Robert’s Blog

International Safari

Last week (12th-16th June) Red Ochre were privileged to lead the #SPARKSE International Safari. Over the course of a week social enterprises from the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium met and exchanged ideas and perspectives with policy makers and commissioners, learned about approaches to innovation and social innovation and visited innovative local social enterprises in West Sussex and Brighton. The programme is led by The Platform, Brighton and West Sussex County Council and will run to the end of September 2018. Read more »

Published: June 19, 2017.

The pros and cons of crowdfunding for small business

Listen to Robert speak on crowdfunding at the Portobello Business Centre You Tube channel. This two minute bite-size video touches on what crowdfunding us useful for, what to do to have a successful campaign and when other more traditional forms of fundraising are more appropriate. Read more »

Published: May 15, 2017.

Infographic: Improving work place health

Improving work place heal from the ground up. Source: C3 Collaborating for Health, supported by The Health Foundation. Read more »

Published: March 8, 2017.

Social Enterprise Innovation Accelerator Programme

We’re pleased to share with you that Red Ochre has won the contract to develop the Social Enterprise Innovation Accelerator Programme (SEIAP) in West Sussex and Brighton. We will be working with The Platform and West Sussex County Council on this EU SPARK programme from March 2017 through to December 2018. For more information and to learn about this exciting new programme visit The Platform website. Read more »

Published: February 27, 2017.

Infographic: Unlocking Your Organizational DNA

Ten principles for empowering people and building high-performance companies. For more insight, read “The 10 Principles of Organizational DNA.” Source: strategy+business Read more »

Published: February 3, 2017.

Infographic: Five principles you can apply to your enterprise

Here’s an interesting blog and infographic on principles (or laws) that are useful for enterprises in the digital age. Source: strategy+business Read more »

Published: January 4, 2017.

Thank you from Vietnam

As it’s the season of good cheer I thought it would be nice to post a photo of a thank you notes I received earlier this year. I was privileged to be involved in a ground breaking social enterprise development programme in Hochiminh City. Some of the delegates put pen to paper to express their thanks. Read more »

Published: December 21, 2016.

Four Business Models for the Digital Age

I came across this article earlier this week by John Sviokla at Strategy and Business. It looks at business models that may (or more likely) may not be appropriate for digital organisations. The two main aspects explored are the depth and knowledge of the client relationship, and whether an organisation sits within a supply or value chain or is part of a larger eco-system. Like most theories or models it can seem incomplete at best or trite at worst. Simultaneously, however, there is a kernel of truth to this and it does seem to makes sense. There are also some Read more »

Published: December 14, 2016.

Seven tips for building a social innovation city

SIX (the Social Innovation Exchange) has an interesting blog on its site. On a recent visit to Seoul, South Korea, Louise Pulford came up with a brief crib sheet of “dos” when it comes to supporting social innovation in the built environment. Encourage randomness – don’t over plan things Involve young people in shaping the future of the city Foster cooperation in the city Convert space into time Don’t get sucked into hype Prepare for changing needs of the city Consider long-term stewardship Some of her comments are a little repetitive or trite.  For instance points two and three address co-design Read more »

Published: December 6, 2016.

What can crowdfunding do for me?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this have a look at my piece for the Directory of Social Change when I discuss why you might want to use crowdfunding and what you can get from crowdfunding. I touch on benefits of the approach including access to funding, engagement with supporters and market testing and validation. I also explore the impact on your organisational fundraising – both strategy and implementation, using a social media foot print that is (almost certainly) underutilised and embracing social innovation in your daily practice. If you have any questions, comments or if you want to kick the idea around a bit Read more »

Published: November 30, 2016.

Eight must read books on strategy and entrepreneurship

Costas Markides, London Business School, suggests the top eight books on strategy and entrepreneurship. 1. Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement, by William Duggan (2013) This book is about how creativity happens. 2. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics, by Richard Thaler (2016) Behaviour economics looks at how we make choices in the real world. 3. Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance, by Matthew Syed (2016) We all know that for innovation to happen, we need to accept mistakes and learn from failure. This book shows us how. 4. The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Read more »

Published: September 1, 2016.

Infographic: Innovation Killer Organisational Chart

Read more »

Published: August 23, 2016.

Is daydreaming a waste of time, or more useful than you think?

According to a recent blog on the Psychology Today website allowing your mind to wander is a useful step in your creative process. This seems a tad counter-intuitive as it’s drummed in to us that focus, productivity and hard work bring results. The author expands on the way the human brain operates a mutually exclusive “task” system. The “task positive” mode is the familiar conscious approach we take to thinking and doing tasks, and very useful it is. “Task negative”, putting aside the negative connotations for a moment, seems to be just as useful. While we are in this mode Read more »

Published: August 23, 2016.

The Chrysalis Effect: Growing from a small to a large organisation

This is quite and long and rambling piece on strategy+business that explores the challenges faced by organisations as they grow. The focus in the article is on technology start-ups but at least some of the points are relevant to other types of enterprise. Read more »

Published: July 19, 2016.

Common Biases

From the article, Beyond Bias, strategy + business. There are so many types of bias, or unconscious prejudice, that they’ve been classified. Here is a rundown of some common types of bias. Do you recognize any of these? Similarity Ingroup Bias: Perceiving people who are similar to you (in ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, profession, etc.) more positively. (“We can trust her; her hometown is near mine.”) Outgroup Bias: Perceiving people who are different from you more negatively. (“We can’t trust him; look where he grew up.”) Expedience Belief Bias: Deciding whether an argument is strong or weak on the basis of Read more »

Published: July 12, 2016.