Twitter is tomorrow’s email… technology adoption in organisations

Phases of technology adoption in organisations
Phases of technology adoption in organisations

In 2004 – in Lithuania, of all places – Professor Stephen Coleman introduced me to a four-phase model for understanding how new technologies are adopted and influenced by organisations.

Don’t know if he came up with it directly but finding it beautifully simple and functional, I’ve used it countless times since to make sense of how technology use is developing in organisations I have worked for or with.

I was discussing it with Neil Williams over a cerveza recently, and decided to add a fifth phase that I’d like to share here.

Coleman’s four phases (note – I’ve tweaked the names, but not their essence) ran as follows:

hyperbole > resistance > institutionalisation > transformation
Continue reading “Twitter is tomorrow’s email… technology adoption in organisations”

Following Reboot Britain

Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of NESTA at the rostrum
Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of NESTA, at the rostrum

Managed to make it over to Reboot Britain today. Half of it anyway.

It’s been a while since I’d been at a conference (if one can still use that term for such an event). And, I am glad I had the opportunity (thanks to Nick for the allowing the time, and Steve and Tiffany for arranging).

It was great to reflect on issues of the day and those of tomorrow, especially in such good company – such as Steph, Mark and Jeremy, and fleetingly Milica, Robin, Kathryn, Paul, Mick, Andy and Andrew.

I learned a thing or two – which I will muse on in another post – but I was also left wanting.

The source of my disappointment – the opening speeches from Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of NESTA, and Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture. Nothing wrong with the delivery as such, both are very able and informed speakers who are more than qualified to open an event such as this. My problem was with the level of the pitch. Continue reading “Following Reboot Britain”

‘Digital Democracy’ Predictions for 2009

I’m into my second year of blogging, and this year is almost done. So I thought I’d celebrate and sign off for 2008 with a few ‘digital democracy’ predictions for 2009.

I can’t emphasise enough that none of these predictions are based on inside knowledge of existing plans. I just thought it would be fun to reflect and have a go at judging the way the digital wind is blowing into the year to come.

Here goes…

  1. A ‘household name’ government department will launch a large-scale crowd-sourcing site for the purposes of problem-solving. Not a one-off PR exercise; it’ll be something more like what we are used to from the likes of Dell and InnoCentive but it will have to be even more efficient and incisive. It will go through a bunch of phases before the department gets it right.
  2. Two states will be at loggerheads over the way one of them has been using the web to engage the citizens of the other. It won’t be cyber-warfare, more a gentlemanly disagreement, but it will spark a debate that’s been long overdue.
  3. A local government will fall head-over-heels in love with the promise of eDemocracy and launch into an ambitious project to put digital front-and-centre of its democratic processes and service provision. It will be facilitated with next-generation municipal ICT and it will capture our imaginations but it will come at a price.
  4. We’ll all be fascinated with what Obama does in office, but he’s going to have to work hard to live up to the standards we became accustomed to over the course of the presidential campaign. I reckon he will pull it off.
  5. The UK Parliament will launch a virtual-version of Westminster Hall debates. The MPs will love it, the officials will be tearing their hair out.
  6. The ‘digerati’ will freak at all this good stuff coming out of political institutions because it takes away the founding basis of their books, lectures, sites and films – that institutions and elected representatives don’t get people and they sure as hell don’t get digital. It will take them a while to get their heads round it, there will be a lot of foot-stamping and door-slamming, but then there will always be consultancies.
  7. A government department will move away from a standard homepage to a drag-and-drop dashboard model. Others will quickly follow.
  8. Sadly there will be a disaster somewhere in the developed world but digital communications infrastructure will be sufficiently intact to play a pivotal role in dealing with the emergency and speeding up the rescue and rebuilding effort. The integrity and quality of digital infrastructure will race up the political agenda overnight.
  9. As more and more citizens come online to access services and hold their representatives to account, efforts to to promote political literacy will have to be redoubled and the volume will have to be turned up on the participative opportunities inherent in representative democracy.
  10. I will blog a lot less about digital democracy and turn to some of the other things in life that interest me.

I reckon these are all good bets – bar number 10.

What do you think?

2008 – Getting the skinny

2007 was the year of the online petition.

Downing Street invited the great British public to create and sign petitions on its website. Millions duly did and what an ‘insight’ it was. The media lost interest after a couple of months, but in eDemocracy conferences it was impossible to escape ‘the great petition debate’.

The BBC had a go. They mobilised an e-petition as part of the ‘Free Alan Johnston’ campaign. They got about 200,000 signatures from all over the world.

And even burger punters, McDonalds, had a stab. ChangeTheDefinition.com invited us to help MaccyDees to pressure the UK’s dictionary houses into dropping or rewriting the definition of ‘McJob’, which is apparently not a word with positive connotations. They even had a ad up on the big flashy boards at Piccadilly Circus. Cheeky.

2007 was the year of the online petition. Gawd. Continue reading “2008 – Getting the skinny”