Reimagining the future: Through the looking glass

Jon Slade, Director at Campbell Tickell, details how our new Reimagination Workshop can fuel transformation within your organisation especially during the current pandemic.

It seems to me that Lewis Carroll may have some useful things to say about our current situation in Through the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 



1. Nothing is impossible.

“For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.”



What an extraordinary time to be working in social housing. A time when things that we have talked about but not done for years have happened in days. Remote working, done! Contact centre working from 50 front rooms, bedrooms and kitchens, done!

New and different support provided to customers, done!

Mountains have been moved. And moved quickly.

2. Who am I?

“But if I’m not the same, the next question is, ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”


And now we find ourselves in a world that looks similar but is definitely different. A temporary state.

And in this peculiar new reality we are looking around and trying to make sense of what we are experiencing and what it means to us now. And, crucially, what it will mean to us when things stop being strange.

3.  Move fast.

“A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen.

 ‘Now, HERE, you see, it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”



Each organisation is living its own experience of the current lockdown, but there are things we keep hearing again and again:

We moved so fast, and got it done.’

‘We trusted in our staff and contractors and they really stepped up.’

‘Our residents have shown fantastic resilience.’

‘We worked within short deadlines to produce a viable way forward, and then we refined what we are doing.’

4.  How can I change?

“I don’t see how he can ever finish, if he doesn’t begin.”



People tell me that as their organisations settle slightly in this locked down state they are asking themselves two key questions:

  • How do we apply the best of what we’ve learnt as we move towards our new normal?    
  • ‘How do we stop the old ways from slowly strangling the new?’

5. New lessons.

“Every story has a moral you just need to be clever enough to find it.”



Here at CT we have put together CT Manifesto which describes how we can help your organisation move forwards with new confidence to develop a service which reflects your learning from recent weeks. It is built around our 3 Rs: Reimagining, Resilience and Recovery.

6. Reimagine.

“Always speak the truth – think before you speak – and write it down afterwards.”



Our Reimagination Workshop can enable you to:

  • Capture the successes and excitement of recent weeks.
  • Think through what you’ve learnt.
  • Start a discussion about what those lessons mean as you develop your new normal.
  • Think about how to preserve those valuable lessons when the old ways assert themselves

7. Make ideas real.

“It seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are!”


Lots of the successes are about people rather than tasks. We have tonnes of ideas, methods and ways as to how you weave that learning back in to your ongoing work.

8. Belief in a new way.

“Well, now that we have seen each other,” said the unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.”



Two months ago we didn’t believe all sorts of things to be possible. Then Covid-19 took us through the looking glass. Not only did we survive, but we learnt that we could move and adapt at speed, be decisive and create new viable ways of working in days rather than months and years.

We owe it to our customers to grasp tightly what we’ve learnt and to hold on to it as we work out what our new normal will be.

To discuss this article or find out more about CT’s Reimagination Workshop,  contact Jon Slade on: or 07943 496 363


Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

*All quotes are from Through the Looking Glass or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland both by Lewis Carroll


Campbell Tickell is an established multi-disciplinary management and recruitment consultancy, operating across the UK and Ireland, focusing on the housing, social care, local government, sport, leisure, charity and voluntary sectors.

We are a values-based business and firmly place the positioning of our support and challenge on helping organisations to attain change that is well thought through, planned and sustainable. At CT, we want to help organisations create the landscape within which we ourselves would like to exist: fair, inclusive, diverse, engaged and transparent. We build from our values in how we approach all our work as a practice.

Find out more about CT’s Innovation & Improvement Services.

Read the new CT Manifesto.



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