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 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:


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


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.





Technology Couch Podcast – Episode 5



Technology Couch Podcast Logo

In this episode I chat to people at HPE Discover (Madrid) and ask the question “Whats your prediction for 2019?”

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.

Smart Home – WiFi Channels


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SignalsContinuing to build a Smart Home and the number of Hubs increasing, I came across what is a common problem over the weekend. My Hive decided to show a “No Signal” on the Thermostat, a Red light on the Receiver and the Hive App saying that it couldn’t connect to the system.

Luckily the internet was at hand and I could obtain a set of instructions on how to reset everything and connect it back up. Unfortunately this didn’t seem to work. So onto the Hive chat and an operator helped me to reconnect everything. Great…….except the following day the system was back in the same state of not working.

Resorting to speaking to someone and helping me to diagnose the issue, the main issue was that the WiFi channel being used was dropping in and out and the units were not getting a good signal. Strange as nothing has changed recently with my home networks or Smart Home additions.

A full factory reset on the hub and allowing the hub to automatically choose a different WiFi channel that isn’t busy seems to have fixed the issue. Although the Hubs and Smart Devices are supposed to be auto-negotiating it would appear on the surface that there are still challenges that need to be resolved going forward.

As we introduce different Smart Home devices to our homes, the chances of conflicts increase and the challenge to identify whats causing the issue increases.

So what can you do to help?

  • Check all the hubs/Smart Devices are on and talking through the WiFi.
  • Check your bandwidth is okay and has capacity.
  • Scan your WiFi to see what channels are in use. There are lots of tools available to help.
  • Check the signal strength at the location of the Hubs/Smart Devices.
  • Move your router is possible or move Hubs/Smart Devices if your signal isn’t strong enough.
  • Consider WiFi extenders where signal is weak.

I’ve put some links below for further reading.

Further Reading



Pwned on the Dark Web – Have you checked recently?

DarkwebOne of the Internet’s secret sides is the Dark Web which is one of those places that you may know of its existence from news articles where data hacked from systems is sold. Its one of those places most of us don’t really want to access, but want to know if any of our data is on there. Its certainly a place where the bounds of GDPR can’t reach either.

Some services such as https://haveibeenpwned.com/ allow you to check to see if any of your data exists on the dark web. The main identification normally searched for is an email address.

Its always good when you get the message:

Good news — no pwnage found!

No breached accounts and no pastes (subscribe to search sensitive breaches)

They offer a subscription service that will check to see if you have been breached and be notified if you are in the future.

Firefox have now joined in providing this type of service to its users https://monitor.firefox.com/.

Its good to see the launch of another checking service that allow you to see if your data (Now out of beta testing).

Another good message:

So far, so good

Your account did not appear in our basic scan. That’s good news, but data breaches can happen any time and there is still more you can do. Subscribe to Firefox Monitor for a full report, alerts when new breaches happen, and tips on protecting your passwords.

You can never have enough checking tools.

Further Reading:

Introducing Firefox Monitor, Helping People Take Control After a Data Breach

If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know


I lost my Job to a Robot

Robot ReplacementMonday morning, I arrived at the office to start the working week. I carried out my morning ritual of turning on my laptop and whilst waiting for it to run it boot up process and load all of its resident security and authorisation software, I grabbed my morning coffee. Upon returning to my desk and logging on, a message popped up for me to go and see my manager.

Knocking on her door, she invited me in, morning pleasantries and what did you do at the weekend conversation, she proceeded to tell me some bad news.

“I`m sorry but we are going to have to let you go. Your employment with the company is being terminated with immediate effect.”

There followed what felt like a long pause as this news sank in.

She continued “As you may know we have been working on a programme of automation within the business and there is now an automated process doing your job.”

I felt the ground open up beneath me and the huge sinking feeling cover my whole body.

I’d been replaced by a robot. Not a shinny looking Sci-Fi robot but a series of robotic processes had replaced me.

I was left asking myself a number of questions….. Why me? Where had I gone wrong? what could I have done? What should I do now?

Okay the above is a story (I haven’t lost my job not as far as I know), but it’s a conversation that people fear may happen with the innovation in todays world.

The world of computing, robots, robotic process automation machine learning and artificial intelligence is progressing at a rate where it could enhance jobs (Cobots) and maybe in the future replace some jobs altogether.

So what can you do to stop this happening in the future?  The key to this question lies with you. You have to have the right mindset and look at continuous learning and reinvention at a personal level.

Standing still in a job is no longer a safe place. The old utopia of a job for life as definitely expired (there may be one or two exceptions to this rule) but in the main its true.

Where ever you are in your career, you need to keep your skills up to date. The younger generations get this concept as they are growing up with it and its enforced from leaving school. The middle and older generations did do this but for the majority a level of complacency kicks in and you reach a plateau where you feel that learning anything new isn’t for you. Why should you spend your own personal time and money investing in your future.

Personal investment in time and some cost might seem like an invasion into your own “Personal Time”, but workplaces are changing/have changed to expect this as others are already doing this.

Access to information, training/courses has changed dramatically over the years with the internet and the growth in free online courses. There are lots of places you can gain skills and knowledge without spending much money or none at all. The ability to buy a full set of AWS or Microsoft course for £10.00 which would have been a lot more in the past (and have to be done in a classroom) is driving an explosion of certified individuals coming on to the market from leaving school, college, university. Experience does play a part in this, however this can be gained online these days. Its not the same for all industries though as some do require apprenticeships to gather the rights skills, but do you know the latest methods and skills to keep up?

Is the investment in time and money really worth it. Would you rather spend that £10.00 on something else and your time doing something else. Yes most probably, but what is the long term investment? For me it’s being employable and keeping the rest of my salary coming in.

Next time your sat on your couch watching TV, think could I invest this time more productively, then watch TV later as a reward for doing that bit of learning?

So you have been investing in your skillset and learning new things. How could that initial conversation have changed.

Monday morning, I arrived at the office to start the working week. I carried out my morning ritual of turning on my laptop and whilst waiting for it to run it boot up process and load all of its resident security and authorisation software, I grabbed my morning coffee. Upon returning to my desk and logging on, a message popped up from my Cobot/Automated Process for me to check some things that it couldn’t understand. I will enter the correct parameters this morning so the ML/AI engine can solve these issues in the future.. Also my manager wants to see me.

Knocking on her door, she invited me in, morning pleasantries and what did you do at the weekend conversation, I proceeded to explain my next idea for automating one of the existing processes and how I could reinvest my time in looking at additional process automation in the business, also doing some R&D into a new product that could help the business increase sales.

“That’s great news. When can you have the details ready by? Congratulations on your latest qualification, we could use your new skills on the Advent project. Would you like to do some work on that project?”

I go back to my desk and start to drink my now warm coffee, with the new tasks in hand and set my skills on changing the ML/AI engine to assist me further to allow some time to further my training on a new course that I want to do.

Related Blog Posts

A-Z of Digital – T is for Twenty First Century Digital

Digital Mindset

The Nature and Cycle of CPD

Recording your CPD

How much CPD/Training should you be doing?

Digital Fit in 2018: Balancing the Noise

A-Z of Digital – K is for Knowledge

A-Z of Digital – S is for Social



xR (VR/AR/MR) Medical Conditions


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Need Coffee even in Virtual RealityI had an interesting question the other day – “Are there any known health/ medical complications from using VR and headsets”. This is one I had to research so thought I would put up some of my findings.

This is by no means a full investigation and mainly reference other articles, but makes for an interesting topic so I’ll use the TL;DR title as there is a lot of info here.


Firstly a definition – xR  refers to the various types of Reality available

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Mixed Reality

Secondly – Everyone is different and xR may affect a person different ways if at all

Thirdly – I’m not trying to put anyone off using or trying an xR platform in any way.

Important note though – some if not all makers of xR equipment don’t recommend anyone with epileptic conditions or special sensitivities use headsets. You should check that vendors product details for further information on this.

If you Google (other search engines are available Virtual Reality Medical Complications then a fair few hits come back, but a lot less for Augmented and Mixed if any.

In Augmented and true Mixed Reality, you can see the real world and overlay virtual things on it. As the body can still see the real world it knows the effects are much less than putting a headset on and being immersed in a completely virtual world.

Everyone is different whilst some will feel no effect, some may.  A Business Insider article on the subject list the possible side effects as:

  • Loss of Spatial Awareness
  • Dizziness and Disorientation
  • Seizures (don’t use if you have an epileptic condition or special sensitivities)
  • Nausea
  • Eye Soreness and Trouble Focussing

For me these will depend on :

  • Type of headset used
  • Duration  of session
  • How person adapts to using the device


Will depend on a persons eyesight and prescriptions if any for lenses.  It will depend on the headset used as to if it adjusts automatically for the users eyes or glasses are needed inside the headset. Some headsets you can get prescription lenses for.

VR Sickness

There are stories and articles around the internet about VR Sickness and it does have its own Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality_sickness)

Recent article on Medium.com  https://medium.com/s/greatescape/when-working-in-virtual-reality-makes-you-sick-795a61f5e5dc

Motion sickness can be a factor – http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150814-the-search-for-an-effective-cure-for-motion-sickness

Interesting discovery:

“Last year, a team led by Bethann Hromatka, a biomedical scientist at genetics company 23andMe looked across the entire human genome to see which genetic changes might increase a person’s likelihood of becoming motion sick. The research, published in Human Molecular Genetics, found links between motion sickness and genes involved with balance, eye, ear, and cranial development. In other words: motion sickness seems to be very much hereditary.”


The longest video game marathon in Virtual Reality at this time is held by Jack McNee in Australia who on the 2nd April 2017 played for 36 Hours, 2 Minutes and 16 Seconds. (don’t try this one at home!).

Although I’ve yet to see the results of a full medical study into the effects of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality to form an opinion.

When using xR you should check:

  • Does anyone have any epileptic condition or special sensitivities
  • First time you put the headset on if you feel strange  take it off.  Try again in a few mins.
  • Take regular breaks



More Scam Callers – time for some fun


PhishingIt it just me or is this on the rise? Recently I have noticed an increase in the number of scam phone calls that I have been receiving on my land line and on mobile. All from different countries and trying various scams to get information, money or both.

ts nothing new, calls like this go on all the time and unfortunately people do get scammed as they fall for what is being said on the other end of the line.

The game is how long you can keep them on the phone so they can’t spend time trying to scam someone who doesn’t know they are being scammed.

Recently an automated call with a computer voice called my home number saying that my internet router was going to be shutdown from my service provider as it had been identified as being hacked. Yeah – Right! So I played along and decided to record the call, which I will probably use in a future podcast. I got put onto a woman in India who evidently didn’t know what type of scam front end had put me through. She then went on to tell me my computer had a virus. Eventually I did ask “How many people had she scammed today”. The reply was lots and she put the phone down. – Time on call 30 Mins

Another call today was one of those, insurance accident ones, but this time they tried a different tack. Saying it was a follow up call to my wife about the accident she had. Again scam and I asked the lady who called if she had job satisfaction scamming people. This call came from London so I have reported it to the action fraud centre. – Time on call 5 Mins.

And as I am writing this post another call comes in – Can you spare me 20 seconds to answer 2 questions, then starts to ask me to confirm my phone number and tries to ask me about my home ownership. When I ask whats the end part of the the call, are they trying to sell me something or scam information out of me they hang up. Another call from London so again have reported it to the action fraud centre. – Time on call 5 Mins.

At least that’s 40 mins that other people haven’t been bothered or scammed by these callers.

A lot more can be done though and needs the teleco’s and authorities to go after the numbers where these calls come from and start prosecuting or at least shutting them down. That said the police get these calls as well – here is a great video on youtube of an IRS scammer trying to scam a police officer and he gets the scammer to explain how that particular scam works.

Lots of people already add numbers to online systems such as Who Called Me, and these are normally the first place I go when number comes up I don’t recognise. You can also put the number in the search engine which bring up sites where its been logged as a problem/scam caller.

If you don’t know how to protect yourself on the phone, one of the best place to get tips is from your or other banks websites. Plenty of good information on keeping safe on there.

Just because you call saying your from my bank doesn’t mean I’m going to answer your security questions.