Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web
Empathic, vulnerable, curious: inspirational leadership in the civil service — Medium
I’ve been a civil servant since 2009; during that time I’ve observed many types of leader. We all know when we’re working with a great leader: they inspire us, give us space, motivate us, and make us excited to come to work every day. It’s not about seniority or power; these people have this effect regardless of their grade or formal relationship to us. I’ve been thinking recently about what unites the leaders who have most inspired me during my time in government.
Registering a concern – honestlyreal
So – registers. Top idea. They’ll be definitive. They’ll be owned. They’ll feed and support other systems.
But will they, y’know, work?
The XY Problem
The XY problem is asking about your attempted solution rather than your actual problem. This leads to enormous amounts of wasted time and energy, both on the part of people asking for help, and on the part of those providing help.
GOV.AU is a ‘mental model’ of government | Digital Transformation Office
Most people don’t know all the parts of government and what they do. Many people think of government as one thing but government generally doesn’t present a single view to end-users. For a successful transaction, people have to know where to find the information they need – but typically that information is spread across several different websites. Users then need to compare and synthesise that information to make sense of what government wants them to do. People told us that: they never feel certain that they have all the information, the information is up-to-date, and they never know what they will find next.
Presenting is performance
As you write the content of each slide, practice saying what you’ll say when it’s in front of an audience. Practice the stories and jokes you’ll tell along the way. Practice the beginning, where you introduce yourself and the organisation you represent. And practice the end, where you sum everything up and wind your way to a conclusion.
Presenting is performance. Rehearse like it’s a show, and your audience will listen.
An Insider’s Guide To Business Design At IDEO — IDEO Stories — Medium
When we look for creative solutions to user problems, those solutions typically come in the form of a product or service. But what we deliver to a client — and what a customer eventually experiences — is not a product or service in a vacuum. It’s all the stuff around it too. I am able to think creatively around the design of the business by deconstructing all the assumptions around its business model and reassembling them to derive value in new ways. I believe that for a lot of products and services out there, the brilliance is in the business.
Do less. The Inverted-U — Medium
I think it’s worth asking the following questions of agile teams:
What if–past a certain point–adding more design, content, or features starts to make things worse?
What if–past a certain point–having more stakeholders, experts, or analysts makes us understand the problem less clearly?
What if–past a certain point–adding more security measures, makes things less secure?
What if–past a certain point–more complexity, leaves the service or transaction more open to fraud and deception?
What if we made more time to look at our products and services through the eyes of those that experience them and focussed more on removing barriers than adding solutions?
Ten more years! Ten more years! | Consult Hyperion
My brand spanking new chip card from a UK issuer not only arrived with a 2000s app of a 1990s implementation of a 1980s product (debit) on 1970s chip, it also came with a 1960s magnetic stripe on it and a 1950s PAN with a 1940s signature panel on the back. It’s no wonder it seems a little out of place in the modern world.
Does This Make My Customers Rich? Business Tips For The Future Steady-State Economy | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
The one edict that should govern all businesses: “Does this make my customers rich? If I’m making other people wealthy, then I am supporting the ecosystem that will keep my business alive.”
Right now, our economy is set up to ask the entire opposite question: Does this make our investors rich? Instead of valuing and rewarding the creation of a sustainable economy, we value growth above all other things. Venture capital infuses companies with enough cash that they can expand astronomically and make their founders incredibly wealthy. Look at Twitter, currently besieged by open letters about how to improve its business as its stock tanks. This is the prime example of an economy with the wrong priorities—and the mistakes founders can make by giving into a mindset that growth is the only meaningful goal of business.
There are no system needs, only user needs | NHS.UK Alpha blog
‘The system’ isn’t some alien organism that’s living somewhere separate from the people who use it.
We, as people who work in the NHS, develop system solutions to answer user needs.
The system itself, however, doesn’t have needs.
Talking about system needs encourages us to work in isolation. It puts us back into the bubble and back into silos.
We should burst that bubble, do the hard work and always ask ‘what’s the user need behind this thing we’re aiming for?’.
Are you thinking about social care? | NHS.UK Alpha blog
We’ve looked at people as whole people and tried to understand their lived experiences. And it’s why I think that in relation to digital services, and NHS.UK specifically, we need to stop talking about ‘social care’ as something that is different to other kinds of care.
We must stop reflecting our siloed government structures onto the public, and keep focussed on the people we’re delivering services for. People simply want to access and receive the care that they need – they don’t understand how the health and care system works and they shouldn’t have to.
Twitter Has Become a Park Filled With Bats — Following: How We Live Online
Twitter is like a beloved public park that used to be nice, but now has a rusty jungle gym, dozens of really persistent masturbators, and a nighttime bat problem. Eventually the Parks Department might rip up the jungle gym, and make some noise about fixing the other problems, because that’s what invisible administrators like Twitter staff and municipal recreation departments tend to do. But if the perverts and the bats got to be bad enough with no recourse, you’d probably just eventually stop going.
(Additionally frustrating is that everybody is complaining about the safety issues at the park, and instead of addressing them, the city installs a crazy new slide. What? Nobody was calling for that. What about the perverts? What about the bats?)
History in the digital age — Medium
If a historian were to write an institutional history of GDS. The sources they could draw from within the public digital sphere would be blogs, tweets and the oral history of those behind GDS. The internal history of how we arrived at gov.uk website would be drawn from GitHub, Google Documents then Basecamp and Slack conversations. We know how an organisation like the FCO with a long history of maintaining records retains it’s institutional memory . But how does a relatively new kid on the block GDS manage information for future historians to research? What of all those post it notes in the margins? Will all those conversations on Slack be available twenty years from now?