Weeknotes S2 E1

I’ve never been totally sure about the Seasons thing in weeknotes but after a many week break in my weeknote-ing it sort of makes sense.

Five things that happened (including last week)

1 We had our monthly get together

We are five. At least the core team is five people and, though we’re mostly based within a reasonable distance of central Cardiff, we operate remotely. So bringing people together in person periodically is important. We’re feeling our way with what is the right cadence and monthly seems, in principle, to make sense. Though we might look to do this less frequently.

We spent a bit of time looking at some of the ways Enspiral uses to operate. We’re aware that there is a wider ecosystem around us, in the data space, in the design space and in the organisational culture space. We’re trying to find out how best to support and stimulate that ecosystem so that we can, collectively, operate at scale but without having to create a substantial business and to control everything.

Speaking of which…

2. We had a call with Mikael Seppälä from Responsive Org Finland

He talked us through some ideas around participatory practices. In particular this idea that it is important to consider complexity, humanity and technology all together.

Shifting the paradigm requires a systemic approach to work

You can see Mikael’s full slidedeck here. This gave us plenty to think about and also made us think… we should do more of this sort of thing. Sharon Dale (of weeknotes fame) joined in too. We’re planning to organise a series of webinars, for our own learning and sharing. We’ll open them up to the wider community… watch this space.

3. We held a silent govcamp

I wrote up some initial thoughts here and Coco Chan wrote about the event from her perspective here. We discussed the question “How can we improve the use of evidence in public services?” The results of the discussions were photographed and you can view them in this Google Doc. People also gave great feedback on the design of the event overall. I’m going to (in this coming week) write up a V1 description of how you might approach things if you wanted to run something like this yourself.

4. I was on the panel for a Wales Audit Office, Good Practice Exchange webinar

Along with Beth Smith and Suzanne Draper we explored the topic “Why using data effectively enables better decision making” This was firmly in the context of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act which is big news in Welsh public services and largely un-heralded outside Wales. It’s worth paying attention to. Essentially it’s a meaningful sustainable development duty. It places a set of requirements on public bodies but the specifics are, to me, less interesting than the broad aim: which is to create a radically different approach to public services and public policy in Wales. I honestly think it’s something policy wonks around the UK should be paying attention to. (My extremely partial perspective is that policy wonks from outside the UK are much more focused on this than within the UK.

5. I spent the day with Buckinghamshire County Council folk

We (that’s Luke Piper and me) are doing some work to help people from across a range of teams in Bucks CC make better use of their website analytics data to inform service design and delivery. Now we’re data nerds, especially digital analytics data nerds so this is what we live for. On Friday we spent a full day on site with a truly lovely bunch of people. I think they came away enthused for Google Analytics. We certainly came away with a sensible task list to get stuck into next week.

We’ve heard back from nearly all Welsh councils about their website stats so we’ll be getting ready to share our initial findings as soon as we have a moment.

Other things happened but I need to get ready to collect a boat from a national park so that’s all from me folks.