Business needs, user needs, theory x and theory y

In my time working at the Government Digital Service I have to admit I got a bit weirded out by the relentless focus on User Needs. It felt cultish. To an extent it still does. But having had some time to reflect, and having spent some time working in different environments in the past six … Continue reading Business needs, user needs, theory x and theory y


During my recent research project, which I continue to write up into a coherent report for the lovely people at the LEF, one of the conversations that appeared to happen again and again with my interviewees went along the lines of: Me: "Would I be able to attribute this conversation to you?" Them: "I'd love … Continue reading Uncommunicative


There was a short exchange between a Twitter account run by the CBI and Minister for the Digitals Matt Hancock MP last week that in less than 280 characters summed up my concerns for what appears to be currently going on in the UK government: Now I know that it's probably unfair and unkind … Continue reading Technoration

Technology doesn’t shape the future

I've spent the last couple of days mostly in the wonderful Names Not Numbers event in London, a festival of eclecticism that was timely given my recent thinking about the importance of diversity of thought. The final session I was able to attend yesterday was a debate about the impact of emergent technologies, and particularly the … Continue reading Technology doesn’t shape the future

A perfect storm

"Paradigm shift" is a much overused phrase, coined originally by the philosopher Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn argued that far from being a series of linear progressions, the body of scientific thought tended to move in abrupt leaps - paradigm shifts. At times of a new paradigm emerging, established wisdom tends to double-down on the existing models … Continue reading A perfect storm

The wrong tools for the job

There are a couple of articles that have sprung up in the business press in recent weeks that have highlighted challenges with collaboration within organizations that have piqued my interest given my current work with #sharingorg. The first, the cover article in the January/February Harvard Business Review, talks about problems of collaborative overload. Specifically, authors Rob Cross, Reb Rebele … Continue reading The wrong tools for the job

Sketch lines

I can't draw. Well, not very well at least. There's one massive psychological block I've got to drawing, and that stems back to when my O Level art teacher, Miss Moon, told me outright just before my exams "You've got a reasonable eye, Matt. The problem is you can't draw." That kind of stuck. But, … Continue reading Sketch lines

#sharingorg bibliography

Over the past few months I've been immersing myself in the world of collaboration and organizational sharing. Here are the books that have been helping me along the way... Danah Boyd It’s Complicated an anthropological investigation of how teenagers use social networks  Peter Checkland & Sue Holwell Information, systems & information systems a primer on … Continue reading #sharingorg bibliography

Living the values

I had a fascinating conversation this morning with the HR Director of a large engineering company as part of my #sharingorg research. He has been helping to foster a change in how his organisation collaborates internally and externally, necessitated by changes in the markets in which the company operates (they're big in mineral commodities, mineral commodities … Continue reading Living the values


Back in the early 00s, as a result of my work with Internet services at the commercial arm of the corporation, I was lucky to be able to spend some time at the BBC's Research and Development organisation. Nestled in the middle of a leafy Surrey estate, Kingswood Warren was a mansion house scarred with … Continue reading Anti-innovative