When I listened beyond the rhetoric and read between the lines (thanks to the King’s Fund for teaching me how to do it) I discovered:
1. Frances Maude blames the Civil Service for all the poor procurement, delivery and funding issues in Government today.
2. The Civil Service blames the suppliers for all the poor procurement, delivery and funding issues in Government today.
3. Civil Servants working in Government ICT blame Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM, HP, BT, the “big 4”, and anyone in IT for all the poor procurement, delivery and funding issues in Government today.
4. Anyone working in Government would prefer to mention a US digital company… like Twitter or Facebook long before they mention a British firm like ARM or Huddle.
5. Left on their own Civil Servants will look after themselves first, look no further than MyCSP (My Civil Service Pension), the first Social Enterprise to come out of the Cabinet Office.
6. No one in the Civil Service seems to know what a Social Enterprise is… one senior leader in Civil Service said … “oh yes all the Twitter and Facebook stuff… oh very good”… words fail me!
7. In talking about New Business Models for delivery of public services Civil Servants can only talk in terms of the old ways.
8. When discussing the leadership of change they refer to civil servants changing their jobs; never losing their jobs… there is a difference.
9. Most Civil Service leaders I met at the conference gave the impression that it is impossible the think about or visualise the future, and they seem to have no knowledge of the Popcorn Institute , IDEO, Imperial College or UCL or anyone that has a track record of doing just that.
10. And finally I learnt never to go to one of these things again.