Approaches to change – what are we rejecting, possibly unhelpfully?

Fri, 6th December, 2019 from 10:00 AM, in London

As people responsible for your own long term personal development, we invite you to the last London event of an extraordinary year.  This event will be run by Peter Edwards, a long standing friend, colleague and learning buddy of Jeremy’s (who will be moderating).

We will start at 10am (preceded by a light breakfast from 9:30am) and finish latest by 4pm possibly followed by a seasonal drink in a local hostelry.  A light homemade lunch will be included.

Peter has written a piece to explain this thinking:

“Although I am sure that we all work within environments where change has been central to what we do it is worth acknowledging that we are also part of a world where change is taking place around us. Nowhere is this more true than across the UK as we face the reality of Brexit. So, although we may seek to help our clients manage change we are also actors in major change in our lives outside of work.

Across the world political leaders are challenging the post WWII liberal consensus. As in the 1930s the established consensus based on one nation unity and regional cooperation is being challenged like never before. Whether you live in the US, the UK, Hungary, Russia or even Hong Kong we are operating in a world of increased tribal division. There appears to be the rise of a more dominant single leader who appeal over the heads of established institutions directly to a wide constituency of the population. The accepted mediation provided by traditional institutions such as the UN, NATO and indeed the EU itself appear to be challenged by an increasingly nationalistic and popularist political parties.

Whilst the post-war liberal approach to change has not always been consensual it has been broadly defined though a systematic methodological, and institutionalised perspective. The rules of the game have largely been understood and the governing bodies are now well established. Perhaps this bias towards collaborative and well planned change has blinded us to the philosophical changes which are driving the political upheaval that is impacting our lives so fundamentally. Under the new model, change appears to be deliberately divisive and derived from an expressed objective to move to a radically new state.

Under this more revolutionary approach the complete destruction of the current state is an essential component of the redesign of the future state. This is an approach expressed by the military strategist John Boyd and is the approach adopted by Dominic Cummings and Steve Bannon as part of their fundamental approach to creating a new world order.

We appear to be witnessing two distinct approaches to change. The first is based on a planned and structured design. It is analytical and quite transparent in execution. One can take, as an example, the approaches advocated by writers such as Kotter and from our own experience of leading change. But the second is more radical and indeed revolutionary. This is a synthetic approach where the current state is destroyed before a new, yet to be clearly defined future state is established.

Which one is more effective and, indeed, are we prepared for the second whilst trying to operate in the first?

The aim of the session then is to better understand the extremes of change and to challenge our own perceptions of change.”

For the past 10 years Peter has worked as a Group CIO for leading retail and retail finance companies. During this time he has been closely involved in the development of both strategy and its execution across Europe, the US and in the UK. Prior to that he led a number of large change programmes in both the public and private sectors.
Peter worked for KPMG for 8 years and met Jeremy when they were both leaving in 1995. His details are on his LinkedIn profile at:



Date, time and venue

Date(s) - 06/12/2019
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Amadeus Centre
50 Shirland Road
London, W9 2JA

Map and directions