The significance of paper

In the recent episode of Malcolm Gladwell's excellent Revisionist History podcast, there was a fascinating revelation about the significance of filling in paper forms in a conversation after the show between Gladwell and Tim Harford (from about 43 minutes into the recording). The short version: doctors in the US in some states have had to … Continue reading The significance of paper

The Play Book is Dead. Long Live PlayCards!

After a long old journey, I've made the decision to stop working (Deviate: Disrupt yourself) on the book that's been my pet project for the past few years. If it had been meant to be, it would have happened by now. Being busy at work is part of the issue, but more broadly my thinking … Continue reading The Play Book is Dead. Long Live PlayCards!

Maslow’s hierarchy of User Needs

One of the most often cited bits of psychology that haunts the corridors of organisations and management training is Abraham Maslow's 1940s theory of human motivation, The Hierarchy of Needs. As with any well established model, there is critique, but nonetheless it forms a useful and popular way of visualising what it is that motivates … Continue reading Maslow’s hierarchy of User Needs

Evolution, not intelligent design

Eight or so years ago, I found myself at a software developer event organised by the US company Twilio. If you are not familiar, Twilio provide software that allows other people building apps to connect their products and services to the telephone system. They enable you to integrate with voice and text messages without the … Continue reading Evolution, not intelligent design

Transactions v Interactions

I need to pay more attention. I can't remember who it was who introduced me to this concept. It might have been Mark Earls. It might have been Andy Law. The concept has stuck with me, the originator has been blurred in my mind. I'll blame autocorrect. The concept goes a little like this. Think of … Continue reading Transactions v Interactions

The #globalcanteen

A couple of weeks ago I was running an event for the technology leadership team of a pharmaceutical company. The team is geographically dispersed across the planet, and one of the things that become clear from our conversations was that they were missing informal contact and conversation. As is often the way when teams are … Continue reading The #globalcanteen

Workplace Safety

There are three things converging in my working life at the moment: Government client work on delivering modern IT services is at last at the point where we are starting to deliver actual technology into the hands of actual people who aren't in the technology team. My work has been to help shape the activities … Continue reading Workplace Safety

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

Failing the Turing Test

Sad news yesterday that Stephen Fry has had enough of the trolling and vitriol that he experiences on Twitter. I've no doubt that for celebrities with large followerships, the bile must be overwhelming. Given Fry's great openness about his own mental health challenges, one can imagine that the social networks, and Twitter in particular, are … Continue reading Failing the Turing Test