Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I am a very curious person. I am often described as someone who lives in the future which really means that I am a ‘what if’ person. My preference for thinking and then taking action is based on imagining how challenges can be solved in a creative way.

You will also know that I am interested in exploring how technology in its various forms can change the way we might do things. I was telling a group of senior lifestyle retail executives recently that research shows that a two-year old child, when given a piece of paper, is more likely to swipe it than draw on it! As they nodded and smiled in recognition of the scenario I asked them to consider how they would need to adapt personally to the opportunities that technology provides.

An area that I am fascinated with is how individuals and businesses make decisions. At MSL we are very clear about our process of decision-making – it is simple and time efficient. It is not a linear process but we usually start with our instincts – what feels right for the values of our brand. We undertake research, present the options of our findings during a team meeting, discussion ensues and research continues. We use data to support a proposition and this often raises further questions. For example, if we want to do X and the research and data says Y, where are the opportunities?

During a recent team meeting, I used data from one of my air-miles cards to initiate a discussion. My flight statistics had some amazing things to say about my lifestyle, my work and the diversity of people that I meet.

I found out that during 2012 I travelled the equivalent of nearly four times around the earth and that I am half-way to the moon. From the data I can see my top 10 airports, countries, routes, airlines and aircraft types. So from this data, I asked the MSL team, what can we do with it? We had a lively discussion and one action was to ensure that we continued to use our growing social media presence to let like-minded people know about MSL, particularly in the countries that I had visited.

So perhaps this year I will get to the moon. And when I do, I will look at the earth and wonder ‘what if’! What if, women told stories about their cherished items and they asked MSL to write that story. Imagine that repository of data. What if!

Maggie Semple

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