Do you know the difference between 4G and 5G?

I didn’t, until yesterday when I attended the Government ICT Conference to see how the Government is transforming itself through technology.  I was fascinated by a particular talk given by Cradlepoint which explored the simple yet sheer difference between 4 and 5G and explained it to the audience in seconds. Using Wembley Stadium as an example. Anyone who has visited will share the pain of trying to snap up a signal but; apparently, it has the highest speed in London. Stood alone in the arena you would have the quickest internet speed imaginable but shared with 90,000 spectators, you’ll be lucky to get a bar. 5G however is an endpoint to endpoint connection meaning it isn’t distributed amongst whoever might be sharing the connection with you. Whether you’re stood alone or next to 89,999 others – you will have incredible signal. Vodafone and EE are both trialling 5G with the hope of introducing it by 2020 and while EE has started its experiment in the condensed areas of Manchester and London, Vodafone is trialling the tool in rural areas to ensure they can both achieve blanket coverage. While the Telecoms industry look for the next technology milestone, other companies are looking to improve the current offering by finding ‘not-spots’ for 4G and fixing them.  Cradlepoint used the Metropolitan Police as an example of how 4G can be improved by using the analogy of a person in trouble. If you were underground and needed to contact the emergency services – you couldn’t so the company are ensuring 4G is built in the corners of the UK where people need it the most. On the other side of the spectrum – Police forces are becoming increasingly remote and reliant on 4G meaning our safety is truly dependent on signal. Are you fascinated by the move to 5G?

Is career diversity just as important as any other type of diversity?

We speak about diversity every day be it racial, inter-generational, gender or ability, but how often do we speak about career diversity? How often do we discuss the setbacks that professionals face due to their lack of industry sector-experience on their quest for career diversity? How often do you explore the benefits career diversity can bring to your organisation? How often do you take the time to interview an out-of-the-box candidate only to realise they are truly phenomenal? The answer to all three? Not anywhere near enough. The same challenge has been presenting itself to my network for such a long time now that I am surprised we haven’t moved on with the times. The most exceptional professionals are being turned away from their perfect roles; and roles they would be perfect for, all due to a lack of sector-experience but does it truly matter? People are versatile, the concept of accounting remains the same throughout and different experiences bring fresh perspectives whether those experiences relate to gender, cultural, inter-generational or career diversity. I am in the process of exploring the very reasons why companies are clinging onto sector experience and present the stories of the people who show it’s a thing of the past. All of my findings will be presented in my insight paper focused on career diversity but I’d like to hear from you. Is career diversity just as important as any other type of diversity? If you would like to receive a copy of the insight paper once published please do get in touch.


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What should a Data Scientist do to get noticed?

I have been exploring the idea of the Ideal Data Scientist and have surveyed more than 1,000 people in my network to see; in their eyes, what they think that person might look like. I meet with organisations daily who are all on a quest to improve their technology offering and find their very own version of the perfect Data Scientist but with each presenting a completely unique picture of who that might be, I'm definitely questioning if the ideal Data Scientist even exists. Some require a professional with a PhD and further post-doctorate while others prefer a person without a degree or commercial experience but while the requirements change massively in terms of education and social behaviour, I was keen to explore what they believed a Data Scientist should do to stand out from the crowd. The answer predominantly lays within upskilling with 83% of respondents stating the ideal Data Scientist must train themselves in how to use new programmes, software or learning. A further 46% expect professionals to speak at relevant events and another 44% claim they should contribute to content or white papers.   Others believe the perfect professional uses their knowledge for the greater good by educating their colleagues on the data products they develop to promote awareness, usage and future responsibility while some expect them to be expert in relevant social media accounts. While I am starting to paint a picture of who the ideal Data Scientist might be, I’d like to hear from you and find out what you think they should do to stand out from the crowd.  So, what should a Data Scientist do to get noticed? Join the conversation and request a copy of our insight paper focused on the future of Data Science.

Finance Transformation - How to lead an exceptional team

We explored the questions surrounding Finance Transformation at the first of our Focus on Finance event series at the Gherkin in November - We then created an insight paper to explore the debates had on the day in more detail. CFOs, Finance Transformation Leaders and HR Directors joined forces over breakfast to discuss whether transformation requires a person with a finance qualification, if career diversity is more important than a niche specialism and how to drive change in the workplace. The morning was led by Ed Harding, a CXO, author and coach who has spent 12 years working an interim portfolio of COO, CEO and CFO positions. Ed has four pillars of experience which are finance, technology, business change and financial services and believes that career diversity is a vital attribute to any leader of finance transformation.  Ed noted that despite starting out in the working world as a chartered accountant, he saw that as a passport to other things. Whilst a qualification is important, the ability to engage with the rest of the business has been critical to his success. A room filled with senior finance and HR professionals was naturally filled with debate, opinion and thought-provoking insight into industry but the key debates surrounded the definition of the term ‘lead’ and how you may not require a finance qualification to be a programme director but to lead a transformation, you just might. The audience also discussed what they termed, the ‘halo effect’ - how you must first get buy-in from the c-suite and watch it filter down and above all, avoid talking about finance during the change, cost or headcount reduction and instead speak about maximising efficiencies and freeing up the time of the business to up-skill a team. It’s all about framing the idea and empowering your team. The opinions and insight shared at our event has been used in an exclusive white paper focused on finance transformation. If you would like a copy of this paper please follow the link below. Request a copy

Should you hire a Permanent or Interim Project Manager?

An uncertain climate, political instability and a desire to change the status quo are driving organisations to hire Interim Project Managers but are they the only contender? Interim Project Managers are delivery focused – they are introduced into the organisation with a clear time frame and defined set of deliverables, there is less downtime and they shy away from office politics. Their value is questioned every day, even down to the number of hours they have worked and from a company perspective, there is fluidity in budgets meaning if the programme changes direction, the contractor is disposable. Interims are more disruptive; in a good way, they work autonomously and bring outside expertise and influence that allows you to constantly re-imagine your direction as a company but; equally, the draw to permanent expertise is still pulling companies in as they enjoy retaining internal talent and moving their staff into new roles. While an Interim Project Manager offers a heads-down, productive and swift solution, Permanent Project Managers can provide equal value. They have more invested relationships with stakeholders, understand the organisational structure and have an insight into how the business operates. If the organisation wants to keep hold of the intellectual property this is often the only way to do it. While Interims are often specialists in one subject matter, Permanent Project Managers also have transferable skill-sets and are open to take on more responsibility from a manager’s perspective. Both types of Project Manager can lead your organisation through a transformation with incredible results but it’s simply a case of, who do you prefer? Join the debate – Are you more inclined to hire a Permanent or Interim Project Manager and why?

Has the millennial focus changed?

With just over a year until millennials form 50% of the workforce, companies are ramping up their recruitment efforts to attract and retain the cohort’s top talent but with the most spoken about generation interested in working for technology firms, start-ups and not much in between, SMEs and FMCG companies are struggling. But, are businesses out of touch and resistant to the millennial take-over or has the focus of the millennial worker shifted? When we think millennial, we think about the fads that have tarnished their generation. Instagram, vegan food, expensive coffee, unaffordable housing and trendy offices; but, is this what millennials think too? Millennials are no longer interested in playing ping-pong in the kitchen, having organic treats delivered to the office or wearing jeans to work.  Millennials want to be a part of a step-change. They want to be involved in decision-making for a company that’s exciting with an element of risk and on the cutting edge. They have also invested their efforts into working towards a green way of living but while the focus of millennials has shifted from materialistic to environmental have companies followed suit? I’d like to hear from you. Has the millennial focus changed and do organisations need to do more to attract and retain a new type of conscious millennial? 

Does choosing your clients carefully help you to retain talent?

Edinburgh is on its way to becoming an overpopulated marketplace with digital marketing agencies popping up daily, established firms fighting for a shrinking pool of talent and candidates seeking work in other cities for the chance to work with exciting new clients.   I decided it was time to find out exactly what candidates look for in their ideal employer in the hope to relay the message back to my clients and help them attract; but most-importantly, retain talent. According to the marketing professionals surveyed, salary isn’t everything. 73% said the most important factor when considering a future employer was the work life balance it offered followed by training opportunities, being involved in decision-making, access to leadership and the types of client they will work with. More than a third of those surveyed said the type of client they work with was most important consideration and 64% said it was fairly important - Not one person said this was overlooked in their decision-making process. When asked to categorise this ideal client, three-quarters of marketing professionals showed a preference for SMEs while one in five believe that corporate organisations are the best to work with - questioning if you should be choosing your clients carefully in a bid to keep hold of your workforce.  To receive a copy of my insight paper which offers further insight into the mind of a marketing professional, please get in touch and join the conversation – should you be choosing your clients carefully to help you to retain talent?

Going Green and Meaning it: Attracting the Top Strategy Talent for FMCG

Start-up, Technology, Social impact. Three of the major drivers modern strategy professionals list on their quest for the dream Industry role out of consulting. There are fewer sectors that struggle with these demands more than FMCG. The capital investment required to start your own Consumer Goods business beyond an artisan experience is significant, and beyond a lean, agile operating model receptive to innovation there’s not a lot your average corporate giant can do about being a start-up.  This leaves us with Tech, and the tricky idea of an innate Goodness to fall back on. Beyond the jokes about electric shampoo bottles and a panda saved for every 10 packs of gum, there are very real things going on within the Industry to get excited about.  James Quincey’s promise that Coca-Cola will recycle the equivalent of every plastic bottle by 2030, announced one year ago this week, is setting oneself a herculean task. 110 billion one-use plastic bottles a year is a lot of bottles. It’s exactly 110 billion bottles.  How do you do that? From a giant ocean hoover, to a continental bottle collection scheme, to finding a de-composable alternative to plastic altogether, the company are exploring a myriad of solutions who’s fate will all be entwined with the feasibility and ingenuity of the technology and organisation underneath it. If they achieve that 2030 goal it will be a massive achievement that will surely set industry leading templates for other companies, governments and organisations to follow. So green, yes. (Nobody’s rooting against them.) Technology, yes. (It’s impossible for the image of the hoover – a saltwater Nessie gobbling up our sins like the dog when you’ve spilt the cereal – not to be your favourite). But, Will they manage it? Is it possible? How?  Surely, that, is what strategy is all about.  I’d like to hear from you. Do you think becoming more technology-focused and boasting a social impact will help you attract more strategy professionals? 

Stanton House Welcomes Kieron Morgan

Kieron Morgan joins Stanton House today having spent more than a decade working within the Information Security Recruitment space.  Based in our new Liverpool Street office, Kieron joins our growing Cyber Security Team to focus on Security Architecture, Blockchain, Forensics and Cyber Defence.  Manager of Cyber Security, Ryan Surry, said: “I am really excited about Kieron joining Stanton House as he brings with him a wealth of experience from working across Cyber Security, Network Security, Infrastructure and Emerging Technologies for more than a decade. With his work ethic and customer-focused approach, I am sure he will be massively successful and look forward to seeing him thrive.”  You can congratulate Kieron by connecting with him on LinkedIn. 

A Week In Content - 15th January

Take a look at what our consultants have been discussing this week... Finance Transformation: How do you measure success?“Our guests agreed that to create a successful Finance Transformation you must outline how best to measure success, identify your key metrics and explore how they align with your strategy but there remains no standardised or straight-forward method of measuring success and I'd like to find out how you tackle this.”  - Josh White Does the ideal Data Scientist exist and where should we sit them?“This has made me wonder if the turnover of Data Science professionals is really linked to where they sit in a company. If we were allowing them to sit on a desk where they will learn, develop and progress as a tech professional will they be more inclined to stay on board? Are we stunting their growth by sitting them next to people they will never technically learn from?.” – Alex Walsh The Scottish Labour Market is outperforming the UK but is it a good thing for small and medium enterprises?“International giants are moving to Scotland in a bid to capture the country’s top talent but while it’s boosting the books, SMEs are struggling to attract existing technology professionals who are interested in working for techy start-ups, corporate giants and not much in-between.” – Izzy Brown Who is the ideal CISO and is their route to c-suite changing?“CISOs are now expected to address the board and have a relationship with the CEO, discuss whole business issues, be personable, approachable and an all-round communicator but with a new level of sophistication and a heap of responsibility, are we narrowing down the profile of the ideal CISO?” – Ryan Surry To read more of our insightful content visit our Blog.

The Scottish Labour Market is Outperforming the UK but is it a good thing for SMEs?

International giants are moving to Scotland in a bid to capture the country’s top talent but while it’s boosting the books, SMEs are struggling to attract existing technology professionals who are interested in working for techy start-ups, corporate giants and not much in-between. Barclays recently announced plans to create up to 2,500 jobs at its new Glasgow Tech Hub and it’s just one of hundreds of companies moving into Scotland with a core focus on technology and recruiting local talent. Temporary staff billings and the number of permanent staff appointments may have risen during December 2018 but with marked growth in staff demand, SMEs are being left with a shrinking talent pool, withering away by the day. The question remains, how do SMEs compete? We asked technology professionals what attracts them to a company in a bid to help my network hold onto the top technology talent and perhaps surprisingly, salary isn’t everything. 73% of technology professionals in Scotland said the work life balance was most important followed by training opportunities, being involved in decision-making, access to leadership and; if necessary, the types of clients they work with. Ironically, three-quarters of people said they preferred working with an SME client than a corporate or start-up. My advice to my SME network in Scotland is to not feel overpowered by the conglomerates moving into Scotland as technology professionals care less about salary and more about enjoying their work, having room for self-development and being involved in decision-making processes - which arguably, is more of a plausible reality within a smaller company. I’d like to hear from anyone working within the technology space. Are you worried about competing with the corporates?  

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