The 7 themes of our new book


We’ve written a book: “Digital transformation at scale: why the strategy is delivery”. You can buy it direct from the publisher or from Amazon.

What’s it about? In short, it’s about these 7 things:

  1. How digital is a new way of running organisations, not a new function: traditional approaches to transformation make things more complicated and expensive, without users or customers seeing any real benefit.
  2. The conditions needed to make success possible: why it’s so important to have strong political support, and how to turn a crises into opportunities to make real change happen.
  3. How to think big while starting small and moving fast: setting up teams that can quickly deliver services that are high impact but relatively low risk, building momentum and credibility as they go.
  4. Avoiding the hype cycle and the innovation trap: making sure digital doesn’t get stuck on the periphery, or consumed by whatever technology fad is being hyped up to solve all the problems.
  5. How to make the case for digital transformation with data, design and delivery: using the combined talents of multidisciplinary teams to produce things that make a clearer case for change than any business case based on false certainty ever could.
  6. Rewriting rules to disrupt inertia: creating standards and controls that help organisations move away from costly contracts and failing programmes, and providing practical help to teams as they encourage colleagues to adapt to the internet era.
  7. Why there is still a long way to go, and a huge prize to claim: explaining the mistakes and missteps we made and how you can avoid them.

Here’s Julián Rodriguez from Argentina’s digital services team and me with a copy, last week.


This book isn’t a history of GDS or digital transformation at the Co-op, although it does include stories from both of those places (and others). Rather, it’s a how-to, a guidebook for building digital institutions.

Between us, we’ve learned a lot along the path towards establishing Public Digital, from both the successes and the mistakes. This book is our chance to share some of that. We hope you enjoy it.

2 thoughts on The 7 themes of our new book

  1. Year note, 2018 – Public DigitalDecember 19, 2018

    […] published two books: Digital Transformation at Scale and Signals. You can buy a copy of the first one online. If you want a copy of Signals, we’re […]

  2. jpmortAugust 28, 2018

    This is a very interesting book that describes the birth and early development of the GDS. What is very useful is that this is more of a book that describes how it was done, with the mission to help others out there use the learning from these years.

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