As mentioned in previous posts  I was recently honoured by being included in the shortlist of the Digital Leaders 100 Awards. Last night I attended the awards dinner (thanks to Sarah Jennings and CapacityGrid for asking me to join them on their table) in London where the winners of each of the 10 categories was announced.

The local government category, in which I was shortlisted, was really strong this year. What was really pleasing about it was that there were lots of women short listed (great when there is still a gender in balance in digital) and that it reflected that digital flattens hierarchies and leaders are now coming from different points in an organisation.

I was delighted when Helen Reynolds was named as winner for the work she did while at Monmouthshire. This was further highlighted by Joanna Goodwin, also at Monmouthshire, was announced in second place. As a council Monmouthshire have taken common sense, but nevertheless brave, decisions to move along their journey toward being a digital, social organisation. Both at project level, such as introducing a Yammer group for peer-to-peer support for approved foster carers; to platform decisions – the council website is now on WordPress; to opening social media to all staff (as Helen says, ‘you don’t want a social media expert, you want your experts on social media’); to bringing digital into the community with things like being the first Wikipedia town. Monmouthshire is an exemplar of how councils could embrace digital and Helen and Joanna have played key roles in that, highly worthy of recognition.

In third place was Lorna Perry of Shropshire Council. Like Monmouthshire, Shropshire have also set a great example to local government of how digital services can be delivered online. They have really focused on user experience and the clarity of content to deliver a streamlined website using many of the agile and UX principles GDS sets as a good example.

My final placing was seventh in the category and 62nd out of the 100 finalists named across all the categories. I still feel incredibly honoured to have been nominated and short listed. It’s been wonderful and humbling to have messages from so many people letting me know I had their vote and wish me luck. This sense of community and mutual respect and support was heightened by the great rapport between nominees at the awards last night. I’m looking forward to more socialising and, of course, learning and being inspired by them over the LocalGovCamp weekend.

I like to take something practical from all my experiences and for me it will be to learn all I can from my fellow nominees and those doing great work without being name checked in awards. I’ve big digital projects coming in up in both my work and own time so being inspired by them and having a standard to aspire to is really great for me.

Thanks to all those who supported, nominated and voted for me. Thanks again to the wonderful Sarah Jennings and CapacityGrid for inviting me to join a great table at the awards ceremony and congratulations to all nominees and finalists.


I love to hear what you think so please leave me a comment or chat with me on Twitter.

If you’re looking for inspiration from across and around local government I am managing LocalGov Digital Voice which aggregates blogs (like this one) covering all aspects of digital. Find it over on the LocalGov Digital website.