Is it OK to Talk to Each Other?


We look at the growth of interest in IQPC Exchange business networking and ask – after years of not talking to anybody, is it now Ok for our corporate leaders to engage with actual people? We report from back from the Chief Data Officer event a few days ago in London.


Absolutely it is. The problem has always been one of habit and even avoidance. Those of you who make corporate decisions have become immune to the deluge of unsolicited emails, and it had bred a culture of avoidance rather than working together.


Yet after decades of difficulty in getting traction, the reality of life has hit home and corporates are now waking up to the fact that talking with people, sharing ideas, saves making mistakes, following wrong paths, and getting faster where you want to be. In short – things have changed.
This is not the first time that the IQPC company have been spreading this gospel; their Exchange programme of events has been running for several years. But our recent visit to the Hurlingham Club and the Chief Data Officer conference for financials – was the first time we have noticed that leading decision makers are not afraid to interact. It is an important milestone.


The Exchange format focuses on a simple reality that bringing people together – vendors with corporates – decision makers with influencers – enables a sharing of experience. It allows corporates to focus on vendors who have something beneficial to say; and it gives vendors a platform to say “hey, we may have something that can help you!”
But that in itself is nothing new. The IQPC secret sauce is the understanding that the location of an Exchange venue, has to have sufficient private areas, gardens where people can take time out, multiple coffee spaces – that can facilitate naturally the sort of intuitive discussion that business leaders need for private communication.


In the three hours that we spent at the CDO event – we had insightful discussions with over a dozen high level directors, vendors and corporates, from all parts of UK and Europe.


For Exchange to work, there has to be a willingness on all sides to want it to work, and the apparent informality belies the work that goes on and preparation from all participants, to share knowledge. But the benefits are clear. We expect to see more of these events in the future.

The Future Shapers. Protecting Your Assets

Information per se is not important. What drives our world, is access to the right information. We interview TheFutureShapers Director, Richard Copland about the growth and need for relevant information in our business.

We have some strange ideas about ownership. You wouldn’t ever consider walking into a supermarket, pick up a bar of chocolate, eat said chocolate, and only pay the girl at the till if you happen to like the chocolate. You would never go to a football game and only pay for the ticket if your team win.

Then again, if you listen to some music and want to buy that song – you wouldn’t think twice about giving some of that price to the composer and artist, would you. Or maybe you would? Yet the storms that greeted the music industry in its protection of musicians rights and copyright, are as of nothing, to the market that is open to the protection of yours and my IP whenever we create and publish a good idea, a new piece of code.

TheFutureShapers publishes relevant and highly insightful Articles, about key markets and industries where technology will make a difference. As an impartial and disinterested hub of knowledge, Futureshapers looks to publish the insight that others miss.

Yet in many ways, TheFutureShapers has transformed from being a high level crystal ball with far sighted reach – to an organisation that has stumbled on a genuine market need that will make it and its investors a fortune. The knowledge that it disseminates, itself has a value greater than merely the access to it, and the people who have created such knowledge should be rewarded.

The Ethereum Smart Contract technology is a blockchain based solution that manages the IP of the ideas and technologies that you create. It gives you ownership and therefore a value, for the work you have put in, the thought processes that you have developed over time.

Like all good ideas, its simplicity has the same financial needs to come to market, as any Start Up. Enlisting the support of you and I to invest financially, fits the modus operandi of being a solution to cater for all.

So far via Crowdcube, the company has raised nearly £50k. Target is £200,000. This puts the company in the public domain as far as proper visibility is concerned.

TheFutureShapers can be viewed by linking direct into the Crowdcube website; https:// http://www.crowdcube.com/companies/the-future-shapers/pitches/qay2mq

AND NOW FOR THE RUSH OF PUBLIC SCRUTINY…

The recent Presentation from John Keyes at the DAMA event #LifeWithGDPR2018 – drew a lot of attention.

We are going to publish the key points in brief – but what is becoming crucial for companies, is to have a rapid and foolproof and automated way – to deal with the requests for private information that are going to flood to all of our corporates that deal with the public.

Recently  launched, is  a relevant solution called ALTADA – http://www.altada.com – which is an eloquent and seamless way to deal with this issue. Please see their website. But here are the key points…

And remember, we haven’t even gone two months yet since GDPR first came into play.

* 169% increase in Weekly “Breach Notifications” since May 25th. Up from Avg 54 per week in 2017, to 145 per week in 4 weeks from May 25th

* 54% increase in weekly “Complaints and Enquiries”

* Upcoming E-Privacy regulation – Direct Marketing will require “consent”. The current perception that some companies have that they may use “Legitimate Interest” as the legal basis for Direct Marketing is unfounded.

* Article 6: “Legal Basis”
The 1st question the DPC ask when a concern is raised: “What is/was the legal basis for processing”

* Article 12: Transparency.
“I havn’t seen a Data Privacy Notice that complies with Article 12 yet”

It will be interesting to see how these stats pan out over the year – It would be great if John and the DPC could publish them regularly on their website….

IF A.I. IS SO IMPORTANT… CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT IT WILL ACTUALLY DO?

We look at some examples of the  new focus in healthcare and ask; really?

The recent announcement of the upcoming HIMSS Impact 2018| Leading Digital Transformation and Big Data in Medicine – conference in Berlin later this year, coincides with an announcement in the uk from the Government, that it is now investing zillions into “AI”, to combat various troublesome diseases.

In theory,  and indeed in reality, a new focus on a different way of  handling patient information, will save time, not necessarily save money, but enable our services to do lots more. And it comes about because there are just too many people, needing too many services. And as one clinical director told me; ‘we can hardly put a new clinic in the hospital car park..”

But  at a time when most Hospitals are still coming to terms about moving from Windows XP, there are three major stumbling blocks, and it is important to spell these out before we all get too excited.

First – if the UK Gov attempts to roll out this Finance in the same way as it has done for previous bjg deals, let’s say such as COGDE or Scan 4 Safety, etc.. then nothing much new will happen at all. Those hospitals that did take up either of the above, have largely  spent money on things they were already doing – so it just became a way of getting finance but not improvement; or they embark on a lengthy process of milestones that alas could have been done cheaper and faster with existing tech in the private sector. 

The result is that those Hospitals that did not make the cut, so to say, have become confused, and do nothing, as opposed to at least try to do “something”. What we have found is that if the management of a hospital wants to advance its healthcare performance, it will do so, regardless of Gov announcements.

Second – AI is not a Hospital process, but a Community process. This means that the data from a patient does not require said patient to come to a clinic or be seen by anybody in a place called a hospital. The data is patient driven and comes from his/her smartphone, his Apple Watch, her Fitbit, etc – without anybody doing anything much. In other words, AI in health is consumer driven,   and there are already plenty of Apps that harness very specialist health data from each and everyone of us, that can already be viewed by our GP or Hospital. The secret to AI health is by increasing patient engagement.

But finally – we need to understand what all this will do to our actual lives. What AI means, is that our diabetes, our heart, our fitness, can be monitored remotely – and we ourselves will take greater ownership of our lifestyle. 

This means that conventional financial models of where money comes from and for what – have to change. The focus will be empowering the community, and paying hospitals to monitor that – rather than get paid only when we physically make a visit.

Because if this does not happen, then health provision will move to pharmacies, etc, who will provide this monitoring for us – and we will pay them money to do so, because it will be immediate and in real time – instead of waiting to see our local GP or clinic appointment.

Which in turn will distance us from the very organisations we already pay money to, to look after us.

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DOES DOING NOTHING – ACTUALLY WORK?

At a time when employers have only recently discovered that offering unpaid internships is bordering on the immoral – we ask; are there times when doing things for free – actually work?

The surprising answer is – actually yes it might. But there have to be clear reasons and clear benefits that you can touch and feel. So, – having started at the end of this piece, let’s go back to the beginning.

The timing of this article is set to coincide with the new wave of young hopefuls who graduate from our universities every year, and who are unprepared for life’s work experience. It’s not to say they themselves have not been working. But this time, we are talking about earning a living. Its a different sort of work, less idealistic, more practical, and it can be where we get our first dose of cynical reality.

This is the launchpad of this article. The lack of experience on the part of our young people leaves them open to accepting “work” that is neither paid nor even useful, and can be seriously demotivating. But it does not have to be like that, and as said above, there are options that make doing things “for free” do work out. So the question is; how do you know?

We have set out a GuideLine that sets out the options, and there are basically three choices:

1. Working as unpaid internment. Absolutely never, on any account, accept this sort of nonsense. The key thing to remember in Life is that you have a value, and not just a spiritual value. Your “employer” is making use of your services, and they are a business, not a charity. Likewise, so are you. Your value is what people are prepared to pay in real money. Disregard, and walk away, from any company that gives the bullshit of “good experience”, “working with your peers”, and so on. We have found at every stage in our business and corporate relationsships, that if a company wants you, they will put money on the table. Please be arrogant, you are worth it.

2. Minimum salary first placement. Yes this can work, as long as you can actually afford to live. This is where both parties accept they are taking a risk – yours is you don’t know if your skills fit the work; and in essence the same for the employer. If the salary means you cannot afford to even rent a place, anywhere – then think again. But on the flip side – be realistic; living with Mum and Dad is not so bad, as a short term solution if it gets you on the ladder of your chosen career or enables you to decide you never wanted that career in the first place. 90% of all graduates quit their first job within the first year of work.

3. Make a clear choice that doing work for nothing for someone – can get you somewhere you want to be, – let’s say industry recognition, or even the dreaded “experience”. But absolutely make sure that this option costs you no money whatsoever. Feel free to give your time, as your investment in the process. Just be clear – you are making an Investment, and there has to be a Return on that Investment.

We at ProfoMedia every now and then write articles to support companies we believe in, for free, because we too gain from a greater good.

But let’s get back to reality. As a rule of thumb, never forget that you and your work are worth something, and that “something” is what pays your food bill every month.

FUTURE OF FINANCE 2018 CONFERENCE

We take a look at the latest IQPC Conference formula and ask – does it work for us?

The man opens the inner door as I and my two colleagues from Portugal – who I have never met before- enter from the outside courtyard.

He is dressed in a Polo shirt, and a bath towel. He has no trousers, and his hair is damp. He has some soft leather sneakers on.

“Are you lost?

Yes of course we are. It is a ten minute walk from the Putney Bridge tube station, past the security barrier and through the immaculate lawns of the Hurlingham Club, and the arboressence of pathways. We are trying to find the Conference.

“Then let me show you a shortcut”.

The man beckons us through, we enter a further courtyard, the man slides into a black 4×4 and we walk up the stone steps into a modern but eloquent glass atrium, which is indeed – where the Conference is.

The Hurlingham Club is as distant as it needs to be. This is no typical Conference mingling among the tourists who are checking out of whatever four star hotel they have found in the city. This is a venue for serious players. The 100 or so Delegates who have found their way here, a sort of crystal maze if you will – are all serious players. Large corporates do not send their key financial execs to this sort of Conference unless they can deliver, and can feel at home on this global stage fo financial business decision makers.

The Future of Finance Conference is three days long. It is a Management Conference, not a Tech event. Sure, the topics discussed inevitably contain technology, but this is no GDPR Roadshow. Life has already moved on. The focus is as much about corporate vision than AI and Robotics. Typically, the 40 minute sessions – and there are many and varied and you pick and choose the ones that work for you etc – focus on Transformation – how to bring your team with you, establishing a culture of improvement – and inevitably, something about Brexit. I could go on. And in between, people mingle and chat in the frequent coffee breaks. Everybody shares anecdotes and business cards.

I had long gone by that time. But it establishes a central truth, that the value in IQPC Conferences is as much in the informal networking amongst peers, as in the more formalised presentations.

My colleagues from Portugal are taking a quick cigarette outside the exit as I make my own way back to the exit. They give a cheerful wave – “see you in Lisbon?” It turns out we both used to work for the same company. The next IQPC Conference will be in Lisbon, and I have been invited.

Will I come?

You bet!!

Conferences – do we need them?

We look at the need to get together and ask – does it work?

Conferences are big business. A casual search for any vertical mix of “meeting point”, be it by topic or geography, could keep you and I continually doing the rounds of expensive hotels and free lunches everyday except weekends, until midway thru 2019 – and we haven’t even got through January some twelve months earlier.

Either the common understanding is that; conferences work. Or we are simply creatures of habit, we go because we always did.

Except that, for many – conferences, and the mini exhibitions that accompany these – deliver very little. Particularly for vendors, who splash out large sums but frequently tell us its a lot of cost for what ultimately does not deliver. And similarly for delegates – why is it that Speakers who should know by now how to communicate their corporate benefits, are so frequently unprepared, whose presentations are just so dull? Is it – to put it another way, there are simply better ways of achieving your goal – be it sales prospecting, market info, meeting your peers – than by jumping on the cattle run.

Then again – judging by the highly competent lists of theoretically highly competent decision-makers that always herald every getting-together – these guys would not do it, if it didn’t work. The answer, is to pick and choose the meetings where a/ you want to be visible; and b/ where the delegates that surround you are actually worth meeting.

And sure, there are the classic industry standard get-togethers, that are like the perennial flowers in my front garden. its the same people, the same format, the same booths, the same visibility. If you are not there, then people “assume” you are not anywhere. I am not talking about these. You can put healthcare, and hospitality into those boxes. There are many more.

The trick is to identify conferences that are addressing an actual market need. Nowhere is this more obvious and important, than in the technology arena. And these conferences too are changing. If 2016/2017 were the years of Big Data, and then GDPR – we are now seeing the more discussion based formulae. These are the meetings that you need to go to, because they deliver original thinking.

It has long been recognised that the real hidden benefit of this level of conference – is the casual networking, the informal discussion. Best among the upcoming conferences is the Future of Finance 2018 Discussion, on Feb 19th in London. Organised by IQPC, this promises to be an innovative forum based event, that brings together the people that can shape the industry, and where you can play a part. Worth registering.

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