14 July 2010

A small milestone #2

A few days ago - the sister blog to this reached a threshold of having over 10,000 page loads. To celebrate, I turned that blog into a free e-book (pdf file) http://jonharveyassociates.blogspot.com/2010/07/small-milestone.html.

This blog has also now just had over 15,000 page loads and I have done the same and a free e-book of this one now exists as well.

I have posted copies of both books on the Communities of Practice site (http://www.communities.idea.gov.uk/welcome.do) and the Employee Engagement Ning (http://employeeengagement.ning.com/forum/topics/2-free-ebooks). Please go there if you would like copies. Or, if you prefer, just email me and I will send either or both back to you.

Thanks for reading and more ideas are always welcome!

05 July 2010

Inclusion Cardiff: An empowering extranet

Great service here run by Cardiff City Council - which enables users of the system the chance to network, question, challenge & share ideas with a view to boosting inclusion and empowerment in a whole range of projects and services:


Inclusion Cardiff enables collaborative working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by providing an unlimited number of authorised users with access to secure groups and forums.
  • The site aims to empower users by explaining current social projects – with a facility to ask questions of the project team, or join in
  • It has a library of background reports and useful links that can be accessed and commented on by the user community
  • There are also areas where unregistered visitors can offer their views and ideas or join in with a range of discussion forums
  • It has a secure online document store, where authorised users can share and work on documents together
  • Content can be easily and quickly updated, giving users access to the most up-to-date information available
  • The extranet uses the latest Open Source software so there is no cost of additional users or groups.
Practical empowered citizenship in action that will help build the Big Society too. I wish them well. (Thanks to Tony Riches, of Cardiff City Council for this link)

02 July 2010

Just a recap: the what and why of this blog

The Small Creative Ideas news blog has a simple core idea: people have creative ideas about improvement all the time but far too many organisations are very good at making sure these ideas never see the light of day. My blog aims to shine a light on those ideas that have been made to happen and so support, and celebrate these, and stimulate more. My hope is that more people and more organisations will tap into their own seam of small creative ideas.

The focus is mainly on the public and third sectors since more than ever before, as austere budgets are being set, we need these agencies to be using every ounce of their resources as well as possible. But many of the ideas can equally be applied to many commercial organisations too.

And that is it really. Over the last year and bit since the blog was established, there are now well over 300 ideas on there and nearly 15,000 pages have been downloaded. There is much to browse (there is a Google search button for the site) and to get people’s creative juices flowing.

Some of my favourite ideas include the one from Lewisham concerning garden sharing. The council faced a problem: they had far more people wanting allotments than they had allotments to spare. Age Concern approached them saying that many older people had been in touch with them wanting help with managing their gardens. They put the two groups together and everyone won. You can read more here: http://smallcreativeideas.blogspot.com/2009/06/unique-garden-share-scheme-cuts.html

Another favourite have been the succession of postings about customer journey mapping from Stoke City Council. This began with an early post from them advertising the fact that they had developed a tool for mapping such journeys. Partly as a result of the interest in this tool generated by the blog, they decided to host a workshop which was advertised on the blog. At least another workshop has now also been run. This is all documented here: http://smallcreativeideas.blogspot.com/2010/04/customer-journey-mapping-new-workshop.html

Sometimes I go out and find examples to put on the blog that I stumble across elsewhere such as this one about a website created for people with learning disabilities. I first heard about this on another bulletin board that I subscribe to for ideas and conversations. http://smallcreativeideas.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-home-my-say.html is the blog post that will link you to what seems to me to be a most remarkable site that will help to empower people in thinking about their housing needs.

Other times people write back to me, in response to my emails requesting information, with details of ideas they want to share. Sometimes this may just be a list of lots of ideas as with this cornucopia: http://smallcreativeideas.blogspot.com/2009/03/regular-cornucopia.html

And indeed sometimes people write out of the blue offering information such as this one where a contributor told me they had placed the blog in their list of top fifty best blogs for creative thinking: http://smallcreativeideas.blogspot.com/2010/07/creative-thinking-some-excellent-blogs.html

Developing the blog has been enormous fun and I delight in each new idea that comes my way. In the end, I hope that the blog will help to inspire more managers and leaders to spend more time creating the conditions in which all stakeholders come forward with their small and creative improvement ideas.

(This has been submitted to the http://creativistsociety.tumblr.com/ website - but I thought I would place it here too - as it is a useful signpost to this blog and expresses again my hopes for this space...)

01 July 2010

Creative thinking: some excellent blogs

Just to note to mention that this blog is now included on the '50 best blogs for creative thinking' (http://www.onlinedegree.net/50-best-blogs-for-creative-thinking/). I am honoured - so my thanks to them.

Please visit their site - there are some great links there.

My home my say

This website has been created for the Northamptonshire Learning Disability Partnership board who are seeking to support individuals to co-produce their own LD Housing Strategy. It is a great site - well laid out and shows how the power of the web can be used to increase accessibility and empowerment.


It has been developed by Sandra Lomax-Pearce of SLK Training and Consultancy. As she writes elsewhere (http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/forum/thread-maint.do?topicId=20067580):
"the site will be officially launched in the next couple of weeks and is a web based communications hub developed to keep everyone informed about progress and further encourage people with disabilities and their supporters to participate in the development of the housing plan (strategy).
As well as following the progress of the project, there will be lots of useful information added the site to help people with disabilities learn all about housing options, care and support, welfare benefits, education and employment opportunities etc so if you know of or have an existing resources that we can share please get in touch.
The discussion forum developed for www.myhomemysay.co.uk has large text and colour switchers and is available free to anyone interested in making their discussion forum more accessible to users.
You can view the forum and its accessibility features at: www.accessibleforum.org.uk"
Well worth a look in my opinion.

Accessible transport information

Just been alerted to a great service in South East Dorset (thank you Steve Maskell of Bournemouth Council) that provides helpful & accessible information to enable people to get around. It seems great for people who want or need to have a range of options available to them.

Here is the link to the site: