About James

I've been an unconventional leader since I was a teenager. First with the scout movement, then the Territorial Army. After university I joined the UK civil service on a graduate management development programme. My career is now in its third decade and I've worked in Finance, HR, policy, strategy, IT, change, operations management and internal consultancy. Over the years I've mentored, coached and developed dozens of senior managers and hundreds of people.

Weeknotes 23-27 March 2020

I’m back at work, although given that we’re all working from home that seems like a very wrong statement. I’ve literally not gone back anywhere, I’m sitting in my living room, or my bedroom (depending on whether or not it’s Continue reading Weeknotes 23-27 March 2020

Weeknotes 7-20 March 2020

I re-started my Weeknotes again two weeks ago with good intentions. It seemed that the sensitivity of my work had dropped, and the all out pace had slackened. I was lining up for a new project after a few days Continue reading Weeknotes 7-20 March 2020

Weeknotes 2-6 March 2020

This week started quieter than many of the ones over the last few months, although ‘quiet’ is a relative term in the Defra Strategy Unit! The activities that I was surged into Defra are largely done, the re-shuffle has been Continue reading Weeknotes 2-6 March 2020

Explaining the Lack of Weeknotes

I’ve not written any weeknotes since my unremarkable endnote. That was when I came to Defra as part of the Brexit surge. In my first few weeks here I was in the EU emergency centre, helping test our preparations in Continue reading Explaining the Lack of Weeknotes

Talking about Failure of FiReControl

In Monday I delivered a seminar on the Failure of FiReControl as part of the IPA Project X. At the invitation of Richard Kirkham, theme lead for X, I went up to Manchester University and spoke about my perspective on Continue reading Talking about Failure of FiReControl