Being digital is a mindset not a technology. ~unknown

My role as Head of Digital at University of Surrey came to an end 10 June 2014. It was immensely enjoyable for the most part. I worked with a talented team of permanent staff and some awesome contractors: @leisa, @katetowsey, @anna_debenham, @demotive, @dotton, @stewsnooze, @sophiedennis, @toni_ixd. And I worked with a leadership team that empowered me to go-ahead and make stuff happen. Towards the end of my tenure though, there were some frustrations, I’ll describe these later.

Do some web stuff…

In February 2012 I got a call from Surrey’s VP & CMO; would I be interested in doing a bit of contract work at the University? There was wide-spread dissatisfaction with the way surrey.ac.uk was being run and that stakeholders weren’t getting the attention they needed or delivery they demanded. I saw a great new challenge, I’d never worked in HE. And working “client side” would mean opportunities to “DO” rather than “smile and wave” in consultant fashion. …

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Actions | Words, you choose…

To consider: Jealously competitive

Jealously — adverb: Feeling resentment because of another’s advantage

Competitive — adjective: Involving or determined by rivalry

Devolved digital in UK Higher Education

Devolved content marketing has enabled departments, research groups and faculties to develop and publish content within a presentation framework.

Devolved digital development however has led to disharmony, fractured user journeys, awful customer experiences and incoherent brand narratives via an array of presentation standards. The person that wouldn’t start something of their own initiative but wants a slice of your action. …

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For context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias manifesting in two principal ways: unskilled individuals tend to suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate, while highly skilled individuals tend to rate their ability lower than is accurate. In unskilled individuals, this bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. Skilled individuals tend to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.

“the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others”.

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If you experience no Joy in your work, if you’re not working with a sense of Passion and Purpose then this post may point to reasons for this unhappy situation.

Everything a highly effective team does, it does with a sense of Purpose, Passion and Joy. It’s time to ask some questions.

Questions for your leader?

Let’s dial-in some parameters that will help locate your position. The first thing I’d like to know is how you’d describe your team’s velocity? Velocity is a vector, a function of speed and direction, how is your team’s direction of travel determined?

Some useful parameters for…

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There was a time when “web teams” did whatever colleagues asked for. The web guys were happy to build new, weird and wacky stuff because it was the first time for them. That was 1996, a time when buttons “dimpled”, logos twirled, and the purpose behind most development activity was to: “create an engaging experience”. #hmmpf

This early era was typified by zero demand for ROI. Zero customer insight and it was all about “building from our view of the world, out”. By 1997 budgets were getting significantly larger; more money was eagerly burnt in the quest for more “engaging experiences.” Except, honestly, they weren’t. People realise that brands neither love nor care about them, the consumer. …

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I know of a Marketer that lists HTML 5 and CSS 3 as competencies on her CV — well she is a Digital Marketer.

A good friend has a LinkedIn rating of 80 for Digital Marketing, no doubt because he’s pretty awesome at selling Digital Marketing software.

The reason for mentioning this is that we seem to have just one currency for describing 3 distinctly different things: knowing about something is not the same as understanding that thing.

  1. I know about a thing or an activity. I can spell it, describe its attributes, spot one from 100 paces. …

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I cannot think of a single exception to this general rule: an organisation must innovate or die, and innovation will likely involve Digital Transformation.

If you’re in a start-up environment, innovation is your bread-and-butter — no need to read on. For pre-Internet organisations, typically run by people of a very different generation and mind-set, Digital Transformation is often a mystery. And, due to its cross-cutting nature, is an activity fraught with many challenges.

The Digital Transformation Agenda

Digital Transformation is an agenda that seeks to deliver business benefit:

  1. Reduce cost of sale (pain killer)
  2. Reduce operational over-heads (pain killer)
  3. Reduce friction; easier to do business (pain…

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I recently purchased an RSV 1000 Mille, I used to own one before, it’s a bike I like lots! This one has a number of *upgrades* including a Translogic dash. However, the speedo didn’t work and it took lots of head scratching to sort the problem.

After much head scratching I realised there was no speed sensor! You will, or rather, should find it located just above the rear brake calliper. It wasn’t there. I found one on eBay, installed it, located the unused wiring connector, plugged it it — nothing! Still no speed reading. …

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John Goode

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