Breaking down silos

A recent episode of the Natteron podcast included a discussion about how people who work in different services, or different departments, within large public sector organisations can communicate and collaborate better and more openly. Or in other words, how to break down silos.

Team-messaging app Slack was mentioned, and Ben Proctor made a bold assertion:

“By the end of this year you’ll be able to classify local authorities as good or bad according to whether they use Slack or not.”

I followed this up on Twitter, which led to further insights from both Ben and Esko Reinikainen. I was still thinking about this when the 2016 UKGovcamp came along, so I pitched a session on breaking down those silos.

It turned out to be my favourite session at UKGovcamp. And I don’t say that because it was ‘my’ session. I didn’t have to do much other than light the fuse and make sure everyone who wanted to had the chance to contribute to the discussion. In fact, that’s what made it such a good session. That so many people had something to say, and it was such a varied debate.

Most of the excellent discussion is summarised in the live Google doc from the session and in the tweets in this Storify story.

These are a few of my take aways from the session: Continue reading Breaking down silos

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Yorkshire LocalGov Camp

I recently went to my first LocalGov Camp, and came away enthused. I had arrived enthused as well to be fair, but that’s not the point.  The point is that my enthusiasm has meant I have somehow talked myself into taking the lead on organising a regional event in Yorkshire – a local LocalGov Camp for local people.

The idea began during a Twitter conversation with Phil Rumens about how LocalGov Digital can reach out to councils who are working with beta websites.  One of Phil’s suggestions was to have a regional LocalGov Digital meet-up, something he is already planning in his own neck of the woods.  I particularly like this thought from Phil about the reasons for holding a localised event:

Are you local?

I already have enough people interested (after the above Twitter conversation) to feel sure that a Yorkshire LocalGov Camp is good idea, and we are probably looking at late autumn.   Because of the timing, one thing we might choose to discuss is winter weather.  Maybe we might want to work towards coordinated gritting communications, like they do with #wmgrit in the West Midlands.

I don’t want to plant too many ideas in your mind, as if you are interested in attending, I want your thoughts to be unhindered by my own suggestions – start with a blank canvas, and think about what you think we could achieve.

Continue reading Yorkshire LocalGov Camp