We find new solutions to old problems
What we do
Kaleidoscope brings people together to improve health and care. We find new ways to overcome old barriers. We enable constructive conversations on difficult topics, using inspiring events to encourage clarity of purpose and rigorous problem-solving. Our approach to collaboration is systematic, evidence-based and cost-effective.
Oh, right, sorry. We exist because we want to work with others to create a future that is kind, connected and joyful. For us, when these three factors come together, anything is possible.
Ok, maybe not anything. We can’t make Basingstoke sound exciting, or help Jose Mourinho appear humble, but it’s amazing what can be done when you start having a different sort of conversation.
Yup. And we’re not saying we’re masters of it all (we’re not superheroes – even if we wouldn’t mind having a cape or two). Our particular niche is about the many different ways people can be brought together to improve health and care.
Well, we can always achieve more together than apart. But also because it’s not something we do particularly well in health. In fact, the whole history of healthcare is one of division – building colleges, professions and institutions as walled gardens open to some but not all.
Our focus as Kaleidoscope is all about how you can trample on such boundaries and in turn improve health and care for populations and patients. (Look, managed to write that whole para without writing ‘silo’ once.)
Er, no to both. We’re a social enterprise, or more accurately a Community Interest Company, regulated by the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies. This means we’re here for our mission (you remember: bringing people together to improve health and care) not for the money.
We’re not a charity because we want the freedom to operate as a radically different type of organisation. We’re not part of the NHS, partly for the same reason, partly that our work spans healthcare, social care and – more importantly – everything which goes into determining ‘health’ itself…
That’s fine, no offence taken. At Kaleidoscope we want our staff to mirror our mission to bring people together. As such, our backgrounds include: NHS management, government health policy, healthcare and social care regulation, think-tanks, learning networks, medicine, global health, charities, consulting, jockey healing, professional sailing, and disco dancing.
No, but nice stereotyping of any organisation that tries to be a bit different. Part of our rationale for being is that we think the basic template of energy-sapping, mind-numbing, gut-wrenchingly boring traditional organisations is fundamentally broken and in need of a serious revamp.
As such, we’re trying to unpick the traditional organisation from first principles, heavily influenced by the ideas of Fred LaLoux, Holacracy, and others.
Of course! We group our work into three buckets.
Key thing to remember is we’re a social enterprise run along business lines – ie. we need to sell stuff in order to keep afloat. We have no endowment, no government handouts, no shady offshore backers; we have to make our way in the world.
Yes, and have spent the past few years being hired by organisations such as NHS England, Macmillan, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Stroke Association, Public Health England, AbbVie, HelpForce, Versus Arthritis…
Get in touch if you would like to explore working with us.
All of our work revolves around bringing people together to improve health and care. We do this in three main ways (which, yes, we call our buckets of work).
First is creating engaging events.
Easy, I hear you shout. Well, maybe, but running an easy event isn’t particularly our thing. We’re obsessed by how to create spaces which enable people to learn from each other, free of organisational or professional division, and then use this energy to achieve particular aims. We’re particular fans of running series of events, mixing face-to-face and digital.
Second, is about building rigorous collaborations.
As you might have guessed, we think bringing people together is a good thing, but only if there’s a specific purpose to doing so. We help individuals and organisations build networks, partnerships, communities and other forms of collaboration to achieve a particular purpose, and make sure we build in ways to know if its been met or not.
Third, is about policy and strategy advice.
We help organisations work out which way to go next. We do this by bolting our methods of helping people work together on to our multiplicity of health perspectives and experience to create strategies which might last. Or at least last slightly longer than they might have done otherwise.
You cynic, you. Yes and no. We undertake work others might well see as consultancy – and if we’re doing that translation, our work particularly could be seen as engagement consultancy (who should we talk to and how?), strategy consultancy (what should you do?), and delivery consultancy (how should you do it?).
However, we’re reluctant to call ourselves a consultancy because we want to work in a very different way to traditional consultancies – and we’re thinking if you want a traditional consultancy, there are plenty of them for you to choose from. Instead, we want to work in partnership with our clients to deliver projects where our agendas align.
OK, well one way we’re not is our mission projects – pieces of that no one will commission us to do, but we do regardless in order to help us meet our mission (remember that bit above about joy, connections and kindness?).
We think our biggest asset is the ability to take risks that no one else will.
Our mission projects have included running the world’s largest health sci-fi prize, hosting free lunches all across London, giving away brown paper envelopes full of cash to people who asked for them, and leaving notebooks in waiting rooms to collect stories to be read by actors in Victorian museums full of body parts in jars.
I know, it’s a bit tricky to articulate. I’ll step back a bit. Health and care is a values-driven industry. People tend to work in healthcare, social care or public health because of their values as much as the cold hard cash.
At Kaleidoscope, we have a range of skills to offer to potential clients, but we don’t want to leave our own values at the door. As a values-driven organisation ourselves, we care about a lot of the same things as, for example, NHS organisations. Rather than a traditional purchaser/provider model where you contract us to do A, B and C, we’d much rather work in partnership to co-design how best to meet your goals.
Oof. Getting a bit direct! We think so, but very happy to let others do the talking for us.
Such as Professor Martin Marshall of the College of General Practitioners who said: “Kaleidoscope are the most able and effective influencing partners I have had the pleasure to work with.”
Or Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, who said: “We really wanted attendees to interact, especially with people they do not usually speak to. Kaleidoscope brought a lot of creative ideas to the table about how to achieve this and worked with us to make it happen.”
Or Sir David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London, who said: “Kaleidoscope has helped the Association of Groups develop in a way which has avoided the pitfalls and achieved the benefits of systematically working together. Kaleidoscope has enabled us to have workshops and events which are interactive, insightful, and even a little bit fun.”
If you mean you want to work work with us, that’s great, we really appreciate your interest. Drop us a line via our contact form and we’ll give you a ring or have a coffee to discuss further.
If you’ve just put out a tender you think we might be interested in, do let us know about it. Or if you’re at early stages and just want to talk through your ideas, we’d be very happy to chat.
Of this page? Yes. Of your work with us? We hope it’s just the start.