Why I joined the Satori Lab

A graph. Everyone likes a graph right?

I like tech. And I like data. And I like communications.

And I really like it when those three things come together.

And I really, really like it when I get to share those three things with other people.

Which is why in 2015 I launched myself on the world of freelance training and consultancy. Specialising in data-driven communications. Especially in the public sector.

And I did OK. People do, in fact, want training in (for example) how to get the most out of Google Analytics. Or how to get more value out of opening datasets. Or how to improve decision making across the organisation through the better use of data.

There was a recurring theme though.

People would hire me to help them with the technology, or the skills or the policy in their organisation. And we’d work on that together. But it would become clear that actually the core problem wasn’t the technology, or the skills or the policy.

It was the culture.

To get better at making decisions based on evidence requires everyone (or a big percentage of everyone) in the organisation to start making their decisions based on evidence. Technology can help. Policy can help. Skills can help. But ultimately the key is culture. And culture is created by the people in the organisation collectively.

And in a city not so very far away some other recovering bureaucrats were having the same insight but from the other direction. The Satori Lab was set up by Jo Carter and Esko Reinikainen because they came to believe that in order to create public services fit for the 21st century we needed to focus on the way people behave, the way they think it is normal to behave and the mental models that shape their view on how behaviours should be understood.

We need to address culture.

And they found that as you start to help people understand and manage (or hack) their culture you need to help them with skills, and technology and policy.

So since last summer we’ve been working closer and closer together. Plenty of clients only know me as Ben from The Satori Lab. Which is entirely correct. Personally though the 1st May marked a significant date for me. It was when I joined The Satori Lab full time and permanently.

I’ll be working to develop our data services through ODI-Cardiff which we are lucky enough to be the host organisation for.

And I’ll be bringing my experience and technical knowledge to all of our work.

And generally helping in our core purpose which is to learn how to deliver public services in the connected age and to share what we learn.

I’m excited.