OCM in the Digital Age

I was, once again, honoured to be asked to speak at the Canberra Community of Practice for Change Management, in Australia.  As the first speaker for the year, I had the opportunity to provide some context for the year, looking at tools and technology for OCM practice in Australia.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, I thought it would be interesting to look into the “Pandora’s Box of the ‘ages’ of technology and discuss how we, as the ‘new custodians’ of humanity (what ever that is!) might look into the crystal ball and find some tools to help us take people on a journey into the future.”

Well, we didnt get too detailed into some of the tools and looked at some of the potentially disruptive technology which OCM Strategist and practitioners will be expected to work in and through, in the not too distant future.

The presentation uses ‘Sway’ – a newish thing that I happened upon, and it looks like it has some good attempt at Accessibility – I would be interested in your thoughts?  I was lucky enough to also have some colleagues from the Community of Practice of Accessibilty attend the presentation event, so I am looking forward to their feedback too.

You will find the presentation on ‘OCM Practice in the Digital Age‘ at the link or below:


let me know your thoughts.


Digital isolation v Digital exile

A snippet from some correspondence with a dear friend:

Ooh, sounds like a blog post in the making – ‘digital isolation v digital exile in a digital world hurtling towards “technological Singularity”‘. Perhaps the government needs a change management plan to deal with those suffering from digital isolation or exile – this is a complex problem connected with their NBN mess, amongst other things – or is this more of a ‘wicked’ problem. I will think on it!

So, what do we have here?

Digital Isolation.  What is this? Is it new, or is it something that we didn’t have a name for, but now have a whole pandemic of? Now this is interesting… imagine actually running a crowdsource to understand what people understand of their current state of digital isolation – does the quality, speed, availability, cost and ‘capability of using’ (thinking literacy and that famous quote: Choose your Authors like you choose your friends) contribute to varying degrees of isolation?  What about those who choose to isolate themselves [digitally] from others, by CHOOSING not to engage using social media, online tools, mobile devices or ‘my’ accounts?  Are they ‘digital hermits’ or suffering from some socially technological dysfunction?  Are these people our odd-uncle-at-the-family-picnic ‘pod-mates’ or dinosaurs in the next ‘village over the hill’ along in the pod-farm of comfortable, home-like acoustically pleasing partitioning?  Of course, running a crowdsource activity which didnt also feature the ability to participate in offline activities would of course limit the participation to only those who were =/ Digitally isolated.  So the activity would measure the degree of digital isolation, not being 100% digitally isolated… and would also have flaws in the science, not considering the [analogue?] socially isolated (even harder to ferret out than those ‘digital, but not isolated’) as being part of the 50th percentile, juxtaposed with the ‘digital’.

How digitally isolated are you, at this very moment?

Digital Exile. What is this?  Is this being ‘grounded’ and Mum turning off the WiFi after 10pm, when all the homework has been done? Is this something that happens when you move away from a fast-food outlet that delivers free wifi, or are unlucky enough (socioeconomic night-breed or zombie-apocalypsed) not to have 24/7 access?

Technological Singularity? Well, we all know what that is, yet, we choose not to do anything about it.  At least, from a public policy perspective – there isn’t any money left to think about the future, we are too busy trying to fix the problems of yesterday. Or at least, too busy trying to get reelected, so that we can consider yesterday’s problems. Is the technological singularity connected with the rise of Homo Evolutis?

Change management plan for the government? Why should they start thinking ahead, now? Did you notice that I am being nonspecific about which country, party or level of government?  I thought you noticed.

Getting Jacked in


Or: How to be part of the future, when living in the technological past:

So, welcome to the 20th century. Dont I mean, the 21st century? Nooo… I currently live outside of the city limits. This poses some problems, most of which revolve around ‘patience’.

Patience to wait for tradespeople

Patience to wait for news

Patience to wait for visitors

Patience to wait for technology.

Its a virtue. I’m told.

At times like these, my mind considers a 12-step program, but then, I don’t have the patience for more than 3 or 4 steps. Got anything shorter?

When and how did I become an instant gratification monster? As a Milenial I shouldnt have this driving need; I should be happy with Betacord, Cassette tapes, ‘life before the interwebs‘, landline phones, travelling to the corner store for some bread and milk, and stopping for a chat with the woman in the pet store, who asks after my dogs (which she names in order of age), and enjoying a coffee, sitting on the porch watching my horses feed.

So, why the guilt? Why do I feel somehow ‘less’ without something smart or ‘i” in the palm of my hand or lap? Why do I nurse technology to see just how far from the house I can walk before the wifi starts to fade – why am I considering getting a more powerful wifi modem? Do I really intend to watch TED Lectures from the stables, and hook up wireless, wifi, infra-red cameras (which I will barely check) on the boundary fences and select paddocks? I live in the country – why am I so suspicious of my neighbours with the attack-dogs (one with only three legs)?

Is this particular post, an ironic, oxymoronic attempt to seek absolution for my technical guilt, when I thought that I had put all that ‘confessional farce‘ behind me years ago?

I wonder, in today’s age, why it takes:
*more than 15 hours of telephone complaints (resolved by 1 online complaint to the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman)
*10 hours of telephone technical support
*repeatedly refusing offers of mobile connectivity (there IS no mobile reception here, why do you keep offering it to me when you KNOW your own provider doesn’t provide reception here?!?)

to feed the obsession that I feel I *should* have to get reconnected, when I have a sublime coffee in my hand, and an Australian Shepherd who keeps bringing me a ball to throw?

Shouldn’t I remember life back in the dark ages (or am I thinking of the FUTURE Digital Dark Age?) when there was no personal or professional digital identify – or at least, there will be no discernible distinction between a personal and digital identity, in a Technology Singularity, post-human world? Does this still make me human, or am I transitioning to a higher state?

Instead, I seek to get my family ‘hooked’ – I am so concerned with perpetuating the ‘digital virus‘ at home and at work: I ‘drop round’ to make sure my mother’s wifi works at optimal speed, ensuring the laptop and iDevice that I got her has constant connection; that everything is ‘virus free’ (who would want to plant a data virus on my mother’s ‘Smurfs’ app usage?); I make sure that my FaceTime and Skype connections to my father are working; I video chat with my niece on her birthday; I facebook my cousin while she is in the waiting room, while her son is in surgery in a hospital.

I wonder if I should be feeling some sort of guilt about secondary and tertiary bullying to ensure that my 90-year old grandparents become hooked; and that we can all participate in digital e-Health (lightyears before the government) so that my grandfather can videochat with any of his 8 children, 47 grandchildren and exponentially increasing great-grandchildren and 5th generation offspring with his third generation iDevice tablet and 5th generation smart phone, if he or my grandmother become unwell? It seems that we trust our private family technology network before we trust the phone to call an ambulance!

And yet, we still insist on printing documents at work.

In thinking about this, making the choice to quit my last job when my boss didn’t trust the technology that he had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in ensuring existed to facilitate virtual connectivity and productivity, because he wanted me to remain geographically located with him, instead of with my stakeholders, doesn’t seem like such a bad decision. Except when I am interrupted checking my email, on the way to getting milk and bread by the pet store owner, asking after my dogs.

However, this seems to be a common bullying tactic by dinosaurs to remain surrounded by their food, in their lair – the resistance to allow employees to actually use the technology that they spend 15 hours per day designing, planning, installing, training and patting each other on the back for achieving would seem significant. Have *I* failed in implementing the change management plan which gives my former boss the comfort to evolve, or did we reach the limit of his genetic, professional predisposition to transition into the universe he chose to create (over spending time with his family)? Was I really seeking to ‘un-plug’ myself, create a digital sabotage event and identity schism between my actual and digital personalities; to create a scenario where I would not be able to reconcile with my digital self in a healthy multiple-personality disenfranchise, breaking the cycle of personal violence between my actual and digital self; seeking some solitude, a good coffee and a pat for the dog?

What would you miss? Asking my grandmother of 92 years, of all today’s ‘mod-cons‘ (many of which I could not possibly do without), which does she think she could not bear to part with? Every time, she says, without hesitation and a wry smile: ‘Running water’.