A tweet from Simon Wardley made me chuckle this week:
It stung a bit too – after all, I started out being someone promoting social media in government, and now here I am banging on about IT and transformation.
Of course, a bit of imposter syndrome is probably a good thing now and then – it never pays to be too confident, after all.
However, there is a bit of logic to my transition from hapless social media consultant to hapless digital transformation consultant, I think.
What I preached about social media was about getting on with things, making it easier and more convenient for residents and service users to access information, or make their views known. It was in a bit of a niche, around communications and engagement, but still.
However, as time went on, it became clear that this could only take you so far – you have to turn engagement into something actionable for a difference to be made. At this point I found myself in discussions with web teams and others around making websites more useful in delivering services (it was around this time that GDS started work on the single domain project).
Again, though, time passed and things didn’t move as quickly as I and others might have hoped. This was because, it turns out, that delivering great services online doesn’t just rely on a great website. It needs (at least) two other things: decent technology on the back end, and services fully designed to meet user need.
So it was at this point that, despite having started out in the social media days trying to work around IT, I realised it was necessary to fix IT in order to get even the simple things done properly. So here I am – modernising IT teams and helping organisations transform digitally.
Could I have started out at this point, ten years ago? Probably not. I needed to be hapless at social media so I could be hapless at websites so I could be hapless at IT and transformation.
Now I just need to work on being less hapless.