You know you’re looking at a tough challenge when:

BulletThe realisation of the organisation’s vision is being thwarted by an intractable problem or an insurmountable opportunity.

BulletHigh levels of complexity and uncertainty are present.

BulletThere are multiple internal and external stakeholders with conflicting perspectives and agendas.

BulletThere is no agreement about the fundamental nature of the challenge, and there is no common language for discussing it.

BulletThe desired outcome is disputed, unclear or unknown.

BulletThere is a lack of consensus about what type of intervention (change management, internal communication, coaching, learning and development, organisation design, conflict resolution, business model innovation etc.) is most likely to be effective.

BulletNew ways of thinking, working and interacting are prerequisites for success.

BulletSustained collaborative action is likely to be essential.

BulletA successful result will clear the way for significant value to be generated.

BulletYou know you need external assistance, but none of your usual service providers can provide the right combination of generalist outlook and specialist know-how.

BulletThe time to act is now.

+ Some tough challenges from the casebook of Jack Martin Leith, mission services director
A state-owned rail operator in continental Europe intends to shift ticket purchasing from service counters to self-service machines, but the plan is meeting strong opposition from service counter staff. How can this situation be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction?
The management teams of two hospitals, 18 miles apart, want to integrate 35 services including emergency care. The conversation is being dominated by a well-organized “Save Our A&E” campaign that has gained the strong support of a local newspaper. How can the integration be accomplished successfully, with minimum disruption and distress?
A global food manufacturer wants to create — overnight — a concept for a new product, inspired and evaluated by potential customers. How can this be accomplished?
There is a serious threat of new dog-to-human diseases entering the UK. How can the threat be eradicated?
An oil and gas company located in Oman has discovered an oil reservoir in a rare type of rock. How can the oil be produced at a commercial price?
The CEO of a Dublin-based brewer has received a directive from the parent company’s chairman, instructing the brewer’s management team to establish a close connection with its customers without recourse to third party market research. How can this connection be made?
The contract to provide community arts services in the Welsh valleys has been awarded to an alliance of local authorities. How will the alliance achieve its Year 1 objectives?
The bosses of an R&D facility within a multinational have spent many months developing an innovation strategy. How can they ensure it will be implemented effectively?

The Canaveral approach

Traditional approaches to problem solving tend to do little more than eradicate a troublesome state of affairs and restore the status quo.

Ours is an altogether different approach.

The mission team is spurred into abandoning the status quo and bringing forth a new reality — one in which the problematic situation no longer exists and cannot reassert itself.

Creating this new reality requires a shift in perception, to seeing possibility where others see limitation.

Visit the website of The Guardian and view the source of this quote »

Photo credit: Andrew Chaikin

Canaveral’s mission launch and support services enable your team to:

1. Overcome the challenge.

2. Realise an ambitious, Mars-level outcome.

3. Generate widespread value.

4. Expand the challenge response capability of the enterprise as a whole.

The Canaveral Mission Model

Canaveral Mission Model
This generic structure is customised to meet the demands of the particular mission. The seven stages are not necessarily undertaken in a linear sequence. Some may need to be combined, divided or repeated, and the inclusion of one or more additional stages may be required.

Canaveral brings the outlook, experience and expertise
you need to address tough challenges.

Canaveral provides the generalist outlook, extensive experience and specialist know-how that will enable you to surmount tough challenges, realise ambitious outcomes, generate maximum value and expand enterprise-wide capability.

The founder of Canaveral is Jack Martin Leith, who has the role of mission services director.

+ Read about Jack
“Jack is an innovation consultant who walks the talk. He is constantly innovating his own business activity, its design and aims. He is ‘the person’ to talk to for large group interventions, for whole system change and innovation. I attended a five day Open Space conference that Jack facilitated. It set me on a new path in life. Jack is highly committed and skilled, challenging and truly creative. Jack thinks deeply about innovation and transformation. He has developed a range of propositions about innovation which can lead to new insights on the topic. He understands creativity and innovation and has developed practical ways to develop innovativeness in organisations. Jack’s views tap into the wild and the wonderful as well as the rational. He likes to shake things up, and to help that shaking to happen quickly. He doesn’t mess about! You won’t always find it easy working with Jack because he is one of that rare breed — an authentic agent of change and innovation who is prepared for things to get harder before they get easier.”
Paul Levy

Paul Levy, a senior fellow at University of Brighton – Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, and the founder of Rational Madness Theatre Company, FringeReview and CATS3000.
“I have worked with Jack Martin Leith for more than 20 years. He has one of the most brilliant, penetrating, erudite, and practical minds I know. With his exceptional experience of innovation, large group work and organisation development, he is a terrific partner for clients and consultancies with major projects.”
Angus Jenkinson

Angus Jenkinson, formerly Professor of Integrated Marketing at University of Bedfordshire; currently a trustee at The Cybernetics Society and founder of Thinking.
“Jack worked with the Shell GameChanger team to design and deliver innovation workshops in Rijswijk, Netherlands (with a large group of first assignees); in Moscow, Russia (with scientists from a range of scientific institutions); and in Trondheim, Norway (with academics from Norwegian University of Science and Technology). His understanding of the issues, passion for innovation and down-to-earth approach made a valuable contribution to GameChanger.”
Math Kohnen

Dr. Math Kohnen, formerly a member of the Group Strategy unit at Royal Dutch Shell and a vice president at Shell GameChanger.
“For three decades Jack has been the go-to walking encyclopaedia of the very best and most innovative management and organization theory. He is second to none in comparing, contrasting, and critiquing models, explaining complex management thinking simply and memorably, and turning ideas into effective practice. A sophisticated thinker of this calibre and breadth of knowledge who is also a skilled practitioner, is these days something of a rarity.”
James Wilk

Dr. James Wilk MA Oxf, MSc Oxf, PhD, FCybS, University of Oxford.
“I dislike the term ‘jack-of-all trades’ because it comes with an unspoken ending ‘… and master-of-none’. In Jack’s case, I would end with ‘… and master of many’.”
Tom Bourner

Tom Bourner, Emeritus Professor of Personal and Professional Development, University of Brighton, UK.
“I have known Jack well for many years, as a client, colleague and friend. His knowledge and enthusiasm for his work are unequalled and his originality and client focus exemplary.”
Bob Janes

Bob Janes, formerly Change Director at ICI Melinex Europe; currently a co-owner of Revell & Janes, a coaching, training and consulting business.
Read more about Jack
Jack and his Core Group colleagues are seasoned general practitioners with expertise spanning many business disciplines, such as innovation, strategy, marketing, internal communication and organisation development, and they bring knowledge, skills and experience gained during engagements conducted for a wide range of corporate and nonprofit enterprises. Their main areas of expertise are complex problem solving, breakthrough innovation, whole systems change, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Each Core Group member is able to move fluidly between many different roles: advisor, analyst, coach, event producer, facilitator of groups large and small, idea originator, intervention designer, interviewer, pathfinder, project orchestrator, provocateur, researcher, strategist, teacher, and thinking partner.

Canaveral talent
The Core Group is supplemented by the Canaveral Talent Network. This is a pool of specialist service providers with deep expertise in such areas as action learning, Agile, brand, conflict transformation, digital workplace, internal communication, knowledge management, leadership development, lean startup, learning and development, organisation design, and stakeholder insight. They are among the best in their respective fields. The network includes management writers, academics, alumni of big consulting firms, and former CEOs.

How we get the mission started

In response to your provisional brief, Jack selects one or more members of the Core Group and the Canaveral Talent Network to form a mission services team possessing the right blend of generalist and specialist skills.

We then help you form a mission guidance, coordination and support team (‘Houston’).

The composition of these teams may need to be modified or expanded as the mission proceeds.

Next, we help you find the right person to serve as capability propagator, whose remit is observing new ways of working and devising ways of taking them into the wider organisation.

Finally, we help you identify a suitable mission director if you are unable to fill this role yourself. The mission director has ultimate responsibility for accomplishing the mission successfully, and serves as a central point of contact for the CEO and the mission services director.

We are now ready to design and convene the mission startup meeting.

Mission capability—complete

The time to act is now.

Watch a video (runtime 23:45) and view a transcript of the commencement address given by Matt Damon at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June 2016, which includes the passage quoted here »
Contact Jack Martin Leith, Mission Services Director, in Bath, United Kingdom:
Mobile 07583 601234 | +44 7583 601234
EmailJack Martin Leith email
+ Contact form

Due to the confidential nature of our work we do not reveal the identities of our clients. On the About page of Jack’s website you can see the names of some of the enterprises he worked with before he founded Canaveral.
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