Louise - Changing Natures

By louisemac


[As part of a programme I’m taking part in on digital leadership and the public sector, my group has decided to do three blogs using Blipfoto to reflect on our digital thinking and insights – each of us doing it over three days. By it’s nature it will be focussed on leadership so forgive the language! The idea is we will pull of the blogs and pictures together for a presentation to the main group next week.]

My Monday started with reading – online via Twitter – the Guardian Top 30 digital/social media leaders aged under 30, which has been put together by a group of young interns/apprentices who have done a “takeover” of the Guardian this week. It was very much “their” list and it was an incredible group of inspiring people. I’m ashamed to admit there were some of them I had not yet heard of, so I’ve now followed them all on Twitter to connect and learn more. It made me reflect on how important it is to stay connected – and how easy it is to suddenly find yourself not! And if you’re not, it is likely your “followers” will file off to connect with someone who is engaged. It reminded me of that old saying: if you are a leader and no-one is following you, then you’re just going for a lonely walk!

Later in the day I was working with my team on a major event we are planning – and in many ways it is a purely “digital” event, the compelling elements of it made entirely possible due to digital. It has changed how we approach it, but it has also made it so exciting in its potential and scope. The creativity and immediacy that digital offers makes it a “gamechanger” in so many ways.

Of course the bottom line is it is still all about connecting, and digital is simply a tool for that, but what a tool. To connect, to inspire, to reach out, to explore, to build community, to seek consensus, to learn, to share, to challenge, to create...

This picture is a bit of the “old versus new”: this disposable camera has been lying in the office for so long – years in fact – and could be viewed as a relic of the old era before digital. It is from a project I ran that – at the time – was seen as so cutting edge and exciting, opening up engagement and expression for young people about their lives.

I looked at it tonight and almost laughed out loud – a project that took us months to come to fruition would take mere days now. The efforts we put in to ensure equal access to the project can now be overcome at a stroke thanks to technology. And let’s not even talk about the cost...it was modest, but still!

I work hard – professionally – to stay in touch with all of this, and allow the space for my team to take advantage of it, maximising their creativity and reaching out to as many young people as we can across the country.

So – today’s reflection: the pace of change, and how the “art of the possible” now looks very different indeed!

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