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Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

There is one room in our house that has proven to be more versatile than any other. It has been a nursery, a bedroom, a dumping ground, playroom and then during the first lockdown it became the school for our two children. Today it has become a co-working space as one child enters a period of isolation along with the rest of her school class.

I recently published a blog about how the words we used to describe an activity can shape how we think about what it is we are doing, and perhaps the value we place on it or the attitude we bring to the situation. …

One of my childhood memories of learning to swim is regularly standing at the side of the pool complaining to the swimming instructor with the refrain “I can’t do it”. Her considered and persistent response was that “can’t” is not a word. I’m not sure I ever had the courage (or cheekiness!) to respond with “no, but cannot is!”

Long before it was popular to think of having a fixed or a growth mindset, that swimming instructor was aware of the power of words. …

I’ve been digging deeper into the Lean Startup method and associated practices, including Lean Product Lifecycle and the Mission Model Canvas (an adaptation of the Business Model Canvas), over the last couple of weeks. This had all started with the question can you teach innovation?

There is plenty of material already available that can help you understand the Lean Startup approach and so I won’t repeat it here. One of the core concepts is the build, measure, learn cycle. …

A recent competition saw me win a copy of Alan Brown’s book Delivering Digital Transformation – A Manager’s Guide to the Digital Revolution. Since Alan had been kind enough to post the book to me even with the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, it seemed only fair that I did at least read it, and then having done so publish a review.

Having briefly met Alan in my previous job and discussed digitisation and what digitalisation might mean for a government, I had some expectations around the content. That the book itself is only around 200 pages long and yet covers eight themes only serves to illustrate the scope of the topic but also the significant effort Alan has gone to to produce a book, not an encyclopaedia. …

There is a lot of discussion and debate about digital transformation, the emergence of the digital age and what this means for managers and leaders.

For a long time, we have been ‘doing’ digital. From the technology we use, the processes we have in place, and the services we provide to customers, the mindset is how do I take the old version and “put it online” or automate it.

The CIO and the IT department have been at the heart of this work. Growing and changing their skillset along the way to deliver these incremental changes.

Some non-technology teams have adopted alternative ways of working and use technology to reimagine their services. The mindset often remains that they are doing something that is digital rather than understanding what is to be an employee in the digital age working in a digital organisation. …

The last card in our hand of ACES is situational awareness. The three other cards — ambition, culture, and engagement — can be found here.

Knowing what’s going on is helpful. I know this is stating the obvious, but it’s surprising how rare it is for people to know what is going on, mostly we just think we know what’s happening but it doesn’t allow us to decide.

An example is when you’re in an unfamiliar location and you see signs showing a road is closed or there is a diversion in place. …

This post is part of a series on the ACES for digital transformation. The introduction and links to other posts is available here.

With research showing that employee engagement sits somewhere between 1% and 35% then it quickly becomes apparent why having employee engagement is one area where you can make a difference to your digital transformation.

Since these levels of engagement are the norms across the world, then it is useful to consider why engagement matters. …

This post covers the second of the ace cards that we want to have in our hands as we embark on a digital transformation journey. The first card — Ambition — is explored in a post here and if you’re looking for the introduction to these cards, then you can find that here.

The second card I believe you need to have in your hand is culture. …

You don’t need me to tell you that change is hard. Transformation, if defined as significant change sticking, is even harder. If the volume of research and material about a topic is a sign that no-one knows how to do something, at least not repeatedly in different settings, is an indicator then the digital transformation in an organisation is one of the greatest changes any of us will face.

Knowing that something will be difficult, take time and effort, and may end up not being successful isn’t a reason not to start. Taking the time to increase your chances of success in the preparation stages is an investment worth making. In this blog post and three subsequent blogs, I want to explore how you can start a transformation journey by having a hand of ACES. Borrowing the analogy from most card games, an ace is a source of power that can often turn things in your favour or bring a significant advantage. …

Life takes many twists and turns. Some are in our control and choosing, others can never be anticipated. External events create an opportunity as much as they create a challenge. One person’s creation becomes another’s consumption.

The British Broadcasting Century by Paul Kerensa illustrates this pairing. It found its way onto my podcast list and so I discovered that today, 15th June, marks 100 years since the first ‘professional’ broadcast: The Melba Concert.

The word broadcast wasn’t used in this definition at this point, and it would be another two years before the BBC was founded. Broadcast was a farming term — to disperse upon the ground by hand. Just as the early farmer had little control where the seed would end up, so they released the broadcast message to a potential but unknown (and unknowable) audience. …


Luke Radford

An experienced senior digital business leader with experience of delivering transformative change.

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