For Immediate Release 96: The crisis that keeps on giving

In the July installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics: A 15-year-old participating in a work experience program took over the Twitter account of the beleaguered Southern Rail in the UK. The response to #AskEddie was undoubtedly a welcome break for Southern Rail’s social media team, but what did it ultimately accomplish? The online publication Quartz experiments with display-type ads in the text of stories that let users ask an artificial intelligence-based chatbot

Nurse at computer

Cyberattack: The lack of serious intent for the NHS is not a role model

One of the lingering impressions I have of the NHS is of an organization that’s cornered the market in laser-printer labels. That’s not to criticise or belittle an incredible public service in the UK that, in my experience, offers outstanding healthcare services at zero or low cost to patients. The provision of care is peerless; it’s how the organization is administered that isn’t. I recall hospital visits and physio sessions a few years ago when I suffered a leg injury

Generation Z vs Millennials: There’s quite a difference

For much of the past decade, Millennials has been the generation that was the comparative one whenever anyone talked about behavioural and other differences between generations in contemporary society. Not only in the cultural and consumer contexts but also in the workplace. It’s fair to say that marketers and brand managers now understand a great deal about that generation in terms of behaviours, expectations, preferences and other consumer indicators. Employers understand much about them in terms of workplace expectations and


How to put AI into cognitive perspective

Among the big topics that will dominate the news in 2017, a prominent one will undoubtedly be artificial intelligence or AI. It’s a huge topic, one that gathered momentum in 2016 to grab our attention and showcase both opportunity and risk with news and opinion often focused on a dystopian future that has plans to eliminate jobs currently done by human beings and replace them with robots. (Or maybe not.) Wherever you look, there’s so much differing opinion on the impact of AI and

Trust: the key to employee advocacy success

One of the most credible research efforts into trust in organizations is the Edelman Trust Barometer, a report published annually since 2000 by the Edelman PR firm. The 2016 report, published in January, surveyed 33,000 people in 28 countries worldwide and provides rich insights from the analysis of respondents’ opinions on a wide range of topics under the broad umbrella term ‘trust.’ You can read the report for detailed information. I referenced this report in a presentation I gave last

HR chatbot

Are chatbots in the workplace the entry point to cognitive personal assistants?

Like robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning, one topic getting a lot of attention at the moment is chatbots. Much of the news and commentary about these relatively simple computer programs have been on the negative side – Microsoft’s Tay, for instance, and the blanket coverage of the conversational meltdown that happened within days of the chatbot’s public trial in March. Not a good pointer to the utility and value of such algorithms! (I noticed, btw, that the Tay URL

3 great reads for this week

Catching up this weekend with news and information in Inoreader, my RSS reader of choice on every device I use, I selected a good dozen or so stories to blog about when time permits. They all join a long list of in-draft posts that, by the time I really do get moments to complete and publish them, the attention opportunities will probably be long past. So I’ll share some of the actual stories directly in this aggregate post that might

Happy Employees

Podcast: The top drivers of employee engagement #IBMConnect

Breakout Session at IBM Connect 2016: Employee Engagement and Social Technology: Driving Success Together: This session will share the top drivers of engagement across industries and around the world. Then social technological approaches to addressing challenges in each of these key areas for business success will be discussed. It is all about driving the business through employee engagement and arming leadership with the right tools to get the job done! Come to learn how business metrics are affected by engagement and


Podcast: How to be social in an anti-social world #IBMConnect

Breakout Session at IBM Connect 2016: How to be Social in an Anti-Social World: Learn how Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company of Arkansas planted the seeds of social within their organization and have gone from a single mindset to reaping the harvest of a social business. Hear from AFB’s Bobby Wood how they overcame the challenges of not wanting to be social and the turn-around to being a truly collaborative enterprise. With their new social intranet introduced to their users,

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