My mistake and gender equality

I feel ashamed. I made an embarrassing mistake. I will do my best to have it never happen again.

A few weeks ago I got thinking about events at which I speak. I thought about the unbalance of male vs female speakers. In our industry, it’s common that some events don’t even include one female speaker. It’s so seriously awkward for many reasons:

  • While the IT-industry is unbalanced to begin with, at least 30% are women. In some companies, such as in our Norwegian subsidiary, it’s even 50%. So, there is no reason related to number of women in the industry to have events with zero women speaking.
  • Regardless of what personal characteristic is important to be successful in IT (mathematics, creativity, social skills, etc), there are no gender differences, only personal differences. So, there is no reason related to characteristics to have events with zero women speaking.
  • Because of the unbalance in the industry, especially when it comes to leadership positions, there are actually real reasons to have MORE women than men speaking, to even out these unfair odds.
  • Given the current unbalance, we can know for a fact that poorly performing male speakers are blocking really smart female speakers from sharing insights and experiences.

I concluded that I need to do something, regardless of my limited reach and power. I decided to make it a rule that I won’t speak anywhere unless there is at least a clear ambition to reach a 50/50 ratio. I decided that I would write a post on this decision. A literal minute later, the event organizer IDG (Webbdagarna), tweeted that they will ensure a gender equal lineup moving forward. That tweet made me pause the idea of my own blog post. It would look like an opportunistic timing and nobody would really believe that I had actually made up my mind about this before IDG’s announcement.

Just a few of days later, that same event organizer tweeted a question, asking for suggestions of good speakers for an upcoming event. Can you guess my response? Here it is…

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Five suggestions. All male. And I am officially stupid. It dawned on me a few days ago what I had done and I felt I had to think it through and publicly apologize. So here it goes: I am sincerely sorry. I feel ashamed for real. Moving forward I will:

  • make sure to only speak on events that have an ambition to have a balanced number of women speakers always suggest women speakers first (this means that I will turn down speaking if there are only male speakers)
  • in my daily job as a leader in my company, always clearly point out unbalance and work towards addressing it (one of the internal meetings I participated in recently had only male participants and it made me cringe, next time I’ll be seriously and openly questioning the planning at such a meeting)
  • … in terms of mentoring young professionals, I will prioritize my energy on female IT-specialists (and while I can see how this part of my post can be misinterpreted, I think you agree that we can’t let fears like that be in the way of making sure we encourage and build the best talent regardless of gender)

And finally, six suggestions for great and inspiring female speakers at future events include Therese Reuterswärd, Kajsa Dahlberg, Susanna Laurin, Annelie Gullström, Jennifer Belissent, and Laura Koetzle.

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Video: Relevancy, immediacy and reach

We just entered into “The You Era” and companies need to be obsessed by each customer’s individual needs and wants. Omnichannel solutions (apps, responsive webs, IoT, etc) need to be designed highly contextualized in order to maximize value. Relevancy, immediacy and reach are key characteristics.

Check out this video where I discuss digital solutions success criteria.

Continue Reading · 2 · Categories: Digital, Omnichannel, Video

Mobile moments drive digital

“What should we focus on? Mobile? Omnichannel? Web? Or perhaps Internet of Things?”

The question was raised in the last few weeks in my meetings with several insurance companies and banks in Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK. I’ll give my view in a few short bullets.

  • Your digital strategy needs to address customer engagement (external), operational processes (internal), and business model transformation.
  • SMACT needs to be injected into your products and services: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Things (IoT).
  • An omnichannel view is critical. It’s both physical and digital.
  • Size of screen is never a basis for strategic level solutioning. Assume you need to support them all (as well as Things without screens).
  • Users need and want access to your products and services on mobile devices, and the best solutions drive relevancy from context (location, past behavior, transactions, etc) and are best modeled using “Mobile moments”.
  • “Mobile moments” is a modeling approach designed by Forrester Research and if you want to go deep, the book’s name is “The Mobile Mindshift”. The key idea is identifying that particular moment/place in time when/where the user needs and wants, and then optimize the feature set around that moment/place. In many ways, “mobile moments” drive the digital solutioning agenda today.
  • Assume that it’s just a microsecond from the “mobile moment” until it hits the company’s processes, people, and platforms. Therefore, you can’t really separate external solutions from internal. They are always connected to each other.

So, there you have some of the pieces of the digital puzzle.

 

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Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: digitaltransformation, Mobile, mobilemoments

Innovation @ Home

Digital revolution is not the result of new tools. It’s driven by a fundamentally changed information behavior. Always connected, always moving around in a digitally contextually enriched augmented reality, always present in two different worlds – the physical and digital. We’re taking the tools for granted, it’s not about them.

It’s about the behavior the new tools enable. See below. I couldn’t resist but pull out some screenshots from various “Internet of Things”- and “connected home”-related sites. Look beyond the tool. In your mind, connect what you see with your location, your interests, your friends, your insurance, your bank… and see digital hitting home and hitting business. Buckle up.

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Airlines, apps, and entertainment

I recently visited Microsoft in Seattle and want to share what I noticed on my way going there and back. I shot some photos and videos of the digital touchpoints and digital marketing offered by United Airline and Alaska Airlines. Mobile, apps, social media, and modern inflight entertainment… Check out the photos and video below.

Inflight entertainment. You pay $8 for your own personal tablet filled with movies, music, and games.

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Watching the Hobbit. Check out the napkin. All covered with digital touchpoints marketing.

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… and on the other side of the napkin: social media engagement.

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By the United Airlines gate: marketing of their apps.

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The latest folder about connecting to Wi-Fi and their personal device entertainment.

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… and not just Alaska Airlines uses their napkins to market their digital services, so does United.

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Airlines, Apps, Mobile