5 videos to help leaders understand digital

Following on from the workshop I ran with LGiU last week on digital for leaders (which went very well, thank you for asking), I shared a few bits with the delegates – further reading, if you will.

Part of that was a set of videos on YouTube that cover some of the important areas that folk in senior positions really need to understand, delivered by people with far greater expertise than me.

Here they are – try and get them in front of your senior leadership team, if you can, and book in a chat with them shortly afterwards to help them apply it to your organisational context!

1. Digital Government: Not Complicated, Just Hard – Tom Loosemore

2. Applying digital to everything – Janet Hughes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy8jgRLej0U

3. Situation Normal, Everything Must Change – Simon Wardley

4. Human-Centered Data Transformation – Kit Collingwood

5. Designing government services that meet user needs – Martin Jordan

Local authorities that blog

Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

This is a living list post where I am keeping a note of all the active blogs run by local authorities.

If you have any to suggest that I don’t have listed, please let me know!

Big thanks to the following folk for their suggestions:

The blogs

CouncilBlogDetails
Adur & WorthingSameRoom"...bringing people together around a shared challenge to create, test and grow solutions that work for our communities"
BarnsleyLocalGovIMSBlog for the MHCLG funded local gov income management project.
Birmingham City Council BirminghamBlog for the digital team at the council.
Blackburn with DarwenDigital and business changeBlog for the digital and business change team at the council.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and PooleBCP DigitalBlog for the digital team at the councils.
Bracknell ForestBracknell Forest Digital ServicesBlog for the digital team at the council.
BuckinghamshireBuckinghamshire Digital ServiceBlog for the digital team at the council.
CroydonCroydon.digitalA blog for the digital sector as a whole in Croydon, including posts from the digital team in the council.
CumbriaCumbria DigitalBlog for the digital team at the council.
DorsetDigital DorsetBlog for the digital team at the council.
EssexService TransformationBlog for the council's service transformation team.
GreenwichDigital blogBlog for the digital team at the council.
HounslowHounslow.digitalBlog for the digital team at the council.
Kingston and SuttonKSDigitalBlog for the digital team at the councils.
Lincoln (et al)Repairs OnlineThe blog for the MHCLG project to improve housing repairs online services.
North East LincolnshireNorth East Lincolnshire Service DesignBlog for the council's service design team.
NorthamptonDigital Northampton"...a collaboration between local digital businesses, the University of Northampton and local councils designed to support digital innovation"
Southwark (et al)BoPS projectBlog for the back office planning system project.
StockportDigital StockportBlog for the digital team at the council.
Welsh Local Government DigitalWales Local Government DigitalThe blog for the office of the CDO for Welsh Local Authorities

Digital workplace with Sharon O’Dea

I really enjoyed this conversation with Sharon O’Dea about the digital workplace. She shares an absolute tonne of insight into how organisations have responded to remote working in lockdown, what impact that has had on the use of internal technology, and what culture and behaviour change is going to be needed in future.

I managed to exert some self discipline and kept this video to 30 minutes or thereabouts. I think you’ll get a lot out of it!

If audio is your thing, you can listen to this on SoundCloud.

LINK: “Growing communities beyond the edges of the organisation”

In digitally mature organisations we are used to seeing strong communities of engaged, self-selecting members gathered around a shared purpose beyond that of their day to day jobs. Organisational communities thrive because they add an extra dimension to the organisational structure, and can increase the number of connections each individual has across the organisation’s network.

Original: https://postshift.com/growing-communities-beyond-the-edges-of-the-organisation/

LINK: “Introducing the three C’s of Responsible Technology”

More than ever, we are aware of the need for better practices to address key challenges and tensions between technology and society. Doteveryone has been working on making the consumer tech industry more responsible and accountable to society for over a year. It’s been a fascinating process of research, prototyping and learning. Our ideas have evolved as we’ve worked with others to figure out what might be both practical for real businesses, and effective in making tech better for people and society.

Original: https://medium.com/doteveryone/introducing-the-three-cs-of-responsible-technology-5e1d7fae558

Two blockers to radical (digital) change

I was asked this morning for the two main blockers to progress in the various attempts at technology enabled change over the years, whether titled e-government or digital transformation.

Here’s what I came up with – it would be interesting to get your thoughts:

Two main challenges for me would be two elements of core capability. The first would be technology, and specifically software. The main line of business systems in use in most local councils is simply not fit for purpose for the digital age. They are horrible to use, don’t interoperate, work poorly on mobile, don’t offer great customer experience for self service and are dogs for the IT team to maintain. Time and time again, otherwise excellent initiatives at e-government or digital transformation are scuppered because of issues relating to core back office systems. What’s more, the market seems to find it impossible to have an impact on the situation, and so driving the incumbents out is very hard to do.

Second, and possibly more important, are the people issues. First is culture, which is risk and change averse, often because of the role of middle managers, many of whom are ‘experts’ in their service area and extremely dedicated to preserving the current way of doing things. Folk on the front line can often easily diagnose problems and suggest solutions, and senior executives are usually well up for a bit of disruptive change. However those in the middle can slow things down and block progress. The other bit of the people problem is capability, in that there aren’t enough really good people around in organisations to drive the change needed forward, which takes guts and stamina as well as intelligence. Without a reasonably sized army of these people in place, initiatives can get run into the ground very quickly.

Five for Friday (14/7/2017)

Another Friday, another fistful of linkitude.

  1. Digital Workplace Leader – a fun looking job going at Thanet District Council. “The digital workplace leader will be an experienced professional who leads the effort to create a work environment that exploits digital trends and encourages digital dexterity through the adroit use of technology. The goal is to improve employee agility and engagement so that Thanet District Council can profit from changing business models and improved workforce effectiveness in order to achieve its organisational goals.” If you get it, good luck in getting all that done in the year the job lasts for (!).
  2. ‘I don’t know how to use a computer!’: the stories of our most dangerous public servants – this story from Leah Lockhart got a lot of Twitter attention and rightly so. Hard not to laugh at this stuff at times, but of course it is in fact a complete disgrace. Wearing your ignorance as a badge of honour is never cool.
  3. Publishers and the pursuit of the past – there’s nowt so tedious than the future of journalism discussion, but Ben Thompson at least brings in some strategic thinking about business models and incentives that’s worth digging into.
  4. A networked organisation – Cassie Robinson is on fire at the moment – I feel like she should be given her own slot here every week. Here she articulates what it means to be a networked organisation  – and how that differs from the activity ‘networking’.
  5. Building a digital culture in DWP – another nice list of things that digital cultures look and feel like, this time by Jon Osborn. I do like “less process, more progress” and might start saying it on regular occasions, irregardless of context.

As always, these have mostly all been tweeted during the week, and you can find everything I’ve found interesting and bookmarked here.

Five for Friday (9/6/17)

Not sure anything in tech world can match politics right now for interestingness, but here goes…

  1. Tandridge Council are recruiting a Technology Implementation Manager. Details here.
  2. What a digital organisation looks like – smart stuff from Janet Hughes. Answer = responsive, open and efficient.
  3. We need a Minister for Digital Government – according to Dan Thornton at the Institute for Government. Quite a bit of commentary has been around the limitation of the word ‘digital’ – though that’s largely semantics – and I would argue that even if you (wrongly) take digital to mean just tech, there’s still enough that needs fixing to make it worthwhile.
  4. “Which third are you?” – asks James Governor from Redmonk. The thirds being change agents, persuadables or heel diggers. All about your attitude to change. Every organisation has every type, and you need them all onside – or at least enough of them – to make stuff happen.
  5. Coté shares some slides from a workshop he ran in the States on how Government can go cloud native. Also see this post for further ruminations.

https://www.slideshare.net/cote/transforming-government-agencies-into-cloudnative-organization-76730434

These have mostly all been tweeted during the week, and you can find everything I’ve found interesting and bookmarked here.

Five for Friday (2/6/17)

Here’s five dollops of interestingness I’ve spotted this week:

  1. There’s a few interesting digital (and non-digital, for that matter) jobs going at London City Hall.
  2. Digital Transformation: Why Tech Alone Won’t Cut It – a useful reminder that digital and transformation are not necessarily technical terms. Human behaviour and culture are key.
  3. Where terrorists go to chat – thoughtful stuff from Hadley Beeman on security, encryption and the role of government
  4. Not even wrong – ways to dismiss technology – nice long read on technology adoption and why predictions around what will be the next big thing are often (not even) wrong
  5. Lessons from piloting the London Office of Data Analytics – Eddie Copeland talks about data issues at scale:

These have mostly all been tweeted during the week, and you can find everything I’ve found interesting and bookmarked here.