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Can You Retrofit Your Colleagues for Digital?

By: Nick Halliday
Originally posted on Govloop 

It is a fairly standard challenge to be asked to make an organisation ‘go digital’. Or more specifically make the people working there use digital tools and engagement techniques. digital

At an interview one of the most common question is ‘can you give an example of how you got the press office/senior management/policy officials to go online?’ It is such a standard trope that many of us have almost internalised this challenge.

My challenge is – why bother? Or to put it another way why waste our time on something that has a potentially small success rate? Is there another way?

Instead of focussing on particular groups or teams why not focus on those most likely to be receptive? If this is the case who is most likely to be receptive?

Firstly probably those already using digital in their personal life. So why not set up a blogging forum for anyone who blogs to share ideas? You might find a couple of people interested in blogging for you? Again a Twitter user group might dig out another couple of volunteers. Why not set up an internal digital secondment. Let people who are interested apply to work on your team for a week.

However perhaps the killer app is to focus on the young people joining your organisation. If there is a trainee or apprentice scheme arrange to meet them when they join. I know from experience that it is an easy assumption that they are all digitally literate. It is not always true, but on the balance, they are often ahead of the ‘old timers’ in your organisation.

So here is your chance to introduce how your organisation uses digital and the opportunities for them to get involved. It might be a bit of a slow burning success but as they move up the organisation you have just built your team of digital ambassadors.

So perhaps it’s time to stop knocking ourselves out trying in effect to convert the unconvertable and focus on those who are already on our side and use that momentum?

There might be less war stories to tell at the next unconference but it could just be more effective?

Let me know how you get on.