Category Archives: Digital Leadership

Getting (back) on the Digital Leadership horse

I recently asked a friend (and former colleague) for feedback on my newly minted CV. It’s been a while between interviews.

After 20 plus years in corporate, relaunching brands and working with some of the leading individual, team and organisational brands in the world, I’d turned my focus towards balancing my corporate experience with academia as my biological clock ticked louder than it ever had.

Returning to study mid career, I discovered I was really good at this thing called academia.

It sparked synapses I didn’t know I had and finally my laser focus, flamboyant musings and random questioning was mainstream.

Okay maybe not mainstream but my pondering about whether platform intents, advertising-led solutions and citizen rights were aligned – found its logical place to dwell and be nurtured.

When the person who marked my master’s dissertation asked me to teach for him, I discovered a joy of knowledge production I’d been avoiding – despite being a 7th generation educator.

But when I stepped back towards the corporate world (ironically when I was pregnant), I didn’t leap back in…as at the time, nothing really grabbed my attention as being ‘next gen awesome’.

Mothers in the workplace

Instead, I balanced a burgeoning social media and marketing consultancy (which ironically grew out of word of mouth rather than any social media influencer activities) with my sessional lecturing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Matrasence is the process of becoming a mother and when I was four months pregnant I decided to blow the dust off my research and build a resource around social media marketing and social networking platforms to help everyone who hadn’t dedicated the last five years to upskilling in this new communications tech, like I had! 🙂

A decade later, when I recently zoomed with a potential employer for a position promoting safety and privacy around social media platforms on behalf of the government, he declared optimistically, ‘We’re not first to market with this, but we believe we can make the proportional difference’ and I didn’t disagreed with him, although instantly I saw him making the same mistakes I had a decade ago… talking about doing it rather than building it.

First to market doesn’t ensure success

I’d been first to market with How 2 Social and the industry in Australia was so under-developed in it’s thinking about social tech that on more than one occasion business leaders, agency leads, media law academics alike told me straight-faced that social media was a fad, it would never have any real impact in organisational marketing communications and existing law would cover whatever the latest new media trend threw at it. Back then I didn’t code, so I couldn’t build my solution.

The Regulator arrives 25 years later…

Twenty-five years on from the commercialisation of the internet and a healthy 11 years after Facebook launched in Australia, the federal government is only just getting around to attempting to regulate the space.

Why?

Because they do not own the hardware, nor do they have the blanket capability to monitor, assess and act on the multitude of abuses the misuse of technology provides to individual members of the global digital citizenry to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting.

When I raised concerns over the need for attention to systems design and ownership review of our telecommunications and cable networks I cut myself out of the running for that particular gig, but it does raise an important question…

How much do you know about the safety and security of your data service? Do you know where your private information is stored?

What I can tell you is rarely (if ever) are the answers to these questions ‘In Australia’.

In 2020, when I jumped back into solution-building for my own start ups with the mission to introduce equity into law and education for Australians, I created digital spaces from scratch to ensure they were Australian owned, built and born – from content to website, to app and every data point in between. After all, shouldn’t our schools own their own data? And shouldn’t the Judiciary operate as it was intended across all levels – lawfully?

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