An interview with Jane Mackinnon - Digital Support Officer, Community Enterprise

Question 1: Where on earth should we start with digital?

Answer: I think we all feel daunted by digital at least a couple of times a day! If you’re thinking “where to start?” or “we don’t have the capacity to take this on”, I hope we can provide some reassurance. Digital is a huge subject but it’s also important to recognise that, wherever you are on your journey, there are small and achievable next steps that can be taken. If you’re at the very beginning of a digital transformation, it’s important that your plan is realistic and manageable for your team to commit to. And, as always, it’s vital your board understands your short-, medium- and long-term goals.

The perfect picture might look like regularly maintained social media channels with engaging content, a well-presented and secure website, and a cyber security strategy. 

I’m really looking forward to discovering where you are currently with your digital journey, and supporting you as a member of Community Enterprise’s wider Development team. If you can spare five minutes, do let me know where you are now by taking my survey about digital needs in the Scottish third, community and social enterprise sector.


Question 2: From your day to day work, what project, situation, or person have you found inspiring?

Answer: I’ve been inspired by the teamwork, creativity, and resilience from organisations during the last 18 months. I was working with a Renfrewshire-based charity early last year to develop a new website. As in so many cases, their work as they knew it was paused indefinitely almost overnight. The doors closed on their community hubs and service users were left at risk of being more isolated than ever. I was really inspired as they adapted. Their CEO, in particular, navigated the changing landscape with grit, honesty and an agile mindset. The charity quickly mobilised to facilitate Zoom groups, telephone befriending services, doorstop deliveries and more. We switched to a more iterative, rolling approach to developing the website, rather than trying to launch a full website with so many unknowns. We prioritised a welcoming accessible homepage, and a news page to highlight important updates and share uplifting stories.


Question 3: What trends do you see over the horizon that will impact on the sector?

Answer: ‘Digital Transformation’ is a phrase that was coined almost 10 years ago but has only become mainstream recently, with organisations across the world depending on technology to continue operating during a global pandemic.

Other phrases you are likely to hear more of are ‘Digital Evolution’ and ‘Digitalisation’. All of these terms can be quite daunting for organisations to digest. They can certainly add to that “where on earth do we start?” feeling that I mentioned earlier. The digital service we’re developing aims to help organisations understand what’s involved and the value and opportunities available in becoming more digitally proficient. Technology can play lots of exciting roles in supporting service delivery and, in a week when we’re all thinking about COP26 in Glasgow, ongoing sustainability.


Question 4: Outside of work, what interests you?

Answer: I love watching live music and getting back to a festival this year has been a highlight. I also like pretty much anything creative, whether that’s assembling a Halloween costume, making decorations, or cooking for family and friends.