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

The middle of the journey

I'm currently reading Tim Harford's excellent new tome Fifty Things that made the Modern Economy. Based on his BBC Radio series, it charts ideas and objects that have created the world around us today. Some of them are obvious (the Light Bulb), some of them less so (the Billy Bookcase). In his description of the … Continue reading The middle of the journey

The importance of friction

Someone somewhere in Silicon Valley right now... Yeah, so like, what we wanted to do was to reinvent the brake. There's just too much friction invoked with brakes. Users don't want friction. They want frictionless. They crave frictionless. So we took the friction out of brakes. These are brakes re-invented. Stopping 2.0.  Because, like, who … Continue reading The importance of friction

The myths of disruption

A fascinating evening last night at the Hidden Edge Club's networking event at the rather lovely Soho Hotel. The theme - Competing with Digital Natives - and I was honoured to be part of the panel discussion exploring themes around digitization, and how traditional companies can react to competition from pure-play digital businesses (and particularly the big … Continue reading The myths of disruption

Providing platforms for work

A week tomorrow brings the Minimum Viable Workplace workshop in London, a piece of collaboration that started with a conversation with Anne Marie Rattray in the Spring. We've got a dozen or more people from all sorts of organisations and background coming together to discuss and explore the ways in which organisations provide the platforms for … Continue reading Providing platforms for work

Metathesiophobia

In one of those literary side alleys of which I occasionally turn, I'm currently reading Keith Johnstone's seminal work Impro, which came recommended by theatre produced Phelim McDermott with whom I had a fascinating conversation a few months ago. Fairly early on in the book, Johnstone talks about his own discovery of the work of Joseph Wolpe … Continue reading Metathesiophobia

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