Interesting elsewhere – 23 June 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Innovation: Who Else Is Doing It? Everyone applauds innovation. At least, they love it in retrospect, after it has worked. Before that, it’s just somebody’s wild idea that competes with every other wild idea for resources and support. What sounds great in the abstract seems risky when translated to a specific unproven idea. For that reason, executives who tell me that they want more innovation sometimes ask, as their first question, “Who else is doing it?” Or they say, “We want more innovation; we just don’t want to be the first.”I hate to point out the irony to them. Guys, innovation means maybe no one else is doing it. You might have to be the first. And that might be a good thing.
  • Maureen Johnson Books » Blog Archive » MANIFESTO Some people don’t get it. They don’t get that the internet is a conversation. They think the message only goes one way—out. Things must be shouted. Things must be thrust in your face. Things must be sold.
  • Charlie Beckett, POLIS Director ” Blog Archive ” Henry V & The Internet I think the key phrase there is ”Ubiquitous Literacy”. The Internet can do this, too. The simple fact of making data available changes its political significance.Just putting information into a language that people understand and so have access to, doubly changes its political significance. It’s what we call data visualisation.
    But here’s the important bit, for a journalist. Letters put that information, written in a widely comprehensible language, into a narrative. Or rather a whole series of plural narratives. This is crucial. As Harriss explains, the 15th century was a multi-platform, multi-source media environment: “passed round, read out, nailed on doors, retained in private collections, or copied into private journals and officials registers”. Those clerks were creators and curators of the information, a medieval precursor of networked journalists.
    Instead of an iPad they had quills and vellum. When paper came that was a bit like moving on to SuperFast broadband.
  • Peeling the apple: the issue with government cutbacks : Tangential Ramblings As the apple gets smaller and tighter over the next few years, there will be less and less room or appetite for innovation.  And people will not be able to stray from what they are doing to try to figure out how they might do it better.  Instead, departments will continue to do what they currently do, only not as well.
    There are people around who can change the status quo here, both within and outside the civil service.  I know a bunch of them and, given the licence, they have both the vision and passion to radically change the way in which the government operates.  But they won’t be given that licence.
    Instead, the apple will continue to be peeled, and what remains will start to turn brown and decay.  I hope I’m wrong.  But given what I’ve seen thus far, it’s looking more and more likely.
  • Why we need to radically join-up public services more than ever The costs of this diversity are difficult to estimate. It seems undeniable that the luxuriant proliferation of public service delivery chains entails extra costs for citizens in coping with complexity, as research on citizen redress has clearly demonstrated. Compare the UK with a country like Denmark, where local governments regularly deliver three quarters of all public services by expenditure to their citizens, including social security on behalf of the central government. It seems clear that by this comparison we are currently buying a set of ‘luxury goods’ in terms of the ramifying complexity of our arrangements for service provision.