Weekly Braindump #27
Unconferences for Introverts and The Magic Sauce of Digital Transformation
Happy Friday! Another week in the books. Here’s a quick glance over the last 7 days.
I’ve been working on…
For reasons I can’t entirely lay my finger on, this has week has been a tough slog. It started with a 3 hour health & safety briefing, which may be a contributing factor (only joking — health & safety is important kids! Stay in school!). I think the most interesting observation from that training is how much automation and AI could prevent humans from doing very stupid things to themselves and others.
I’ve had an on and off running battle with our Exchange server. First around putting a stop to mass phishing emails and then around non delivery reports to external mailboxes. I’m reminded again that email still retains much of the deeply user unfriendly architecture of the old Internet. I would also say Exchange administration itself is somewhat of a dark art. I got into some deep recesses of the Microsoft Technet documents. Does Enterprise IT really need to be quite so inaccessible? I know geeks like geekery, but on a practical level I very rarely have the luxury of mastering any one system these days, so needless complexity is kind of annoying.
The Housing Camp Cymru crew have reformed and are looking to meet in about two weeks to discuss this year’s unconference. Sadly, I’ll be away but it’ll be good to get the wheels in motion once more. Next week I’m going to have a chat with Ben Proctor about the unconference format. Earlier this year Ben went to an unconference about unconferences (super meta!). He’s also just secured funding to try out a silent unconference. I’m eager to pick his brains about how we can make these event more inclusive and generally more friendly for introverts.
On Thursday I had nice little pick me up in the form of the BrainDump (this thing you’re reading) being mentioned in Paul Taylor’s CIH webinar on social media use to build networks and work out loud. You can see the abridged version on this post over here.
It feels like a long time since I first learned of the concept of working out loud and in retrospect it’s taken a while to finesse my approach to it (always a work in progress). I’m really delighted that a few people have mentioned that they find this format useful, especially as I only really wrote it for myself as a reflective tool. Making it public was just a mechanism to keep me accountable and make me update it. Anyway, good stuff! Onwards!!
Today (Friday) was mostly a last gasp effort to make the ‘done’ column on our kanban board look a bit more respectable. Had an interesting chat with a colleague who’d spoken to Halton Housing about their approach to digital transformation. Lots of good information to unpack, but here’s the not so secret magic ingredient. If you want to align your digital efforts and get everyone pulling in the same direction for great services, you need someone at the top of the org chart who gets it and makes it happen.
I’ve been reading…
- The journey the organization would prefer the customer to go on is not usually the journey the customer wants to go on. By Gerry McGovern.
- Here’s a post from Ben Proctor on the CommsCampNorth unconference. He hit’s some really excellent points about the benefits of the networked organisation.
- Five lessons learnt from working in digital by Lisa Jeffery. I love this because it pretty much neatly embodies my own thoughts and feelings on the subject.
- Automated fact checking is coming but it could do with some funding. Small price to pay to make Question Time 4000% more fun to watch.
- Are there too many award ceremonies? Really thought provoking stuff from Tom Murtha.
- We’re currently using 7Geese to align organisational objectives. I found this post on OKR’s to be a super practical guide to setting good objectives and key results.
- Digital Strategy (beta) from the fine folks at RenewableUK. Originally posted by David Clubb. Hat tip to Dyfrig Williams for sharing it.
- Solving problems with good content design. Really like the posts that the digital team at Citizens Advice have been pumping out lately.
- Some good working out loud from Dyfrig Williams on changing behaviour for better digital public services.
- The digital age needs a new social revolution. A long but excellent read.
- UN to pilot the use of blockchain to distribute funds. Hat tip to Sharon O'Dea.
- Is IT having an identity crisis? Some interesting stats in here regarding how many departments are now buying technology without consulting IT.
- Fewer than 10% of local election candidates have a Twitter or Facebook account. Pretty shocking in this day and age! Hat tip to Helen Reynolds.