Pristine shelfware to working in the swamps

Benjamin P. Taylor
1 min readMar 31, 2021

I thought it was essential — actually, the most important part of my work. But I gave it up and haven’t looked back.

I used to work in policy — and we’d produce some brilliant policies. The problem is, nobody really followed them.

Then, as a consultant, I produced enormous, beautiful slide-decks.

Full of findings, analysis, recommendations, with graphics professionally tweaked overnight, they were nodded through at Boards and Steering Groups. But not, to be honest, noticeably implemented.

Then I did business cases and action plans. Felt like people made real decisions. But not much changed.

So we did Rapid Improvement Events. It was exciting! Stuff got done. Until just when the action plan at the end was completed.

These days, we do more… work. Yes, we analyse. Yes, we recommend. But mostly, we work alongside people helping them to make change happen in the hear and now.

We even write it up when helpful. But we’ve learned that the reports don’t make a difference, making a difference does.

What did you used to think *was* your job, but you can now do without?