Governments urgently need to appoint a Digital Minister to be fit for the future

 In digital disruption, digital diversity

I’ve been speaking about the need for digital diversity on boards for some time. The same applies to governments. Digital diversity is about having at least two board directors/non-execs who have strong digital experience and will see the company (or government) through a digital lens.

The Australian government is fortunate in this respect as the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has strong digital experience having been an investor and Chairman in an ISP in Australia, Ozemail.

Recent comments from the UK Chancellor on the need to retrain and reskill workers under threat from automation along with the issues arising from the existing legislation that affects Gig Workers make me think that there is no-one on the UK Government executive (read cabinet) that is seeing things through a digital lens.

For this reason, the Prime Minister needs to urgently find and promote a Digital Minister. Not someone who has been in the Government for years who needs a “turn” at something new, it needs radical thinking.

The person cannot simply be an “advisor” to the Government. In my mind, the most senior executive in the UK (and all other countries) needs a full-voting Digital Minister in the cabinet.

Only then will the affairs of the Government, including the new ways of working in the digital age, will be seen through a digital lens.

I doubt the UK Government will be brave enough to make this step but are there others that will take the plunge and be a Government fully fit for the future?

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.