What are the Right Conditions?


Mmm, not got enough time for this post, but.. I wanted to suggest a topic for localgovcamp, the event for digital and design practitioners in and around local government.  It’s in Leeds on Sept 12th and you can grab a free ticket here.  There are also two fringe events on the Friday by many lovely folk.

Apart from working out what to do and why (see Dave Briggs’ post on government as a platform and go to his session), I’ve long been wrestling with the problem of how to make it happen.  Well, how to make anything happen to be honest!

I’m thinking mainly about the tools here (digital tech) rather than the method (design thinking) because I think the former is a necessary (pre) condition, and the latter is relatively easy to achieve once the tools are there, but we can talk about that ..

There are a few things I’d like to explore

  • understanding your organisation and whether you should stay
  • articulating the value of digital (the sector has a problem here)
  • what the Chief Executive needs to know and do
  • knowing and thinking about your audiences, especially decision makers
  • developing a balanced strategy to meet a range of stakeholder needs – what we did at A&W
  • recognising this is a 3-5 year project and true disruption does not come until about year 3
  • dealing with pessimism and resistance
  • working out when to give up and try something else – different routes up the hill

Back in May 2014 last year, I started at Adur and Worthing Councils as Director for Digital & Resources.  Since then, we’ve developed a government as a platform approach and introduced a range of new technologies that are helping us build true end-to-end digital services, switch off legacy applications and deliver savings by removing administrative tasks.  We moved everyone over to Google for mail / productivity last April and we’re dishing out smartphones at the moment (important stuff). We’ve already redesigned and moved our waste and recycling service onto the platform and will soon de-commission the legacy system.  We plan to move on to Housing in the autumn.

I’ll be honest, I’m worried we’re a bit of a freak of happy coincidences so I want to see if there’s a formula we can extract out of this and your experience that might be useful to the sector as a whole.

By the way – have you seen the SOLACE agenda?  Now there’s an audience that needs to think about Gaap and digital business models ……

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3 thoughts on “What are the Right Conditions?

  1. Adur and Worthing is (are :-)) definitely unusual – but that doesn’t mean lessons aren’t transferable, just that they need transferring carefully. I look forward to this session.

  2. Paul – Many thanks for your excellent session at #lcioc yesterday. Please pass on my thanks to Dave Briggs also. Noted you last comment re @solace. @socitm will be participating in a panel session at the #solace conference – I plan to talk about place-based approaches to local public services redesign and digital transformation.

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