Leading a workshop at European Sharing on Systems Thinking, Prague, Czech Republic, June 2015
Jack Martin Leith is the originator of now-to-new and a wayfinder living in the west of England.
Jack invented the term now-to-new to signify a shift from the present situation (‘Now’) to what is needed instead (‘New’), such that maximum downstream value is generated.
“Jack is an innovation consultant who walks the talk.”
Paul Levy, a senior fellow at University of Brighton – Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, and the founder of Rational Madness Theatre Company, FringeReview and CATS3000 | Read Paul’s testimonial in full
Now-to-new is a blanket term that covers problem solving, surmounting a tough challenge, creating the new, changing this into that, developing value generation capability, and making full use of what already exists.
Here is an example of each of the six main types of now-to-new work, drawn from Jack’s casebook:
“He has one of the most brilliant, penetrating, erudite, and practical minds I know.”
Angus Jenkinson, formerly Professor of Integrated Marketing at University of Bedfordshire; currently Secretary of The Cybernetics Society and the founder of Thinking | Read Angus’s testimonial in full
Examples: ICI Melinex, Dogs Trust, McCain Foods, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Environment Agency, Shell GameChanger.Jack grew up in an east London funeral parlour and left school when he turned 16, embarking on a succession of jobs in music publishing, fashion, retail and advertising before establishing Leith & Price, a company that helped advertising agencies and media owners pinpoint new business prospects and communicate with them effectively.
After leaving Leith & Price, he founded or co-founded a number of consulting practices that advanced a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to complex problem solving, breakthrough innovation and whole system change, namely Innovatics, thenew.org and The Innovation Agency.
Jack was instrumental in bringing Open Space Technology, a participant-driven conference method, to the UK after experiencing it for the first time in 1988 at an international conference on organisation transformation. Some years later, he moved to Amsterdam where he established The Centre for Large Group Interventions and helped senior managers use Open Space, Future Search, Real Time Strategic Change and other ‘whole system in the room’ methods to address strategic and operational challenges.
“He is second to none in comparing, contrasting, and critiquing models, explaining complex management thinking simply and memorably, and turning ideas into effective practice.”
Dr. James Wilk MA Oxf, MSc Oxf, PhD, FCybS, University of Oxford | Read James’s testimonial in full
Jack’s services have been commissioned by a wide range of businesses and nonprofit organisations including ABN Amro Bank, Capita Symonds, Department of Health, European Commission, GlaxoSmithKline, Home Office, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NHS, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways), PricewaterhouseCooopers, Royal Dutch Shell, and WH Smith.
When working as a wayfinder, Jack adopts many roles such as strategist, researcher, intervention designer, coach, facilitator and project navigator.
“His understanding of the issues, passion for innovation and down-to-earth approach made a valuable contribution to GameChanger.”
Dr. Math Kohnen, formerly a member of the Group Strategy unit at Royal Dutch Shell and a vice president at Shell GameChanger | Read Math’s testimonial in full
He is a prolific writer on management and organisational topics and a former commissioning editor for Organisations & People, the journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, where he sat on the governing council. He has taught at London Business School, University of Brighton, London School of Economics, Roffey Park Institute, Hult Ashridge and elsewhere.
Jack is a lifelong inventor and a habitual entrepreneur. His latest venture is Reopen, a database of UK rail reopening schemes he plans to complete by summer 2021.
You can follow Jack on Twitter: @JackAtReopen.
“If I was in a tight corner, Jack is one of the main people I’d want on my side.”
Tom Bourner, Emeritus Professor of Personal and Professional Development, University of Brighton, UK | Read Tom’s testimonial in full