5 reasons winning sign-off on your digital plan is the new Minecraft

Navigating your organisation’s governance isn’t easy. Time to think like a gamer, says Irene Carson

We all want to make a difference in social care – we all want to ‘be the change’ – but when it comes to navigating the hierarchies and decision-making forums in your organisation, that takes some smart and tactical thinking.

Tapping into the right governance, both in your organisation and maybe partner organisations, and leveraging your influence to get people on board and get things moving is challenging stuff. You might want to think of your digital care technology journey as a complex, multi-level game…

1. You may be building from scratch 

Making a new care tech agenda fly in the public sector takes a *lot* of buy-in. You need support from lots of different departments and here’s the tricky truth about that: there often is no clear pathway to sign off. The infrastructure to understand and approve these new technologies just isn’t always there yet. You probably have to build the right governance for this stuff to thrive; you can find our tool for culture change here.

2. You need to get mining

The data and the case studies to support your case are out there, but you need to go looking for them, and present them in easily-digestible formats – making it easier for the time-poor decision makers you need to win over. Evidence, outcomes, experience of users, carers, social workers and families…To assemble a diverse range of colleagues with vested interests in this work everyone needs clarity on how digital care technology links to your wider strategic priorities and it’s down to you to create those conditions. Your comms and engagement channels have to be absolutely on point. 

3. Explore multiple routes

It’s hard getting decisions made in this space; digital care models are new and you’ll meet obstacles and find yourself in cul-de-sacs again and again. Are you going the right way about getting the right discussions happening with the right people? What resources do you need? Where do you need to go to get that? Which meetings do you need a seat at? Where can you get this work endorsed? Finding people who are going to buddy up with around your agenda is an important way to grow this, but you’ll also have to…

4. Flip to third person view sometimes

Video games are good at reminding us that we’re seeing everything from a single perspective, but they also let us shift into third person mode so we can take a new viewpoint. That’s really important. Some old insight recently flagged in the Harvard Business Review pointed out that getting genuine buy in, rather than short-term commitment, involved considering other people’s positions – ‘their there’ – rather than insisting on dragging them to your view point. It’s not only about getting people to say ‘let’s go ahead and do this’ but knowing how those others connect your model into their own work to make sure this is all joined up.

5. You have to keep getting up and going again

This work is important but it’s not always easy. You may tip up to meetings for decisions to be made, only to find they’re put off time and again because those in power don’t feel that confident about digital technologies. Taking another look at your plan, trying different channels and shifting the ask is sometimes the only way to progress your agenda. Be persistent, be thorough and you’ll win progress through your organisation to win that sign off! 

About Irene Carson

Irene Carson is Rethink Partners’ MD. She helps organisations explore and discover why people behave as they do and the causes and effects of those behaviours, decisions and policies. irene@rethinkpartners.co.uk