collective voice

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Your Choice, Or is it?

October 11, 2019 13:35

Being overweight or obese in childhood has profound impacts on the health and life chances of our children.

Yet we live in a democracy where free choice is a democratic right and the consequences of those choices seems to be everyone responsibility!  In my view, Professor Dame Sally Davies makes the right point, we live in a society where we are (as a population) addicted to sugar, high carbohydrate diet. 

Seven months ago, I swapped to a very low sugar and carb lifestyle, (sometimes called KETO, it is similar to the 800 diet from Michael Mosley).  For the first 4-5 days I had the sweats as my body moved off the carbs and started to burn fat instead.  I have to say the change in both my weight, my mental health and general feeling of energy has remained high, I don’t even feel hungry…

I share this personal story as an empathy view. I was addicted to sugar and carbs and I wasn’t eating that much processed food.  

The facts

Consequences of childhood obesity on health

Many children who are obese or overweight suffer physical health issues, including type 2 diabetes, asthma and musculoskeletal pain, and experience mental health problems, such as depression. These affect the quality of our children’s lives, their education and their life chances. In later life, these can reduce their productivity, earnings and shorten their lives. 


The Agenda

The Government is setting out an approach to public service delivery that emphasises the power of civic society to tackle the big social challenges that we face. This approach is placing more emphasis on the need to:

1.           Realign many of the current social programmes so that they reflect the power of a ‘Society’ response to social challenges rather than a State dominated solution.

2.          Develop supportive, not coercive, approaches to better health and well-being and the appropriate use of public services.

3.          Develop approaches that maximise both choices and responsibility.

4.          Develop targeted and segmented interventions aimed at specific groups with a special focus on assisting the poor and young, and in so doing, reduce inequality.

5.          Develop approaches that demonstrate savings and value for money. They should be co-created - designed by and with the involvement of the target audiences.

It seems Dame Sally is offering a different interpretation in public space a little like the smoking ban, using what we would term a “SMACK” ( I explain this below) If you try to eat or drink unhealthy snacks on public transport you will faced some type of yet to be explained punishment,  a fine or something similar …

The Cost/Value Matrix©

The Cost/Value Matrix© is a conceptual device used by to represent four different forms of interventions that can be employed to promote change in individuals and groups:

‘Nudge’, ‘Shove’, ‘Hug’ and ‘Smack’.


Most successful social interventions use a mix of these four. It should also be noted that the four forms of intervention are not absolutely distinct.

The matrix is constructed using two axes, active and passive choosing and positive and negative enforcement. In most circumstances what is required is a mix of interventions that work on both the active system two and passive system one mindsets and encompasses both rewards and penalties. 

For more information. On the cost value matrix please get in touch with and Paula will share our full white paper.

So, what next…

I stand firmly with Dame Sally, we must take positive action in education and behaviour change for ourselves and the future generations, the human body is not designed to consume the level of sugar and carbohydrates that we as a nation consume today. The data is staring us in our faces.

What we have understood in terms of designing for behaviour change is you CANNOT fix people, it doesn’t work, we must ENABLE people, and this needs us to truly understand what is important the people who as a society we need to support to change for not only for their health but for our ability to afford to care for each other.

SO, here is my question for us all...

In terms of your weight and eating, what’s important to you?


I would love to find out

Energy Management

October 21, 2016 15:03

Most of our conversations with leaders will at some point focus on energy. It could be their personal energy and resilience for leading change – ‘I just need the energy’ or ‘I never seem to switch off and recharge’. It may be how to motivate and engage the energy of the people who work for and with them - ‘If we spent as long talking about solutions rather problems and work rather than social life, we’d have sorted it ages ago!’ Alternatively, it might be how to ‘manage’ the people who sap energy and will give a thousand reasons why change won’t work, or why they are not prepared to make personal behavioural changes - ‘I’ve always done it this way…’ –sometimes described as organisational ‘mood hoovers’.

Energy management is a critical leadership skill, both personally and within teams. There are some simple steps you can take to manage your energy and help create energy for others. Radcliffe identifies 4 types of energy - physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. There needs to be balance with all four, otherwise we experience an energy deficit which can unbalance our effectiveness and, in extreme circumstances, cause energy crisis.

“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to manage your own energy, and help manage the energy of those around you.”

-         Peter Drucker

At ICE, we love the metaphors that Andy Cope uses in ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’ about ‘shining a light’ with energy and creating energy for others as opposed to ‘casting a shadow’ for yourself and others. Our work with individuals through coaching, team effectiveness and leadership development helps people to see themselves how other people see and experience their energy and, most importantly, what they can do to take control and manage their energy resources.


There are some very practical and tactical actions that you can take to you manage your energy and resources, such as:

  • Working out when your energy is highest - are you a lark or an owl? Focus on important or demanding activities when you’re most energised
  • Knowing what refreshes your energy and planning these activities/treats into your routine
  • Identifying what saps your energy and working out how you can manage/mitigate/avoid this.

We find people who make transformational changes are those who are able to connect to their purpose, their drivers, their ‘why’ or their purpose. Typically, they have more energy and are also more resilient. In their busy daily lives, they are people who are able to be clear about what is important and are able to link their choices about where and how they spend their energy. We call this values-driven behaviour connected to purpose. The personal application also works for leading teams; after all, we are all human.

“I’m convinced that the most effective competitors in the 21st century will be the organisations that learn how to harness the emotional energy of employees.”

-         Noel Tichy

Culture Map, developed by ICE, provides insight using people’s assessment of preferred, current and future desired culture. It looks at how much energy they are able to bring to their work, dependent on the alignment of culture and what is called ‘cultural entropy’ i.e. what stops things and people changing and ‘gets in the way’.

Based on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Barrett’s work on Human Consciousness, we know that if people do not feel that some of the more basic needs are being addressed, they cannot move to be transformational - affecting and leading change - often connected to energy.

This quick assessment can be a really helpful start to the conversation and journey around ‘What do we need to do to help people have more energy and bring more of themselves to the challenges?”

Culture Map works in a range of different settings and sectors with powerful results.

If you would like to learn more about connecting your energy and motivating and managing energy in others, or how Culture Map can help, please contact us at