dan fiehn
dan fiehn

+44 (0)7788 591000  |  Info@fiehn.co.uk

How do you determine which strategic planning approach is right for your organisation?

In a world where change is the only constant, selecting the right strategic planning approach can be the difference between success and stagnation.

Understanding the nuances of these strategic planning approaches is crucial because it empowers leaders to make informed decisions that optimise resources and drive innovation and sustainable growth in an ever-evolving business environment.

This week’s feature article explores the intricacies of each strategy, offering insights to help you align your planning with your business’s unique needs and goals. 💡


Top 6 Claims Technologies in 2024: The Ultimate Watch List

Top 6 Claims Technologies in 2024: The Ultimate Watch List

Explore the leading claims technologies in 2024.

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Digital Eye - Article One

How Are You Perceived at Work? Here’s an Exercise to Find Out

All too often, people struggle to understand how they are perceived by those around them. To get a clearer picture of how people really see you, the author suggests following this four-step process.

Article featured in Harvard Business Review

It’s not easy to understand how other people perceive us. We are often uncertain, confused, or even completely unaware of what we project. And this lack of self-awareness can be career-limiting.

Consider a former client of mine who was angling for the C-suite but had received feedback that his colleagues considered him negative and difficult. He was stunned; he thought of himself as analytical and thorough and assumed everyone understood that he pushed back in order to get to the best answer. He was also unaware that he had a habit of grimacing while processing information, which looked to others like annoyance.

My client was suffering from what psychologists call the transparency illusion — the belief that we’re all open books and that what we intend is what people see. But there can be a wide gap between intent and impact.

People are often unaware of their facial expressions, especially when deep in thought. (As a colleague of mine says, “Thinking faces aren’t pretty.”) And particular emotions can be confusing to interpret. Frustration and slight discomfort, for example, can easily be mistaken for each another.


Digital Eye - article two

What Do CIOs Need To Know About Long Emails?

A key skill of any CIO is the ability to effectively communicate with other people.

Article featured in The Accidental Successful CIO

As CIOs, despite having access to some of the most sophisticated communication tools available, most of us still do most of our communicating via emails. Not just a few emails, but a whole lot of emails. When we send an email out, there is a very good chance that the person that we sent the email to will reply to it. We may then reply to their reply. They will then probably reply to our reply to their reply. And so on. You can see how this back and forth thing can really start to build up. It turns out that all of this email exchange stuff is actually really bad for CIOs to be doing…


The Problem With Long Emails

I think that all CIOs can agree that resolving complicated issues over email can feel both frustrating and taxing. However, it turns out that cost of email reliance may be more far-reaching than CIOs previously knew. New research now suggests that compared with face-to-face conversation, email not only makes resolving an issue more difficult, but can also worsen a CIO’s performance on subsequent tasks. Not only do we have less motivation, but we also suffer cognitive deficits. Most CIOs hate those long back-and-forth emails.

I’m pretty sure that we all have at least one colleague who, if you start to engage them on email, will write literally essays in response. The problem with this is that you have to respond with another essay. And that back-and-forth can really tire you out.

Digital Eye - Article Three

Quantum Computing Demystified – Part 1

Quantum computing holds transformative potential for specific problem domains, particularly those involving complex simulations and optimizations where quantum algorithms can dramatically accelerate processes.

Article featured in Architecture and Governance

Quantum computing represents a profound shift in computational technology, heralding a new era of problem-solving across scientific research, and industry applications, and addressing global challenges. This white paper explores the transition from classical computing paradigms to quantum computing, emphasizing its potential to revolutionize various sectors.  

By delving into the theoretical foundations and practical applications of quantum technologies, I aim to illuminate their transformative impact and the strategic importance for businesses and IT leaders. 

As quantum computing moves from experimental labs to real-world applications, it promises significant advancements in drug discovery, materials science, and cybersecurity, among others. Its unique ability to process complex data sets and enhance information security makes it a critical asset for future business strategies and maintaining a competitive edge.

Digital Eye - Article Four

Is the future of contact centers bot or human?

The responsible use and thoughtful implementation of new technologies to support staff and provide the analysis needed to reinvent business processes, positions your organization for success, not just survival.

Article featured in Digital Leaders

Human-like responses from OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other generative AI large language models (LLMs) have employees and politicians concerned about impending waves of job losses. Meanwhile, contact centers have trouble recruiting and retaining enough agents to keep up with rising consumer demand. Is the stage set for a showdown between humankind and machines? Is a stalemate more likely? Or will we learn to work together to achieve greater outcomes?

Regulator intervention and consumers voting with their feet will radically change how companies respond to (or ignore) their customers’ inquiries. Many companies have made a cost-cutting business decision to block customers from reaching a live person for assistance, and others simply lack adequate customer services operations.

Either way, customers in search of help are often frustrated by the avoidance tactics or lack of response. These unsatisfactory customer experiences come with tangible costs, such as: negative reviews, customer churn, and missed revenue opportunities. In addition, customer service agents are placed in the uncomfortable position of facing unnecessarily upset customers, while businesses face difficulties in retaining contact center employees.

Digital Eye - Article Five

Innovating Through Uncertainty: Blueprint for Thriving

By embracing innovation and the potential of emerging technologies, businesses can seize opportunities, overcome challenges, and set new benchmarks for success.

Article featured in Carrot Connect

In times of economic uncertainty, one question that often emerges is whether innovation becomes more criticalduring such periods than in times of prosperity.

At Carrot Connect, an Insurance IT advisory consultancy, we believe the answer is unequivocally yes. Drawing on insights and the compelling evidence provided by the Harvard Business Review, it’s clear that companies focusing on innovation during economic downturns, such as the 2008 recession, not only navigate through challenges more effectively but also outshine their peers significantly in the aftermath.

This introduction to the indispensable role of innovation in challenging times serves as a foundation for the advice and strategies we will share, inspired by our expertise and success stories in the insurance sector.


Feature Article


Strategic Planning Approaches: Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up

What drives your strategy impacts your culture and how your company performs. Matching the approach to strategy with the end goal is a leadership challenge.

Strategic Planning Approaches: Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up

Article featured in Forbes

Strategy may be one of the most overused words in business. For fans of Michael Porter, it’s about creating a competitive advantage. But in reality, for most organizations, it can sometimes feel more like planning for business as usual. Therein lies a problem.

Whether or not they are top of mind, we rely on strategies for our businesses to succeed. Strategies are more than plans; they impact our culture, and the approaches we take to manage and lead. Yet all too often, the approach leaders use is whichever is comfortable for them – which doesn’t match the strategy with the needs of the business unit or, more broadly, the organization. Having the ability to match a strategic approach with business challenges is what makes a leader adaptive.

In general, we can group these strategic approaches into three camps: top-down, sideways, and bottom-up. Let’s explore these three approaches, when they work, and when they might not.


I hope these articles are valuable.

I am passionate about technology, and I want to share that passion with you. I believe that it’s essential for everyone to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, so I’ve set out to cover all aspects of the industry – from data analytics to blockchain and AI.

Please let me know if you want to see any other topics covered, and I would appreciate your help sharing this blog with others who may be interested.


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How to Maximise Knowledge Transfer Between Business and Engineering Teams

In this week’s feature article, discover how to maximise knowledge transfer between business experts and technical engineers to ensure the success of your digital transformation. Learn about creating structured knowledge transfer plans, fostering a learning environment, employing diverse transfer methods, and building trust and collaboration. These strategies will help you bridge knowledge gaps, boost innovation, and enhance operational efficiency. Dive into our expert insights to master the art of seamless collaboration and drive your organisation’s digital transformation forward.

Digital Sustainability Practices: A Guide to Greener Habits

Explore the transformative power of digital sustainability practices. This guide unveils how adopting eco-friendly digital habits can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and pave the way for a greener future. Dive into practical tips and strategies for making a positive environmental impact through digital activities.

Why Accountability Matters: Building a Culture of Success in Your Workplace

In today’s fast-paced business world, understanding the role of accountability in the workplace is more important than ever. This blog post delves into why accountability matters and how it can significantly impact team performance and overall success. We explore practical strategies to foster a culture of responsibility and trust, ensuring that every team member feels valued and integral to the company’s achievements. Join us as we uncover the secrets to building a thriving, success-oriented workplace environment.