The chief executive of the Building & Engineering Services Association likes to hoard data and confesses to being an app junkie
What is your favourite website?
It would be strange if I didn’t say that my favourite website is www.b-es.org. Since our name change we have been working hard to make this a useful source of information for all those involved in the building and engineering services sector. Over the coming months we will be seriously increasing our social media presence and I am pleased to say we have recruited a staff member who has really enhanced our capability in that area.
What is your worst digital habit?
I would have to say my worst digital habit is hoarding data! It does not matter if it is a recent email or something I produced years ago,I can usually stumble across it. The problem is over the years I have changed my archiving habits and so although I know I must have it somewhere I usually end up ploughing through a load of rewritable DVDs to find it. Probably would be quicker to start again, or have the courage to accept that once its gone it’s gone, but memory is getting cheaper by the day!
iPhone/Blackberry/Android. Which side are you on?
If I’m honest I don’t rate my iPhone as a great business tool, he said typing on his iPad (please note I don’t use a laptop PC). iPhones don’t emulate outlook in the way the windows mobile devices can and really appart from emails and making calls what more should we be looking for from a device that is less than the size of a large box of matches. I tried a Blackberry and just didn’t get on with it and Android came too late - I had already spent a fortune on iTunes apps! As I write this I am looking at an advert on the underground for the new HTC. The major selling points are endless but nowhere does it say it makes great calls!
Are you into social networking? (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook etc)
I used to use Twitter when I was at CIPHE as a vehicle to signpost web content more that to tell people what I had just eaten for breakfast or how long I had to queue at Heathrow, now I leave that sort of thing to Joan Collins. I do still see blogging as a useful tool to give people a quick insight into what is happening at B&ES and to test the water with regards to the direction we are going and the opinion we are seeking to form. The B&ES LinkedIn pages are growing in popularity and I personally use my own LinkedIn account to make contact with industry people from across the whole supply chain as I believe this is the way we need to go if we are going to respond to the changes in this sector.
Are you on Twitter? If so who do you recommend to follow?
I think I need to revisit the Twitter scene as I got into it at the start and stopped just as it was beginning to have some impact. I have been saying recently that immediately is the new slow and if that is true then Twitter may just give B&ES the opportunity say things “just in time”. Of course the risk is that one ends up saying the wrong thing but the alternative is to fall into the trap of only saying the “me too” comment.
What is your favourite app?
The problem with trying to find the one app that is my favourite is I have to admit to being a bit of an app junkie. That said I have just created a strategic development plan for B&ES using a great app called StratPad. While it will not do the thinking for you it does take you logically through a thought process so that you can create a graphical representation of the plan together with supporting narrative and financials. I was able to share it with the staff as it produces everything in PDF format and even includes a gantt chart to project manage the whole thing. It’s a bit sad the answer wasn’t something like Angry Birds I suppose.
What is your preferred means of communication? (eg. Email, phone, face to face, text etc)
I don’t think you can beat face to face, but I have been using video conferencing more recently which includes Skype and FaceTime. I am not a great one for sending lots of emails as a substitute for a phone call and really can’t stand it when the world and it’s wife get cc’d into correspondence. Like most people I probably tend to press the Send button too quickly if something has made me angry but am learning to put those emails in the draft folder for a while before redrafting them and usually picking up the phone. I often need to remind people that cc’ing me into an email is not an indication that I have taken on board what the content is. If you want to communicate with me then send it to me you wouldn’t shout something in a crowded room and just assume that the person you wanted to get the message has heard it.
What did you last buy online?
My last online purchase was a baby monitor from Amazon for a friend of ours who are expecting in July. I am a regular online shopper and am increasingly surprised to hear salespeople in shops tell customers that they do not have the item in stock but try buying it online. Will shops eventually just be website signposting outlets?