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

Finding the right space

Picture the scene. A modern office. Open plan. A bank of eight desks, two rows of four, facing each other. Screens, laptops. Six of the eight desks are occupied. Two are empty but with coats hanging over the backs of chairs, the workplace equivalent of a towel on a sun lounger. Five of the six … Continue reading Finding the right space

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

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

The art of play

Throughout my career it's struck me that technology has provided two forms of service: the dull stuff and the fun stuff. The dull stuff are the information systems, the databases, the business process automations. Generally the things that treat humans as little more than data and processing modules from whom information is to be extracted … Continue reading The art of play

Irreversible mistakes

Imagine the scenarios: The first, an errant piece of paper gets caught on a paperclip at the back of a bundle of documents. The documents are a contract to be signed as part of a negotiation. The errant piece of paper shows some workings that make parts of the deal transparent. The deal, as a … Continue reading Irreversible mistakes

It’s going to happen anyway…

I had to spend much of yesterday at a hospital in London after my eldest was refered by our GP (thankfully, it turns out, nothing particularly serious). Watching the machinations of the health service in action can be painful. There is paper everywhere. Vast stretches of waiting around are interspersed with short consultations with medical … Continue reading It’s going to happen anyway…

The acquisition thing…

And so, some five years since I suggested it, Microsoft have at last bought LinkedIn. During my interview process for my ill-fated spell at the Redmond giant's UK branch, I was asked which Cloud-based company Microsoft should buy. My response was LinkedIn - for years I've regarded it as the only Enterprise Social Network, and it seemed … Continue reading The acquisition thing…

Unleashing the innovation monster

I spent a day recently working with colleagues at the Leading Edge Forum, helping the board of an NHS clinical commissioning group to think about the impact and the potential of Digital in their context. I had done quite a bit a research into case studies that might help to ground the more conceptual stuff … Continue reading Unleashing the innovation monster

The typewriter-less office

For the first few decades of the automobile industry, cars looked like horseless carriages. The infrastructure to support them was ropey. There were restrictions place upon them, like having a man walking ahead with a red flag, that made them fairly useless. But over time things changed; the infrastructure to support motoring began to expand … Continue reading The typewriter-less office