13 thoughts on “Digital in Government policy teams – a little experiment”

  1. Reblogged this on Minerva’s pencil case and commented:
    It’s been a while since I blogged. Due on the @bisdigital blog are some posts about what we learned from Digital Fortnight. In particular, we gathered some great evidence on people’s barriers to engaging online. This little personal experiment described here by Tim is a bit of a precursor to some of the more formal things that we’ll be doing to address how we help people get over some of those barriers.

  2. What I really love about this is a simple act of generosity that could lead to so much change. Generosity is a much undervalued trait

  3. Very exciting! I’ll be really keen to hear whether the experiment works, and in the meantime interested to hear your tips for navigating procurement to be in a position to do this!

  4. Hello Tim,

    I took inspiration from your experiment and have rolled out my own adaptation. I am responsible for everything digital across the Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives service. I started in July 2013 and an observation very early on was that digital literacy was an area for improvement. I’m approaching this from the bottom up and top down with many different tactics. I hadn’t quite figured how to engage our senior management so figured your approach was worth trying.

    I initially thought of getting the ebook version for my personal Kindle so that I could have a library of books. However a quick poll of staff made it clear that print was preferred. Once my print copy arrived I first read it myself. I underlined passages that interested me and wrote notes in the margins where an idea was already happening in the service or if it was something happening soon on our road map. I also made a note of which chapters might suit which service area as a priority and in my note with the book said “if you only read two chapters start with these”. Finally at the start of the book I wrote “this book has been read by Zak Mensah THEN ….” leaving a blank space for the next reader. I figured that if others saw who else had read it that it might encourage them that it isn’t just the nerd finishing the book.

    My first subject has been our deputy director who I know commutes. I checked in one week after giving him the book and I know he was over 50% through. I decided not to give my personal tablet away with the book, mainly because I know my director has his own personal tablet. I need to do something with enabling him and others to trial some digital activity so in my evaluation I’ll ask how this might be best done.

    I have a slight feeling that many staff don’t wish to admit that they may not be up to speed with the brave new work of digital and emerging technology. I like this experiment though as one way to start finding out more.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to add this Zak. It’s a great extension of the idea. I think I’ll try the approach of encouraging recipients to share the book with others.

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