helping you master the people side of data & analytics

Why most leaders suck at giving useful feedback and how you can


Building on the guidance provided in my book review of Radical Candor, let’s explore further the challenge of giving feedback.

As well as useful advice from books I want to bring you the learned experience of leaders, through our panel of guest bloggers. So, I’m pleased that Kevin Watson stepped forward with his reflections on giving feedback in a way that works.

Readers of this blog may recall that Kevin is an experienced leadership coach & lecturer. He has shared with us before on topics including ‘being rather than doing’ leadership, managing virtual teams & not dwelling on failure. I also shared how much I enjoyed his workshop at this year’s Welsh Coaching Conference.


Succeeding at difficult conversations with Radical Candor

difficult conversations

During this time of teams being physically apart, it is easy for leaders to avoid difficult conversations.

Empathy & compassion matter from leaders at this time, but you will not be serving your team if you use those as an excuse to avoid all criticism or challenging feedback.

For that reason, I am hearing from a number of my clients, who value some help on having more challenging conversations. For that reason, I am pleased to share another book recommendation. This review covers a book that I have found provides a very useful model.


Missed your sales targets? Focus on relationships instead – B2B research

sales targets

Continuing our theme focussed on adapting to a new way of working, what about leaders who have missed their sales targets?

It is easy to overlook this community with the focus of this blog. But, as I’ve shared before Commercial Awareness is crucial for data, analytics & insight teams. So, it pays to stay close to the needs & concerns of your Sales team too.

For that reason, I’m delighted to welcome back guest blogger Peter Lavers to share their latest B2B client research. It focusses on the challenge faced by sales teams, with advice as to how they too can adapt to new ways of working.


Thinking deeper about the importance of Data Viz @datavizlive online

This post continues my debrief from the first-ever @datavizlive online event. As I shared previously, I had the joy of chairing this event and so introducing a great line-up of Data Viz speakers.

As before, let me apologise to those speakers whom I do not include in this debrief. It is no comment on the quality of your presentation (all talks were of a high quality). Rather, I only have space in two blog posts for those sessions where I learnt most (of those I attended).

So, in my first post, I shared useful advice on establishing best practice & design principles from JLL & Emma Cosh. The final session shared in that post was  Xaquín‘s call for improved public data & visualisation by public bodies. This post continues that focus on values.


So much more to learn at the first #datavizlive online, chair’s reflections

#datavizlive online

This week, I had the pleasure of chairing the first-ever #datavizlive online event. Following on from the excellent #datavizlive conference in London earlier this year (which I’ve shared previously).

It was an interesting experience as a chairperson, using Microsoft Teams rather than seeing a physical audience. You can’t feed off the audience in the same way, but I was glad of the live Q&A functionality.

This event was again delivered by Tucana Global. They also took the sensible step of investing in a tech team to coordinate speakers, chairs & media behind the scenes. I was also able to direct the audience to a wealth of teams & channels to explore, including exhibitions and networking.


How to build a virtual insurer for the new normal post-COVID

virtual insurer

When sharing books like “Re-Imagine” recently, I’ve mentioned the need to reinvent your business, e.g. as a virtual insurer.

Looking for an example of reinvention for the ‘new normal‘ predicted once COVID19 is under control, you could be excused for not considering insurers. Insurance is traditionally one of the most slow to change sectors.

So, I was intrigued when Paul Carroll, editor of the excellent Insurance Thought Leadership shared this article with me. In it, author Frederik Bisbjerg (Chief Strategy & Digital Acceleration Officer of Noor Takaful) faces into the reality that things will not go back to how they were.


Data Visualisation in Modern Data Architectures (trying a webinar)

Modern Data Architectures

We’ve spoken before about how to run your own workshops online, but you may also want to attend others to keep learning, e.g. about Modern Data Architectures.

In a bid to experience for our readers whether the raft of webinars being advertised can replicate the events they replace – I signed up to attend one. Many working in the Data & Analytics space will have at some point attended Big Data LDN, as a one-stop show to see several vendors at once.

This is not my preferred type of event, but I noticed that in a series called “Modern Data Architectures” they had a webinar on Data Visualisation. I was also curious to watch this as it included a presenter from Looker, a tool that Ryan de Rooijen has recommended to me.