Innovation networks

I spent some time this week talking about innovation with a client, a privately-held and owner-managed business operating in the UK. One of the challenges that was identified by the people with whom I was working was that there didn't appear to be clear channels through which good ideas could bubble up through the ranks … Continue reading Innovation networks

Garbage In

Data. The new oil. In that you wouldn't want to cover a puffin in the stuff. The current obsession with data is predicated on one major assumption: that the data that organisations have amassed has some sort of integrity. If it doesn't, then its value is dubious. I have started to make a distinction between … Continue reading Garbage In

Machines learning

A fascinating evening last night, at the invite of Mark Smith at LexisNexus, I was given the opportunity to speak with a group of law firm knowledge managers and, as is my style these days, get them to play with Lego for a bit. As the conversation evolved over dinner, one of the participants said … Continue reading Machines learning

Trust in Algorithms

Another day, another airline algorithm atrocity - this time not a doctor being hauled down the aisle by United, but a ten year old child being barred from travelling with his family by Air Canada. For all of the talk about PR disasters and customer service woes, in our automated algorithm obsessed world one dialogue … Continue reading Trust in Algorithms

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


Earlier this week I had a connection request on LinkedIn from someone under the nom de plume of Unemploy Bot, claiming in its headline "I will take your job soon!". Normally I'd shun such nonsense, but there was something about Unemploy Bot that tickled me. I accepted the request, and got into a short conversation, … Continue reading Adaptability

“And you return the favour”

When I started a job as a consultant for a management training company back in 2005, I vividly remember a conversation over dinner with my school friend Cath. “I don't know how you could do that. Whenever I go on training courses I spend the whole time petrified that the trainer is going to point at … Continue reading “And you return the favour”

The influence of the network

Another fascinating day at Julia Hobsbawm's Names Not Numbers event in London. It's a hugely eclectic day, yesterday spanning the role of theatre in politics, advances in the life sciences, David Bowie, the neuroscience of truth and an interview with the artist Maggi Hambling who I think has now become my favourite sweary creative (wrestling the … Continue reading The influence of the network

User-centred HR

The meandering path of the comb-shaped professional means that one can end up doing work that one wasn't expecting. In fact, it's fair to say that most of my work these days falls into this category. And so as such I currently find myself on an assignment looking at the way in which modern cloud-based … Continue reading User-centred HR

The second wave

I was in conversation this week with a senior IT chap from a big, global industrial conglomerate. It's a world away from most of the organisations I've worked for over the years- namby-pamby creative or professional services businesses who wouldn't know one end of a monkey wrench from the other. It's easy to fall into … Continue reading The second wave