By 26 December 2013Unemployment

Why are two me walking around London in the gusty rain ?

And moreover at Christmas time ?

What passion drives them to commit such eccentricity ?

I mean, honestly, why bother ?

Put simply, our maps create an urgent vision for change….

In the world of sustainable job creation there are a variety of stakeholders, namely governments, donors, banks, and NGO’s and corporates – including social enterprises (and social entrepreneurs), colleges, micro-credit and business mentoring groups. All of these need to a complimentary vision.

This assertion is supported by a huge amount of research by Professor John Kotter with his famous Kotter’s 8 Steps (1995) for leading change, as well as other academics, Nadler, Beer et al and Lewin, since the 1950’s; note Kotter’s  first three first steps which represent GMA’s early influence on stakeholders, but also the final step where repeat mapping helps to measure change and embed change.

Lewin  (1947 a)(1)

Nadler (1989)(2)

Beer et al (1990)(3)

Kotter (1995)(4)



1. Recognise the change imperative

1. Commitment to change through joint diagnosis of business problems


1. Establish a Sense of Urgency


2. Creating a Guiding Coalition


2. Develop a shared direction

2. Develop shared vision


3. Develop a Vision and Strategy

3. Consensus, competence to act around shared vision

4. Communicating the Change Vision


5. Empowering Employees for Broad Based Action

3. Implement change

4. Spread through all departments without push from top

6. Generating Short Term Wins

7. Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change


4. Consolidate change

5. Institutionalise through formal policies

8. Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture

5. Sustain change

6. Monitor & adjust in response to problem

Sources for the table above:-

  1. Lewin, K. (1947 a). Frontiers in group dynamics.
  2. Nadler, D. (1989). “Organizational Frame Bending: Principles for Managing Reorientation.”Academy of Management Executive 3: 194-204.
  3. Beer, M. (1990). The critical path to corporate renewal, Harvard Business Press.
  4. Kotter, J. P. (1995). “Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail.” Harvard business review73(2): 59-67.

Kotter’s steps can be summarised as follows:-

Step 1 – Increase Urgency (that’s us walking in the rain during Christmas 2013 plus making successful test-maps in the UK and Ethiopia)

Step 2 – Build Guiding Teams (that’s us inviting stakeholders like you to join us, as we wander around)

Step 3 – Get the Vision Right (that’s when we get to make the maps, with you as our partners and we get to Thank You on the edges of the maps)

Step 4 – Communicate for Buy In (that’s when we put the maps on-line and give hard copies to everyone…)

Step 5 – Enable Action (that’s when the our maps help social Leaders in the UK make better decisions on how to help the UK unemployed and also, the banking Leaders in Ethiopia help get their farmers micro-credit)

Step 6 – Create Short Term Wins (that’s when the we see more vocational education focus in the UK 5 year beyond Parliamentary Terms and more credit for Farmers in Ethiopia)

Step 7 – Don’t Let Up – you bet we won’t, because we want to make more maps and measure what’s changed annually, then loop back to Step 4

Step 8 – Make It Stick – we’ll be able to calculate the a Social Return on Investment (amount of money spent on maps in ratio to amount of NEW money spent on sustainable job creation) so that our partners will see clearly how effective their investment with us, actually was.

Everybody is literally then on the same page, probably for the first time.

This is why Colin and Rupert are wandering around in the rain.

It has worked from London to Kosovo !

The second reason we know this works is that is has worked before.  In 1889 in London a capitalist called Charles Booth made the London Poverty Map. It rocked the late Victorian world, as Queen Victoria, her Ministers, the Churches, rich-ladies-who-lunch and Members of Parliament were suddenly, all on the same page.

Employers knew where and why to set up clinics and schools.

Members of Parliament knew where and why to help the poorest get out of poverty by pushing for social change. Here is a small bit of that map, with Sourced from Bartholomew Maps with grateful thanks:-

By 1908 the UK state pension had even been introduced, which gave a huge impetus to population control, as husbands gave tacit permission to wives to get reproductive choice as they longer required to attempt to have 10 children – many of whom used to die. The momentum for social change was now growing…

During World War 2 Maps Saved London & Britain

In a much later age, this sort of thinking actually saved London altogether. During the Battle of Britain during the summer and autumn of 1940 the RAF had 1,963 serviceable fighters and bombers whilst the Luftwaffe had 2,550 that included more fighter aircraft than the RAF. Given the multiple aircraft combat environment in which they fought, the performance of the Hurricane & Spitfire Mk I aircraft types versus the Messershmitt Bf-109E was sufficiently close that the results of combat would generally fall to initial position, numbers, tactics and pilot experience. What made all the difference was that the RAF had radar maps and knew where to send more than enough fighters to precisely the right spots, to intercept, overwhelm and sort out the problem.

In 1999 Maps Were Crucial to Sustainable Job Creation in Kosovo

In the autumn of 1999 the author was in Kosovo working for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Frustrated that the humanitarian aid community was not effectively getting to grips with high unemployment he left and set up a small local NGO to create maps to show the levels of small business start-ups across Kosovo.

Kosovo Map – Sustainable Job Creation April 2000

Sensible German Approach in Kosovo

Above is a map his team made by April 2000 showing the number of NGOs implementing sustainable job creation projects in defined regions of Kosovo. The darker shaded regions indicate the more activity, whilst the lighter shaded regions indicate that not much, if anything, is happening.

The reason there was a clustering to the west seems to be because the German government had worked out where their Kosovar refugees were coming from, which was mostly from the west and had sensibly focused much of their sustainable job creation to the west.

The other aid agencies and donors then merely followed the fashion, without recourse to mapped data, at least until November 2000.

In April 2000 the map was given out freely to about thirty leaders involved in micro-finance and sustainable job creation, from a variety of stakeholders including the United Nations, NGO’s and bilateral donor agencies.

Literally, a pile of maps was put on a table at leaders meeting held in the capital Pristine and two minutes later it had disappeared. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the at the end of the conflict in 1999-2000, Kosovo faced serious social problems, with International Organisation for Migration estimated that over 70% of the population were ‘supported persons’, compared to just 14% relying on income from work and 4% receiving a pension or social income, Vathi and Black (2007).  Source:  Z. Vathi & R. Black (2007) Migration and Poverty Reduction in Kosovo Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty

The international community spent an estimated US $ 2 billion in the immediate post-war economic and shelter reconstruction phase although this figure is unclear and perhaps 50% was lost to due to lack of accountability and mismanagement Vaknin (1999) – which is precisely GMA wants to put right.    Source: Vaknin, S (1999)

Kosovo Map – Sustainable Job Creation November 2000

Six months later the team made another ‘map cut’, this time showing a significant number of the blank areas had been filled in, representing the hard facts of the matter – sustainable job creation organisations had filled in the gaps and spent millions. This second map was distributed to the same agencies, to give them another reflective tool.

No direct verbal pressure was ever applied to make the agencies fill in the gaps, the maps became a form of self-fulfilling prophecy, the donors nudging the aid agencies and everyone falling in to line without a squeak.

USAID and the ECHO as well as bilateral governments began to pour aid into Kosovo, in one of the biggest funded business start up operations since Marshal Plan at the end of World War II.

The maps cost in the region of £4,000 or US $ 6,000 to make, but yielded a return running in to millions of dollars by guiding sustainable job creation.

GMA intends to similarly duplicate these ideas in the United Kingdom and Ethiopia leading to the campaign.

Rain is nothing.