On 16 November SCVO hosted an evening of talk and discussion on digital participation. Chris Yiu, SCVO’s Director of Digital, introduced the evening by asking where we go next with Scotland’s digital participation movement. Sarah Davidson – Director General, Communities at Scottish Government – gave us an overview of how the digital agenda supports our vision for Scotland’s future. Finally Rachel Neaman – CEO at Go ON UK – explained why digital leadership matters.
It was encouraging to hear Sarah reiterate that digital is not about IT or technology: it’s about people and participation and is a vital part implementing the Christie Report’s recommendations about person-centred services, collaboration and co-production. If we are to advance engagement and empowerment, people need access to the web and the skills to use digital tools and services.
Rachel Neaman agreed with and amplified Sara’s point that that digital is not the same as technical. Pondering what we mean by digital leadership she suggested dropping the digital: it’s just leadership. Digital, she argued, will be the guiding principle and we might think in terms of building ‘digital DNA’. In other words, digital is just how we do things, but there are cultural barriers, particularly in enabling the workforce to participate. Digital services, she said, improve customer satisfaction as well as job satisfaction. Yet unless the CEO ‘gets it’ then it will fail, because the digital strategy can’t be left to the IT department.
Readers of this blog will be familiar with this line of reasoning. You don’t need to be technical but you do need to understand the application of technology and the transformational power of digital.
More about the event on Storify