“It’s been too long since you blogged, man”, read the accusatory DM from that @danslee.
Foolishly I replied, ‘Give me a topic’.
Almost as if he’d already thought of it (*suspicious face*)
I say that’s too late.
I recently spoke at a ‘summit’ on social media use by government. I said things like,
The usual stuff.
It’s almost incidental – but it is Dan’s fault - that the summit was in
That he did so on twitter, after meeting a thousand government officials, tells its own story, but it’s a story for another day. Today’s tale is this:
Sheikh Mohammed tweeted "The Government of the future works 24/7 and 365 days a year. It is as hospitable as hotels, fast in delivering and strong in its procedures".
Who doesn’t want that?
While we are asking if the NHS ‘will become paperless by 2018’, his aim is for government to reach people.
Tellingly he has given officials two years to get it sorted. Failure will not be tolerated. Officials have been told that if they fail to deliver mobile services, they will be given a "farewell ceremony".
Two years or fired.
The crisis of finance facing local authorities in the
We may not have three.
As I was drafting this post, Dominic Campbell appeared in the Guardian (like he does) saying ‘councils will collapse unless they embrace tech’.
That may not be true everywhere, but for those, like mine, which face another 40+ million pounds cut in the next two years, his warning that “most councils can see the next couple of years ahead financially, but there is a gulf appearing after which – if they do not act now with very different thinking – they are going to have to stop services rather than reinvent them”, seems terrifyingly real.
We all know the change is needed. So what holds us back? What? Really?
Our customers are not ours alone. They already use online tools; payment stuff and booking stuff, self service and information gathering stuff in every other sphere of their lives.
We are not asking for the radical any more. We’re asking for what is now ordinary for most customers.
And delivering it won’t stop us providing services to those for whom digital exclusion is an issue. We may need to invest for them, to provide training and assistance. Or we may need to put some of the savings driven by the ‘new model’ into the remnants of the old model to ensure we support the most vulnerable.
But we just don’t seem to be doing it. I have seen first-hand that Dom’s right when he says, “there is a lot of flirting with something which is a good idea but then (they) do not actually go ahead with”.
And this is not the starting line. We're well past that. This isn’t new this week. It’s been there for years. We’ve mostly been not doing digital for years.
I think that giving ourselves another five years is to avoid the issue.
Parkinson’s Law repeated first as tragedy then as farce.
If we really think we have five years, I’d say that’s because we have not been listening to customers and we’ve been ignoring private sector best practice. Social media, a good ‘web site’ and a range of online customer tools is massively important in how we meet customer demands today.
The Sheikh has it. "A successful government is one that goes to the people and does not wait for them to come to it."