Featured image for “What is COVID-19 telling us about leadership?”

What is COVID-19 telling us about leadership?

March 18, 2021
Guest post from Heather Marquette and Sian Herbert, both University of Birmingham. Their paper on ­­COVID-19, Governance and Conflict: Emerging Impacts and Future Evidence Needs, reviews hundreds of pieces of research and analysis and is published by the Knowledge for Development (K4D) COVID-19 Resource Hub. COVID-19 has so far proven to be a unique – and ongoing – global natural

What do we know about Developmental Leaders? What questions should we be asking?

January 21, 2020
The Developmental Leadership Program is an intriguing research initiative, which I’ve been loosely associated with for many years. Founded in 2006 and largely funded by the Australian aid programme, they recently produced four ‘foundational papers’ summarizing where they’ve got to and what questions they think researchers and practitioners should now be asking on the thorny question of leadership. This is
Featured image for “How have societies rebuilt trust in their leaders? Your ideas please!”

How have societies rebuilt trust in their leaders? Your ideas please!

July 18, 2019
What can we learn from history about how to rebuild the trust between political leaders and citizens that seems to have evaporated in recent years? This was the topic of a recent exchange with Paddy Radcliffe. Paddy has launched a project to ‘build trustworthiness and trust in and between our public leaders, institutions and citizens’ in the UK. The campaign involves

Paul Polman on Capitalism, Leadership & Sustainability

December 13, 2018
Paul Polman is stepping down as CEO of Unilever, and the business pages are full of tributes, led by the FT, which calls him ‘the standout CEO of the past decade’. I interviewed him in 2016, as part of the research for How Change Happens. We met in Paul’s office in Unilever House, its cavernous Thames-side HQ. Inside the art

Where does political will come from?

March 2, 2018
Claire Mcloughlin and David Hudson from the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department summarise the Developmental Leadership Program’s recent 10 year synthesis report, Inside the Black Box of Political Will.  When reforms fail, people often bemoan a lack of ‘political will’. Whether it’s failure to introduce legislation promoting women’s rights, not getting vital public services to rural communities, or weak implementation

Achilles v Ulysses and Complexity, according to the OECD

October 12, 2017
Just been browsing a new OECD book on what complexity and systems thinking mean for policy-making. It consists of ‘a compilation of contributions from a series of seminars and workshops on complexity issues over the past two years. It reflects the combined wisdom and perspectives of an internal and external network of researchers, academics and policymakers.’ The pieces are short

Women and Power: final report of excellent research project + top recommendations for aid agencies

April 13, 2016
ODI have just wrapped up an excellent two year project on ‘Women and power: overcoming barriers to leadership and influence’ with a final synthesis report that is well worth reading. It’s an intelligent discussion, informed by the thinking in the ‘Doing Development Differently’ network (which is in need of a stronger gender focus). It combines some ‘well duh’ obvious stuff

The Importance of Leadership and the Magic of Roads

November 26, 2014
Yesterday, I described the grim state of PNG politics and administration, but the Aussies decided to send me to an outlier (in both senses) – the remote inland district of Nuku. Nuku is in the middle of a fascinating mini-transformation, and DFAT is pretty excited about it. That transformation forced me to question two of my extensive array of NGO

Learning, leadership and the case for strategic interns

December 16, 2011

Videos I liked: animated marxism; leadership and the dancing guy; adapting to climate change

July 30, 2010
OK, this week’s posts have been fairly demanding, so let’s relax a bit. I’ve been getting a pile of links to excellent youtubes and the like. If you’re in an open plan office like me, sticking on the headphones and watching videos during office hours can be a bit awkward (‘it’s work related, honest’), so either brave the disapproval or book