Scoping under the microscope

March 16, 2022 |

I’ve been wanting to blog about how we can better scope and define projects for quite some time, especially for authentic co-design. Now we have a tool to move beyond the binary negotiable/non-negotiable approach in project development I couldn’t resist any longer.  We all know it’s handy when engaging the community, to differentiate between project…

An interview with Prue! (Comedy, collaboration and joining Max Hardy Consulting)

August 30, 2021 |

M: Hey Prue. Seems like you have been working with me for years, and you have, sort of. When did you start officially with me as a Max Hardy Consulting employee? P: After years of working with Max on projects here and there, I got to finally be accepted as a full employee of Max…

Strategic Questioning to unlock co-design

August 18, 2021 |

After 20 years I can safely say that Strategic Questioning is the most powerful tool I have employed for helping organisations to become more open to other ways of interacting with their communities. I’ve posted before about the wonderful contributions of Fran Peavey on the art of Strategic Questioning. Fran was committed to inspiring changemakers…

People get ready, there’s a train a-coming’ …

May 4, 2021 |

Thoughts about readiness to codesign No doubt you’ve heard the song (I admit my favourite version is Eva Cassidy’s). Readiness is something we are acutely aware of when organisations approach us to do codesign or a deliberative engagement process for a complex issue. In recent months I’ve been working with many Councils, mostly keen to…

How do you learn?

March 16, 2021 |

An opportunity for those committed to authentic co-design. It is worth thinking about it – the question, how do we learn? Have you ever reflected on moments in your life when you have a major awakening? A time when ‘the penny dropped’ for you, or a time when you were so challenged about a particular…

Engaging to make a difference. A conversation with Ben Neil.

February 1, 2021 |

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with a wonderful community engagement practitioner, Ben Neil. He has so many stories from his wealth of experience. Here is some of what we spoke about. Max: Ben, give us a really brief description of your role at Capire and professional background? Ben: I have been at…

It’s time to do stakeholder mapping differently!

October 28, 2020 |

A recent blog by Richard Delaney put forward the merit of doing impact analysis as opposed to issues identification. Worth a read! I’d like to offer another suggestion for improving the way we plan community engagement processes; stakeholder mapping. The classic process used is the 2 x 2 matrix of plotting stakeholders according to their…


Common objections to committing to collaborative (co-design or deliberative) engagement processes

September 30, 2020 |

We know not all projects require, or are appropriate, for co-design (to find out when this is appropriate check this blog and short video). But let’s imagine your situation ticks all the boxes. You have a complex, even a potentially controversial project, and there is quite a lot of uncertainty about the best way forward.…

Public Deliberations

Facilitating Public Deliberations

August 28, 2020 |

The important lessons that I have learned when it comes to facilitating public deliberations over the last several decades.

How safe is it to participate?

July 27, 2020 |

Something we don’t discuss much is the importance of the ‘do no harm’ principle when engaging the community (especially relevant now with the Covid-19 pandemic). Anthony Boxshall and I identified ‘people feeling unsafe’ as one of the key challenges to co-design. We rely on bringing together a diverse community of interest, but what do you…