Hello. I’m Neil, a digital leader in London, currently doing my dream job at the BFI. This is my personal online journal and scrapbook.
I lead happy, high-performing digital and technology teams in organisations with a public purpose.
Increasingly, I’d say I’m a digital-first COO, creating the conditions for service design and agile delivery to thrive.
In my last job I shook things up at Croydon Council.
I cut my teeth in Whitehall web teams and Downing Street grid meetings, having started out in magazines.
I live in Crystal Palace in south London with my wife and our two sons.
I prefer films, board games and rollercoasters to concerts, sports and parties.
I’m alcohol-free, having realised by 40 I’d had enough. I like to think my not drinking is a rebellious, counter-cultural act – just like young me thought drinking was in the first place.
I recently discovered most people can see pictures in their mind. Incredible! I’ve never been able to do that – a condition called aphantasia – and as a result only dimly recall past experiences – a condition called severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM).
I think that’s partly why I’m into things that are a bit twisted, dark, surprising or subversive – because they’re more vivid and memorable.
I grew up on a farm in Devon, and lived in Nottingham for 4 years before settling in London.
This is a personal blog. I post here about what I’ve been doing, thinking and learning (and forgetting!) – including tangential stuff about work. But I save proper work stuff for proper work channels.
Other past writing and talks
- Croydon Digital (and one that got away here)
- Mind the Product
- GDS podcast
- GDS blog
- Inside GOV.UK
- Inside Inside Gov
- Mission Creep
I’m proud to be mentioned in:
- Digital Transformation at Scale, Greenway, Terrett et al.
- Sense & Respond, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
If you’re wondering, the OJ in the URL stands for my middle names, Owen James.
Photo credit: Janet Hughes.