Insight support – a collaborative approach to future business

Jul 28, 2020

Clifford Style and Project 1000 have joined together to take a new approach to business advice and support. Traditionally those with more experience and knowledge – the ‘experts’ – offered this wisdom to those who needed it as ‘consultants’. But is this model changing?

What might a ‘different’ (rather than new) normal begin to look like post C-19? For SMEs the key challenge is to begin to imagine a world where the rules have changed. Customers and suppliers are changing their relationships and behaving differently; others are able to offer services that had been exclusively yours. It’s so much easier for others to enter into your marketplace. Being able to see into this rapidly changing world is a challenge.

Clifford Style (Charles and Nick) and Project 1000 (Andrew Lewin) are seeking a new approach to meet this challenge. Instead of assuming there are experts who know the answers – those who have ‘been there’ before, who have met these kinds of problems and solved them … today’s world is recognising that these problems have not been encountered before by anyone. Global pandemics and the economic fall-out that has followed are new. We will have to work out answers together. The Clifford Style Project thinks collaborative learning through investigation is needed – asking the right kinds of questions and investigating them together. Completely new insights are needed. Supporting each other in finding new approaches will be much more effective than hoping experts have the magic answer. Finding a way forward together and learning from each other maybe be a better way – perhaps we need to think differently.

The Clifford Style Project aims to help. We are setting up ‘collaborative hubs’ – these will seek a new understanding of how technology, supply chains, and customer satisfaction all combine into a new way of working in business. We think there are at least six areas where permanent and fundamental changes in attitudes are occuring.

  • Wealth and value – how and for whom its created?
  • Technology – will digital data and artificial intelligence change us?
  • Mobility – how will working, living, and travelling change?
  • Shared space – how do we use ‘places’ e.g. town centres?
  • Resilience and wellbeing – how do we stay healthy?
  • Learning – have we become better informed but less wise?

Our approach to this is

  • Pause and reflect (P)
  • Gain new Insights (I)
  • Develop New thinking and ideas (N)
  • Support each other in change and development (S)

In a nutshell – PINS! Our new hubs will develop how we can achieve a better understanding of what challenges we are facing by identifying the underlying issues behind these changes and then thinking about how to address them.

We will be adding to this work as it develops and sharing with you our progress. Nick, Charles and Andrew share a unique blend of knowledge and experience that equips them to take on these challenges:

Nick has been a senior professional in local government and an academic. He has experience in environmental planning and policy analysis. He has researched and taught in a major UK business school, both designing and delivering executive education programmes.

Charles has been a Naval man, with senior command at sea, experience in defence strategy and equipment procurement. He headed the Royal College of Defence Studies, a senior international college based in London developing strategic leaders, and has been an executive in residence at a leading business school.

Andrew Lewin

Andrew has been a Headteacher and Director in a number independent boarding schools, he is passionate about Workplace Resilience and Wellbeing and is an accredited WRAW Master Practitioner, as well as a certified Life Coach. (Contact:

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