About me in a nutshell…
I’m a specialist in the emerging digital workplace space. With an optimistic, yet critical perspective, I advise companies large and small on how to encourage better workforce communication, collaboration and knowledge management to raise employee productivity, engagement and business outcomes. I’m an associate consultant for the leading employee communications network SimplyCommunicate.
My expertise spans the realms of design, strategy, policy, to future business and technology trends.
I advise large-scale companies and public-sector organisations on how to make their employees more collaborative, to create and share better knowledge, and in working more productively.
Ultimately, my goal is to help board-level and senior managers drive innovation and growth, with the right technology, processes, and bearing in mind their employees’ needs and aspirations.
I typically work with companies in one of three ways:
Digital workplace business strategy
Research, analysis and strategic thinking of how best to understand business and employee needs. Then to advise the best way to develop business cases, to direct how to use the right digital workplace tools and design approach.
Internal process improvement
I advise companies on how to improve internal processes, developing innovative digital tools and processes in order to capture unique customer knowledge, strengthen external brand proposition, and create highly valued customer service.
Mentoring and advising teams
I mentor and advise internal teams on research, design and future digital workplace and business trends. With design tools, workshops and internal presentations, I equip business teams with the right knowledge to quickly get their digital workplaces off the ground and achieve high adoption rates. All framed with clear objectives and success criteria.
My design training and background experience
Since then, I’ve held a wide variety of roles. I was hired as one of the first-ever Information Architects when few knew what information hierarchy meant, let alone had seen a site map. During the heady dot.com boom days, I designed Marks & Spencer’s first-ever eCommerce website. In my spare time, I worked on the groundbreaking MTV Europe website. It included an unknown but radical Flash Shockwave plugin that displayed spinning DJ avatars all created by the revolutionary multimedia design studio Antirom.
It even beat the poster child of the time (and soon to explode from its hype) Boo.com with its level of sheer interactivity. While short-lasting, it was a palpable and exciting time in design, of optimism, of challenging limits, ignoring usability (see below), and equally frustrating users with massive page load times. Oops!
And in 2001, I began my 15-year design direction stint at the ever radical, non-conformist and free speech publication spiked. I oversaw its launch, numerous re-designs that kept it up-to-date with the latest technology, mobile and editorial trends. It continued to grow its online readership and become a significant political reference point. I continue to this day to adhere to what it’s then editor Mick Hume once said, ‘Content is King, Queen and Dalai Lama’.
Beyond websites, I slowly ventured into intranets (as they were commonly known) and more latterly digital workplace platforms. As such, my interest has evolved from design to being involved with business management, leadership, strategy, and in encouraging innovation, collaboration and growth through digital technologies.
Alongside my work, I have been a longtime writer, speaker and critic of design and technology, especially during the growth of the internet and digital media that we have today. I witnessed the first-ever smart mob to take place in Europe. I debated Steve Krug author of Don’t Make Me Think! on why innovation was more important than usability. During the 2007 General Election, I was part of a team that set up and co-authored the radical Big Potatoes: The London Manifesto for Innovation. We argued for more radicalism, ambition and innovation against the prevailing climate of risk aversion.
Today I continue to write, speak and comment on a wide variety of emerging industry, business and technology-related issues. Themes include AI, social media, online privacy, business transformation, and ‘hot topics’ such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. I’ve appeared on Sky News, TalkSport radio and Radio 4. Am widely published including in the Independent, the Guardian, International Business Times, CMSwire, HR Technologist, spiked, Design Week, and the Big Issue.
I’m also an experienced event producer, chair and speaker including at the Battle of Ideas festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, London Design Festival, and Design Museum.
Get in touch if you want me to help your business, or to commission me to write, speak, chair or produce a topical debate for you.