Know your Network: Mike McLean
Job title: Knowledge and Collaboration Manager
Organisation: Improvement Service
Network Member since: June 2017
Contact me at: @mclean_mj on Twitter
How would you describe your job to a child?
I help local government employees collect and create information that will help them make better informed decisions. I promote and run digital services to allow people to work together to solve problems and exchange information.
What does the concept of open government mean to you?
Our government structures have evolved over many decades and what we have today would not be created if you were starting from scratch. On top of this we have increasing moves towards devolution and citizen empowerment. So, we are now faced with an increasingly complex and diverse government sector. On top of this we have and aging workforce/population working in an era of budgetary cuts and restrictions.
To maintain or improve standards it is essential to encourage the free flow of information to enable effective decision making based on the best available evidence. A large part of any open government project should seek to enable knowledge transfer from government employees to new structures whilst respecting existing legislation and regulations.
What would your autobiography be called?
Make the most of every day.
Why did you become involved in the Open Government Network?
I was subscribed to the newsletter and thought I could contribute given my experience of knowledge management in government.
Tell us one thing you’d like this Network to do in the next 6 months
I’d like to see the Network reach out and make use of the existing networks of professional associations and trade bodies that are well placed to communicate and inform the development of open government in Scotland.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different but I always have a large Trello to-do list that keeps me on track!
I’m responsible for the Scottish Public Services Network on the collaboration platform www.khub.net and most days include conversations with group owners where I provide advice on communications and knowledge management. Increasingly I work with other sectors who wish to join up with our network and collaborate with our existing groups.
I’m lucky to work with an amazing Knowledge Management Team and my day will normally involve planning and update meetings to discuss our exciting projects.
We’re also increasingly taking a digital approach to live events using webinars. These make it easier to reach staff in more remote areas, save staff travel time (and money) and mean that we can do shorter, focused events. For instance, councillors recently received a live, online briefing on digital transformation from the Local Government Digital Office.
Online platforms also help us provide access to events for those who can’t make them at the time. As well as live reporting on social media, we use Knowledge Hub and our own website to provide papers, videos and presentations afterwards.
What breed of social media user are you?
I’m a hybrid mix but I’d like to think I’m mostly Quizzer/Informer
What three things could members of this network get in contact with you about?
- Knowledge Management with a focus on the Scottish Public Sector ecology
- Digital Innovation Exchange & Collaboration
- Community Councils
The link to the one website/blog/online community that you cannot live without, and nor should others:
https://khub.net/ We now have 33,000 users and 600+ groups in Scotland
Is there a particular area of open government that you’re interested in? Or, do you have a question you’d like network members to respond to?
Do we think there is a clear route to policy/legislative change when we encounter barriers to open government? How might we make the governance structures more visible to citizens and government employees?
Where do you see the open government movement in Scotland in three years?
We will have a community of practice openly working together exchanging good practice and defining the issues that need to be resolved. The community will be guided by informed facilitators who are outwardly looking and in touch with innovations in other jurisdictions.