Eddie Doyle, a Global Security Strategist, cyber security expert, and technology speaker, sat down in this exclusive interview with the UK Tech Blog Team to discuss innovation and customer engagement.
With extensive experience in the cyber security sector, Eddie is the go-to expert for businesses wanting to communicate digital best practices to their employees.
1. What advice would you give to companies wanting to build a culture of innovation, and create a more innovative team?
“This is fantastic because you’re already touching on something close to my heart!”
“I was actually an English teacher before getting into technology. And what I noticed is that in school, when children communicate amongst themselves at their desks, teachers traditionally say ‘don’t do that’ or be quiet’. But in actual fact, that’s the learning.”
“It changes neuroplasticity, to have engagement. And so, we’ve been trying to replicate this kind of thing through applications like Facebook and LinkedIn, to try and build some kind of cohesiveness and dialogue amongst people. And they are really successful, LinkedIn, Facebook, all of these kinds of programmes.”
“So, what corporations need to do is follow that kind of format!”
“People need the opportunity to contribute more than they receive information. When there is a culture of open contribution, companies should have some kind of program through which people can publicly discuss their ideas and you can rate them; you can say, ‘hey, this is good, and this is bad.”
“People actually prefer a public ‘pat on the back’, so this is what we have to foster amongst our teams.”
2. You communicate with international leaders in cyber security globally; what is the secret to clear and effective communication?
“Right now, I’m working on a dialogue with folks about geopolitical cyber warfare. Hacktivism is a trend, right?”
“So, this is a very big deal and it’s a complicated issue for corporations. Communicating the most complicated issues needs to be done in a fashion by which, again, people can engage in a tussle – you almost want to have a fight in your organisations.”
“This kind of subject matter here, and others that are very, very engaging and therefore complicated, you want to allow people to say, ‘you know what, I want to own a little piece of this communication. And then you say, ‘that’s interesting… if you own it, you’re responsible for it.”
“Then if you can divide the difficulty of that complex issue, communicating it amongst several owners within your organisation, within the team that is wrestling this issue to the ground!”
“Now, suddenly, you’ve got responsibility. When you’ve got a responsibility, people solve their own problems.”
“I think in the top-down leadership model that just seems to be so prevalent in corporations today, the mindset is, ‘I will own everything, and I will assign tasks to people.”
“But as soon as you have been given a chore you want to get over and done with, you want to check the box, you want to say, ‘yes, I’ve done my homework’, right? Well, it’s very different if people own a piece of the puzzle.”
“They own the challenge themselves. And if you can just give them that, if you can figure out a way to make people own it, they are going to run with it and they’ll figure out the communication issues for themselves.”
“Its magic at that point, or what I like to call ‘automagical.”
3. What can businesses learn from your keynotes on cyber security?
“I was invited to speak at NASA in what they call ‘Space Week’ in combination with Cybersecurity Month, which is in October. I pulled up a study by Harvard on how our DNA is programmed to trust, because if I’m speaking to NASA – like literal rocket scientists – what am I going to say about technology?”
“And so, the challenge was, how am I going to get a group of very smart people to follow my rules, so they don’t get attacked through cybersecurity? I came up with a dialogue, so that I could show the people at NASA – very smart people who all have PhDs – this is how our brains work.”
“You are actually wired to trust. So, listen to the Chief Information Security Officer because he has rules that you must follow. It’s nothing about intelligence, it’s entirely about emotion and the DNA of trust.”
4. As the former Head of Customer Engagement for a multinational cyber security company, how have strategies for attracting new consumers evolved over time?
“So, the buyer’s journey is something that changes all the time, it is very unique.”
“And I’m so pleased that we call it the ‘buyer’s journey’ because the emphasis over the decades has been all about sales – training the salespeople, Xerox training, high-pressure sales, all these kinds of things. Those tactics have now gone away.”
“Now, the average consumer and enterprise organisation will do 60% of their decision making prior to even engaging a salesperson, they’ve done all their reading, they’ve looked at peer reviews.”
“This is so much more important than a salesperson saying, ‘hey, we’re the best, look at us over here’. No one believes you.”
“And so, what you need to do is find credibility. Instead of saying, ‘hey, I think we’re the best’, we say, ‘look at all these peer reviews, look at so-and-so from this large company endorsing us publicly’.”
“Well, this customer did it. And so, let’s bring in all these other vendors and manufacturers to have a conversation. This is the buyer’s journey, the end piece, the pressure piece at the end, which I wish still didn’t exist in sales. But most environments still do this like ‘10 percent off if you buy now’.”
“But notice, if you focus on quality, like Apple computers, they are very rarely, if ever, on sale. Ever try buying an Apple computer for fifty percent off? That will never happen.”
“It’s because they have focussed on beauty and on the experience of the customer. In the early days of the iPhone, Steve Jobs spent over a month getting the box right. You picked up the box and it slowly drew the phone out the bottom – you remember it, right?”
“The psychology behind it is what we call ‘tension and release’. You’re holding the box and it’s slowly dropping the iPhone at the bottom, and you’re like, ‘this is going to be amazing’.”
“Tension, tension, tension – release.”
5. If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
“When my children were born, I thought about that question a lot.”
“This is a good 22 years ago now because you want to – regardless of the level of success you’ve had in life – you want your children to be more successful than you.”
“And so, I thought if I could encapsulate it down into the simplest term…”
“Simplify everything as much as possible. So, as an example, let’s pick on diets. Diets are a really big deal, there are so many diets.”
“And yet, people struggle with this all the time. So, keep it simple! What I like to say is: eat meat and lift heavy things. Simple.”
“I wish in my earlier days, instead of diving into very complex issues, I wish I’d have simplified everything.”
“And the little saying I came up with for my children was to ‘think and have fun’. And what I mean by that is; to think is human, to pay close attention is superhuman. I wish I’d developed that skill; I wish I’d have developed the superhuman ability to pay close attention to a person.”
“And that moment of paying close attention, of thinking and then having fun with life is probably the best formula I could possibly come up with to tell my younger self.”
“Have a lot more fun along the way!”