helping you master customer insight leadership

Ready for GDPR? No? Don’t panic, keep calm & check this now

Ready for GDPR

The time is almost upon us, are you ready for GDPR? No? Well join the queue.

It seems the norm, amongst the leaders & analysts I meet, to feel under-prepared. Despite what has been a two-year, preparation period, most organisations are not ready.

But, that doesn’t mean you need to panic. As with most challenges in business life, the worst reaction is panic. Whether that is being like an ostrich (with head in the sand, denial), or like a headless chicken (running around achieving nothing). (more…)

Why Customer Insight teams should learn from Design teams

learn from design teams

Listening to a Digital UX Design leader this week, I was struck by how much Insight teams can learn from Design teams.

I had the privilege of speaking at a Marcus Evans conference on West India Quay in London. “Optimise User Experience and Digital Design to Increase Customer Centricity for Financial Institutions“. That must be the (crazily) longest event name I’ve ever attended!

Anyway, before I shared on softer skills, Kara Towner-Larsen from Nordea was speaking. She spoke on “Lessons from the Digital and Cultural transformation of Nordea”. I found myself nodding frequently. (more…)

How I’m getting on with, and up for, my first Standing Desk

Standing DeskAs a break from our focus on Data Scientists, let me share my experience with my new Standing Desk.

I’m sure you’ve seen all the media coverage on the need for us to stand more.

From the US tabloid headline, “Sitting is the new Smoking“, to more scientific evidence as to the benefits of standing more & sitting less.

Having previously benefitted from embracing the evidence for how Mindfulness and Life Plans can improve your productivity, I was motivated to try another change.

After all, ideas to improve the way you work, has become a recurrent theme on this blog. (more…)

Loving your team, how can you do that as a leader?

Loving your teamOn this most romantic of days, have your thoughts turned to how you could express loving your team?

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers (or Ash Wednesday, if you’re more focussed on the start of Lent). However you celebrate today, I hope you can enjoy it & also have time to reflect.

Please don’t misunderstand the title of this post, I am not talking about romantic engagement with your team. In these days of greater awareness, about the importance of consent & power dynamics, I’d caution against such an involvement.

Rather, I mean how could you better express love, or appreciation, to your team?

Despite not focussing on romantic relationships, I think there are lessons we can learn from them. Almost 33 years of married life have certainly taught me some lessons. I’m blessed to be married to a wonderful person, but what have I learned along the way? (more…)

Setting specific goals, as an Insight Leader, for 2018

specific goalsHappy New Year, it’s time to decide what your annual specific goals will be.

For the last couple of years, I’ve shared a post recommending a system for setting goals & achieving them. However, a few conversations with insight leaders have reminded me that advice remains generic. What about which goals to set?

As this blog aims to support Customer Insight Leaders, I want to also offer more specific advice.

Given the context of common challenges & potential future trends, which goals would I advise? Well, far be it from me to second guess your priorities & specific context, but I hope these thoughts help. They are intended to simply act as a checklist; to prompt your own thinking. (more…)

Why you should stop buying consultancy (at least by itself)

consultancyWhen should you use external consultancy? Are you wisely bringing in wider expertise, or wasting your money on people who won’t be around to see the consequences?

Such a question plagues many analytics or insight leaders. Indeed I have spoken to many, over the years, who are frustrated by the speed with which directors turn to consultants.

I’ve mentioned before the need to build the reputation of your team, to mitigate the risk, of external voices being listened to instead.

But, in this post, I want to turn to the topic of consultancy itself. I’m sharing these thoughts with a foot in both camps. I have decades of experience as a senior leader within a FTSE100 business. In that role, I have seen external consultants both add value & be a waste of money. (more…)

In praise of imperfection, for analysts to achieve success

imperfectionAmongst their many positive qualities, analysts can often be perfectionists, unwilling to settle for imperfection.

A quest for excellence and an attention to detail can be admirable qualities. Together with a restless curiosity, such attitudes can characterise a natural analyst.

But, as all perfectionists will discover, seeking perfection in your work can more often hinder than help.

So, given all the hype on social media about technological perfection, let me offer an antidote.

In this post, I’m going to speak up in favour of imperfection. Sharing 4 examples of where accepting imperfect solutions is key to making progress. (more…)