Did you know that over 80% of data breaches come from insider threats?

This figure is always the pinnacle of debate in the cyber industry as contradictory statistics circulate on a daily basis but I have never seen it hit the 80% mark, let alone go over it. Deadly combo; attacks are becoming more sophisticated and are companies being ignorant to the challenges they face - ill-prepared to deal with the consequences? I visited the Cyber Security Summit and Expo last week and sat through two talks with software companies who combat cyber threats which can range from accidental issues such as phishing scams to a more malicious attack to purposefully detract information and use it. It was during a speech by Aruba that I heard that 84% of data breaches came from the inside. It was a thought-provoking talk as it opened my eyes to the sheer number of breaches which can happen either accidentally or; more worryingly, internally. This is the fifth event I have visiting in the last two months as I love learning about new technology and exploring the processes that my network are interested in implementing. It’s my role as a Consultant to learn about common issues in the market and provide insight to my network of cyber professionals to try and solve them. But, with this statistic at the forefront of my mind, it is evident that companies need to do more to implement processes and protocol for a potential security breach. I’m keen to hear more about what you currently have in place at your own organisations. What happens if someone receives an email that doesn’t quite look right? Do your team know how to respond? Please do get in touch and let us know how your organisation works to stop insider threats becoming data breaches. 

Event - Diversity is like standing so close to a picture that you can see the brushstrokes

“Diversity is like standing so close to a picture that you can see the brushstrokes. I can get frustrated by the slowness of change but actually if you step back you can see the small but positive progress being made.” – Adrian Edwards, EY.Adrian Edwards was joined by Laure le Douarec and Sayeh Ghanbari this morning at the second of our Focus on Mentoring event series. The thought-leaders helped a room filled with HR professionals to understand reverse-mentoring as a diversity initiative, how it can transform a workplace and how you can get the top down sponsorship you need to make it work.If you would like a copy of our white paper, please follow the link below. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GBMT9XT 

Who is the ideal data scientist?

It’s no secret that technology is a job rich, candidate short marketplace meaning organisations can be left feeling desperate for great people and great people don’t stick around for long.  Despite the high turnover of candidates and the quest to find them in the first place, clients are not holding back on their requirements for the ideal data scientist.  We surveyed our network to investigate what the ideal data scientist looks like and thought it might help you if you are seeking your next adventure or searching for a data scientist but not sure where to start.  Perhaps surprisingly, the ideal data scientist must have a degree in maths, physics or statistics as well as a masters or PHD in Artificial Intelligence. They will also be known to run their own projects, constantly challenge and upskill themselves and own a resume that screams self-improvement.  Do you agree that a desire for self-improvement is the most attractive quality in a data-scientist or will technical ability always prevail? 

What people do you need to deliver a successful Finance Transformation?

We recently hosted a Finance Transformation event which questioned the necessity of a finance qualification in the transformation leader. 74% of our guests said that a leader did not require a finance qualification while attributes such as emotional intelligence, drive and leadership were deemed essential.  When it came to the ideal team - our audience of CFOs, HR Directors and Transformation Leaders were torn with some claiming the Big Four type of consultants were most effective while the collective agreed a blended team of interims, consultants and staff seconded from the business was the ideal breakdown for most programmes.  I think we are all in agreement that a programme needs to have strong finance process knowledge, programme management capability and often systems expertise but what does your ideal team look like?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter and if you would like a copy of our Finance Transformation white paper from the event please do get in touch.

Changing Roles in HR @ MyHRCareer - CIPD Surrey and North Hampshire Branch

“We can’t keep saying the world around us is changing and carry on delivering HR in the same way.” This is one of my favourite quotes and how I chose to open my speech at the Surrey and North Hampshire CIPD event on Saturday. I was invited to deliver a workshop on the changing world of HR and wanted to emphasise to the audience of HR professionals that the world around us is changing which means we need to change our strategy. I asked the delegates to identify the current and future impact on their role and to contemplate how AI, technology and automation has a direct impact on their market. According to Forbes, just 45% of companies in the UK have started to implement basic automation in HR yet PwC claim 74% of the 10,000 employees they surveyed are ready to learn a new skill. For every company not willing to change there are hundreds if not thousands of employees getting ready to find another company who will.  My message is clear, we can’t be scared of change, we need to embrace it if we are to survive in a changing world and retain the professionals needed to make it happen.  

Is High Emotional Intelligence guaranteed to secure you the perfect role?

 Emotional Intelligence is deemed essential for leadership but it seems it’s guaranteed to secure you a new role too.According to the Forbes Business Council, 71% of hiring managers said they value high Emotional Intelligence (EQ) over a high IQ and when asked why, they cited the ability to stay calm under pressure, lead by example and make more thoughtful business decisions.It’s clear how possessing each of the four pillars of Emotional Intelligence; self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation and empathy, makes you an ideal candidate but if you need help in developing your own EQ, Forbes have curated a list of nine simple steps to follow such as paying attention to body language, reflecting on criticism and praising others.Is high Emotional Intelligence guaranteed to secure you the perfect role? You can read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnycouncil/2018/11/13/emotional-intelligence-in-business-and-leadership  

Do you need a finance qualification to run a Finance Transformation?

 We recently brought together a group of 20 CFOs, HRDs and Transformation Leaders and asked them this very question. Perhaps surprisingly, 73% believed that you could run a transformation successfully without being finance qualified but whilst deep finance process knowledge is critical to the success of the programme, this was not seen as important for the leader.Whilst picking the right ERP and having an effective Gantt chart are tools that help you succeed, if you really want to lead a successful transformation, we encourage you to shut down your spreadsheet and go and talk to your people. Be the face of the programme, engage the troops and show them the art of the possible.Do you need a finance qualification to run a Finance Transformation? You can request a copy of our recent white paper here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GBMT9XT 

Book launch: The Wander Woman's Playbook

We had the pleasure of launching The Wander Woman’s Playbook yesterday, written by the incredible Anna Kuusela.More than 20 professional women travelled across London to take part in an interactive workshop with Anna and receive one of the first copies of her book which reached Number 1 Bestseller on Amazon a week before launching. The event was created to help empower professional women and boost confidence in their careers and it was clear our guests left the event feeling empowered, motivated and excited to start this insightful read.Thank you Anna; and to all of our guests, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the book and seeing you all again very soon.

Motivating your most creative employees

Motivating your employees can be a challenging task at the best of times but as individuals turn to self-employment and the creative turn to entrepreneurship, it’s time to engage your employees and encourage them to show their innovative side to drive growth and fend off disruption. The following article offers guidance on how to highlight your creative staff and empower them to turn their creative ideas into innovations. “Reward innovation: You get what you measure, so there’s no point in glorifying creativity and innovation if you then reward people for doing what they are told. Paying lip service to innovation will frustrate your creative employees, who will feel underutilised if you show indifference to their creative ideas and imaginations. Conversely, if you actually incentivise people to come up with new ideas, to think outside the box, and to devote some of their energy to improving existing processes, products, and services, you will notice that even those who are not naturally creative will attempt to do things differently and contribute to innovation." You can read the full article here: https://hbr.org/2018/11/motivating-your-most-creative-employees 

Is a data scientists most important role to make a good PowerPoint presentation?

I wanted to share this HBR article as it features a data-scientist leader from Seattle who argues that communication remains a critical part of data work and that while building and using deep-learning infrastructures are important, neither are as vital as the ‘ability to learn on the fly and communicate to stakeholders.’ I believe that while communication is important, it completely depends on your level of experience. If you work for a data-centric company; as many start-ups today are, communication isn’t going to be the key attribute needed of a tech professional. There will be a CTO or CDO who will be responsible for translating the data-work with the wider business allowing data scientists to focus on their strongpoints. If it’s a massive conglomerate however, it is likely that the company will require a chief data scientist to cement their place in the business and get buy-in from shareholders - this is where communication needs to come back into play. Do you think communication is the most important skill-set of a data scientist? You can read the full article here:https://hbr.org/2018/08/what-data-scientists-really-do-according-to-35-data-scientists   

Career Challenge: Build Stronger Relationships in 15 days

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How do you retain a data scientist?

One of the biggest challenges faced by our senior tech network is how to retain data scientists. We have just published a white paper focused on reverse-mentoring which explores how pairing younger employees with more senior staff can help solve this very problem.We exclusively interviewed a Technology Strategist and Business Development Manager at Microsoft who states that without the reverse-mentoring programme, he wouldn’t have stayed for five years.He said: “It’s a great way to keep millennials in one company and understand what they need. Millennials can often glorify the idea of becoming a leader but not understand what it means – this was a learning experience. It’s hard to retain millennials but only if you focus on the wrong things. Better salaries, better social options and enjoying the company are all huge benefits but they are also tools used to attract talent, not to retain employees.”For exclusive access to the whole interview in our reverse-mentoring white paper, please follow the link below and join the conversation – How do you retain a data scientist? Request your copy

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