This is the website for Jean Boulton, and for Claremont Management Consultants Ltd, the organisation I founded in 1994.
As you will see if you browse the website, the theme that underpins our work and interests is the way complexity and change are central features of ‘the way things are’. The starting point is that we live in a dynamic, evolutionary world of ‘becoming’ rather than a stable, predictable world of ‘being’.
Complexity paints a picture of the world as interconnected, with new patterns and features emerging, where the detailed pathways and local particularities help to shape the future.
These ideas form the basis of our consultancy work in strategy, coaching, organisation development and community and international development.
Complexity thinking also underpins my personal writing and research and teaching; and indeed shapes my approach to life and is congruent with my interest in Buddhist philosophy.
The book, Embracing Complexity, for Oxford University Press, (order the book) written in conjunction with Professor Peter Allen and Professor Cliff Bowman of Cranfield University, was published on July 31st 2015 and is selling well and leading to lots of interesting invitations and discussions. The book starts with an introduction to complexity theory and describes its origins. It has one detailed chapter on differing mathematical models (which is not for the faint-hearted) and then has several ‘so what’ chapters – on strategy, economics, organisation change, and international development. We end on a more personal note – what is the key message of complexity thinking for each of us as authors. There continue to be public talks and blogs and articles and new book chapters, so please get in touch for more information. I’ve been teaching complexity at no less than seven institutions over the last few years, and working with organisations such as Oxfam and Unilever. It is fascinating to shine the ‘lens of complexity’ onto different topics – leadership, organisation design, politics, impact assessment, amongst others. I feel a new book emerging!
I have a chapter on strategy and complexity in The New Strategic Landscape, a strategy book published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013 – an interesting book in general with an unusual take on how to ‘do’ strategy. And an updated version of a chapter (also strategy and complexity) is in Strategic Perspectives LINK , first published 2007, and revised in 2016.
I became a town councillor with Independents for Frome IfFin 2015. It is one of the few councils in the UK where all seats (17 in this case) are held by independents. Peter Macfadyen tells the story of the first administration (2011-2015) run by independents in flatpackdemocracy. It is a very interesting journey into new ways of doing politics, being part of a diverse group finding new ways to work together. The story – of localism, participation, diversity, of weaving together a vision for Frome and moving that forwards – is a story quite in tune with complexity thinking and is fascinating to view through that lens. We have lows as well as highs!
I hope you enjoy browsing the website and the blog. Do hope to hear from you and do hope you sign up for the blog!