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August 2014
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Book news

Mick contributed to "New Eyes: The Human Side of Change Leadership".

Mick addresses the leadership implications of Big Data, and suggests its value can best be realised by enterprises fully embracing customer centricity and creating strong networks of innovation.

He then shows how the 4Es leadership framework can enable organisational change to capitalise on this revolution.

Get the bookNew Eyes

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Social Media data and real time analytics - UK Parliament Select Committee

Image from Science and Technology Committee

Mick gave oral evidence at the UK Parliament Science and Technology Select Committee for their inquiry into Social media data and real time analytics. He was doing this as Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, representing the new Consumer Data Research Centre.

The University of Leeds had previously submitted written evidence. Key points were:

  • Big Data and Social Media analysis will allow UK businesses and the Government to gain and maintain an edge in understanding and responding to consumer and citizen demands. Social Media data provides individual and attitudinal understanding, complementing but not replacing formal, census-type data sets.
  • Social Media represents a positive opportunity for Government to communicate and inform, including in cases of public emergency and safety.
  • More can be done to encourage broad, public understanding of the positive benefits of data analytics.
  • Government investment is needed to overcome a dearth of training, providing direction in educational programmes which emphasizes the combination of data analytics with business skills. The new discipline of Data Science needs to be embraced and taught – “part analyst, part artist” with social and business contextual understanding, rather than just a pure technology focus.
  • Ethical concerns are real, and include the gaining of informed consent, security, and use of the data in the public interest.

As background, the Science and Technology Committee exists to ensure that Government policy and decision-making are based on good scientific and engineering advice and evidence. It is unusual amongst departmental select committees in that it scrutinises the Government Office for Science, which is a “semi-autonomous organisation” based within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The panel, on June 18th, was focused on how social media data and the use of real-time analytics could improve governance and social provision. The previous panel focused on how economic benefits might be realised through the use of social media data and real-time analytics.

Panel 1

Timo Hannay, Managing Director, Digital Science
Carl Miller, Research Director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos
Sureyya Cansoy, Director, Tech for Business and Consumer Programmes, techUK

Panel 2

Professor John Preston, Professor of Education, University of East London
Professor Mick Yates, Visiting Professor, Consumer Data Research Centre, University of Leeds
Dr Ella McPherson, Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

All proceedings are recorded and quickly made available to the public.

Here is the video of the June 18th session. The second panel, with Prof. Preston, Dr. McPherson and Mick starts at 10:35 in the video.

Shapeshifting at Apple - Wally Bock

Tim Cook

Image Minh Uong/The New York Times

From Wally Bock‘s excellent Three Star Leadership Blog

From the time Steve Jobs returned from exile to lead Apple out of the wilderness and up to the heights of success, we perceived Apple as an extension of the man and his genius. Since he died, we knew Apple would have to be a different company, but what kind of different company? We may be getting some idea.

On Friday, June 13, Patrick May wrote about Angela Ahrendts in “The post-Jobs era blossoms with Apple’s new retail sweetheart.” Then, Sunday, the New York Times ran a major profile of Apple’s CEO: “Tim Cook, Making Apple His Own.

Clearly change is afoot at Apple. But what kind of change? Is it serious substantive change to reflect new realities? Or is it cosmetic change designed to make us all believe that even with Steve gone, Apple will still be Apple? Beats me.

To help you figure things out for yourself, I’ve assembled a selection of some recent articles about Apple. I recommend reading the NY Times piece before you sample the links below. Enjoy.

From Recode: Katie Cotton, Communications VP Who Helped Shape Apple’s Story, Retiring

“She’s long been among the company’s most powerful executives and played a key role in shaping the mystique and exclusivity surrounding the Apple brand.”

From Mashable: How Apple Got Its Groove Back

“More than a week after Apple’s WWDC keynote, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around everything that was announced.”

From SFGate: Yes, Apple and iPhones are still cool, but shop around

“The more things change, the more they stay the same. The evolution of the smartphone eerily parallels that of the personal computer. Both were birthed by Apple – the Apple 1 computer in 1976, and the iPhone in 2007. Both were groundbreaking consumer technology products that developed an early lead in the market, and developers flocked to create software for them (applications for the computer, apps for the phone).

From the Financial Times: Descent into drivel is a sign of Apple’s fall

The ugly words suggest the group has got too big to hang on to what once made it different.”

From Wharton: Apple’s Beats Buy: Desperation or Opportunity?

“Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics was an uncharacteristic move for a company that has typically limited its acquisitions to small start-ups. In fact, its last high-profile buy was in 1996, when Apple purchased computer company NeXT and in the process brought previously ousted founder Steve Jobs back to the firm. Announced last week, the purchase of Beats, which was founded by rapper Dr. Dre and music industry executive Jimmy Iovine, brings into the Apple fold an audio hardware business, including Beats’ popular headphones, and the company’s streaming music service.”

From the Verge: What if Apple bought Beats not for headphones, but wearables?

“Beats is all about the brand, as headphone enthusiasts and streaming audio fans will gladly tell you. With its copious engineering resources, Apple could build better headphones itself. And while Apple might indeed want to pursue a streaming music service to compete with Spotify, there’s no indication yet that Beats Music might be able to help do so. As my colleague points out, the service appears to have acquired fewer than 200,000 followers so far, compared to Spotify’s millions, and Apple wouldn’t be able to transfer Beats’ music deals to a streaming service of its own. So what could Apple do with that brand? What everyone seems to be forgetting is that Beats is a fashion company that makes technology you wear.


LeaderValues Newsletter - William Boeing, Heathrow Terminal 2 – Creating the ideal airport passenger experience?

William BoeingClick here to see this month’s LeaderValues newsletter 

It features:

* William Boeing – His undiminished enthusiasm and interest in the mechanics of the world brought Boeing deeply into so many different worlds, but it is in aeronautics that his big thinking and attention to detail has left the biggest leadership legacy. A biography by Victoria Yates.

* Quotes

* Heathrow Terminal 2 – Creating the ideal airport passenger experience?, by Jonathan Mindell. Heathrow’s Terminal 2 has just successfully opened, learning the lessons of the chaotic opening of Terminal 5 some years ago. Jonathan was with 2,500 people who participated in a ‘trial’ at the nearly finished T2.  The aim was to simulate departing, connecting and arriving passenger experiences, to test the infrastructure, space and people that will handle over 10 million passengers in the first year of operation. His article gives very valuable insights in how to deliver the best possible experience for all businesses with customers – i.e. almost everyone!

Digital Services Congress - London

DS Congress

I attended the Digital Services Congress in the past couple of days. It is focussed on Mobile Telephone technology and operators.

The DSC brings together high level content on operator and OTT (Over The Top – services provided by third parties on the operator’s network, such as WhatsApp) messaging strategies – featuring mobile and messaging operators, global and smaller regional OTT players, aggregators, enterprise customers and technology solution providers.

I was especially interested in the tracks on the future of mobile messaging, the future of the mobile wallet, and what’s happening in “machine to machine” data interactions.

Overall, I was impressed with the innovations being discussed, both in technology and business. I just wonder why tech such as RCS (Rich Communication Services) is so slow in being adopted by operators. Whilst it would not provide direct competition to the likes of WhatsApp, it would create a richer, universal messaging platform than SMS or MMS.

Maybe the Telco’s are struggling to move away from their current business models.

Kobus Smit, Deutsche Telecom, made many excellent points on this need for Telco’s to challenge their own models.

Here he is talking at last year’s LTE Summit

And here are a few of my tweets from the DS Congress which helped sum things up.

“Technology is an enabler for telecommunication but a constraint to human communication – Visual is the most natural” Kobus Smit #DSCongress

Kobus Smit “RCS not just competing with communities like snapchat, but more about common standards for universal communication” #DSCongress

“Operators must move from single service providers to integrated communications platform providers” Kobus Smit #DSCongress #RCS is a start!

RT @LucyCloudWS Kobus Smit @deutschetelekom says the real value is the platform, wholesale access #DSCongress

“Subscribers more sensitive to spam via SMS than via email – yet mobile can offer most #relevance” Daniel Mavarakis at #DSCongress #mobile

RT @SNLMichielWil: “We want to be consumer driven, not just tech-driven,” Bourgois, Orange says #DSCongress #RCS

“Future of mobile is in social messaging – even more important than email was on desktop” @rikusalminen: @Jongla #DSCongress

RT @SNLMichielWil: Blog #Google exec tells #DSCongress: “#Web companies and #telcos need each other” #OTT #mobile

“2/3rd retail chairman say omni-channel is the biggest industry change” Richard Braham @the_BRC #DSCongress@theiorma

“Consumers want ease of use first, but are still worried about security” Mike Walters, Barclaycard #DSCongress #mobilewallet

RT @Fradicati: “Stop building wallets, and start building infrastructure for others to build wallets” Birch #DSCongress #MobilePayments

Retailers well ahead of MNOs on mobile wallets – “transaction appropriate identity is key” David Birch #DSCongress