The power of ‘black hat’ thinking

If you’ve worked anywhere near technology over the last 10-15 years you will probably be slightly wary of the phrase “black hat”. For those in tech, ‘black hat’ typically has negative connotations as it’s usually associated with devious hackers who can hack into systems to steal your personal data, or with clever search engine optimisers who can game rankings to drive additional web traffic. But that’s not where ‘black hat’ comes from.

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Life’s a pitch: 10 ways to run an effective tendering process

Over the years cxpartners has been involved in plenty of competitive pitches and tendering processes. We’ve learned the hard way that not all tender processes are created equal and, try as we might, some of the clients and projects to which we thought we were best suited we’ve ended up not winning. And sometimes vice versa. Here’s ten ways in which we think clients can improve tender processes to achieve better outcomes…

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Is user experience really expensive?

While the market for user experience consulting has continued to grow over the last five years, some organisations are only taking their first steps in prioritising investment in professional user experience consultancy.

And it’s often these organisations who need it most – charities with internal disputes about their brand and what to publish online; small businesses who have a world of opportunity at their feet but apparently no money or time to grasp the nettle; local authorities who struggle to separate internal needs from user needs, and therefore navigating and reading their content is frustrating.

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Dedicated to being different: the #responsiveorg

Today I spent most of my time in a *space* in London talking about change.

Sounds horrid doesn’t it? But truly this – alongside moving house recently – has been the most transformative day of this year for me, and probably many years before it.

Why? Like a 1960s happening it would be hard to explain if you weren’t there. But in a nutshell:

1. Like minded people came to an event in London in their own time to share ideas about changing how they do work, how their organisations did work, and fundamentally who they are and who their colleagues are as individuals.

2. An unconference was held, where the attendees of the event defined the agenda and facilitated discussions about their chosen topics. Unlike your usual conference, there were no rock stars. The connections I made, the challenges that were laid before me without prejudice, and the conversations I was party to were the memorable moments.

3. Everyone was friendly, intelligent, creative, articulate and willing to share experiences. Sometimes even saying hello can feel difficult when you’re at work. The level of openness I experienced was unprecedented for me outside of some of my closest relationships. And these people were all strangers when I arrived.

4. I ducked out at 10pm, when the conversation had covered sex with robots, how teenagers are taught about anal on YouTube, and how we are in the middle of a New Renaissance. These topics aren’t typical of my usual Saturday evening.

The purpose and true substance of the event will be covered elsewhere, and no doubt extensively. But these are the reflections of someone who has experienced the #responsiveorg movement for the first time, first hand. Now all that remains is for me to work out what to do with all of this new input. And for that alone, I thank everyone involved. Salute!