Moving to a world of Interactive Viewer Choices

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tvWhether it be books, visual or audio, we have been kept on the edge of our seats by gripping storylines and turned off by uninteresting ones that don’t grasp our attention.

The ability to choose storylines has been around for sometime now with adventure books. My favorite was “Deathtrap Dungeon” by Ian Livingstone from the Fighting Fantasy range of books.  These were my entry level in to gaming, however there are earlier versions of this type of themed book.

A couple of experimental programs have been broadcast on TV where the viewers choose the next actions are taken. This input can be via an mobile application or smart TV and the shows editors broadcast the next scene as per the votes. We have had this ability for a while though with voting for winners of a program or to send someone home. These types of viewing does bring pressures into the lounge with who has the controller or who asks the voice assistant to vote.

On-line content is easier to collect the choices and stream out the next scene. This allow each viewer to make their own choices and stream choices to individuals.

The BBC Click on-line program has now offered content based on choices and starts with a Fighting Fantasy book as their introduction before allowing you to choose which content you want to view.

Are we ready for interactive programs or will there be a increase of arguments over Eastenders or Love Island. For me this works well with on-line content, until we get to a general population of Smart TV’s with the ability to stream individual outcomes to households.

Our choices will also be a good indication back to content producers as to what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Learning

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I have previously written about “Having the Right Digital Mindset” where I covered six topic areas to help shape your Digital Mindset.

In this series of blog posts I will expand on each of these topics.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Learning

How much learning have you done today? this week? this month? Keeping your skills up to date by regular learning is an important part of developing your mindset and keeping it active. So why bother with learning? This is easy to answer in that if you don’t, others are. The next generations of IT Professionals are already learning from an early age supported by Government Educational Curriculum’s.

Learning is easier with the internet through online courses, videos and podcasts allowing it to be undertaken at anytime. The topics that you choose to learn will be down to your role and there is no magic course on being Digital. Its an amalgamation of different skills and knowledge, both hard and soft skills.

One key factor though is that software is eating the world and the delivery of things as code is becoming common place. having an understanding of what is going on in the coding world helps with today’s advancing technology. Learning to code is a great way of understanding these advancements and everyone should have a knowledge of this.

Re-enforcing your learning through explaining it to someone else or blogging about it is part of  The Nature and Cycle of CPD and a good way of checking you have learnt correctly.

There are two main types of learning that we do:

  • On the Job
  • Focused Learning

Learning that comes as part of our regular day can be classed as “On the Job” where as focused learning is where you take time out to do some research, reading or a course.

Everyone has their own preference for learning and the amount of learning that you do is also down to preference. Looking at other industries where learning is mandated as part of ongoing professional development, such as a Dentist or Doctor who must do a number of hours to maintain their skills and knowledge and also their registration to practice. Why should this be any different for IT Professionals? Some wold argue that they don’t need to keep their skills upto date and others that you should. For me considering that IT Professionals produce, code and maintain systems that the Densists and Doctors use everyday in support of patients, why would it be any different for IT?

You should be looking to do 50 to 60 hours learning a year as a minimum (some professions require higher number of hours). Number of hours that some professions require learning:

CPDTable

The number of hours that you commit to learning is down to personal choice, but if you did at least 1 hour a week, thats 52 Hours of learning you have achieved.

Further Reading

Blog Posts and Articles:

 

 

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Application

brain-2062057_960_720I have previously written about “Having the Right Digital Mindset” where I covered six topic areas to help shape your Digital Mindset.

In this series of blog posts I will expand on each of these topics.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Application

Application is how you apply your Mindset (not an application running on a mobile or computer device).

We all have habits and norms that define our daily lives and how we apply ourselves. Some people embrace change and others find change not easy to accept, however making changes are needed to ensuring that you are working with a good Digital Mindset.

One of the biggest areas I come across on this subject is training with statements like “I don’t have time”, “I’m busy on projects all day”, “I’m not training in my own time”. Whilst you do need a good work life balance, you need to recognise that others around you are making the time and you may be left behind in growing your skills.

Changing the way that we have programmed ourselves can be done by changing small things in our routines – think Agile. Growing your skills can help you think about and adopt change.

Book in an hour in your diary (every week) to review some reading or undertake some training that will boost your skills and knowledge. Diaries often change, but if you keep to that hour a week to start with, then you can change the habit and benefit from the skills you are learning.

When you make the changes is another important step. There are lots of people who are doing this by changing their morning routines to include things like catching up on the latest social media (related to their areas of interests, jobs). I would recommend looking at a site called “My Morning Routine”. Listing a number of different morning routines from people working in many industries, it may give you some ideas on how you could make changes.

My 5 Tips

  • Make small changes to your routine and over time they will become your new habits
  • Embrace the change. Make it a challenge to stretch your thinking rather than a chore
  • Take the opportunity to learn
  • Don’t ignore the social channels, filter out the noise anD get the good content
  • Think about your time. Could you listen to a podcast while you are travelling?

 

Further Reading

Blog Posts and Articles:

 

Websites:

 

Books

 

Videos

 

 

Technology Couch Podcast – Episode 6

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Technology Couch Podcast Logo

In this episode I chat to Sukhi Gill about “Distruptive technologies and their impact on consumers and the enterprise”

The podcast is also available in iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/technology-couch-podcast

Podcast References:

To confirm, I am not getting any funding/promotions from any products discussed in this podcast.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Personal

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BalanceI have previously written about “Having the Right Digital Mindset” where I covered six topic areas to help shape your Digital Mindset.

In this series of blog posts I will expand on each of these topics.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Personal

Having the Right Digital Mindset requires a mindset change and part of this is to keep the mind fresh and positive. Ensuring that your health is good and you are living life to the full or best you can helps. Eating well and keeping fit help keep the mind fresh and positive.

We are inundated with advice on what to eat, how to live and be positive via many sources and channels that it can be hard to understand what is right or wrong. I believe that there is no full right or wrong answer to this as we are all different in many ways and one model does not fit all. Due to this you will need to find what is right for you, however there are three key areas that you should consider whilst looking at the personal side of having the Right Digital Mindset:

  • Looking after yourself and well being
  • Striking the right work/life balance
  • Learn to deal with change and ambiguity

Again, there are lots of advice, quotes, books, videos and studies on how to be more mindful and change that it would be a long list, however here are some of my top ones:

Further Reading

Blog Posts and Articles:

Websites:

Apps:

Books:

Videos:

 

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Social

SocialI have previously written about “Having the Right Digital Mindset” where I covered six topic areas to help shape your Digital Mindset.

In this series of blog posts I will expand on each of these topics.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Social

The social area covers how you interact with the rest of the world, including your work and family life. Being social is not just around how you use the tools and what you communicate, but also what you don’t say and being Social Media Savvy on your communications.

There are many different social channels available today. The latest We Are Social 2019 figures reports 3.48 Billion social media users. That’s a lot of posts, selfies, tweets and a lot of data.  With all of this going on searching through Social Media is literally “drinking from the fire hose”. There is no right or wrong mix of channels to use, however when deciding which channel to use, you should consider who and where your audience is.

The graph below illustrates the number of users (in millions) in the top used social channels. Source: Statista2019 No Social Users Per Channel

Choosing and focusing on the social channels that are right for you and your business, then refining your following and search results can bring a wealth of knowledge on what is happening around your area of interest.

Building a Personal Knowledge Management System is one way of keeping in touch with what is happening and trending on topics that you are interested in on Social Media.

Personal Knowledge Management System

One of the most important things to remember is that when you post its online and visible to the world even if its a private group. That might sound scary and put you off using social media, but it shouldn’t. It means think about what you say on Social Media because once its online anyone could re-post your comments from what you think is a private group to an open group.

Setting yourself a series of Social Media Rules will help define when and what you should put in the public domain and when not to.

For this reason, I keep my social channels separate from work and family/friends as different channels appreciate different topics. This also means you can set different security settings on family/friends channels to that of being open.

The news is often reporting on bad things said on a social channel or trawling up something that someone posted many years ago.

Here are my top 5 Social Media Rules

  • Choose your Social Channels
  • Listen, Research, Listen Again
  • Be Authentic And True
  • Keep It Regular and Relevant
  • Think Security

 

Further Reading

Blog Posts and Articles:

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Technology

digital technologyI have previously written about “Having the Right Digital Mindset” where I covered six topic areas to help shape your Digital Mindset.

In this series of blog posts I will expand on each of these topics.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Technology

Technology plays a part in any Digital Transformation, however its not the full answer, building your Digital Mindset is key. That said, it is important to keep up to date with the latest innovations, road maps and trends for the industry/sector you work in.

Technology should be seen as an enabler to help a business meeting its Business Outcomes and Goals rather than a dictator on the direction you should mould your business around. It is important to invest in  the right digital technology capabilities to drive this.

The abundance of services that provide “Cloud” and “As a Service” capabilities are allowing businesses to adpot new ways of working and look at meeting business outcomes using a different approach in an agile manner to the traditional types of technologies and waterfall implementations. Building a partner eco system from many different suppliers provides the best of breed solutions without the need to rely on a single partner.

Further Reading

Blog Posts and Articles:

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Business (Change, Agility and a Growth Mindset)

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Growth MindsetI have previously written about “Having the Right Digital Mindset” where I covered six topic areas to help shape your Digital Mindset.

In this series of blog posts I will expand on each of these topics.

Having the Right Digital Mindset: Business

The business area covers the skills and thinking that are needed in your workplace and what you need to succeed. Businesses are being constantly challenged in the way that they operate today and look forward to tomorrow against what their customers demand, the market wants and competition are doing.

Mastering Change

One of the major key components in having the Right Digital Mindset is Mastering Change. Change happens all the time and is a constant thing that occurs in our daily lives. We are guided by our experiences, what we know and our habits.

Have you every heard yourself or anyone say any of these?

  • “We’ve always done it that way”
  • “X set the the process years ago and no one has taken responsibility to change it”
  • “Costs to much to make changes”

Learning to understand and cope with change yourself helps enable any business/organisational changes that are happening. This can also be helped by also learning to work with and deal with ambiguity and help us to cope with the unknown, and act with out knowing what the overall looks like, whilst also breaking our habits to form new ones that allow us to accept and work with change.

Useful pointers on change and ambiguity. Click on the links for the full articles.

Gartner – Four-Step Plan to Instigate Mindset Change

1. Vision
2. Define
3. Implement
4. Measure, Monitor and Wait

Source: Gartner Says Digital Business Requires Growth Mindset and Not Just Technology

Letsgrowleaders.com – 7 Ways to Help Your Team Deal With Ambiguity

1. Understand your Own Tolerance and Reactions
2. Be Crystal Clear on What is Clear
3. Know What You Collectively Know and What You Don’t
4. Don’t Waffle
5. Encourage Risk Taking
6. Envision Alternative Scenarios
7. Engage Other People and Perspectives

Source: 7 Ways to Help Your Team Deal with Ambiguity

Agility

Agility is a word that is used in business every day and is an important facet of Digital Transformation and Mindset. The principle frameworks for being agile comes from the areas such as DevOps, Agile Software Development and Scrum.

However being Agile with a Digital Mindset is more than just these. You need the ability to:

  • Keep up with what is going on in your organisation and industry
  • Remain relevant – invest in yourself
  • Adopt and be comfortable with new ways of working
  • Experiment and learn from failure (fail fast and theory of small bets)
  • Apply the 80/20 Rule

Useful pointers on agility.  Click on the links for the full articles.

Agile software development principles

1. Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
2. Welcome changing requirements, even in late development.
3. Deliver working software frequently (weeks rather than months)
4. Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
5. Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
6. Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
7. Working software is the primary measure of progress
8. Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
10. Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
11. Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
12. Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly

Source: Agile Software Development

Growth Mindset

The next major component is having a Growth Mindset in which you are comfortable with the amount of change and the rapidly changing business landscape.

The term Growth Mindset comes from the study and theory of Dr Carol Dweck that intelligence can be developed. This can be applied to every person young and old to reach higher levels of achievement.

Adopting a Growth Mindset by taking every opportunity to experiment, embrace failure, learn, change and seek challenges will enable yourself and business to realise potential and success.

Below is an info-graphic from Dr Carol Dwecks work and theory:

Carol-Dweck-Two-Mindsets

Infographic of Dr Carol Dwecks thoery. Credit Carol S. Dweck Ph.D and Nigel Holmes

Useful pointers to help grow your mindset. Click on the links for the full articles.

CIO.com – Change your thinking

1. They thrive in the face of uncertainty
2. Select your digital-era strength
3. They focus on ideas that leapfrog ahead
4. Start, experiment, learn, repeat
5. Innovate fast

Source: 5 mindset traits to become a digital disruptor

Digital Insider Blog – How to Develop a Growth Mindset

1. Make Learning a Habit
2. Journal
3. Embrace Failure
4. Ask for Feedback
5. Seek Challenge
6. Add the Word “Yet” to Your Vocabulary
7. Be Positive

Source: How to Develop a Growth Mindset

Questions to ask yourself

  • What will I learn today
  • What habit can I forget
  • What can I make a habit
  • How can I be more Agile
  • What did I do that failed that I can learn from
  • What is my next challenge
  • With the constraints being removed through innovation and advancements, with costs coming down, how can you change/transform your business processes to meet the market challenges of today?
  • What tasks and processes can you automate?

Further Reading

Books:

Blog Posts and Articles:

Ted Talk:

 

Digitally Fit 2018 Roundup of posts

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DigitalFit2018The end of the year is almost upon us and as I start to plan my next set of Digitally Fit posts for 2019, here is a roundup of the Digitally Fit posts from 2018.

Links and short snippets from the posts are listed below. Click the links to read the full posts.

Digital Fit in 2018: Start Blogging

“To Blog or Not to Blog!”, Blogging isn’t for everyone and may not come naturally, however it plays a big part in the Digital Era, whether you are reading them or publishing them, you will read blogs at some point. Your reading this one!

One of the biggest issues with starting a blog is what content should you be writing about. Having an idea about what your blog is going to be about is the first step.

Digital Fit in 2018: Get Social

There are many different social platforms available and some are more mainstream than others. Some are new and some have fallen out of favour with people and usage has decreased on them. Which ever platforms you use will be down to how you want to evolve your usage of them.

Social tools provide an abundance of information that you can consume real time and through historical views. Choosing what to view will be down to personal preference.

Digital Fit in 2018: Build up a Readership

Have you ever Googled yourself? (other search engines are available). Did you appear in any of the search results or not? Did you check the images as well?

If you already have a presence in a blog or social channels the chances are that the search engine has found one of these – unless you have a name that competes with someone with a stronger profile, where if you go through the results you should be there.  If you do not have any social presence its most likely you will not feature in the results.

Digital Fit in 2018: Balancing the Noise

We have many forms of information streams that can be tapped into such as email and social media platforms. It can take time to keep looking at each stream in turn and scrolling through the history. Many of the streams change at a very fast rate – for example how many people you follow on twitter and who you follow can make a difference. If your following a bot that basically picks up other tweets about a subject and re-tweets them you will be picking up a lot of traffic from many accounts.  This can be to coin and old phrase “drinking from the fire hose”. You are only able to take in so much information.

Digital Fit in 2018: Social Data Security

When you mention personal data at the moment, most people think straight away of the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica new story and how your personal data is being used. However when you take a step back from this story and look across your own digital ecosystem you are generating a lot of data across a lot of systems. Are you really secure and do you help yourself over data security?

Digital Fit in 2018: Build on your skills

Keeping your skills up to date is a key part of being Digitally Fit. There is no definitive list of training that should be undertaken to become “Digital”, it depends upon your role requirements, however there are some topic areas that should be considered as a base set of skills to expand on.

Digital Fit in 2018: Pack Learning

We have learnt as a pack at School and gained benefit from each others insight. As we move onward’s in our life, we loose some of opportunities to learn in a pack. The days of going on a classroom based course have been few and far between as these day’s the use of the internet and online courses makes solo learning an easy option, but how many of us actually go further and interact with the message boards behind the courses to help others out, perhaps only venturing there when you have a problem that you don’t understand.