Organisation and structure

Department of Digital

If there is a Department of Digital, and a Secretary of State for Digital, what should they not be in charge of? If there is a message from the digital revolution, it is that digital touches everything, that the remit of the Department for Analogue will never regain the heady scope it once had. Digital is not a separate thing to be bolted on when the real work has been done elsewhere, it is not a channel for final delivery, independent of context.

Locally centralising the centrally local

Seen from a certain distance, local government looks untidy and inefficient. The same functions are replicated hundreds of times over. There is limited scale efficiency of operations. Boundaries create anomalies and inconsistencies. So it must make sense to join it all up, to standardise, to have common platforms and common tools. The counter-argument is that […]

Twenty years of e-Government

Many of the ambitions of twenty years ago still resonate today. Their realisation is still work in progress. Jerry Fishenden has taken on the labour of recording the main trends of the history of e-government, or online government, or digital government (even the name has archaeological layers) in the UK over the last twenty years. […]

Antelopes grazing in the open plan

Here’s another interesting talk on the office working environment, this time from Ben Hammersley. Ben talks about the impossibility of reaching the flow state necessary for any kind of thoughtful work in an environment of constant interruptions, and about the adrenaline levels needed to sustain vigilance against the predators of open plan. We have optimised […]

Off peak office

Perhaps I didn’t need to write this morning’s blog post. I could have just linked to this video instead – Dave Coplin on fine form, with bravura illustration. RSA Animate – Re-Imagining Work from The RSA on Vimeo. This is the film of the book, and the book is very good too – short, sharp […]

Peak office

Culture eats technology for breakfast (to adapt the more common version, that culture eats strategy for breakfast – but culture is omnivorous, so no problem there). The critical question which follows from that statement gets much less attention: where are we going to have breakfast. That question is the focus of this post. Not long […]

Blundering about

I had high hopes of The Blunders of our Governments. Its authors, Anthony King and Ivor Crewe have spent decades apiece observing the British political system. If they can’t make sense of what happens, perhaps nobody can. And that’s a worrying thought, because although their book is entertaining and very readable, it doesn’t leave us […]

Out of office

The desk drawers are empty. The recycling bin is full. The last email has been sent. The coffee mug has been washed and put away. The farewells have been said. Time to move on. I am not going very far, just from one government department to another. A couple of hundred yards as the crow […]