by Jack Martin Leith
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, 1913–1921

Birthing the new

Prospero is the most recent manifestation to emerge from my lifelong quest to find ever-better ways of bringing forth truly original creations (products, services, facilities such as this website, enterprises, work practices, community initiatives and so on) that have the potential to generate widespread value, infuse people’s lives with meaning and joy, and enrich the world. It is a way of being and an ethos, reinforced with some core concepts and practices. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with design thinking, Agile or another now-to-new method.

Find out how Prospero compares with design thinking

Skip the backstory and browse the index

Retracing footsteps

I grew up in an east London funeral parlour and left school when I 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, I was a founding partner in three consulting practices: Innovatics, and The Innovation Agency. These firms combined a bone-deep understanding of the now-to-new process with emerging practice in the fields of organisation development, leadership development, team development and people development, thereby enabling clients to respond to tough challenges in a comprehensive and method-independent manner.

I 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, I moved to Amsterdam were I 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.

My services have been commissioned by a wide range of businesses and nonprofit organisations including ABN Amro Bank, Department of Health, European Commission, GlaxoSmithKline, Home Office, Imagination, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McCain Foods, NHS, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways), PricewaterhouseCooopers, Royal Dutch Shell, and WH Smith.

I write extensively on management and organisational topics and was a member of the team that produced Organisations & People, the journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, where I sat on the governing council.

Places where where I’ve led workshops and development programmes include London Business School, University of Brighton, London School of Economics, Roffey Park Institute and Hult Ashridge.

Creating alone, creating together and helping others create

As well as conducting my own now-to-new projects, I support corporate clients in their innovation and change endeavours, taking on many roles including thinking partner, educator, strategist, researcher, concept developer, intervention designer, coach, facilitator, and project instigator. I am also an advisor to the principals of several boutique consulting practices.

Enriching the world

Watch the video of my five-minute talk, Enriching the world: Is it good business practice?

I gave the talk at an Ignite event held at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol. The 20 slides accompanying the talk auto-advance every 15 seconds. I just about managed to keep up with them.

Inviting you to explore further

Earlier today (8 April 2021) I uploaded 30 articles about now-to-new work and the Prospero approach that were previously housed on another website. I invite you to browse the index, see what catches your eye, and make some new discoveries.