Consumers vs Citizens – Democratic Society, Four rules for councils’ democratisation work

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I’ve just seen an excellent presentation by the Democratic Society on “Four rules for councils’ democratisation work”. It has got me thinking about a few things so i’m going to share some random comments and observations:

First and foremost, we need to remove these “titles” (Consumer, Customer Citizen, Service User etc) and start to focus on PEOPLE. We can use the titles only to help guide us in our method and approach, but we should stop referring to People in those ways as it only confuses us and the people we engage with.

In Local Government we need to recognise (and most of us do) that People have different roles when interacting or engaging with us. They can be either be a consumer of services via websites or contact centres, face to face etc OR they can be citizens who we need to involve  in the design and shaping of what those services look like and feel like in the first place.

Organisations need to refocus to ensure that People to People connections and relationships are understood. This will inevitably have a huge transformational impact on the way we structure our services and how we involve people as well as the internal structures and networks that exist, not just in a single organisation but across the public sector as a whole.

Ok, random thoughts over – check out the presentation and see what you think?

 

 

Google Wave – are we “waving” goodbye to the old school

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The much talked about Google Wave will be available later this year and the preview demonstrated at Google I/O event has got me thinking and after watching the video (below) there are a number of opportunities for the public sector, here are three areas where i feel we could gain real benefit, with this type of new functionality.

  • Emergency comms – with email, web publishing and IM all interconnected. Communicating to a wide audience goes beyond your “contacts” list and can essentially reach the world in an instant.
  • Community engagement – comments/conversations on blogs or other sites will be sent to me in my inbox and i can reply via my inbox. This would help those people who want to re-use content on various platforms and enable those people to capture all feedback and collate these and pass the conversations from one platform into another to facilitate wider community or network involvement (this coupled with the conversation playback facility will transform collaboration)
  • Integrated access to colleagues / people on mobile devices (mobile and flexible working) this changes the landscape of mobile and flexible working in my opinion.

I for one am really excited by the prospect of seeing how this can allow people to work, collaborate and communicate more effectively……

It won’t solve everything, but it can teach us a new way in sharing and collaborating together.

Well done Google.