Petitioning the elephant

A new e-petitions site for government was launched yesterday. It is clean, simple and elegant, with clear government branding consistent with other cross-government sites.  So far so good. But managing a cross government service is a tricky business, for reasons I have explored before. Government is a veneer that sits above departments, and like any […]

White elephants or white space?

Public sector organisations have a tendency to be elephantine. I suggested a few days ago that this was at least in part as a result of their size and age, rather than necessarily because being elephantine was limited to the public sector. In a comment on that post, Rik Barker challenged that view: I’ve been […]

The agility of elephants

It is well known that elephants cannot dance. It is less well known why that is. Helpfully, this year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures have thrown some light on the subject. Essentially, elephants have big fat legs because as size doubles, mass cubes, so proportionately fatter legs are needed. Mark Miodownik, the lecturer, demonstrated the effect […]

More on Apps for Elephants

My post last week on apps for elephants has prompted some interesting discussion.  Steph Gray had some eminently sensible practical thoughts on how government could balance the need to adapt to changing demands with the need to support openness and flexibility: Of course Government should be developing smartphone apps (though probably not iPhone exclusively) as […]

Apps for Elephants

The government is an elephant, as I have noted before.  It tries to dance, but finds it hard, and the smaller animals around it can get hurt.  The solution may be for the elephant to stand stock still, to do nothing for fear of treading on something more nimble, but more easily hurt. Or it […]

Government is an elephant

Government is a big and unwieldy beast. Even when it is looking where it is going, it is all too easy for it to step on small creatures and hardly notice the crunch. All too often, it isn’t particularly looking where it is going and can tread on things without malice or intent – but […]