Tag Archives: talking outsourcing

Take note, I’m writing for silicon.com now!

It’s true, my Computing blog is still there on the website. But take a closer look. I have not updated it since March 22 this year. All my writing on sourcing, globalisation, and the ‘who moved my job?’ theme is now going into a weekly silicon.com column. So that’s where all my tech services work will be printed.

My social media writing is going into my Computer Weekly SocialITe blog here…

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I’m leaving Computing

I’ve been writing my Talking Outsourcing blog in Computing for four years now. It’s grown into one of the most popular blogs on the magazine and even spawned a book-of-the-blog. Some of you might remember the book launch talk I gave last October where I changed shirt about five times while still speaking. It made a change from the regular talks on outsourcing.
Talking Outsourcing - book cover

But I’ve written over 450 blogs on outsourcing for Computing now and it’s time for a new challenge, so you will soon be able to see me publishing a video (and text) blog on sourcing and globalisation in silicon.com as well as my recently launched SocialITe blog on enterprise social media in Computer Weekly. It’s sad to let the Computing blog go, but it’s time to move on to do something new and possibly a little more visual – that is, if you can cope with my mug on camera.

Take a look here for a comment on video. I will see you commenting on the new blogs soon I hope… or chatting on my Twitter.

Upsetting people by blogging

Blogging is a very direct medium. In my case, I find ideas and stories work better if I can publish them quickly and then take ideas or thoughts from others out there in the online community. This immediacy means I can get ideas and comment out to people within minutes.

For example, I was at IBM this morning listening to a speech by Lord Mandelson and blogging it live as he was speaking. The policy advisor sitting next to me from the department for Business, Innovation, and Skills probably thought I was being incredibly rude by typing during the speech, but these are new times for information. I was getting feedback on the speech before Mandelson had even walked off stage.

However, this immediacy and the fact that this is a written form of communication, means that tone and meaning can sometimes be lost – opinion or humour can be mistaken for flippancy.

I’ve heard it through the grapevine that my last blog entry here, the one about teaching for London South Bank University on Sunday morning, has not gone down too well with some of the university staff. I’ve not heard from anyone directly, but the impression I got was that my blog post was viewed as a very negative perspective on the MBA residential weekend.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

But, let’s have a look at the blog post and see what could be misunderstood?

I said that I had not been able to do a lot of advance planning because I could not access the LSBU team. That’s not a big issue. It’s just that I had wanted to explore some ideas around my presentation, but it’s not as if I need much help preparing to present on a subject I know well. The issues were mainly personal anyway so I’m not complaining here, merely observing that I’d really like to explore some ideas next year with the team. It’s hard as a visiting lecturer – I’m not on campus all that often. Maybe I should pop in for lunch more often.

It was genuinely nice to speak and then to find that the students were keen to keep on asking questions, and several mentioned that they would have liked my talk earlier in the weekend so they could keep talking to me for longer afterwards. I thought that this was a very positive statement. I’m only joking about them all being hungover. Sure, some of them were probably hungover after having a few drinks on Saturday night, but everyone was in there on time and really engaged with my session, and Leslie’s before mine.

The comment on Twitter is just linked to the earlier comment. I’d like to explore some ideas around interactive lectures that can draw ideas from the students or connect them in new ways. I don’t think it’s offensive to suggest an exploration of innovative case studies or student networking.

The final comment was really just a passing joke on the students and their Saturday night party. I was not even there, but I thought the play on the MBA acronym was amusing – I never made this up, I merely passed it on and several people I know got in touch with me to say they thought this was amusing.

I really love my role as a visiting lecturer at LSBU. I’ve been regularly contributing to the MBA and MSc International Management for about six years now. I’m not full time. I visit and do my thing, hopefully offering a view from outside the campus, and I really enjoy being able to meet the students and to interact with them.

Working with post-graduate MBA students is not like working with undergraduates. The students have all worked, and they are mostly giving up time from their career to take the MBA (or trying to cope with studies and work together). They come from all over the world, and they have many different views and opinions that I also learn from and enjoy.

I regularly speak at conferences and events all over the world and at these talks, and in all my books, I always mention that I’m a visiting lecturer at LSBU because it’s something I’m really proud of.

The weekend residential sessions are a really valuable opportunity to focus a lot of time with the students and the staff that I don’t meet all that often. I think the sessions at places like Latimer house are really excellent and benefit both students and staff alike by allowing everyone to escape the regular campus structure for a few days. I usually come and stay on site for these weekends, but this year I had too many deadlines, with a book that needed to be approved for printing. I spent all day Saturday checking and working on this book, so I had to just drive in on Sunday to do my talk and return home again. It was a shame as I missed a lot of the usual weekend interaction, but then it could not be avoided.

I’m sorry if anyone thought my earlier blog post was negative. I thought it was humourous, not negative. But, if anyone doubts my commitment to LSBU then why not take a look at my most recent book cover, Talking Outsourcing. There is a reference to LSBU above the innovation boss of IBM and the IT head of KPMG. Or perhaps, on Who Moved My Job? where LSBU is mentioned above one of the senior writers at BusinessWeek. And also here on the soon to be released Brazilian edition of the same book…

I’m looking forward to getting back into LSBU for my next lecture. Possibly around my new work on enterprise social media… watch this blog for news of my new magazine column and book all around this theme.

Fun and Games at the IT Blog Awards 2009

I was at the Computer Weekly IT Blogs awards on Wednesday night at Shoreditch house. It’s a nice club just outside the City and was overrun by bloggers, geeks, and Twitter users all night. There was even a large screen on the wall displaying TweetDeck and filtered on the hashtag #ITBlogs so anyone talking about the event on Twitter could see their messages appear live on the wall – whether they were actually at the event or not…

It was nice to chat with the new chief editor of Computer Weekly, Bryan Glick. Of course I worked with Bryan when he was editor of Computing, and he only just left so in the past couple of weeks I have seen him at a big awards function for Computing, then Computer Weekly.

I was shortlisted for the best analyst or consultant blog. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but then again I had no real expectations of winning because I never ran a big online campaign asking people to vote for me. I just didn’t have the time as I only found out I was shortlisted quite close to the closing date for voting – I found out because I went to vote and saw my own name on the shortlist!

Still, it’s great to get shortlisted for a national blogging award. It’s certainly a recognition that the approach I take on the Talking Outsourcing blog works for a lot of people. Let’s face it; there are a lot of very dry and boring newsletters and blogs on sourcing. Either they are dominated by contract wins or sales speak. I think my more personal approach to a business blog strikes a chord with a lot of people.

It was fun to meet some people I only know from Twitter – and to recognise them in person from a memory of their profile photo – like Dr Black from Westminster University, and some of the Computer Weekly team. I also got to chat with the marketing team from CapGemini, who I usually only ever talk to on Twitter.

There was a funny moment during the awards presentation. The award for best blog on the environment went to Greenbang. I sent a text immediately after the announcement to Greenbang founder, Dan Ilett asking why he was not at the function. He called me within seconds to explain that he had to attend a family funeral. I was standing next to Bryan Glick so I passed him the phone… the awards were still being handed out and Dan was listening to the editor congratulating him from the event just seconds after he had won. And Dan really couldn’t believe he had won so it was really nice to get him on the phone like that.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me anyway, and especially to whoever nominated me to be featured in the awards in the first place. I didn’t self-nominate so someone out there thinks the blog is worthy at least!

IT Blog Awards 2009

I’m shortlisted in the Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards 2009. The party and presentations take place tonight at Shoreditch house. I’m in the shortlist for my Talking Outsourcing blog in the best analyst or consultant category.

If you are going to be there then please do say hello. If you are not going to be there then say hello on Twitter… if you include the hashtag #ITBlogs in your Twitter messages then they will visible for all to see at the awards party tonight… they have Twitterwalls at the event showing all the online chat about the awards!

So who wants to publish me in India?

The past couple of books I have written ‘Who Moved my Job?’ (Lulu 2008) and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’ (British Computer Society 2008) have both been published under license for South Asia by Viva in Delhi.

Viva took a look at my most recent book – Talking Outsourcing (Lulu 2009) – and said they are not interested in publishing it because they don’t feel it connects to the reader in the same way as the other books I have written.

That’s fine. They have their opinion. Only I think they are wrong.

Here’s why.

I don’t think they understand that this was a book of a blog. This book is drawn from the best of my ‘Talking Outsourcing’ blog in Computing magazine, featuring blog entries from 2006 to 2009. It’s written and presented as a chronological business diary. Everything that’s going on in the world of services globalisation and outsourcing from my point of view over that three year period.

It’s worth pointing out that the British national tech magazine Computer Weekly thought so highly of my blog, they shortlisted it for blog of the year in their IT Blog Awards 2009. The launch event at London South Bank University was also very successful – take a look at the video here.

Clearly there are a lot of people involved in the hi-tech service sector in India and I am sure they would like to see this book.

It highlights the issues, the trends, the failures, and the successes of the past three years in the global hi-tech industry and India gets a fair share of that business.

Sure, it’s a book of a blog and not written with a new narrative focused on a single topic, but that’s part of the idea here. Take the content from the blog and make it work in a different way by putting it all in one place, so it can be quickly skipped through.

If you are a publisher in India and you are interested in the South Asia rights for this book then get in touch with me. I’m planning to be there in February so if you move fast we could do some personal appearances around the launch. You can reach me here…

Vote for me in the Computer Weekly awards!

I’m shortlisted for an award in the annual Computer Weekly blogging awards. It’s for the best analyst or consultant blog, for the Talking Outsourcing blog I write in Computing magazine. It’s nice to see it shortlisted as Computing is the arch-rival of Computer Weekly – and quite appropriately, the editor of Computing leaves the magazine tomorrow to become the new boss at Computer Weekly. Can he get the staff over there to vote for me perhaps?

I hope you might take a moment to consider voting for me at their site here…

Thanks in advance 🙂