Sharing my learning

I’m planning to start sharing my learning in this site – so that over time it builds into a record of learning that I can refer back to. I’ll also try to tag and label it so that it can potentially be useful to other people!

I’ve been capturing my learning for a while, and have found it useful to use the following simple format:

* What it was (description of the learning)
* What I learned (the key point I took away)
* What I will aim to do differently as a result (if possible)

There’s quite a backlog of stuff to publish so it will take me time to get through it.

Some things worth noting:
* I appreciate that some courses (etc) can contain copyright information (and it isn’t always obvious what is / is not protected at the time) so if you think I’ve inadvertently reproduced something without sufficient permission or attribution, please contact me and I’ll happily take it down.
* The lessons I capture from talks (etc.) are absolutely not intended to be direct quotes from the individuals giving the talks – instead they are a summary of what I learned.
* The publication date of an entry won’t necessarily match to the date that the learning occurred.

Meta: developing this blog

A quick post on developing the blog:

  • I’m slowly adding my notes from earlier learning opportunities – mainly these are notes from formal talks and lectures.
  • Turns out I have been capturing these notes on and off since 2010 so might take me a while to get up to speed
  • I’m trying to date the entries as per when the learning happened… so in some cases the entry date and publication date will be adrift by many years!
  • Soon I hope to start adding in more general learning points, for example personal reflections or post-activity retrospectives
  • I might also adopt a looser approach to capturing learning as I go  *tips hat to Weeknotes*
  • As you can see I’ve stripped out any bells and whistles and gone for simplicity, readability and focus on written content.
  • And – if you’re interested, I use a full WP install on some personal hosting provided by TSOhost.  Currently a vanilla install of the “First” theme by Themehaus but I’ll probably start tinkering with the code of that at some point.

Defence digital masterclass @ Barclays Rise

What it was:

The first Defence digital masterclass, with various speakers on digital themes, hosted at Barclays Rise, Shoreditch, on 4 May 2018

What I learned:

Artificial Intelligence:

  • The AlphaZero AI algorithm learns from blank slate, does not just replay earlier human learning
  • Human beings already have symbiotic relationships with dogs, possibly we can see future relationship with AI?
  • Key valuable skill at the moment is being able to analyse convolutional networks
  • Future AI will not be evil but may do terrible things purely in trying to help
  • The UK 4G network is expanding to 99% coverage
  • AI is difficult to define… Douglas Hofstadter ” AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet”
  • Loose definition of AI: systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence
  • General adversarial networks, train the forger and the tester at the same time. Can be used to optimise at scale and pace.
  • Neuromorphic computing: chips that mimic brain function by only firing the ” neurons” when relevant, enabling high computational power with low electrical power
  • The lower power consumption may be a clue, from a macro (physics) perspective, that the chip is using more brain-like processes. Current traditional AI architectures tend to use many orders of magnitude more power than a human brain.
  • ‘Centaur chess’ where humans are supported by machines. Have beaten the best humans and best machines. Implies that human-machine partnership and process may be key to military success?

Different scales / types of digital transformation in businesses:

  • Business model transformation,
  • Customer experience innovation
  • Operating model transformation

Thirty five percent of P&G products come from outside the company via its innovation approach
Many innovative large companies are sustained or accelerated through government contracts and investment; it’s not the case that innovation only comes from private investment
Military rituals are similar to agile rituals?  Could be a useful alignment.
DEFRA are using machine learning to read incoming documents, identify the name and address etc, and direct the document within department

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

  • Develop our model for digital transformation in defence, and to think about the technologies that underpin it
  • Think about business and process transformation as part of the model
  • Think about the working environment.
  • Make better connections outside MOD… we need to move to an ‘outside in’ approach

SLS/FLS MOD engagement event

What it was:

Talks and conversations with senior leaders and alumni of development schemes, mainly from within defence, at the Ministry of Defence on 5 March 2018

What I learned:

  • Action Inquiry: Every moment is an opportunity for development, experiment, reflection
  • Exploit your competitive advantage
  • Seek out role models
  • Who you work with is more important than what you work on
  • Need to be sharp and concise on commissioning the right work from the right person
  • You can’t afford to have an off moment, especially when in large groups
  • Have respect for the people in your team; that means preparing properly when speaking to groups
  • As an introvert you need to be an actor, and build in recovery time on your own
  • “Positive deviance” – the ability to challenge and do things in New ways. Leaders need to be able to observe and enable this behaviour
  • In the second year of the schemes there is more onus on self organising networks. There is not an anchor – it becomes a fight to stay in contact with people.
  • Need to challenge the other people in your cohort, if they don’t contribute they are taking a place away from others who wanted to be on the scheme
  • FLS makes you better able to succeed at SCS interviews as it helps you frame your style, think about the emotional impact, talk about your corporate contribution
  • End of scheme reviews are in December January

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

  • Try to pursue partnerships with specific individuals who are likely on a similar development journey as me
  • Look up the “two pies” approach (?) that was mentioned
  • Make a concerted exploration on doing a secondment to industry
  • Practice being more precise in commissioning work from others
  • Take more time to prepare for speaking to the team
  • Gather contact details for others on development schemes and try to maintain the network

CIPR case study – Best Use of Social Media

What it was:

Review of a case study from the CIPR Awards for social media campaigns – MSL Group’s campaign -“Always #LIKEAGIRL”

Source: http://bit.ly/1GxUMn2

What I learned:

Key points from the campaign:

  • Activity was based on solid research insight (confidence plummeting at puberty).
  • Activity was very much in line with the grain of the brand’s previous activity i.e. supporting women and aspiration
  • Turned a well-worn pejorative on its head.
  • Global message was managed seamlessly across continents.
  • Campaign created an empowering call to action which has potential to become a movement.
  • Campaign harnessed celebrities and social media influencers.
  • Content yielded a very large number of earned media placements (approx 1900)

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

Use insight and research to understand pain-points and concerns for the target audience.

Make sure activity is in keeping with and strengthens any existing brand values or history.

As a potential creative avenue, explore common uses of language around the audience or topic and see if these can be subverted or challenged.

Think about whether a campaign can generate a movement which has life beyond the campaign.