23 May 2009

What makes this blog a little different (and more ideas wanted!)

Most times when I write to organisations I get an idea or two back - which I happily post here, with thanks. But just occasionally, I get an email written in semi-legalese explaining why they cannot contribute. The reasons boil down to a few categories: 

  • Our good ideas are our intellectual property and we cannot share them
  • If our staff upload ideas - they might get a pecuniary advantage
  • There are already lots of other / secure websites onto which ideas can be uploaded
  • The ideas being posted may not have been approved by the corporate structures
  • We don't have a list of small creative ideas in our organisation
  • I (Jon) might obtain a financial gain from the ideas

I appreciate these thoughts and the people have clearly gone to a great deal of trouble to explain why they cannot post an idea or two (or eight etc!) to the blog. However I would say the following, in response: 

  • If good ideas are shared - everyone can gain - there is no limit to creativity
  • I have always had a problem with intellectual property when it relates to the public services - since directly or indirectly - we all own the public services. How can one council (for example) keep thier ideas from a neighbour? Who 'wins' in that case?
  • I cannot think (but do tell me if I have overlooked something) what pecuniary advantage any person would get by posting an idea here. All that anyone will get - happily - is the recognition of their creativity and spirit and the good feeling that they might have helped someone else in the public or third sectors.
  • The only pecuniary advantage I get from this site is a few pennies from the google ads. Clearly the site is some marketing for me - but access to the site remains free - and will always be so.
  • It is a free good - like so much else on the net.
  • Yes there are other sites where good ideas can be uploaded - and some of these are secure. (Some need to be secure since some information probably should not be in the public domain.)
  • But do people (for example) working in local authorities know where to go to access good ideas from the NHS - or vice versa?
  • This blog has no boundaries - it is open to anyone from across the public and third sectors to exchange ideas.
  • This site is very secure in the belief that everyone can gain from this - especially the taxpayer / citizen!
  • Perhaps some of the ideas are outside the corporate line - but then perhaps some of the corporate lines are missing a few ideas. Moreover - I have found people to be entirely responsible and they are happy to post anonymously if they just want to share the idea without naming their organisation.If organisations don't have a list of small creative ideas - in some respects I would say - why not!?
  • Would it not be helpful to have an ideas store in every organisation into which people can dip and add ideas that work? (Inter and intra nets make this so easy nowadays.) But equally, I fear that some organisations might then over-proceduralise this and squash the creativity so maybe a centralised list is not the answer (what do you think?)

So yes, this blog is outside government structures, yes it is accessible, yes it is slightly chaotic (although you can search on it very easily) and yes it is an copyright liberal zone!

Please keep the small creative ideas coming! Thanks

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