The Open Organization

Some thoughts on combining upstream & downstream Open innovation within an ‘Open Organization’

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Development 2.0 and Beyond: Challenges for ICT4D in 2013

What can the field of ‘development’ learn from recent developments around Open standards within the UK public sector?  In this webcast I explore some of the challenges that platform-based thinking may present for developmentalists in 2013 and beyond

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The Great Deverticalisation

What is ‘deverticalisation’? And how can the public sector benefit?  My new podcast, above, tries to answer these and other related questions…

Video here:

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The Great Deverticalisation: Computer Weekly Series

Jerry Fishenden and I are doing a 5-part series on ‘The Great Deverticalisation’ for Computer Weekly, in a comprehensive attempt to Take the Message Out There, in a readily accessible way.  We’re aiming for one every 3 weeks…

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Local Government Platform: Now this is more like it!

Martin Howitt's blog

In a previous post I covered some aspects of why local government could be considered a platform business, or at least could move in that direction. I’m enormously grateful to Stuart Boardman, Carl Haggerty and Tom Graves for supplying me with some challenges and suggestions in terms of developing these ideas. I’ve taken these suggestions on board and I think I’m in a position to outline the “top-level” of what the overall model looks like.  I’ve even got some ideas about the next level of iteration down but I might park that for later so I can get the big picture out.

So, to recap: Local Government (in this model) is a hub. It’s purpose is to connect people (and places) with needs to people with funding to people who can provide services to help under the governance and ownership of people with the political mandate to do just…

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The Government’s Stockholm Syndrome

Come on, everybody.  Isn’t it about time we accepted government’s mesmerisation by some of its key suppliers, and discussed it openly?

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We’re still so C19

Denise McDonagh’s right (above) that public sector ICT has improved, but we still suffer from a literally Victorian-era public service infrastructure!  Lots of stovepipe organisations doing often strikingly similar things (look at our 427 local government organisations, for example – all doing enthusiastically different versions of the same thing).

In a C21 public service infrastructure, technology will have disappeared into the looking-glass – sublimated from our consciousness since it will be everywhere and nowhere at the same time: working, interoperable, cheap.  Instead, the emphasis will be all on the architecture: who understands platform/innovation dynamics?  The Centre’s job will be to create the conditions and incentives for a lively, plural marketplace to innovate; the marketplace will innovate and compete; and public service organisations will stop wasting taxpayers’ money propping up ancient, crumbling castles.

When we have deverticalised our public service architecture, and stopped talking about the technology, we will know we have truly arrived in the C21.  We remain so far from this it is frightening; but open standards and consumption-based procurement routes such as G-cloud are undoubtedly a much-needed baby-step in the right direction.

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