I was just doing a bit of research for my seminar later this week on networked government. Located at the Civil Service College in Singapore its something I’ve been looking forward to. The subject, which is one of the most important ones around at the moment, requires me to bring together a lot of current and planned future work in strategy, knowledge management and sense-making in general. Searching the web, nearly all the examples assume that if you connect people via technology that solves the problem. My view is that such a perspective is a total nonsense, and I am supported in this by a deeply pragmatic story on anti-terrorism in the US. A success story about sharing data between agencies and fast response: but its not about systems, its about people. The concluding phrases recognise the usefulness of technology, but not as a panacea, or as a replacement for trust:
”When you talk about Washington and all those systems they’re developing that are going to interconnect everybody in the country and everybody in the world, that’s good,” he said.
“But the reality is, on a day-to-day basis you have to go into those systems,” he [Beasley, who designed the state center in AZ] added. “Most people, if they’re operational, don’t have the time. That’s where that personal relationship, day to day, is absolutely critical. This business is built on trust”.