I recently shared my tips on hiring for habits rather than experience, and if there’s one thing I’ve been asked since, it’s how to fit this approach to company culture. For good reason: almost half of new hires fail within months, and only about a fifth really succeed. With the focus on Amazon’s culture in the news lately, culture has become a controversial topic which is definitely one for another day.

Having recently consulted with several clients on how to successfully hire for habits, I would like to share my top tips on why culture causes such problems and how to mitigate it when hiring.

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I was interested recently to see that Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant can replace Google Now in Android beta test versions. Google originally created Android as a defensive move so that it couldn’t be frozen out of mobile by Apple or Microsoft, so while today this sounds like a hobbyist project, the possibility of Microsoft replacing Google services in Android shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. The world has moved on from the days when Google was afraid of Windows Mobile, but with Microsoft having mostly abandoned its previous mobile strategy and with the data acquiring tendencies of Windows 10, I wonder whether this might indicate the start of a new strategy.

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Big Data is at a crossroads. So far, a lot of Big Data projects have involved applying analytics to give businesses a better picture of what’s happening. The next stage is going to involve applying data science principles to a business problem, in such a way that rather than live dashboards, the output is an answer that non-technical people can take action on. This becomes a market for data science entrepreneurs, taking on the big challenges: the ones that cost enough, with a big failure rate, that they present an opportunity for whoever can “cross the chasm” and bring data science to the majority.

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My recent blog “Is Agile Just For The Tech Elite?” provided simple ways to help any team adopt an agile approach, regardless of whether it follows any particular methodology. That article generated a lot of interest and questions, and I would like to expand on a few key points:

  • What specific culture are we trying to move away from?
  • How do we explain the basics of an agile approach to our users, developers and managers?
  • How can we tell if we’re doing it “right”?
  • The importance of clarification

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I have used agile methodology to manage many software and transformation projects to deliver on time, on budget with great results, and while I firmly believe that any team can become agile, I understand why agile can be difficult to adopt. Many of the challenges are caused by a mix of habit and psychology, and here’s how you can overcome them with minimum difficulty Continue reading

Agile projects are highly collaborative and involve constant feedback in tight cycles. This allows user expectations to be met while not wasting time on mere nice-to-have features or extra effort that doesn’t impact the business, but unfortunately we’re constantly hearing that it only works if your team is packed with top performers.

Is it true? Are the benefits of Agile reserved only for a tech elite, with the rest of us doomed to non-agile projects and missed expectations?

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Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are the latest to be hyped to completely change how we view and interact with media, forecast to generate $30 billion by 2020. Having seen some of the product demos on the market, I can understand the excitement, but I’m unconvinced by the current framing of VR as the future of media. Rather than being an extra feature of an existing media, I think that VR’s potential is to create an entirely new experience: one that is personal, intimate and controllable. Continue reading

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worldNot only are social media changing how we work and interact with customers, you may soon find that some social platforms offer ideal ways to find the best technical resources.  But not necessarily the platforms you would expect…

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