Never too old to learn

Sometimes it feels like I have been doing this job for years. In fact I have been trying to lead CyberNorth for five years but it often feels as if I have been doing the same job since I started work in the last millenium. Of course I have worked for many different organisations and in many different circumstances yet I am still trying to organise, push things along against the backdrop of some grandiose vision. I realise that I am not the same person I was back in the day. I have much more knowledge and much more experience, if these are two seperate things.

It is never too late to learn though. Your development is never ending and this has been shown to me once again during #CyberFest. We are only a few events in yet I have two or three things to take away. The first is around marketing, an area I profess to have no natural talent, even though one of my former jobs had marketing in the title.

This is the first year that we have been using t-shirts to promote the event. Starting with a simple #CyberFest design, they have gradually become more and more sophisticated. This is the first year though we have given some to one of our supporters to try and promote the events. The company managed to produce a short video with members of their team wearing them but not in a static pse but rather them dancing, leaping about and looking like they are having fun, which of course they were. Something that looks fun is fun and is eye-catching. So that is the first thing, use video in a fun way, involving others where you can.

Learning how to make these short videos was the second thing I have learnt and I have now been shown Instagram Reals which looks like a simple tool that makes things happen. I will leave this to one of my daughters however, as she is head of Insta.

The other thing I have learnt however, has nothing to do with marketing but to do with human nature. Thanks To Graham we have published some tools to help organisations prepare for a cyber breach. To promote these we printed out some postcard size leaflets to promote the initiative with QR codes linked to the website. Thinking I was being peropeared I laid them out on the seats at the front of the room we were to present in only to find that nobody sat in these seats, preferring to sit further back. When I asked they had assumed that the leaflets denoted that the seats were reserved. It is clear that you can be too clever.

I wonder what I will learn at the next ones. There’s only one way to find out.

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