Sunday, 5 July, 2020


Jamie Ounan

We believe that the best solutions are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. That is why we prepare organisations for change and help them implement it. We do this through an intimate understanding of their business, a relentless focus on delivery, the use of techniques that challenge the status quo and bridge traditional disciplines. We provide a range of services to public and private organisations including project and programme management, property consultancy, change management and strategy development and strategic advice. Contact us to discuss a project.

Sunday, 5 July, 2020



What are we seeing? Well not much of Super Saturday, as we choose to stay at home with most of the population. It seems that during the daytime the pubs were mainly populated by bored feature writers nursing a pint with very few stories to presenting themselves. Our hopes remain with the NHS staff and the small business owners that are struggling to make ends meet.


On that basis we are ‘staying alert ‘and working hard on multiple regeneration challenges for our clients. Our focus is on the logistics of delivery and being ever-mindful of clear, progressive strategy. Hence the team has been helping our partners get ready for the reopening and finalising multiple Future High Street Fund bids, Town Funds and prospectuses to help secure millions of investment for their towns. The crisis has enabled us to work creatively with our client teams to explore how we integrate community wealth building and progressive forms of partnership between the public and private sector. The team’s heart and soul are going into this work, so I hope the bids succeed on merit and politics don’t get in the way.


The team has also just concluded a review of how to accelerate the delivery of better forms of care homes known as Independent Living. The better architecture, quality of care, dignity of community and financial efficiency all come together to make the model a clear winner for future policy and investment. We cannot publish the report yet, but you can see our reflections here.



As a result of the proliferation of poor pandemic punditry and associated clickbait, I have resolved to read Tetlock and Gardner’s Super Forecasting: the art and science of prediction (a summary of the 10 commandments are here). At Inner Circle, we’re well versed in producing robust business cases that triage complex information and break down problems into their constituent parts. As we set out information to our clients, we are constantly testing ourselves for under or over-reacting to evidence. That said, there is lots to learn and I thoroughly recommend it to all decision-makers.


As well as going high (moral and intellectual standards), we sometimes like to go low (brow)!  Hence my Super Saturday was spent watching Dolly Parton: Here I Am documentary. It was meant to help decompress after a busy week, plus childcare, but far from being low brow it was an education and inspiration. Generous, with a heart of gold, she is shown as being 100 per cent focused on her growth to stardom. Modern literature will highlight this as a great example of growth mindset (see Carol Dweck on TED here); a trait that is hugely empowering to be around in the pandemic. Dolly is shown as a brilliantly quick witted straight talker whilst being a consummate diplomate. Again this is fantastic skill, and if you want good tips on how to be diplomatic start with The Book of Life as an excellent entry point.  We are in love with Dolly ‘the mind’ as well as the karaoke queen.


So, pour yourself a cup of ambition, simultaneously purchase a socially distanced pint in your local, and get ready for the week ahead.



We joined our neighbours from across the country in applauding the NHS on their 72nd birthday today. We fully support the movement to have 5 July declared a new public bank holiday to recognise the incredible efforts of these heroes.


We’re continuing our series of breakfast webinars with a session this Tuesday 7 July at 8:30, exploring the transition of the arts to outdoor locations as the sector responds and adapts to the pandemic, and the implications this has on development and placemaking. We welcome you to sign up here.