After a short break, we are firing up the Sociable Organisation blog with updates about new ways of thinking and exploring more sociable ways of working.
We start with a post by Matt Lund, who works in the council’s consultation and engagement team.
Ever been accused of sitting in an ivory tower?
Well it happens if you have a corporate policy role in a Civic or Town Hall. I suppose it’s an easy statement to make and a perception for folk like me, who have such roles, to be acutely aware of. However, a new opportunity is giving us a chance to disprove it by working in a different way.
We successfully bid to be part of the Design in the Public Sector (DIPS) regional programme run by the Design Council and supported by Local Government Yorkshire and Humber. It provides training and support to local authorities and their partners who want to explore ‘design thinking’ as a way to improve local issues.
Posted in service design
Tagged communities, community committee, design, DIPS, engagement, involvement, ivory tower, learning, policy, road trip, service design, thinking, VAL
Two years ago I invited someone I had met through social media to a meeting where we could share a drink and have a chat. I wasn’t sure if they would come, but they did. We talked about stuff that was happening at the council and wider. Not too much about what was being done but about how stuff was done. We both listened intently to what each other had to share. At the end of the meeting my guest said “thank you, that wasn’t like working with the council at all.”
I didn’t sleep that night. Those words are still etched in my memory like an internal Voldemort mark which every now and then is the source of pain when I feel or see stuff that isn’t yet right. I suppose it was an indirect compliment …. for doing something that I felt wasn’t out of the ordinary.
So what is ordinary? Being active on Twitter; contacting someone who may have a particular view on something I was working on; having a meeting in a coffee house; talking honestly about the realities of how things are and what might be. None of that is special, perhaps a different way of interpreting what work is maybe, but not special. Use of social media isn’t special, it is something people use, but some of the things that happen because of it can be special. Continue reading
For people of my generation who went to school in the early 70’s, the image above is probably typical. Even before we could read or write our names, most of us were encouraged to associate them with ‘our space’. I say encouraged but we had no choice. We were probably also encouraged to link that space with an image. I imagine there were some schools where that image was a self portrait, a family photo or a school mug shot Polaroid. In some cases I imagine that image and space was associated with gender.
We went along with this, we had no choice. Continue reading