Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It is generally accepted that small businesses are the growth engine of any economy, but how are they coping during a pandemic? A recent report from Cisco examined the digital maturity of small businesses across eight countries (the UK, the US, Germany, France, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Chile). It looked at their readiness to adopt new technologies, the impact of technology on growth, and the challenges and opportunities they had experienced. Some insights that stood out for me:

1.COVID-19 has accelerated digitisation in small businesses — Over 70% of the businesses surveyed said that they were digitising faster as a…


Photo by Elliott Stallion on Unsplash

Tactical voting is not new — not in the UK, and not elsewhere. In UK parliamentary elections, voters are generally aware of which candidate in their constituency has the best chance of beating the government candidate. They are often prepared to ‘hold their noses’ and vote for a party that is not their first choice, for the sake of beating a party that they really do not want to see in government.

Tactical voting is simple — but only if the voting system is too

That is easy in a first-past-the-post system. You just look at the share of the vote in the last election, and work out which party was second. Suppose…


David Ogilvy, co-founder of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mathers, is the mentor I never got to meet. His book Ogilvy on Advertising is a classic, as much for its inherent readability as the pragmatism and sense of his thinking. In a world where advertising budgets are increasingly tight, it may be surprising to learn how many of Ogilvy’s points still resonate. In my world of coaching thought leaders to be more effective, it is stunningly relevant.

Photo by Maciej Pienczewski on Unsplash

Advertising is designed to sell, not to be admired for its beauty When Aeschines spoke they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes…


Gamification is the use of games to encourage particular behaviours, such as an app that gives points for healthy activities. It has been around a while, but in a fairly low-key way. However, 2018 may be the year in which gamification hits the mainstream. Digital transformation requires a change in mindset, and gamification could be a way to achieve that. Here are a few observations if you are considering introducing this element to your own programmes.

Gamification is NOT about making games — Instead, it is about using some of the ideas behind games to make working more fun, and…


One of the phrases often heard in management meetings is ‘run with the ball’. Sometimes this is in the sense of ‘pick up the ball and run’, or ‘continue a process that someone else has started’, which may perhaps be from rugby. There, the ball quite often ends up on the ground, but still in play, and someone needs to pick it up and carry on the move.

More often, though, the phrase is used as an alternative to the idea of passing, which probably draws on American football. There, the two main tactics available are to run the ball…


Some artists’ work is instantly recognisable: Andy Warhol’s prints, for example. Or Van Gogh’s swirling use of paint and line, whether painting sunflowers or a landscape. Picasso’s amazing way of painting faces. You could see a picture by any one of those artists and immediately know who it was by.

Why is this? It is certainly not because every picture by each of those artists is the same. Far from it. The subject matter is, on the face of it, diverse. But there is a thread of consistency running through each artist’s work, both in terms of technique and to…


Image credit: Heidi Sandstrom

Retail is a huge employment sector, especially in the developed world. The retail sector is coming under increasing pressure from digital disruption, with consequent impact on how we live and work. I recently caught up with Erich Hugo, founder and director at BAS ITG, to discuss the future of retailing, resulting design implications and how both will affect us all.

What does consumer experience really mean from a design perspective?

Consumer experience is becoming key to survival in retail, largely because of digitalisation. Digital platforms are a great equaliser, by which I mean that companies cannot rely on their products…


In all the excitement about Fintech, blockchain and newer disruptions, it is easy to dismiss the growing impact of social channels in finance. The immediacy and associated ‘bubble’ tendencies have both been discussed at length in response to recent world events including Brexit and the US presidential elections. However, lesser attention has been given to the relentless way in which social media changes customer (and employee) sentiment and preferences. Here are some of my favourite examples of how financial services players have integrated social into their business:

Customer service

Banks have been using social channels to help them provide banking…

Puni Rajah

Trusted adviser to thought leaders. Industry analyst, consultant and coach. #IoT #designthinking #storytelling

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store