Interesting elsewhere – 24 October 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web. A bumper edition today, having spent some time at the weekend culling twitter favourites and following put aside links. And at the risk of stating the obvious, I include things here because I find them thought provoking and worth sharing, not because I necssarily agree with them.

  • My GP is not the centre of my health universe… — Transform So there is little I can learn by accessing my NHS health records; but there’s a lot my GP could learn by viewing my health as more than the sum of my official interactions with the NHS. For me, the consultation document doesn’t paint a clear enough picture of how ‘the information revolution’ is going to enable my GP to get a better understanding of my health, or transform my life for the better.
  • Happy Birthday Job Centre Plus – I saw this. And thought of you. Instead of a new social, updated JCP website or IT system, how about the setting of standards and alignment of incentives to enable the creation of an eco-system. An eco-system for a market of private sector providers (including social enterprises), to undertake the brokering of this relationship. Providers that specialise, and really get to know their niche – be it geographical or functional. Providers that can deliver a personalised service to job-seekers. Standards that can make it easy for employers to use the JCP service, with seamless vacancy data transfers and online applications. Think of JCP as setting up the AppStore, and the market creating the Apps.
    Perhaps one day the JCP will be a public service with no stigma attached to using it.
  • 24 Ways Governments and Organizations Are Generating Great Ideas in the Public Sector Governments around the world have discovered myriad ways to generate great ideas despite the barriers to innovation in the public sector. Here are some of the best examples, organized under five broad themes. Consider it a practical menu of proven approaches to stimulate innovation in any organization. Not all these examples will be applicable to every agency, but every innovation leader should apply at least one strategy under each of the following five themes.
  • Defining the Role of Government So what makes public transportation or public education “public”? Is it the fact that public tax dollars support them, the fact that public employees provide them or the fact that the public is served by them?
  • How Governments misunderstand the risks of Open Data | eaves.ca The fact is, most governments already have the necessary policy infrastructure for managing the overwhelming majority of risks concerning open data. Your government likely has provisions dealing with privacy – if applied to open data this should address these concerns. Your government likely has provisions for dealing with confidential and security related issues – if applied to open data this should address these concerns. Finally, your government(s) likely has a legal system that outlines what is, and is not legal – when it comes to the use of open data, this legal system is in effect.If someone gets caught speeding, we have enforcement officials and laws that catch and punish them. The same is true with data. If someone uses it to do something illegal we already have a system in place for addressing that. This is how we manage the risk of misuse. It is seen as acceptable for every part of our life and every aspect of our society. Why not with open data too?
  • GROWING FLOWERS: 42 seeds for ideas for local government from Beyond 2010. « The Dan Slee Blog Everybody realises technology is changing rapidly. No one individual is keeping pace with all of it.
    • A typical phone has enough power in 2010 to run a bank branch in 1980.
    • You have no choice but to change as government. Your citizens demand it.
    • It’s hard to turn off digital services once you turn them on.
    • You can’t predict the technology in three years. Look at the outcomes you want and accept some technology won’t be there.
    • Change the way we think. ‘We only do it this way’ is a barrier not a reason not to change.
    • At the moment 30 per cent are digitally unconnected in the UK. What does success look like? Single digit numbers in 10 years.
    • History says the less cash available the better analysis and decisions get made.
    • Look beyond the usual places. Africa is a world leader in phone banking. Why? People have mobile phones not PCs.
  • Jacques Vallee’s Stating The Obvious: I, Product – Boing Boing You may think of yourself as a user of Google, Facebook or Amazon, but you are actually their product.
    Sure, Google will provide you with search results, but they are not in the search business; they are in the advertising business. Their profits come from marketing firms that buy your behavior.
    Similarly, Amazon is not in the book business, although they will send you the books you’ve ordered. They are in the personal information business.
    The assets of modern web-based companies are the intimate profiles of those who “use” them, like you and me.
  • Create the Space to Innovate » Blog Archive » Where to look for big ideas?: Cherchez les mavericks People whose perspective could be critical to identifying and leveraging a disruptive social innovation – the mavericks – are often side-lined and ridiculed within large social organisations. At the same time, solo mavericks such as some social entrepreneurs, can find it very hard to access […] the policy-makers and funders that could support them, no matter how innovative their ideas. […] Endless deliberation and consultation cycles also rarely encourage breakthrough social innovation, as they tend towards lowest common denominator and incremental thinking.
    Whilst visionaries are silenced, sidelined or encouraged to work separately there is little hope for breakthrough systemic ideas to come to the fore. This means it is important for those working in the space to celebrate and even hunt down the mavericks – whether civil servants or end-users (or even those who are nothing to do with the domain itself) – who might have the big ideas we are looking for. 
  • Five reasons why the spending review plans are a tall order | Society | guardian.co.uk It’s no good designing new structures if people carry on working in the same way – people don’t become flexible and creative overnight. Co-operation between local authorities, government agencies, NHS trusts and third sector organisations is a stretch, given that most have trouble enough collaborating within their own departments. There are few precedents for such far-reaching cultural and behavioural change anywhere and none in the public sector.
  • The Connected Company – dealing with Complexity – Iconoclast @ work How is your company performing under Complexity? Have you adapted the way you work, lead your people, structure your business, emphasize appropriate values to incorporate”2.0″ practices and mindsets, not just the technology? And if you are deploying “2.0” tools and technologies (wiki’s, corporate social networks, microblogging) but finding the adoption rate falling behind expectations, have you considered how the “1.0” values, structures and leadership styles might be barriers to successful roll-out.
  • How #gmp24 happened | Amandacomms’s Blog The challenge was to find a way to show people the wide range of issues the police are called to deal with.  There were many possibilities – for example, to release statistics and information about crime and incidents over a 24 hour period, or to allow a TV crew (if they wanted to) to spend 24 hours with a police team. But none of them seemed to hit the mark. In a world where the Big Society is a hot topic, hyperlocal sites are growing and open data is on the minds of all public bodies there needed to be another answer. The key had to be in social media, and it was – in Twitter.
  • Socitm2010: the need for citizen engagement | PublicTechnology.net “There is a feeling that as public servants in senior roles in government, we should somehow be faceless and behind the scenes,” he concluded. “But that has changed. We need to be seen and to engage.”