Working with organisations with people

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Ministry of Justice

The Ambition

To bring people together from across a newly formed government ministry to discuss the future of their diversity agenda and share their thinking for a strategic plan.

Comprising three previous government departments, the new ministry (now with 85,000 employees) approached us for consultancy and support in designing and running their first national conference on diversity.

Our Response

Instead of the usual conference forum we proposed an “open” two-stage event where all 250 delegates could work together to get results.

We used Open Space Technology (OST) and ‘Think Tanks’ to generate creative thinking about the future, in a truly open discussion with free and frank talking – and listening.

In the morning the focus was on five key questions that enabled participants to move around the space and join facilitated discussions as they chose. By contrast the afternoon needed to be focused and action orientated. For this we proposed facilitated ‘Think Tanks’ to develop specific proposals for the future.

Key to the event’s success was a skills development workshop for 17 in-house facilitators. It was vital that they were able to host the morning OST session and then later adopt a very different facilitation style to lead the ‘Think Tanks’. Their skill was critical to the success of the event.


The event attracted participants from across the country especially the numerous diversity networks and staff associations within the ministry.

Despite the “newness” of the organisation, delegates felt they were able to mingle freely, form new relationships and make positive contributions towards shaping the future. As a relaxed, yet tightly structured event, participants felt able to communicate openly and passionately, as well as tackle difficult issues in a constructive way.

Key note speakers included, Anita Bharucha, the Director of Judicial Services MOJ; Grace Ononiwu, Chief Crown Prosecutor, Northampton CPS and Michael Wills MP.


Some of our clients include:
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Merseyside Probation Trust
  • Government Office for the English Regions
  • Department for Children, Schools and Families
  • Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for Transport
  • Driving Standards Agency
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • Government Offices of the English Regions
  • Humberside Probation Trust
  • Identity and Passport Service
  • London Borough of Newham
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Natural England
  • Vehicle Operations and Standards Agency


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