Weeknote 29 of 2021

In week 1 of year 3 for LOTI, we shared the full recording of the ‘LOTI turns Two’ Anniversary Celebration and hit the ground running on our year 3 objectives.

Kicking off Year 3

LOTI has an ambitious agenda for our third year. Co-designed with our members, we’ll be concentrating our efforts on three themes and nine areas of focus.

Our three themes are:

  1. Developing Capabilities, where our objective is to help boroughs put in place the core capabilities required to be truly digitally enabled organisations. Within this theme we’ll be focusing on developing boroughs’ data talent pool; supporting them as they adapt their workplaces and practices to life post-lockdown; experimenting with collaborative procurement; and further strengthening their joint cyber security measures.
  2. Service Innovation, where our objective is to use innovation methods to develop citizen-focused, next-generation services. Within this theme we’ll be doubling down on helping boroughs to collaborate with data; exploring new service models that help address resident needs in more sustainable ways; and bringing innovation methods to tackle digital exclusion.
  3. Smarter London, where our objective is to use public realm technologies to improve services and create a better, more inclusive city. We see a role for LOTI to help boroughs establish and embed some common principles and standards to ensure solutions and data insights work across the whole of London. We’ll also be working to bring technology and environmental communities together to ensure that smart cities tools and approaches are directed towards tackling some of London’s most pressing green goals.

Look out next week when we’ll publish a blog to discuss our Year 3 Strategy and each of these areas in detail – together with information on the projects and targets that sit under them.

Fairer recruitment

Avid readers of our weeknotes will be aware that LOTI is recruiting two new members to the Central Team: a Digital Inclusion Projects Manager and a Researcher. The Digital Inclusion Projects Manager will support the delivery of projects that fall within LOTI’s Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme and the Researcher will support research needs across the full breadth of LOTI’s activities.

LOTI Central Team

For these new roles, we piloted the use of Applied, an online recruitment platform that allows candidates to showcase their talent without the need to disclose their personal characteristics or background. Research shows that the traditional hiring process of using CVs and cover letters can be unfair and lends itself to unconscious bias. Studies have highlighted that recruiters and hiring managers may spend as little as 7 seconds reading a CV before deciding a candidate’s fate.

LOTI’s vision is to realise real-world outcomes that benefit Londoners, so it’s important that we represent the Londoners we serve. And not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but because research shows that teams that are geographically, gender as well as age-diverse make better business decisions 87% of the time (Cloverpop, 2017). In an organisation tasked with supporting London’s public sector to build back better when serving one of the most diverse cities, diversity and inclusion are incredibly important. Research also shows that different thinking from employees from diverse backgrounds also has the potential to reduce risk by 30% (Deloitte, 2013). That, coupled with research showing that when employees think that their organisation is supportive of diversity, their ability to innovate increases by 83% (Deloitte, 2013) supported our rationale for turning chance into science when recruiting for these two new roles.

It’s clear that having a diverse Central Team has played some part in LOTI’s ability to innovate and our success to date. By pulling on the different skill sets and perspectives of the team, we’ve been able to generate new ideas. This, in turn, has helped us to better serve the needs of our members.

By using Applied, we used gender-neutral language for our Job Descriptions (JDs), cut down the length of the JDs so that those with caring responsibilities weren’t deterred, and adopted a shuffle-sift process where applicants’ responses were reordered to remove bias on our side. Aware of its limitations, we also advertised the roles wider and through networks that served the interests of particular communities. We also published a blog advertising the roles to interested readers and visitors of our site and shared links to the roles regularly on social media.

Last week, we interviewed some impressive candidates and have since made offers to the successful two. We’ll announce who they are soon, and hope you’ll join us in welcoming them into the LOTI community.

Coming up this week

  1. Holding two Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme workshops to explore the potential of device upcycling as a way to increase the number of devices available to digitally excluded Londoners (register here) and another to showcase our Digital Exclusion map & invite interested stakeholders to share their needs as potential use cases (register here).
  2. Hosting two meet-ups for our Data Science (register here) and Data Leaders networks.
  3. Saying goodbye to Onyeka Onyekwelu (outgoing Strategic Engagement Manager, LOTI), who’ll be leaving at the end of the week.

For the latest on all things LOTI, follow us on Twitter.

Eddie Copeland
26 July 2021 ·
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