Think Digital

I’ve found myself banging on a lot recently at events and other engagements about pretty much the same stuff.

It’s what organisations need to do to grasp the digital opportunity – but which isn’t about actual tools on the internet. At least, not just about that.

Embedded below is the first attempt I have made to write it up. I would really welcome feedback on this. If you can’t see the embed, download the PDF direct here.

The strategy graph

I rather like this diagram that appeared in a post talking about Microsoft (which is well worth reading in and of itself).

strategy-graph

It describes all the elements that make up what an organisation is and does. At the top, there are fewer words and they don’t change very often. At the moment, there are a lot more words and they are subject to regular change.

Strikes me as being a useful model to use to think about this stuff.

Accelerators, intrapreneurs and changing organisations for the better

Lucy Watt shares an excellent, honest post on the FutureGov blog about their learning from the PSLaunchpad project.

Having regularly spoken to one of the teams on the launchpad, Martin Howitt and Lucy Knight from Devon, I’m aware of the transformative impact the experience had on them, and their attitude to work.

As Martin himself reflects in one of his own blog posts about the Launchpad, there are some pretty big takeaways for local government as a whole from a process like this.

There is undoubtedly a tension between existing Council culture and the sort of thinking and process that accelerators typify. I don’t personally believe that there will be another PS Launchpad that involves local government in the same way. I think we are more likely to see a specifically local government version of it instead and this is something I would strongly advocate and be keen to be involved with in some capacity.

Lots of the conversations I am having with people across government – but particularly in councils – is about how traditionally bureaucratic, process heavy organisations can move quickly: make speedy decisions, get new products and services out faster, learn from feedback and respond in a timely fashion.

Being in a process like an accelerator such as PSLaunchpad provides many of the skills and experiences needed to answer these questions. Being told you have to ship something in two weeks, being advised from feedback that you’ve built the wrong thing and need to pivot quickly, having the authority to make decisions and plot a course accordingly yourself, without lengthy governance processes.

But not everyone can spend weeks out of the office on a programme like this – in fact, it’s probably impractical for many more than a handful in any one organisation.

Perhaps the answer is to run this type of programme internally, to embed it into people’s work. Got a change project on the go? Run it within an internal accelerator. Set some boundaries and some rules, put those working on it in a different room and let them get on with it. Put them in touch with potential mentors who have completed similar projects before, in the same sector and in different sectors.

It doesn’t have to be difficult, it doesn’t have to cost any money. It’s just a case of trying something different and not doing things the same way they always have been.

CommsCamp14 session ideas

I’m looking forward to CommsCamp14 in a week’s time, and have pitched a couple of session ideas on the event’s Ideascale site:

User centred comms

What does user centred comms look like? Who actually is the customer? How do we find out what they want to know and how they want to know it?

Online community management

A session on online community management – what it is, how to do it well, and where it fits in the public sector comms kitbag of skills.

If you’re interested in either of these topics, please go and vote for them!

Why be a councillor?

Pretty damning stuff from Cllr Roger Gambba-Jones:

If somebody was to ask me about becoming a councillor nowadays, I’m not sure what I would tell them were the benefits of doing so and I don’t mean to the councillor. Government funding cuts and more and more centralisation of power, hidden behind the facade of Localism, means that getting elected is more likely to become a exercise in frustration and disappointment, than a fulfilling experience in serving the community.

Podcast episode 5 – Anne McCrossan

Here’s my fifth podcast. This is becoming a thing!

I’m joined in this episode by Anne McCrossan, who runs Visceral Business. Anne’s thing is getting organisations perform as genuinely social businesses.

Here’s a link to download the original mp3 file if you would like to do that.

If you would like to subscribe to the podcast in your favourite podcasting app, the feed is http://davebriggs.libsyn.com/rss or you can find the podcast on iTunes.

Show notes and related links (in a slightly jumbled order):