I am the originator of generative enterprise, a philosophy and set of practices for bringing organizational purpose to life each moment by means of a mission involving everyone from the CEO to the most junior employee.

The story so far

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I was born and raised in an east London funeral parlour, so heartfelt service is in my blood.

After surviving five hellish years at an oppressive boarding school in rural Essex, I escaped to become an apprentice telephone engineer. Jobs in music publishing, fashion, and retail were followed by a move into the world of advertising: media sales positions at SuperMarketing, IPC Women’s Magazines and Marketing Week, then agency account management roles at Beavis, Shrimpling & Softly and Lonsdales International.

In the early 1980s, I got together with my friend Richard Price to create Leith & Price, a groundbreaking company that provided business development services to prominent advertising agencies, media owners and design firms, drawing on a unique database of advertisers, brands and agencies that I created. The database was acquired by Pearson, and subsequently by Emap, and is now owned by ALF Insight in a greatly-expanded form (read more).

Ten years later I reinvented myself as a consultant specialising in complex problem solving, breakthrough innovation and whole systems change, and built a client list that included ABN Amro Bank, European Commission, GlaxoSmithKline, McCain Foods, and Royal Dutch Shell, where I worked extensively with the GameChanger team.

I am a practising innovator. My creations include a game for couples called Hoochie-Coochie (see here), the Leith & Price database (see here), and numerous management concepts and methods including generative enterprise.

Jack is an innovation consultant who walks the talk. He is constantly innovating his own business activity, its design and aims.

He is ‘the person’ to talk to for large group interventions, for whole system change and innovation. I attended a four-day Open Space conference that Jack facilitated. It set me on a new path in life.

Jack is highly committed and skilled, challenging and truly creative. He thinks deeply about innovation and transformation. He has developed a range of propositions about innovation that can lead to new insights on the topic. He understands creativity and innovation and has developed practical ways to develop innovativeness in organisations.

Jack’s views tap into the wild and the wonderful as well as the rational. He likes to shake things up, and to help that shaking to happen quickly. He doesn’t mess about!

You won’t always find it easy working with Jack because he is one of that rare breed — an authentic agent of change and innovation who is prepared for things to get harder before they get easier.

Paul Levy, Senior Researcher, Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, University of Brighton, UK
Paul Levy

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Work history

Jack Martin Leith

Originator of generative enterprise (2019)

Read more about generative enterprise

Consultant in complex problem solving, breakthrough innovation and whole systems change (2002–2018)

My services were commissioned by senior managers in large businesses, government agencies, professional services firms, arts organizations and charities.


Co-founder and CEO (2006 – 2007)

Hoochie-Coochie was a startup that developed and introduced a wish fulfilment game for adventurous couples. The talisman pictured below was designed by Steve Ormerod, my partner in the enterprise.

The Hoochie-Coochie talisman in gold, silver and bronze
The Hoochie-Coochie talisman in gold, silver and bronze

The Innovation Agency

Founder and CEO (1999 – 2001)

The Innovation Agency was an innovation and whole systems change consultancy based in Brighton, UK.

The Centre for Large Group Interventions

Founder and CEO (1995 – 1998)

CLGI was an Amsterdam-based company that helped businesses and nonprofit organizations deploy Open Space Technology, Future Search, Real Time Strategic Change, SimuReal and other ‘whole system in the room’ methods to address strategic and operational challenges.


Partner (1991 – 1994)

Innovatics was an innovation and organization development consultancy. My business partner was Mo Cohen, currently a director of InterBe, a transformational coaching practice.

Leith & Price

Co-founder (1983 – 1990)

Leith & Price was a groundbreaking business development consultancy serving the advertising, marketing and media sectors. Our service was founded on a unique database that I created, consisting of the top 3,000 UK advertisers, their brands, corresponding advertising agencies, and marketing decision makers. Most of the big London advertising agencies subscribed to the Leith & Price service, as did an assortment of prominent design consultancies and media owners.

Earlier employers

Alexon Fashion house — concessions merchandiser

Beavis, Shrimpling & Softly Advertising agency account manager

Campbell Connelly Music publisher’s assistant

Debenhams Management trainee, department manager, merchandising executive working in four stores

IPC Consumer Industries Press Media sales executive, SuperMarketing

IPC Magazines (now TI Media, formerly Time Inc UK) Media sales executive working across 30 titles

Lonsdales International Advertising agency account manager

Marketing Week (now Centaur Media) Media sales executive

Former posts

Council member, Association for Management Education & Development.
Founder, Moon Shots—a global community of management renegades brought together by Gary Hamel’s Harvard Business Review article, Moon Shots for Management.
Head of interaction, Intranet Benchmarking Forum (now Digital Workplace Group).
Co-founder, Open Space UK.
Committee member, Bristol Festival Community Group.

Some of the many organizations I have assisted

ABN Amro Bank Age Concern (now Age UK)

Arts Factory

Association for Management Education & Development

Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (now Greater Manchester Combined Authority)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Bayer CropScience

Birmingham City University

Boosey & Hawkes

Bristol City Council

Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Development Trusts Association

Dogs Trust

EDS (originally Electronic Data Systems; later acquired by Hewlett-Packard)

EarthSpirit Festival

Environment Agency

European Commission

European Nuclear Society

Findhorn Foundation


Guinness Ireland Group (now Diageo Ireland)

Hampshire County Council


ICI Melinex (now Teijin DuPont Films)

ICI Paints (now AkzoNobel)


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Massachusetts Institute of Technology — MIT Entrepreneurship Center

McCain Foods


National Association of Local Government Arts Officers

National Association of Street Artists

Natural History Museum

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways)

New Solutions

Numico (now Danone)

Petroleum Development Oman

Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis)


Royal Dutch Shell:
• Group Strategy
• Shell GameChanger
• Shell International Exploration & Production
• Shell Risk and Insurance

Social Capital Markets

UK Government: Cabinet Office, Department of Health, Home Office, and various local authorities

University of Brighton: Community-University Partnership Programme

The Value Engineers


W.H. Smith

Welsh Development Agency (now Welsh Government)

Young Engineers

Some past talks and workshops

Enriching the World: Is it good business practice?

That’s the title of the five-minute talk I gave at Ignite Bristol (motto: Enlighten us, but make it quick) on 31 October 2010. The 20 slides accompanying the talk auto-advance every 15 seconds.

Organizing Without Managers: Exploring new forms of organization

A one-day workshop held at Ashridge, UK, on 1 July 2016 that I designed and subsequently led with Andrew Campbell, a director at Ashridge Strategic Management Centre.

Organizing Work, Creating Value: the story so far — a set of 60 slides illustrating the 150-year history of management theory and practice that I presented as part of the workshop.

Download pdf version | Download PowerPoint version (editable)

Some past conference sessions

European Sharing on Systems Thinking

Two-day conference Prague, Czech Republic, June 2015

Facilitator of Knowledge Café: Designing innovation and change work to create maximum ecosystem value—the why and the how

Facilitator of Open Space part of the conference

UX Bristol 2012

User experience conference
Bristol, United Kingdom
20 July 2012

Workshop facilitator: Co-create a short talk in a day.

Participants in this workshop started with a blank slate. Working throughout the refreshment breaks and the lunch period, they co-created a conference session, What are you taking away from today? which they ran towards the end of the day.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT Entrepreneurship Center

Annual conference
Madrid, Spain
March 2008

Facilitator of Open Space part of the conference

SOCAP Europe

May–June 2011
Organiser: Social Capital Markets Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Facilitator of Open Space part of the conference

Social Enterprise Bristol

Organiser: Bristol City Council

Conference chair and facilitator

Conference on Large Group Intervention Methods

Organiser: Schouten & Nelissen, The Netherlands

Workshop facilitator

Teaching work


London Business School

Seminar for members of the school’s innovation network

London School of Economics and Political Science

Branding seminar for marketing undergraduates

University of Brighton

Visiting lecturer, Creative Problem Solving module, MA Change Management

Innovation Masterclass

A series of two-day learning events attended by senior innovation and strategy executives from W.L. Gore & Associates, W.H. Smith, Powergen (now E.ON), and various parts of Shell including Group Strategy and Shell GameChanger.

Conference production


International Symposium on Organization Transformation


OT12: Wimborne, United Kingdom

OT13: Crete, Greece

OT14: Wicklow Mountains, Ireland

Read about the Organization Transformation symposia, from OT1 in 1983 to OT23 in 2005

Creating the World We Want

London, United Kingdom


IBF Live

Hosted by Intranet Benchmarking Forum (now Digital Workplace Group)
London, United Kingdom

Programme director

The Future of Management Development

Hosted by University of Brighton Chelwood Gate, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Co-convenor and Open Space facilitator

Read Paul Levy’s account of the conference


Creating Collaborative Gatherings Using Large Group Interventions

Gower Handbook of Training & Development, Chapter 28. Although written in 1999, much of the content remains relevant.

Download (pdf; 12pp)

Creating Greatness in the Realm Beyond Systems Thinking

Article forming part of an e-book for participants in European Sharing on Systems Thinking, Prague, Czech Republic, June 2015

Download (pdf; 22pp)

Designing innovation and change work to create maximum ecosystem value: the why and the how

Slides shown during a workshop I led for participants in European Sharing on Systems Thinking

Download (pdf; 53pp)

Introduction to Open Space

A 13-page primer for those who know little or nothing about Open Space Technology. Download (pdf)

Open Space Practice Guide

A 40-page document for those who design, organize and facilitate Open Space events, or who wish to do so.

Download (pdf)

Organizational Change and Large Group Interventions

Career Development International, 1/4 [1996] 19–23, MCB University Press

In this paper I propose six preconditions for successful change efforts.

Download from Emerald Insight (fee payable)

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