Authenticity Works

I’m hosting a meeting called Authenticity Works on Tuesday 6th April 6pm to 9pm. This is an informal gathering of people who are keen to see more authentic relationships in the workplace.

At this one, David Wilcox will give a 15 minute, provocative talk to kick off discussions. He’s going to review his experience as a process planner and facilitator for public sector clients on community engagement programmes. The challenges he deals with include:

– the (tendered) brief usually needs to be challenged

– there is seldom one client – usually a partnership of agencies

– effective engagement requires commitment of those agencies, whose cultures are not always sympathetic to wider participation

– the agencies may be unprepared to deal with the results of engagement, and to deliver effectively

– good people in the institutions are trapped in systems and procedures

– wider publics are now getting rightly cynical about participation processes

– but if you don’t try and do some of these jobs, other people will do it anyway (worse of course)

As these are typical of the challenges facing those who want greater authenticity at work, it should be a very interesting evening. The event takes place in Islington, London N1. Details (Word Doc)

8 thoughts on “Authenticity Works

  1. David Wilcox

    Thanks John. My colleague Drew Mackie summed it all up neatly a few years back in an article Dancing while standing still. Not much has changed. My 10-year-old Guide to Effective Participation is available in full here. Looks a bit idealistic now…

  2. Earl Mardle

    I’m envious, this looks like something right up my street. You may be interested in this posting as well. AI and the Tao of BPR

    The things you can fix in an organisational process are not the things that are broken


    The process you can see is not the process that is happening

  3. Earl Mardle

    Just been checking your link to Ton Zijlstra’s piece on every signal starting out as noise. To quote from the poster that he made.

    – that formal structures are not reality.


  4. Dave Young

    This sounds like a fun evening. Let’s see, with airfare at $2k, plus hotel and tips, I don’t think I can swing it. Now, if lunch were included… 😉

  5. Designing for Civil Society

    Seeking inspiration for authentic engagement

    I’m really looking forward to next Tuesday’s meeting in London of the Authenticity Works group – convened with an informal and creative touch by John Moore – despite being put on the spot to get conversations going around community engagement

  6. ian

    David has written about this problem on his Designing for Civil Society blog – my comment on that post is here

    I spent 30 years as the public sector client, now soemtimes as the consultant, sometimes as the community member I’m seeing it from the other side without any great improvement.

    David’s challenges are spot on – too often the client doesn’t have a clue what they want and rely on you to tell them. I’ve almost stopped responding to tenders now because so many are so vague and badly written.

  7. Johnnie Moore

    Ian: thanks for taking the trouble to cross post here. It’s good to get confirmation of the experience, if a little worrying. In psychotherapy, it’s generally the case that the “presenting problem” is often not the real problem. Likewise, I found in advertising that the brief was itself not about the real problem…


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