It was almost a throwaway line in a previous post about how the PS Launchpad accelerator compared to other types of learning and development that councils might benefit from. However, one of the biggest things that this process has done is in terms of what it has done to me as an individual and (perhaps) as a manager.

Obviously reflection takes time – proper time – and so particularly the things around management and leadership skills will need the feedback from my team to help me accurately gauge, so I’ll gloss over those for the time being. Suffice to say I think its been quite game-changing in a number of ways.


Proper professionals. No, really.

Originally I wrote a load of stuff about me here, but I’ve decided largely to keep that to myself. Suffice to say that all the crazy stuff you read on the Internet about self-development is true – but you have to live it, not just read about it, to fully absorb the learning.

So this post is instead about my network: both the people I met – the crew, founders, mentors, and others – and the people I already knew who helped us on the way, it’s no exaggeration to say that a person’s network is the difference between success and failure in any context. You genuinely can’t do everything yourself, no matter how awesome you are, because the modern world rewards specialization. I discovered that some people I already knew were shockingly good at what they did, way above anything I could comprehend, and I met some amazing people who will hopefully remain friends for a long time. So in no particular order…

All the other founders on the programme – this group of amazing people provided me with laughter, support and benchmarking throughout. All of them will go on to great things, and some of them are there already. They all helped in some way or another so I won’t single anyone out publically.

The crew – Marc, Lucy, Daniel and Alison – these were the people who made the programme happen on the ground. Whether mediating in a crisis between founders, organising around the changing requirements we all kept having, chasing up partners or suppliers who weren’t delivering, using their networks to give us the edge through access to influential people, keeping our spirits up through setbacks – these guys did it all. They were coaches, mentors, surrogate parents, organisers and plenty more besides.

Dom Potter from Solve, and Carrie and Dom from FutureGov – I never worked out the relationship between the two organisations but that didn’t matter in the end. These were the prime movers of the programme (as far as I could tell) and we got a lot of support, especially around fitting the programme ideas into a local government context.

Everyone who delivered a session as part of the taught programme – I don’t think we were an especially easy group of people to teach although we were all motivated to learn. 🙂 Also a special mention for Mary McKenna, who spoke at our dinner one week and who helped our project out immensely and is continuing to do so.

All the mentors – some are mentioned on this page, but by no means all (and I think some of the mentors on that page also dropped out). We had particularly good help from Zoe Cunningham, Ben Unsworth, Simon Parker, David McNulty and Laurence McCahill as well as good insights from Indy Johar and Joost Beunderman.

Some people who weren’t affiliated with the programme but helped us get our heads straight or introduced us to yet more interesting people include Dave Briggs, Liz Stevenson, Francine Bennett, Richard Sage, Matt Leach, Lior Smith, Simon Gough, Ann Kempster, Mark Braggins, Steve Peters, Mike Thacker, and the LGA LG-Inform team.

We had solid, professional, practical help from the developers at Cosmic, as well as world class branding consulting by Anne McCrossan, graphics by Jane Skelton, and some project management challenge from Hannah Tucker – most of the work of these people has yet to see the light of day, which is a tantalising thought 🙂

The support I’ve had from the mothership has been exceptional, especially from my team – Marisa Smyth, Diane Demeger, David Murch, John Higgs and Vicky Forbes-Perry – and peers Chris Outram, Carl Haggerty and Sara Cretney. Senior management – Richard Carter, Rob Parkhouse, John Smith and Phil Norrey – have been pretty cool too.

I may have missed some people off. Ping me and I’ll add you 🙂

There is a Twitter list containing founders, mentors and associated people from the programme – all the people on that list and those mentioned in this post are definitely worth a follow.


Finally, working with Lucy has been a lot of fun. Long may it continue 🙂

And that is all my blogging from the Public Service Launchpad Accelerator. I hope it’s been useful and/or entertaining. To find out what happens next, follow our project on Twitter. Or the website. Although that’s all the blogging for now, this isn’t about an end but a beginning. Once you start a “thing” it sticks to you forever.