Working with our Directors General

June 2, 2015 by 1 Comment | Category Our work

Since we came together as a team last winter, we’ve largely focussed our energy on reaching policy teams- the people as close to the ground as you’re likely to get in Scottish Government. But lately we’ve been meeting with our Directors General (DGs) to help them talk and think through their digital aspirations and what they mean practically and strategically. We called them ‘digital MOTs’ which included carrying out a *very* lightweight audit of the various social media activity happening in their area, for example the number of Deputy Directors active on social media or a breakdown of the activity on their public facing and internal social media presences over their Directorate.

Although it was useful for us to do these audits because it gave us some insight, they might not have been so helpful to the DG we were meeting because the audits focused on more quantitative aspects of their online activity as opposed to the qualitative aspects which might have been more useful in determining whether engagement goals are being met. That aside, the three meetings we’ve had so far have been so diverse and that is really interesting to us. Because we’ve been dealing mostly with people three and four levels below the DGs, we’ve now been able to get a more holistic view of attitudes, aspirations and thoughts about barriers to using web and social media for professional purposes. We also vowed to leave each meeting with a task or set of tasks. We want *real* work out of this. Here is a breakdown of what we’ve heard so far:

DG 1: This person has been quite active on our internal social business platform Yammer for some time and they are also active on Twitter. They were interested in exploring how we can help expand the use of social media in their Directorates for internal purposes, namely collaboration, better communication and so colleagues have better ways to find each other when they need help, information or advice about a specific thing. They were less focussed on their own use of social platforms though they did express some disappointment in getting little or no response or interaction when they posted questions or comments on Yammer (How do you encourage interaction with the gaffer in a very hierarchical organisation? Answers on a postcard please.) Our task from this meeting was to help the Directorates in setting up a series of workshops they are having with their senior colleagues in which they plan out their futures as 21st Century Civil Servants. We will be on hand at these events (happening throughout June) to introduce our service, introduce digital engagement in the context of the First Minister’s priorities. We will also offer hands on support and training and hopefully get folk pretty damned excited about it all!

DG2: This person is less active online and is keen to get their own skills up to date so they can start sharing more on Yammer and then working their way up to blogging publicly to raise the profile of their Directorate‘s’ work but also to create greater transparency in their role. Working with someone with such enthusiasm but less experience is a joy and we’re looking forward to working with them to make it happen. Our tasks from this meeting were to send over some user friendly instructions about using Yammer and a promise to follow up with practical button pushing hands on support. We also gave this person a task to write down reflections, thoughts and ideas at the end of a week to get used to the idea of getting content together for a blog post.

DG3: This person was interested in thinking about areas of their Directorates we could work with directly to really get them going on the digital engagement and outreach front. We have asked by this person to attend their next Directors’ meeting and have also been given a lot of good contacts to start conversations with. Our tasks from this meeting are to kick off correspondence with different areas, get face to face with Directors and hopefully get stuck into some meaty government business areas.

We are starting work in earnest with each DG and their colleagues over the summer and we’ll keep you updated with everything here. As always, watch this space…

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  • Sarah says:

    Love this! Engaging meaningfully with senior stakeholders is so important for organisation-wide culture change.

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