7 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor

No matter where your career path takes you, making the journey on your own can be a daunting prospect.  

In an environment as agile and evolutionary as technology, the path to success is always changing, with new updates and innovations happening all the time. Having someone alongside you to help you over the hurdles you’ll face in the pursuit of your ideal career is a powerful way to stay strong, confident, and motivated.  

A great mentor is more than just a leader in the technology space; they’re a source of motivation, drive, and development. Mentors help you to build your connections, expand your mind, and discover new skills. These are the people who never let you settle for just “getting by” at work. With a mentor, you discover your true potential.  

Here are just seven reasons why you need a mentor in your life.  

 

1. Mentors Provide Expertise

Whether you’re a Salesforce superstar or a data analyst in training, we all face challenges on the road to success. One of the best ways to overcome these hiccups is to speak to someone who has been down the same path.  

Mentors have already been where you are now. They’ve made the mistakes you’re concerned about making, and they know how to offer advice that will help you to avoid them. A great, and well-connected mentor might even be familiar with the latest software and tools you’re using in your role, which means they can answer any questions you have.  

 

2. Mentors See Opportunity for Growth

Assessing your skills isn’t easy. It’s difficult to be objective when you’re listing strengths and weaknesses in your CV, which is why so many people have trouble working out where they need to grow.  

Fortunately, a mentor can analyse your potential for you, and spot opportunities for development that you might have missed. For instance, if you’re a marketing employee, your mentor might suggest working on your knowledge of AI and analytics, even if you never considered taking that path with your career. They can see the routes that will lead you to the best results, which makes them a great compass for your professional life.  

 

3. Mentors Motivate You

The road to success isn’t always an easy one to travel. Even the most passionate team members find themselves feeling uninspired at times. For instance, you might make a mistake in your big data career, or struggle to understand blockchain and tell yourself that you’re simply not right for the role you’ve been striving for.  

A mentor won’t try to convince you that you’re ready for a position that you can’t handle. However, they will give you the motivation to keep moving forward when the going gets tough. Mentors remind us that we all make mistakes – often by sharing their own experiences. As Oprah Winfrey told the world: ” A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” 

Sometimes we all need a cheerleader, and a mentor can be that for you.  

 

4. Mentors Challenge You to Go Further

While support is important for any ambitious employee, sometimes what we really need is a little push.  

There are times when it’s tempting to simply sit back and rest on your laurels in a career – particularly when you feel comfortable in your current role. However, a mentor is there to help you see your true potential and push you to reach it.  

Mentors are leaders at heart, which means that they inspire, advise and even challenge you when necessary. They celebrate your successes with you, help you learn from your failures, and remind you that the only way to succeed is to keep pushing forward. This might mean encouraging you to take a new marketing automation course, learn how to use a new HCM system, or apply for a promotion at work.  

5. Mentors Offer Honest Advice

One of the biggest assets of a great mentor is their experience. , They know how to help you overcome the obstacles you will face as you develop your career.  

When you’re unsure which path to take, a mentor can assess all the variables from an unbiased perspective and give you their honest advice. At times when you need to make decisions for yourself, such as whether to take a job in blockchain or continue your career in data analytics, mentors can act as a sounding board as you work through your options.  

 

6. Mentors Make Connections

Another positive side effect of a mentor’s experience in your field is their network. Many of the best mentors have spent years building connections with industry experts and peers that can open doors in your future. 

Sometimes who you know can be just as important as what you know in the technology industry. Mentors can provide access to people in your industry that are willing to invest in you, offer additional training, or even introduce you to new career opportunities.  

 

7. Mentors Prepare you For Change

Currently, the world of technology is in a state of flux thanks to the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution. However, this isn’t the first time that people in this sector have had to deal with change. The tech space has been growing and evolving for decades, which means any mentor you connect with will know first-hand how to deal with transformation.  

A mentor can coach you to cope with the current and impending changes in your space and ensure that you’re always ahead of the curve. Mentors teach you how to build the right connections in your HCM career, take the right training opportunities in big data, and adapt your automation strategies so that you’re always on the cutting edge of the industry.  

 

Thanks  

Lee 

 

About Resource On Demand 

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.  

We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills. 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.  

To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 

Women in Tech: The Top 3 Issues that Women in Tech Face

Despite progress in gender equality in today’s workplace, women still struggle to get the attention and opportunities they need in the technology space.  

Though educational facilities are beginning to take steps to attract females towards STEM classes, the technology sector continues to suffer from a severe gender imbalance. While women have equal skills to their male counterparts, only 5% of the leadership positions in the tech industry are held by women.  

Today, social movements are driving more positive action in the technology space, helping women to overcome the bias and the difficulties that have held them back in the past. However, there’s still work to be done.  

 

The Top 3 Issues that Women in Tech Face 

 

 

Only 17% of the people working in tech in the UK are female and, some of the most common problems include: 

1. Recruitment Bias

Some hiring managers still struggle to overcome unconscious feelings of bias towards women in tech. If a previous CRM employee was a 40-year-old male, certain managers might search for a similar person to fill the gap that he left. Though inequality is being addressed in the modern workforce, statistics indicate that women working in IT see higher levels of gender inequality than most. 

2. Fear of Not Fitting In

Company culture is a common selling point for today’s tech candidates. Everyone wants to work in an environment where they know they’re going to feel comfortable. Unfortunately, women in male-dominated fields like technology can find it difficult to feel “included” as part of the team. Sometimes, this is a result of poor cultural practices in the workforce. IT businesses need to find a way to make all of their team members feel included, regardless of their gender.  

3. Lack of Support

Many female IT employees don’t feel as though they have the full support of their managers and coworkers. Long-held attitudes about women in technology can make it difficult for some women to feel respected at work. Today’s employers need to take the needs of female employees into account when they’re diversifying their team.  

 

What Can Companies Do to Reduce the Gender Gap? 

 

 

Research reveals that, when given the opportunity, women excel in technology roles. The Kauffman Foundation found that technology organisations led by women get a 35% higher return on investment than firms led by men.  

A greater focus on diversity in the workplace is helping to drive more female empowerment in the IT sector. However, it’s clear that we need to do more to encourage more inclusion for women in the tech industry, and true change requires a commitment to diversity at every stage of the hiring process.  

 

1. Start with The Right Recruitment Strategy

Leaders searching for the right tech talent need to put diversity at the head of their strategy.  

Consider all candidates when filling positions, regardless of their age, gender, background or race. Whether you’re hiring for a Salesforce position, or a CRM management role, work with your specialist recruitment company to make the position as attractive as possible to everyone.  

This could mean: 

  • Bringing more women into the interview stage or choosing a broader selection of people to talk to.
     
  • Using blind recruitment where gender and age are removed from CVs; a fascinating fact for you; did you know that when orchestras hold blind auditions, it increases women’s chances of advancing to the final round by 50 %?  
  • Using gender-neutral language in job descriptions (remove masculine words like “dominate”, “ninja”) 

  

2. Implement the Right Leadership

A culture of diversity and equality can only stick if the leaders in your technology team embrace its implementation.

CEOs, managers, and other people that your team members look towards every day for inspiration need to show their commitment to treating people from all backgrounds with the same respect and giving them the same opportunities.  

It also means that leaders must be trained to give recognition and rewards based on performance, not personal preference.  

 

3. Make Technology More Appealing

 

 

Finally, companies from every background need to make technology roles more attractive to women. More of today’s candidates in the tech space want to feel as though their work is making a difference. Letting people know how their work in your blockchain technology will contribute to a more secure financial environment makes your position more exciting.  

Other ways to make your positions more exciting for women include: 

  • Offering remote working or flexible scheduling options
     
  • Providing opportunities for training and professional growth
     
  • Mentoring women in the areas of technology they feel less comfortable with
     
  • Offering equal pay and benefits between men and women  

 

Thanks 

Theresa 

 

About Resource On Demand 

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.  

We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills. 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.  

Growth Mindset: The Hidden Secret to Your Technology Career Success

Success for someone in the technology sector requires many different things.  

Ambitious tech candidates need agility, the ability to adapt to new technologies and methodologies, to get ahead on the path to the ideal career.  

However, while skills and experience are crucial in everything from Salesforce positions, to blockchain management, there is one additional element you’ll need to accomplish your goals. Without the right mindset, you’ll struggle to find the drive, motivation, and grit you need to overcome both personal and professional obstacles.  

A growth mindset is the key to unlocking your true potential.  

 

The Power of Thought: What is a Growth Mindset? 

 

 

The concept of the “growth” mindset was first established by Professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University. 

Following years of study into student behaviour, Dweck and her team discovered that certain attitudes pre-empt specific outcomes for learners. Dweck’s research suggested that the people who believed they were going to fail or allowed themselves to be derailed by academic setbacks were the ones that struggled to accomplish their goals.  

Carol Dweck’s work shows that there’s a connection between what you do, and what you believe. Those with a “fixed” mindset are stuck in place, unable to develop and expand, while those with a “growth” mindset can build on their experiences and uncover new opportunities.  

So, what’s the difference? 

 

Separating the Fixed Mindset from the “Growth” Mindset 

Dweck’s research indicates that a person with a fixed mindset believes that people simply have certain talents, or they don’t. In other words, a fixed-mindset employee may approach blockchain, find it complicated, and tell themselves that they “weren’t meant” to work with that type of technology. People with fixed mindsets believe that they’re limited to the skills they were given by some ‘higher power’.  

Alternatively, someone with a growth mindset places no restrictions on themselves. They believe that no-one is given a certain set of skills, and the only way to achieve your goals is through hard work. Following the example above, if a person with a growth mindset struggled to understand blockchain, they would ask themselves why this was the case, and create a strategy to overcome their challenge, for instance, they might: 

  • Look for training opportunities to expand their knowledge  
  • Ask for help from mentors or peers
     
  • Assess their skillsets and determine whether there are gaps in their talent
     
  • Look for opportunities to learn from previous mistakes
     

Someone with a growth mindset believes that growth is always possible. So, how can someone transform their fixed approach into one that facilitates personal and professional development? 

 

1. Embrace Your Curiosity

 

 

The technology landscape is always changing. However, we’re lucky enough to live in a time where knowledge about this industry is always available. Someone with a growth mindset doesn’t let a lack of understanding hold them back. Instead, they search for opportunities to fill their skills gap and take the next step in their career.  

For instance, someone with a fixed mindset might panic when AI-infused marketing systems and automated tools are introduced to the business. They may say “I can’t use AI,” or “I don’t understand this technology.”  

Someone with a growth mindset, on the other hand, would acknowledge their skills gap, then find ways to overcome it. 

People with growth mindsets aren’t afraid of change; they approach it with curiosity and excitement. 

 

2. Set Ambitious Goals and Challenge Yourself

People with a fixed mindset believe that you’re born with natural abilities. If these people don’t accomplish something effortlessly, they think that they’re just not meant to do it. People with growth mindsets believe the opposite; they know that they must work hard to achieve success.  

Tech stars with a growth mindset don’t strive to out-do their peers. Instead, they challenge themselves by competing against their past selves. They set the bar high and realise that failure is something they don’t need to be afraid of. This makes people with growth mindsets great leaders in technology 

After all, a good leader is also willing to take risks and learn from their mistakes on the path to success. Learning a new digital marketing skill or exploring a new avenue in your Salesforce career won’t always lead to the results you expect. However, if you have a growth mindset, you won’t let setbacks hold you back.  

With a growth mindset, you learn that one bad outcome doesn’t define your ability or potential. Instead, failure gives you more opportunities to learn and grow. That’s why NASA looks for astronauts who have bounced back from failure, according to Carol Dweck, instead of choosing those with histories of “pure success.”  

 

3. Welcome Feedback and Opportunities to Learn

 

 

Finally, embracing a growth mindset means understanding that there’s always a new opportunity to learn. People with growth mindsets know that knowledge is crucial to their success, but intelligence is something they must work for.  

Compare your skill set to your career plan and figure out where you need to go to reach your goals. A growth mindset will push you into pursuing the next stage of your development, even when your motivation is low. People with growth mindsets are also happy to accept feedback and use it as a compass to dictate where they need to develop their skills.  

Some companies actively encourage this quest for education and self-discovery. For instance, Microsoft runs an annual hackathon that gives employees the chance to develop leadership skills and new talents outside of their day job. Someone with a growth mindset would embrace this opportunity for new training.  

 Adopting a growth mindset means knowing that you have the potential to achieve your professional goals. All you need to do is work for them.  

 

Thanks  

Lee 

 

About Resource On Demand 

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.  

We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills. 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.  

How to Close Your Data Skills Gap

We’re facing an era of digital transformation.  

New technology enters the marketplace in a constant stream of innovation. Whether it’s software for your marketing team, or hardware for your IT group, new advances are driving the demand for tech talent.  

Data analytics is one area where the skills pool is running increasingly dry. According to a report by Marketing Week, 24.4% of marketers consider digital dexterity to be their biggest skills gap. Yet, at the same time, data analysis has emerged as one of the most critical skills in the modern workforce.  

The question for hiring managers is how to bridge this cavern between supply and demand.  

 

1. Implement the Right Leadership

 

 

The first step in filling the data skills gap is recognising that a new kind of team is necessary. Agility is critical in the current environment, at a time when technology is moving at record speed. In some industries, 29% of team members already feel their skills are redundant.  

Responding to change means implementing cultural and leadership strategies that promote growth in the workplace. This means working with recruitment departments to hire adaptable leaders in technology who embrace growth. 

 

2. Make Data Positions More Attractive

As digital experts and graduates continue to explore new data skills, the companies that thrive will be the ones who make their roles as attractive as possible. This means demonstrating that that there is a viable career path available for individuals that join your team. There are multiple ways to make positions more appealing. For instance: 

  • Highlight the importance of data in your job descriptions: Show how your candidates will impact your bottom line with statistics, tell them who they’ll be working with, and the critical tasks they’ll be doing each day.  
  • Show paths for development: Indicate that there’s a way forward with your business in the data field. Show opportunities for promotion, and personal development through access to data networking events and training sessions.  
  • Offer opportunities to use cutting-edge platforms: Name the tools your employees use in your job descriptions or give people a chance to test them during the interview process.  

  

 

3. Prioritise Team-Building Over Individual Recruitment

As everything from AI, to IoT, continues to change the state of marketing and business as we know it, it may be tough to find a single staff member who can provide all the skills you need. Even with the help of a specialist recruitment team, you may need to spread your requirements out across multiple members in a team, rather than looking for a single unicorn.  

Focusing on a diverse selection of individuals that you can bring together and empower may be the easiest way to transform your business. Diversity in hiring provides access to a broader set of skills from people with different backgrounds, and it also leads to more creative problem solving and planning in your company too.  

A diverse selection of people who supplement each other’s skills makes it easier to adapt to the rapid changes in the technology sector, as some employees will naturally be more predisposed to certain developments than others. One member of staff might instantly pick up on automation tools, while another adapts well to CRM technology updates.  

 

4. Inspire and Educate

 

 

Finally, one issue that organisations may face in this data-driven world is the presence of marketing departments that use data, but don’t fully understand it. There are plenty of resources available to help with collecting and storing data, but your employees need to know how to take full advantage of the information they receive.  

Proper training and education are the difference between sending personalised emails to customers and dishing out messages with awkward “Hello [your name]” introductions. According to a Barclays study, 47% of UK businesses say they would increase productivity through digital skills training, but those companies still aren’t investing enough in education.  

Better training strategies lead to stronger results from your marketing.  

While there will always be new technology arriving in the field, the most competitive firms are the ones that access the skill to stay ahead of the curve.  

 

Thanks  

Lee 

What Makes a Great Leader in Technology?

Leaders are an important part of any business.  

The right leadership inspires your employees, keeps everyone moving in the right direction and ensures that you’re equipped to overcome common challenges.  

While all leaders have challenges to face, from dealing with office conflict to supporting an ever-growing selection of different generations in the workforce, IT leaders face a unique range of issues. In the technology space, modern leaders must move at an increasingly rapid pace, evolving to suit new marketplace trends, while maintaining accuracy, reliability and high levels of performance.  

 

Why Tech Leadership Is Different  

 

 

The pace at which today’s technology landscape is changing means that leaders will always have new challenges to deal with when managing their teams.  

IT managers need to support a diverse range of staff members. Some of those people will be willing to embrace the latest software and hardware as it emerges, others will need additional training, or may prefer to specialise in specific areas.  

Additionally, succeeding in the technology sector doesn’t mean grabbing every new trend as it appears. Technology leaders need to be able to understand and evaluate each new opportunity as it relates to their business. For instance, they may need to decide whether their marketing team is ready for AI, or the sales team can benefit from automation.  

Just some of the pressures IT leaders face include: 

  • Installing new technology according to ever-changing compliance and regulatory issues
     
  • Dealing with the rapid rate and pace of change
     
  • The pressure to explore new concepts yet simultaneously reduce cost every year
     
  • The need to innovate without alienating employees are causing turnover
     
  • Dealing with legacy systems alongside new technology 

So, which characteristics prepare a tech leader to deal with these complex challenges? 

 

1. Confidence and Decisiveness 

 

 

As technology continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace, today’s tech leaders cannot afford to procrastinate over important business decisions.  

While some choices need to be assessed carefully, a good tech leader must assess issues quickly, and respond both quickly and decisively to problems. In other words, today’s IT leaders need to be agile 

Not only will the IT managers in your company be able to make good decisions quickly on behalf of the business, but they’ll also be confident enough to stick by their choices. These people can explain the reasons for their decisions in a clear and concise manner, linking processes back to the goals of the organisation.  

 

2. The Ability to Innovate and Inspire 

Technology employees are naturally passionate people. IT leaders are the people that lead the way towards an innovative company culture, building on the existing love that staff members have for their sector and encouraging them to accomplish new things.  

As thrilling as the fast-moving pace of technology can be, it’s also stressful for some. The right leadership needs to be in place to continue inspiring employees when things get tough. Leaders are willing to take risks, try new things, and remind their team that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes.  

 

3. An Empowering and Collaborative Nature 

Think about some of the biggest tech leaders in the world – Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or even Mark Zuckerberg. The reason that these people were successful in their roles is that they know how to empower others and work well as part of a team.  

Though great leaders can act independently, they also know how to drive progress as part of a team, giving their staff the support, tools, and guidance, they need to succeed. Top technology leaders will constantly seek out ways to remove the barriers to performance and accelerate the pace of projects so that teams can see results fast.  

 

4. Great Communication Skills 

 

 

All leaders need strong communication skills. However, IT leaders must be particularly proficient at getting their message across in a range of different languages.  

A tech manager needs to be able to discuss concepts with their high-performing staff members using the jargon and industry terms that they’re used to. At the same time, these same leaders need to find a way to explain ideas to people outside of their team using plain English.  

Powerful tech leaders are fluent both in the language of business and the language of technology, which makes them a fantastic point of contact for everyone in the company.  

 

5. Willingness to Learn and Grow 

Tech leaders are under constant pressure to evolve. Like all managers, they have fires to put out and deadlines to deal with. However, at the same time, they also need to make sure that they’re setting their company up for success dealing with current trends and industry changes. 

Professional development and constant growth are the only ways for a tech leader to make sure they don’t get left behind in this fast-paced environment. These managers are constantly looking for new ways to expand both their business skills and their technology knowledge.  

Unlike other leaders who can simply keep their head down and focus on solving problems that arise in an organisation, there’s always something new to discover for a tech leader.  

Are You Ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

If you’ve noticed the rapid pace of transformation in the technology sector recently, you’re not alone. The introduction of new concepts like IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence is transforming the way businesses operate for good. In fact, this progress has prompted something called the “fourth industrial revolution.”  

The fourth industrial revolution is characterised by a new selection of skills and technologies that fuse the digital and physical worlds together.  

According to experts, this revolution will have an impact on all economies and industries. The question is, are you ready for the change?  

 

Defining the Fourth Industrial Revolution  

 

 

We’ve seen several revolutions during human history.  

In the past, steam, electric, and even digital revolutions have liberated humans, empowering us to accomplish, create and explore new things. For instance, just as the steam revolution took us away from animal-powered tools, the digital revolution gave us a new way to communicate.  

The fourth industrial revolution is a concept outlined by Professor Klaus Straub, and it highlights the fact that we’re moving into a world where reality and digital reality are increasingly connected.  

The fourth industrial revolution changes everything; from the way we work to the people we hire. For instance, companies are now looking for AI experts, digital analysts and CRM experts that didn’t exist five years ago.  

 

Are Leaders Prepared for “Industry 4.0”?  

While most companies already recognise the looming presence of the fourth industrial revolution, or “industry 4.0”, many aren’t prepared to handle it. In fact, one study by Deloitte found that only 14% of CXOs feel confident in their ability to embrace this new environment.  

The Deloitte study also highlights that although 57% of respondents placed developing products and business practices at the top of their priority list, companies still don’t know how to use digital technology in creating new business models.  

A new era of technology and automation is sure to transform everything we do. For instance, digital marketers are already exploring the potential of working alongside artificial intelligence to deliver greater business results.  

 

How to Prepare for The Fourth Industrial Revolution  

 

 

As daunting as the concept of a new business environment can be, companies in the technology sector, as well as many other industries engaged with tech will need a plan to immerse themselves in the future.  

One way to prepare for Industry 4.0 is to reskill workers and hire new experts capable of dealing with a growing range of technology innovations. Agile leaders, for instance, can push employees towards greater accomplishments with everything from IoT, to financial tech.  

Other ways that companies can prepare for the revolution include: 

 

1. Creating Customised Training Materials

The training strategies used to prepare leadership in the past no longer fit into Industry 4.0. Businesses who want to be on the cutting edge of transformation will need to adjust their educational and development strategies to suit the needs of their employees.  

This means not only analysing which new pieces of technology they’ll bring into the organisation but figuring out which staff members need which forms of education.  

2. Embracing a Growth Mindset  

Many businesses will also need to change the way that they approach technology innovations. As the world we live in continues to transform, a growth mindset can make your company culture more successful.  

The growth mindset aligns with agile business practices, by reminding people that it’s okay to make mistakes in the pursuit of innovation. A growth mindset treats every failure as an opportunity to learn, and encourages innovators to act quickly, and overcome problems fast.  

3. Promote Diversity 

 

 

A world of disruption requires insights and agility from various perspectives. One of the easiest ways to make sure that you’re ready for the future and industry 4.0, is to work alongside your recruitment agency to hire a diverse selection of talent.  

Employees from a selection of different backgrounds will be able to offer more creative ideas on how to deal with the challenges that the fourth industrial revolution may present. As well as working closely with their hiring team, companies will also need to make sure that they’re offering the right benefits, remuneration and development opportunities to appeal to a diverse workforce.  

 

4. Explore New Values

Finally, the fourth industrial revolution gives modern companies a great opportunity to re-think their business processes and explore new values. For instance, this might mean giving employees the opportunity to work remotely or choose their own schedule. On the other hand, it may mean that technology leaders begin to concentrate more on the results of projects, than the techniques that are used to achieve those results.  

Industry 4.0 will be a complicated issue for any firm to come to terms with. The good news is that the passionate and disruptive nature of the technology sector means that IT companies are on the front line of this new revolution.  

5 Myths About Blockchain and Why It’s the Future

Blockchain is one of the biggest buzzwords in the tech and finance industries today.  

Just as machines and AI begin to transform digital marketing, blockchain transforms the way we think about storing data.  

Otherwise known as “distributed ledger” technology, the blockchain provides a way to securely record digital interactions. The nature of the blockchain can be difficult to understand, but it’s intended to be auditable, efficient and transparent – ready to create new business models.  

Blockchain technology is still in its earliest stages, with widespread adoption still a long way off. The first step for any company considering blockchain is to separate the fact from the myths surrounding this new idea.  

 

Myth 1: Blockchain is Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) 

 

 

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are currently better-known than the underlying technology that supports them. While Bitcoin and similar currencies often use blockchain technology, they aren’t the same thing. However, the media attention directed towards Bitcoin has led to some confusion in this area.  

Bitcoin uses the blockchain to make transparent, electronic payments possible. It provides an alternative to using a bank to make digital transactions by recording transactions in “blocks” on a distributed ledger. However, cryptocurrencies are far from the only technology associated with blockchain.  

While Bitcoin may generate much of the attention that the blockchain sees today, the underlying ledger can tackle numerous problems within the digital world. Outside the financial sector, blockchain has roots in real estate, healthcare, and identity creation. 

 

Myth 2: There’s Only One Blockchain  

The confusion around Blockchain’s relationship to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has also prompted many people to believe that there’s only one blockchain in existence. However, “blockchain” is the name of an overarching technology concept. A blockchain can come in many different formats, to closed and open-source chains, to private and public.  

Most blockchains are supported by cryptocurrencies, and they are all distributed using a consensus mechanism. This means that when someone wants to add or remove a block from the chain, everyone involved with that chain must agree to it.  

Though all block chains have a similar design, there are many different types, using countless forms of new technology.  

 

Myth 3: Blockchain is Immutable  

 

 

In an agile tech environment, companies want innovations that are reliable and scalable.  

One of the most attractive features of blockchain is the idea that it’s “immutable,” or impossible to change. However, the immutability of the blockchain is another myth. There are two ways that someone can make changes to a blockchain.  

First of all, the chain can be recomputed to a point before a specific event occurred. This issue has happened in the past during the early days of Bitcoin.  

Another alternative is to fork the blockchain, which preserves the original chain, before allowing it to move in a new direction. For instance, an Ethereum fork emerged to deal with the DAO disaster that led to the theft of around $79.6 million in cryptocurrency.  

Permissioned blockchains are also much easier to change than public blockchains. This means that individual business chains are more open to adjustment.  

 

Myth 4: The Blockchain is an Unbreakable Cloud Database 

When most people imagine a blockchain, they imagine some ever-growing entity in the cloud. However, as today’s tech stars know, the blockchain is actually a much flatter concept than this.  

A blockchain is simply a list of transaction records. The idea is that entries in the list will never be deleted. Instead, the chain constantly grows as more transactions or digital interactions take place. Unlike a standard cloud database, blockchains don’t allow for the storage of physical information.  

The blockchain can only provide “proof of existence.” This means that your ledger can contain a code that shows a document exists, but it doesn’t include the document itself.  

Additionally, blockchain isn’t as secure as people assume. While the blockchain is a highly secure concept, many organisations believe that it can never be hacked or altered. The truth is that blockchain technology can only provide a way of seeing the changes made to records. Blockchains can’t necessarily stop unauthorised alterations from taking place.

 

Myth 5: Blockchain Will Change the World  

 

 

Finally, the code making up blockchain technology is a powerful and innovative concept. However, that doesn’t mean that blockchains are capable of anything.  

The blockchain is simply a digital entity that focuses on mathematics, rather than adhering to government authorities. Though many people believe that the blockchain will play a part in our future, it’s potential is limited.  

For instance, the transparency of transactions made on a blockchain is often touted as a key benefit. However, transparency isn’t always as beneficial as it seems. For enterprises, the presence of digital transparency means more confidentiality, scale, and privacy issues for developers to solve 

Additionally, until we make significant progress in the potential of blockchain, the technology remains inefficient in many use cases, when compared to using traditional ledgers.  

4 Reasons Why Big Data Is Important

“Big Data” is a term describing a large chunk of raw data gathered, stored and analysed by your organisation.  

The concept of big data has been around for decades. Even before anyone had a term for it, businesses used basic spreadsheets, feedback forms, and graphs to track customer insights and trends. The only difference today is that we finally have the right tools and tech stars to tap into the benefits of big data.  

With the right data management and analytics systems in place, companies can gather seemingly unstructured information and translate it into actionable insights.  

The History of Big Data 

 

 

While the term “big data” is still quite new, we’ve been dealing with data sets ever since the 60s and 70s. Since the days the first data centres were created, companies have been exploring spreadsheets and basic analytics to make informed decisions about the future.  

Around 2005, when social media started to grow in popularity, people began to realise just how much data we generate every day. In fact, our current data output is currently 2.5 quintillion bytes every day.  

The information available online today can potentially provide useful insights about your market and customer. In the past, companies needed to use long and expensive processes to sort through that information manually. Today, machine learning and data analytics tools make it easier to access business insights almost instantly.  

To better understand the importance of big data, let’s look at how today’s organisations are using it to drive success.  

 

1. Answering Important Customer Questions

The answers to all your most pressing business questions exist within the right data sets. Using big data and analytics, companies can learn: 

  • What customers want 
  • Where they’re missing out on conversions 
  • Who their best customers are 
  • Why people choose different products 

 

Every day, your organisation gathers more useful insights into your sales and marketing questions, so you can begin to adjust and optimise your campaigns. The more you learn about your customers, the more competitive your company becomes.  

For instance, the U.S. company Target uses data analytics to predict customer pregnancies, to help them better offer promotions to their customers. You can even use big data combined with artificial intelligence to create marketing strategies based on predictions about your customer. 

For instance, if you use big data to learn that your customers are more likely to up-sell at certain times in the month, you can send lead nurturing emails to prompt those conversions.  

 

2. Making Confident Decisions

 

 

All companies need to make complex decisions as they grow.  

Big data can help you to make those choices with confidence, based on an in-depth analysis of what you know about your marketplace, industry, and customers.  

One of the biggest benefits of big data is its accuracy. Big data analytics gives you a complete overview of everything you’ve learned so far as you’ve developed your organisation. This means that you don’t have to guess whether you should launch a new marketing campaign or try a new product. Instead, you can look back over the information you have, and make focused decisions designed to generate the highest possible ROI.  

Add machine learning and AI to the mix, and your big data collections can form neural networks that help your artificial intelligence to suggest positive changes for your company.  

 

3. Optimising and Understanding Business Processes

Knowledge is power. That concept is at the heart of big data analytics.  

Big data technologies like cloud computing and machine learning help you to stay ahead of the curve by identifying inefficiencies and opportunities in your company practices.  

For instance, your big data analytics can tell you that your email marketing strategy is working, but your social media profiles aren’t reaching the right people. On the other hand, if you use big data internally, you can find out which parts of your company culture are having the right impact, and which may be causing a turnover.  

Using existing evidence to make quick decisions ensure that you spend more of your budget on the things that are helping your business grow, and less on strategies that don’t work.  

For instance, one area that is seeing a lot of growth with big data analytics is supply chain optimisation. Geographic sensors can track goods and delivery vehicles and optimise routes by providing live data and traffic information. 

 

4. Empowering the Next Generation

 

 

Finally, as a new generation of technology leaders enter the marketplace, big data delivers the agility and innovation top-tier talent needs from their employer.  

For instance, millennials are natural technology natives. The younger people in your team will expect access to technology that allows them to make useful decisions rapidly. By constantly collecting and analysing information, you can create an agile culture that’s ready to evolve to suit the latest trends.  

In the past, limited data sets, poor analytics processes and a lack of the right skill meant that businesses could only access a small amount of the information available to them. Now, companies can not only answer critical questions faster but empower their teams to accomplish more with the information they collect.  

Agile Leadership: How Agile Are Your Tech Leaders?

Leaders have specific skills that help them to stand out in almost any environment.  

Your technology leaders might have exceptional organisational abilities and initiative. Your marketing stars may be creative, and ready to take risks. However, no matter what kind of leadership hire you’re looking for, today’s experts often agree that “agility” should be a key feature in your job specs.  

According to research, agility, and the ability to adapt quickly in complex situations delivers the best employees. After all, in a fast-moving environment, what could be better than someone who knows how to pivot to avoid conflict and predict upcoming trends. An agile and flexible leader can recover from failure, embrace innovation and direct a team towards success.  

The question is, how accurately do you detect agility in your teams?
 

What Makes an Agile Leader?  

 

 

Agile leaders possess soft skills that allow them to stay calm under pressure and rise to a range of challenges. Studies by Cornell and the Columbia University Teaching college suggest that leaders who test high for agility perform better when helping companies to grow their bottom lines.  

With the help of a specialist recruitment team and a competency-based interview, it’s possible to uncover a hire’s ability to respond to agile situations. Here are just some of the things your business can look out for.  

1. The Ability to Innovate

In an ever-changing environment like the technology industry, creativity is critical for a good leader. Agile employees know when to challenge the status quo. They provide alternative perspectives on complex topics because they can look at an issue from various angles at once.  

For instance, digital marketplace leader Amazon can credit much of its success to their CEO, Jeff Bezos. To improve customer experience and push the customer satisfaction levels achieved by his company to the next level, Jeff pushed Amazon to invest in everything from drones that deliver products within 2 hours, to fuel-cell manufacturers.   

Agile leaders understand the goals of their organisation and look for creative ways to reach those targets.  

 

2. High Performance in the Face of Challenges

 

 

Agile leaders are crucial staff members to have around during a crisis. They know how to observe the data available to them and use their insights to come up with new and creative solutions. Because they’re not afraid or restricted by the idea of failure, these stars are free to pull out all the stops for their employers.  

For instance, when Tesla decided to sell high-end, technology-savvy cars to the public, Elon Musk knew that he had to innovate quickly to stay ahead of the competition. Fortunately, because he had the foresight to recognise upcoming trends in the industry, Musk was able to start installing innovative semi-autonomous systems into his cars before other firms ever had the chance to explore things like AI and machine learning.  

Tesla’s leader didn’t see high levels of competition and evolution as a challenge. Instead, he embraced the nature of the automotive sector and used the pressure of the space to drive innovation.
 

 

3. Willingness to Take Risks

Another cruicial feature to look for in your tech talent is a willingness to take measured risks. After all, the most significant pioneers in the world today didn’t get to where they are now without facing a few risks along the way. Agile leaders know when to venture into new territory and try unfamiliar things. They volunteer for ideas where failure is a possibility and stretch themselves outside of their comfort zones.  

Facebook is a great example of a company with a leader who takes risks. One of the most innovative companies in the world, Facebook generates billions in revenue each year, and it would never have done this unless Mark Zuckerberg had found a way to monetise his platform without compromising user experience.  

The company frequently rolls out new ad formats, introduces new features like 360 videos, and implements new strategies to continue raising revenue without losing customers. All of this innovation requires constant agility and the ability to take risks.  

 

4. The Ability to Reflect on Experience

 

 

Finally, an agile leader is an insightful individual with a creative mind. They’re not someone who’s stuck in their ways or unable to respond well to criticism. Many hiring managers already know that the best employees often seek out new experiences and use them as learning opportunities.  

An agile leader looks for feedback and criticism to fuel their growth. In fact, in a Harvard Business Review piece by J.P Flaum and Becky Winkler, the authors say that self-awareness is the highest predictor of C-Suite role success.  

Agile leaders are continually growing and evolving. They’re not defensive or resistant to insights from their peers. Instead, they take the comments given to them and use them to adapt their strategy and improve their understanding of the situations they face.  

 

Thanks  

Lee 

 

About Resource On Demand  

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.  

We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills. 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.  

To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 

Is Your Leadership Development Strategy Fit for the Next Generation of Technology Leaders?

Every year, companies across the globe spend billions on leadership development.  

Yet, despite all this work, 1 in 3 employees still don’t trust their employer.  

The problem here is that the methods we use to transform everyday people into leaders might be outdated. As the Harvard Business Review’s “State of Leadership” report from 2016 suggests, only 7% of companies think their programs are “best in class.” This means that development strategies aren’t relevant or strategic enough to support the next generation of tech talent.  

 

Why Today’s Leadership Development Doesn’t Work 

As the modern workplace becomes more innovative, tech companies are facing a range of new challenges. Digital marketers are embracing AI, while Salesforce consultants look into the importance of big data for customer management. It’s safe to say that everyone is moving towards a more “agile” existence.  

Unfortunately, the methods available for developing leaders today haven’t caught up with these agile practices yet. Instead, companies are still offering their hires traditional education in the form of classroom-taught lessons and clinically-styled training. This removes leaders from the experiential and relevant experiences that would develop their emotional intelligence 

With the disconnect between the development leadership needs, and the training your employees get causing so many problems, the question is, what would work better? How do you support the next generation of tech leaders? 

Here are some suggestions to deploy. 

1. Make Education Experiential

 

 

Learning the theory behind a skill is excellent, but it’s not the same as putting that skill into action. One of the problems that many leadership development programs suffer from is that their training environments aren’t applicable to a leader’s everyday environment. Without a link between lessons and real-world situations, it’s hard for developing managers to fully embrace new skills.  

Make sure your tech talent has the resources, technology, and environment they need during their training sessions to automatically transfer the methodologies they learn into their day-to-day job. Experiential learning strategies encourage “learning by doing.”  

If your software testing manager is going to be working with new marketing software every day, allow them to use it on the same computer they have in the office. If your Salesforce advisor will be developing strategies with a team, bring those other employees into the training too.  

 

2. Support Different Types of Learning

Another problem with leadership development strategies is that they frequently focus on one kind of content. Unfortunately, learners come in many different types, including visual learners, kinaesthetic learners, auditory learners, and reading or writing learners.  

Supporting your leadership hires means providing them with the learning solution they need to make the most out of the education they’re getting. For instance, if you’re working with an auditory learner, you might need to describe how a new piece of software or hardware functions in a face-to-face mentoring environment. On the other hand, a visual learner might prefer the same information in an infographic.  

 

 

Discuss educational options with your star performers in advance, so you can set up lessons that suit the way they absorb information.  

 

3. Create Content Relevant to Development Needs

Just as every potential leader learns differently, they also have unique skills that they need to work on too. Not everyone in your organisation will have the same strengths and weaknesses. For instance, some leaders may need help building their communication skills, while others need more assistance with technical talents.  

Unfortunately, many development programs have inflexible plans for lessons, which force students to sit through the same lessons. A training strategy that isn’t tailor-made can sometimes lead to disengagement. If someone isn’t interested and engaged in a lesson, they might find it harder to retain the information they get.  

When placing someone into a leadership program, assess their needs beforehand and sign them up for programs customised to their strengths and weaknesses.  

 

4. Focus on Continuous Development

 

 

Finally, it’s worth approaching leadership development like a fitness strategy. Helping your employees get into shape means constantly working towards their goals. A few training sessions per year doesn’t lead to lasting results, but constant support and education creates an innovative, and driven leader.  

After identifying your leadership candidates, sit down in an interview with your hires to discuss their needs and nurture them. This keeps employees from feeling like they’re not making progress, and it leads to faster development.  

It may also be helpful to look at the leadership skills your organisation would benefit most from. That way, you can choose a strategy that aligns your business goals, to the ambitions of your leadership hires.  

 

Thanks  

Lee 

 

About Resource On Demand  

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.  

We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills. 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.  

To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769