It’s all about the people

So according to extensive research published yesterday by Microsoft as part of their annual Future Decoded jamboree, digital transformation is a matter of changing people and behaviours rather than merely technology. Wow. Who knew? But here, it seems to me, is the rub. The sort of decision making in organisations that chooses Microsoft to provide … Continue reading It’s all about the people

Blindly Following Rules

Every year to accompany the Silicon Beach event, those speaking are asked to contribute to a book that is distributed to all attendees. Here's my contribution... A good friend of mine and I enjoy a heated debate. She’s an accountant with opinions. I’m a gob-shite. We both like a glass or two of red with … Continue reading Blindly Following Rules

The ubiquitous inbox

Back in my later days at BBC Worldwide in the early 2000s, I commissioned a piece of research to look at the habits that our staff had in their use of file storage and email. The work, looking back, was relatively unusual. I brought in a social scientist to do a piece of ethnographic research … Continue reading The ubiquitous inbox

Change as an design challenge

Yesterday marked the formal start of user research in the latest project, a business change programme to help the people in a government body to take advantage of new cloud-based collaborative technologies.There's a lot that has been done in the UK public sector over the past seven years to instil agile approaches into the way … Continue reading Change as an design challenge

Driverless trains

If we are on the cusp, according to the likes of Elon Musk, of all being whisked around in the comfort of autonomous vehicles, why aren't our train systems already ubiquitously automated? Whilst I have no doubt that driving a train is a challenging task, presumably without the need to actually steer surely the challenges … Continue reading Driverless trains

All in a glance

At the end of my street is the reasonably busy road that links the suburbs of Teddington and Kingston. At peak times the traffic can pass slowly, sometimes queuing in one or both directions. Even at non-peak times there is a constant flow of cars in both directions. Taking a right turn North out of … Continue reading All in a glance

The rise of the cost-benefit robots

And so the insurrection is beginning. Last week Japanese insurance Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance announced that it was going to be replacing 34 staff with an artificial intelligence that would be calculating payouts (although, it noted, with human oversight still making final approvals). The technology would improve productivity by 30% and the firm expected to save some … Continue reading The rise of the cost-benefit robots

Self-driving fantasies

Piece of data #1: the average car is parked for an average of 95% of its lifetime. Piece of data #2: 57.5% of the UK population drive to work. Piece of data #3: the average Brit sleeps something of the order of 7 hours in any 24 hour period. Including time either end for going to bed and … Continue reading Self-driving fantasies

Generating untold demand

We are all going to be replaced by robots, right? We are at last on the cusp of the leisure society or, by another analysis, about to enter a new era of serfdom where we are all beholden to our Silicon Valley/Chinese/robot overlords. Or are we? A very similar narrative played out in the 1970s … Continue reading Generating untold demand

Changing habits

The Emotional Change Curve is something of a stock in trade amongst people involved in organizational change management, and a model that I have used extensively over the years. The model and its variants are derived from work by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and plots a series of emotional reacts that people have when confronted by change … Continue reading Changing habits