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An Announcement…

For those who are part of the tourism industry you may have seen that Tourism Australia is making some changes.  My role is being made redundant as part of those changes and I will be leaving at the end of June.  Having been there 16 years I am still wondering about what to do next.  Hopefully I can make what comes next as special and as rewarding as it has been working here.

http://www.tourism.australia.com/news/Media-Releases-17952.aspx

TA Announcement

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Categories: General

Achievement Unlocked

23 March, 2013 2 comments

Well, I’m not quite a published author yet… (and frankly that is really unlikely)… but I have done something I set as a goal for myself a year ago. Yay for me!

Here is a link to an iBook I have built (50Mb). It is a review of the Men’s Gold Medal game from the Australian Volleyball League 2012. It has videos and some analysis in there. You will need an iPad with iBooks 2 to read it.

Slide1

I’m sure that this book will have a few errors in it, some things could have been done better…not to mention those who will just ask why.
But I set myself a goal to try and learn about the Apple environment and do some work in it.

And now I have.

Comments, ideas, sharing, congrats etc. all appreciated.

 

Best

Keith

It is our view. Not mine

15 October, 2012 Leave a comment

One person drops a pen – they bend down and pick it up…

2 people drop a pen at the same time – they can have a conversation about a chance meeting…

100 people drop a pen at the same time – its chaos..

“My birth cry will be the sound of every phone on this planet ringing in unison” – Jobe Smith, Lawnmower Man, 1992.

Make sure you drop your pen on time. Get into Blog Action Day (#BAD) on 15th October

Categories: General, Personal

Doing what matters

19 January, 2012 1 comment

You may know lots, something or nothing about the SOPA and PIPA bills working their way through the US legislative process at the moment. You might know something about the range of protests that are happening in various places.

It would be easy to blame on the people who wrote this bad law. It would be even easier to blame the politicians who have allowed this to become a remote possibility.

Yes. I am completely against it, along with many others including Clay Shirky and TED – great talk to help anyone understand why this is such a big deal.

It might be more correct thought, even if a bit harder, to blame ourselves for not expecting and demanding more from our elected officials. Seth Godin is sure putting that idea out there. My favourite one from his list is “Blame the system, the other side and your predecessors for the fact that you are not taking brave, independent action”.
Maybe we should really blame ourselves for not putting ourselves and any views we have out there and then standing by it.

Keith

PS. “High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton

Moving the Goal Posts

16 June, 2011 1 comment

If you have read my blog before – (so that’s 2 of you 😉  & thanks Mum) you know that I made a new year’s resolution to put up a post once a week, and was tracking how I was going.  I have however, fallen behind on this, mostly due to my new side project taking that time away.  So it looks like I will miss the goals I set myself…but that’s ok.

Having goals that are clearly defined helps to give you direction and a gauge of your progress, but at the end of the day, you only have these because you have decided on a particular direction (or strategy).  Making a decision to change that direction isn’t something you do lightly, but neither do you lock yourself into that direction when you have good reasons to change.  Of course changing the goal, means changing how you measure your progress as well…

While I have been on this path for a little while, others have devoted their adult lives to the pursuit of a goal.  Check out this video of a recent graduation speech giving by Conan O’Brien – even if you only watch it because the guy is really funny.  Clearly this is a person who has had a rather public “failure” but also a rather public change in direction, and many would argue success in that new direction.

There is no greater cliché than follow your dream…whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that’s ok.”

Sometimes the absolutely focused and driven approach to the achievement of a specific goal is truly admirable (check out this article about a student walking up to accept their degree – it’s the first time they have been able to walk since their accident).  Sometimes though, we relentlessly pursue a measure without remembering the direction we wanted to head in and why we wanted to go that way in the first place.  There is of course the other side of this problem, where the direction and goals change so often that it seems we are dodging the responsibility and accountability, with good reason or not.

If you have a Key Performance Indicator that you are regularly coming back to (or are brought back to), then maybe you should just do a quick check every now and then of how that direction sits with you.  If it’s still right then that’s great and it can re-affirm why you are working as hard as you are.  But if it’s not right, then you can re-channel your energy for a better outcome.

Keith

PS. “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight” –  Jim Rohn

What I thought you said

Putting together a chart or a graphic that tries to share an insight is one of the most interesting parts of my work.  Perhaps even more interesting though, is working out what people have actually taken away in their heads.

Most all of us have played Chinese whispers, and we totally get that the things we say aren’t always the things people hear.  Sometimes though this isn’t just what we say and how it’s changed. Sometimes it’s what we seem to have implied, even if we didn’t mean to imply anything at all. Watching this whole other set of communication in how graphics communicate information can really stretch your mind.

A really cool way of seeing the impact of something like this is looking at the map of the London underground versus the actual map of London (thanx Infosthetics).  Another way to see an impact is to look at diagram like the one below.  If you saw it as a conceptual diagram then you might not think anything of the relative sizing of groups, but if you saw it as a true Venn diagram where shapes and overlaps represented meaningful relationships, sizes and overlaps your interpretation would be very different.

I try to be aware of what the graphic I build might be saying to someone beyond the thing I am trying to communicate, but generally all doing this does is teach me is that people can be very creative in applying meaning.  There is a movement at hand to to ensure news infographics are based in fact and have some integrity. But how would we even know?

It’s a fun challenge isn’t it 🙂

Keith

PS. “Data isn’t like your kids. You don’t have to pretend to love them equally” – Amanda Cox (New York Times Graphic Editor)

Do you know better?

Just watching the comments fly over at Nathan Yau’s blog, Flowing Data, which follows from a post by a giant in the field, Stephen Few who was commenting on the work of another name in this space David McCandless, it occurs to me that the Web 2.0 ideal of collaborative communities is perhaps further away than some of us think.  Nathan Yau and the Flowing Data community are all interested in doing better work around data visualisation.  Stephen Few and David McCandless are both immensely smart and successful thought leaders.
– So why isn’t the flurry of comments bringing great ideas to improve the delivery of insight through easy to use interfaces?

I like to think that I will (or rather I am always aiming to) consider opposing points of view when working through a problem – Tufte and Few books sit side by side on my bookshelf.  Having a fairly eclectic reading list hopefully helps me consider a range of viewpoints as well. But I know this is something I can always work on.

One of the things I most admire in a leader is someone who knows what their blind spot/ weakness is and who has a consistent strategy in place to ensure that it doesn’t hurt their team’s delivery. I am generally in awe of facilitators who can work with a room of people who are at each other throats but can bring them to a an agreed point of view.  I am always impressed when people can build on the ideas of others and grow them into something great.

The quote that goes with this is a no brainer of course: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

But maybe it’s bigger than that. What if we all need each other to continually build on all of our ideas if we are going to make it. Data visualisation is not world hunger, but maybe the principles of everyone working together bringing success for all is at the core of our very future.

Keith

PS. “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society” – Vince Lombardi

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