I can’t stand digital by default.
-How about analogue by default instead?
I can’t stand digital evangelists.
-How about analogue evangelists instead?
I can’t stand Head of Digital.
-How about Head of Analogue instead?
I can’t stand digital offering.
-How about analogue offering instead?
I can’t stand going digital.
-How about going analogue instead?
If any of the above analogue variations sound stupid to you, the original digital version sounds equally stupid to me.
Theres a concept called The Law Of The Instrument summed up best in the phrase…
“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
In the public sector I’m seeing exactly this in the Digital By Default Disaster.
The thinking seems to be…
Which ultimately is operationalised as…
This is why I think digital evangelists are dangerous and wrong. They skip the part where having investigated the problem situation, got data, understood what’s happening and why, and redesigned the system using experimenting to find what works, AT THAT POINT then pulling in technology when needed.
I’m being overly kind here. They don’t do the bit before the capital letters much either.
I’m 100% sure that any digital evangelists reading my blog will consider this a gross caricature and entirely unlike anything they’ve been involved in.
I’m 100% sure they’re wrong. I see it around me all the time, people with magic goggles on, convinced that IT is the answer to cheaper and better services, and it’s just a matter of changing the question so that it IS the answer.
A way to spot them is they tend to be called “business analysts”, a name I had to Google and it’s got its own Wikipedia entry, helpfully. Teams of business analysts now occupy the public sector under the guise of improvement, whilst actually doing digitising instead.
I remain cruelly aloof to their charms. Often they’re lean-alikes, waving AS-IS and TO-BE process maps in their wake as they dash busily from workshop to workshop. I’ve noticed that when these jobs are advertised as vacancies, skills listed in the desirable column are often a bundle of LEAN (always capitalised), Agile and systems thinking, sometimes only seperated by a forward slash eg LEAN/Agile/Systems Thinking, as if “hey, you know it’d be cool if you had one or more of these, cos these sound just swell.” Like these are in any way similar or even just NOT CONTRADICTORY!
This is fact a helpful signal to the prospective job seeker that the employer doesn’t really know what they want. But more importantly whatever special magic used to improve things, it’s mainly just a ruse to cover up the shabby old cheap trick of shoving IT in front of people and expecting magic. Ta-bleeding-Daaa.
I started this post with a cheap trick of swapping the word digital for analogue. It’s not a trick though. It’s a point. Thehe point being if there are people wandering around your organisation with default thinking, whether it’s digital by default or anything-at-all by default, you’ve got quite stupid people wandering around your organisation.
Default thinking is actually about circumventing thinking, which is why I say these are stupid people. They might be intelligent in other areas of their life, but default anything is dangerous and stupid.
I’m immune to your charms, Digitalistas. I think you’re wrong and dangerous, and quite bizarrely old fashioned and quaint in your shiny -eyed belief in technology “solving things“. Sadly you’re quite fashionable at the moment so we’ll all be stuck with you for a long while yet. Till then I’ll just quietly resent you and seethe at the dreadful things being done in the public sector, wasting millions on technology whilst social workers and the like are losing their jobs to pay for it and you.