Personal Note: My first blog post for 6 months, due to a number of different factors and events which have made me not feel like it. Time will tell if this marks the return of my blogging habit or is just a flash in the pan. Either way, that’s ok.

There’s a trend this year following a suggestion by Dan Slee for attendees to this year’s UK GovCamp to try and capture 20 insights they gained during the unconference. I was one of those attendees so here is my stab at it. I can’t do 20 but maybe will update the post later to reflect new stuff I remember.

  1. The Government Digital Service used to be “us”. Now it’s “them”. This is as negative as I can be about it as otherwise they do great stuff.
  2. Some of the attendees are world-class drinkers. No names, no pack drill, but they know who they are.
  3. At current growth rates representatives from my particular organisation will constitute the entire attendance of UKGC18. Be very afraid. On the other hand I was really pleased with the reaction of my new colleagues as they threw themselves into contributing, networking and generally having fun.
  4. We all have a default way of engaging in conversations, which can – if desired – be deliberately subverted, with sometimes profound results. I hope to blog some more about this but suffice to say that I am grateful to Lloyd Davis for showing me the route to that insight.
  5. After going to this event for 3 years I now have “proper” friends there.  This pleases me enormously as I make acquaintances easily but not friends.
  6. Councils don’t need CRM systems. We only have them because the rest of our systems aren’t properly functional.
  7. Data Quality is the new rock ‘n’ roll. It’s the foundation on which we will build our future organisations. But currently hardly anyone does it.
  8. Whenever we dismantle a hierarchy there is an opportunity for a community to take power. We should do this deliberately if possible.
  9. Communities have business models (in the Business Model Canvas sense) just as a “standard” business function does. Whoever models it first gets the chance to shape its development.
  10. Customer Development is the primary activity of a community, specifically the testing of a hypothesis. If the hypothesis is shown to be disappointing, the community might fade away unless new hypotheses can be found. Again, more on this and #9 soon.
  11. You can deploy an IT infrastructure from “box” diagram to functioning cloud implementation in under 15 minutes. But we already knew that.
  12. There’s a guy who carries a dragon around. This is either a sign of a relatively harmless mental health issue or a very clever exercise in personal branding. If in doubt, suspect the latter.
  13. I really don’t blog enough. This is my first entry for over 6 months :(
  14. I am quite an effective useful idiot for testing the usability of software because I have basic skills in most things, neither clueless or brilliant. Hire me while I’m still in the sweet spot :)
  15. In the 3 years I’ve going I’ve seen it become more diverse. This can only be a good thing. We had a councillor and a social work practitioner this time and both had good input to give.
  16. I’m conflicted about the 1st day happening on a Friday. The Saturday crowd is, in theory, far more committed and self-selecting but we got a really good buzz off the Friday so maybe I worry needlessly.

That’s it so far. I want to develop some of these things a bit more but not sure if I’ll get the space or time to do it. We’ll see.

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