth birthday.

When we started, we knew that the world was in a fragile state. We spoke of social movements supplanting traditional hierarchies and warned, through PR is Dead and other articlesof the dangers of “peak bullshit” and what has now become known as the post-truth age. The political and business turbulence that erupted with the likes of Brexit and Trump was always brewing – we traced its roots to before the 2008 crisis and the apparent inability of leaders to listen properly and accept human truths. For us, the crisis of trust was always a crisis of leadership. Those who have worked with us in our early years have responded kindly to our thinking and approach, while the 2017 UK General Election accentuated the discord, rather than the union, about which we warned. This was only one of many global signals.

Jericho was conceived as part-consultancy, part- think tank, committed to the common good. If anything, our belief in the progressive agenda and common good has become more resolute, despite the word “progressive” – like trust – being often hijacked. We believe that a different debate and settlement is needed across business, politics & civil society – more urgent now than ever before.

We are frequently asked “but what do you actually do?”. Many are already familiar with our work with KPMG on the global Responsible Tax project; with CIPD on the Future of Work is Human; with Nominet on the Digital Futures Index; with RICS on the re-definition of Public Advantage; and with our work on London Essays and Growing Well: London 2040, a partnership between client Capital & Counties Properties PLC and Centre for London. With these programmes, we convene broad coalitions (sometimes national, also global) across business, politics, the activist and NGO communities, academia, experts and media – firm in the belief that better solutions are co-produced by those who sit outside of the usual echo chambers. Our process and programmes speak to our working principles of activism & co-production; accountability & dissent.

Feedback from friends, colleagues and clients is that, in addition to specialist advisory, Jericho should also offer some clearly defined “packages” that celebrate the best of our people, insights, experience and advice. So here you are – many of these involve multiple Jericho partners, working together to share their skills and deep expertise. There are more in the development pipeline, to be announced later this year, together with a major collaborative project on “Renewal” – highlighted below – and the need for big, imaginative leaps in current business thinking.

Wise Crowd Coalitions

These are the programmes we have been pioneering for three years. Our initiatives on responsible tax, the human future of work and the digital economy provide good case studies. We work/ have worked extensively in the built environment, transport and financial services also. Typical programme duration is 18-36 months – allowing the stakeholder communities to grow organically (up to 1,000 active contributors) and to determine both direction and content. The future can only be negotiated, not imposed. More here.

Allied to this is Jericho’s unique convening power: developing and chairing roundtables and other partner events with a unique combination of diversity, seniority, energy and flair. We curate a network of over 3,000 active influencers across the various issue areas in which we work – all friends of Jericho.

Original research often underpins the new coalitions we build. Jericho’s research partner, Andrew Gunn takes a fresh approach to insights and data – building on the themes of wise crowds and a theory of change that sits at the nexus of top-down and bottom-up behaviour.

Travel the Jericho Road

This is a practical (but far from dull) workshop-based programme for companies and organisations re-thinking their engagement strategies and moving to new models of communications, leadership and trust. We help clients engineer that shift in very practical terms.

Developed by RobertThe Jericho Road is run for both leadership and communications teams who know they need to re-write the rules (or at least the handbook). More here.

Less Obvious Leaders

Work dating back a number of years on the politics of the workplace and leadership effectiveness provoked radical new thinking around Diversity & Inclusion – many practices have become moribund and over-focused on ticking boxes. This is a collective programme to support and develop Less Obvious Leaders within an organization, fighting the sterile analysis of Myers Briggs and similar. Conceived by Christine, the programme covers a range of topics & skills: from personal confidence and presentation training through to social and digital personalities and footprints.

Speaking platforms & on-stage events

Many of Jericho’s partners are published authors on a broad range of subjects: Margaret Heffernan’s Willful Blindness, Beyond Measure or The Bigger Prize; Charlie Leadbeater’s seminal Living on Thin Air and We-Think; Robert Phillips’ Trust Me, PR is Dead; Filip Matous’ How To Get Your Website Noticed; and Theresa Regli’s technical work on Digital and Marketing Asset Management – to name just a few. Christine’s Big Jobs and Small Children is scheduled for publication by Bloomsbury later this year.

In addition to publishing, a number of Jericho partners are acclaimed public speakers, panelists and conference convenors – working around the world. See Margaret’s or Charlie’s TED talks; and/ or our recent work with Investec and Business in the Community; or think about the Progressive Alliance, conceived and run by partner Neal Lawson, that did so much to change the face of British politics in the 2017 General Election.

Renewal – a Jericho think tank project

Finally, four years on, we are delighted to welcome new faces and deep expertise into the Jericho family – including Indy Johar, Anne Bowers, Norman Pickavance and Catherine Fieschi. We will even update the Jericho website soon! A number of us will collaborate on a radical thinking/ doing initiative, focused on imaginative failure and the case for democratic and economic renewal.

Renewal is a five-year iterative project, culminating in a progressive manifesto for Britain; a collaboration between multiple partners, covering critical areas including: skills & social mobility, shelter, security, technology, climate, demography – and democracy itself.

For each subject, developed with and supported by different corporate and not-for-profit/ Foundation partners, we will take imaginative leaps and explore radical new ideas and systems thinking – far beyond an incremental approach. For us, as above, the role of business is critical in supporting a new social compact. This is not a business-as-usual policy exercise, but instead an energising, exciting and radical coalition that places urgent original thinking at the heart of democratic renewal.

More on this in the weeks ahead.

That’s about it for now. Thank you, LinkedIn, for reminding me that we have been at it (incredibly) for four years and for all those “anniversary congratulations” notes. This has been a quick re-cap on what we have done and what we are doing. We hope to do more and will not rest until the world is a better place. Or at least part of it. Please work with us and help us make it so.


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