Mike Bracken: I’m moving on

Photograph: a portrait of Mike Bracken smiling into the camera

With 3 new non-executive positions and book to co-author with my Public Digital partners, I will be leaving my position as Chief Digital Officer with the Co-operative Group later this summer.

It’s been a brilliant 2 years with a fantastic organisation. As I said when I joined, my focus was to create a Co-op fit for the digital age, based on an open, agile culture and excellent digital services. I had intended initially to only work 3 days a week for the Co-op but found myself so engaged with the organisation, I had less time than I would have liked to continue my non-executive work.

But as I said when I left the Government Digital Service, I wanted to continue to help other government colleagues globally. In addition to Public Digital work with government and conglomerates in Peru, Canada and Uruguay and several other countries, I’m delighted to be named as a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London by Mariana Mazzucato. It is vital that we have multidisciplinary teams working to develop our public sphere, and I’m humbled that I’ll be working with Mariana and her team of advisors including Dan Hill and Carlota Perez.

I’ve also agreed to become an advisor to the Inter-American Development Bank and the Centre for Public Impact, 2 institutions which do a great deal to improve public outcomes. I hope to find more time to be part of the Independent Review Group at Google Deepmind.

With a forthcoming Public Digital book, ‘Redesigning Digital Public Services: The Strategy is Delivery’ (London Publishing partnership) due for early 2018, and many international speaking engagements coming up, I’ve made the decision to make good on that initial commitment.

I leave the Co-op digital strategy in the capable hands of the Co-op Digital team who have worked incredibly hard over the past 2 years. Almost a year ago we relaunched our membership platform and, as of today, have hundreds of thousands of new members, and over 4.5 million active members. Those members have given more than £9 million to support local causes. That’s part of what makes the Co-op such an amazing place to work – their emphasis on the local community and always giving back.

In addition to membership, the team has launched a variety of new products and platforms including Wills, Funeralcare, Food and our central domains. I look forward to watching from afar the progress of the Co-op digital strategy and its flagship initiatives such as The Federation where we are supporting an open community of digital businesses and innovators in the heart of Manchester.

I am very proud of The Co-op and Co-op Digital in particular, and am grateful for the support the team has received through the rebuild period. I hope to see the organisation prosper in the digital economy, as the team is now in place to make good on that promise. I wish the Board, Executive and colleagues all the best.

We need a vibrant Co-op to work for our communities and I am sure the organisation is well set for success.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Mike Bracken: 850k new members, Agile Manchester and Mental Health Awareness Week

(Transcript) Mike: Hello. Thanks to Dave for doing this video last week. I’m back this week and again another big number 850,000 new members joined the Co-op since September 21st last year. That’s a terrific achievement by the team and membership continues to grow.

On that note, our members will be voting next week in our AGM, in Manchester at the end of next week. If you’re eligible to vote, please do. The cut-off date is a 15th of May.

Four big shoutouts this week. The first goes to Rufus, Paul Gerrard and the team have published our Modern Slavery report. It’s vitally important that the Co-op backs this initiative and we’re taking real action to put people back into society, back into the workplace. Do check out the report on the website.

Another shout out to Tom Walker, one of our user researchers has been leading on Mental Health Awareness Week and it’s great to see the Co-op support him and him engage with all the colleagues in Manchester and in the wider community to support mental health issues.

Also shout out to Anna Dick, James Boardwell, Ian Drysdale and the team for speaking at Agile Manchester a big event that we sponsored here and that we’ll continue to back, as we back that agile way of working.

And finally I got a little time this week in Federation. You see that on our website and great work with Victoria and the team who have fitted out nearly 5 floors now and with local designers and local artists, the place looks amazing.

We’ll be having a launch event later in the year and I look forward to seeing you there.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Giving local causes the £9 million our members have earned

Co-op members earn 5% for themselves and 1% for their local cause when they buy Co-op own-brand products. The local cause funds have been building up since we launched our new membership in September and have reached approximately £9 million.

Six months on, we’re now starting to pay that £9 million to the 4000 local causes over the UK.

To celebrate, we worked with director Shane Meadows to show some of the projects our members have been supporting. Here’s his film.

Thank you to our members for helping us make a difference to your local communities. Like George the Poet says in the opening line of the film, “Great things happen when we work together.”

If you haven’t already, join us and become a Co-op member.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Mike Bracken: our progress with platforms and a reminder to choose a local cause


Mike: Hello. Week 12 update from Co-op Digital.

Quick update this week. We’ve passed 700,000 new members and another big date coming from Membership. 8th of April is the date that we have got to get all our members to select their cause. If you haven’t done so already the 1% that’s the amount that goes to you from your transactions is allocated to your selected cause. We’ve got thousands of causes up and down the country, please do pick your community cause and allocate your funds to them by the 8th of April.

Big win this week for our platforms. One of the first things we’ve done is a location service. We started off in our Food business getting that working for all our stores, that’s now live in Funeralcare and we’re mainstreaming all our services, our platform services, location the first one really well done to that team.

And a big bit of PR of this week. In the week of Brexit, Claire Braithwaite who’s leading our ventures play was on the first plane to leave Manchester to San Francisco. A new direct link it from Manchester here, and she was on part of that trade mission to develop the digital business connections between the 2 cities. It was great to see her go it’ll be great to see her come back and we wish her well.

I’m off next week and this will be brought to you by Rufus who’ll give you an update on Membership.

Have a good Easter.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

If you’re a Co-op member and haven’t chosen your local cause yet, sign in online to choose where your 1% goes by 8 April.

Immediate changes in Membership reporting lines

As we develop our membership services proposition across the Group, and now we’ve welcomed Roberto Hortal into the Group as Director of Membership Products and Services, Nathan Warner will step into the role of Interim Head of Membership Proposition, reporting to Roberto.

Working closely with the members leaders groups, Nathan and Roberto will be responsible for developing our member proposition and will immediately focus on our operations and financial plan for 2017, concentrating on membership service delivery and implementation.

Rufus has a huge responsibility in the next few months: to represent our Membership proposition externally to our Council and FRTS. Along with owning and delivering our Community strategy including Co-op Campaigns, Partnerships and Ethical Trading positions and internal and external communications.

Roberto, Nathan and Rufus continue to work as part of the central Digital team.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Mike Bracken: 700k new members, helping Food colleagues and an upcoming Funeralcare event


Mike: Hello. Welcome to week 11 update from Co-op Digital. Start off with a big number. Six months ago we launched the new membership scheme for the Co-op. This week we passed 700,000 new members. Great effort from the Membership team and everyone across the Co-op Group to roll out the service. It’s great seeing members come back to the Co-op.

I want to talk about 4 things we’ve done this week.

First is in Funeralcare where in our Edinburgh hub we’ve rolled out the new digital service that’s transforming that business following on from our Bolton work. There’s an event here in Manchester next week, you’re more than welcome to come to that to talk about how we’re digitising the Funeralcare business. [more information below]

Our wills service has been handed back right into that wills business which is now taking more and more of our transactions digitally.

And our coop.co.uk site and our corporate sites have had a refresh from Peter Brumby and the team. They look great.

Final thing is Store Dashboard. We’re starting to get real traction with our Food business and you’ll see on our blog the reception that our store managers give when we give them these great digital tools and services. You’re going to see more of that.

A couple of quick shout outs this week. Rebekah Cooper who’s joined our team is now reverse mentoring Steve Murrells, our CEO. It’s great to see our leadership team welcome digital in and taking the advice from a younger generation.

And also we’re helping Liverpool Geek Girls and sponsoring them as they come through and take part in this community here in Manchester.

And it would be remiss of me not to finish with the usual “were hiring.” We’ve got some great opportunities so do check out our blog and see if you can come and join the team.

Thanks a lot.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Come to a talk about the digital transformation of our Funeralcare business on 28 March. You can get your free ticket at Eventbrite.

Roberto Hortal: developing products and services around Membership

 

 

headshot of Roberto Hortal

Today we welcome Roberto Hortal to the Co-op. He’s our new Director of Membership Products and Services in the Co-op Digital team.

Roberto’s role is to lead our Membership operations and develop products and services around the membership platform. He’ll be building on the great work led by Nathan Warner, Alyson Chadwick and their team. Roberto joins us from EDF Energy where he’s recently been building products and services for the connected consumer as well as leading the EDF digital strategy.

Roberto will report to me and will work closely alongside Rufus Olins our Chief Membership officer who is responsible for the Membership proposition and Member Relations with our Member Council, the Senate and other co-operative societies. Over time Roberto will take on some product responsibilities as part of his role.

Tom Loosemore is now our Director of Digital Strategy, working with Rod Bulmer and the team looking at how we renew the Co-op. Tom will also lead our work on Digital Product Research. Thank you to Tom for the excellent work that you’ve done setting up and developing those teams, product teams working with our businesses at the Co-op to develop products and services like online wills and an at-need service for Funeralcare.

You’ll be hearing from Roberto on the blog soon, so watch out for that. In the meantime, sign up to follow the blog.

Welcome Roberto.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Mike Bracken: bringing food and digital together, leader showcases and thanks Richard Pennycook


Hello! Week 8 update from Co-op Digital.

First thing to say is thank you to Richard Pennycook who stepped down as CEO this week. It was Richard who helped bring many of us into the Co-op and really supported our move into all things digital. Well done to him and we hope we do you proud.

Into his footsteps comes Steve Murrells. He’s now the CEO and he’s already given a great degree of support to us and our digital teams. Should also mention that stepping up as interim CEO of the Food Business is Jo Whitfield who’s been the digital leader in Food. That’s great.

On that note, one of the big things this week is the work that we’ve done with food colleagues. We’ve had many, many store managers in place and if you can count the ambition by the number of post-it notes we had over 2000 requests on post-it notes written down for what people want to see in our future stores. Over 420 drawings of that so it all looks good for bringing food and digital together.

Other big thing this week, we spent a whole day with our Leader Showcase, bringing in groups of leaders into Federation where I’m standing now, showing them all the digital work  getting them engaged. We’ve got a really good level of ambition and engagement from them and it bodes very well for the future. And it’s great to see that ambition. To meet that ambition, we’re going to need new people, new skills*. This week I’m delighted to welcome 3 new joiners to Co-op Digital. Rob Wadsworth and James Bleasby join us as delivery managers and Mike Ingham has joined us as a product manager on Membership. Welcome to them and have a great week.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

*We’re hiring interactions designers
We’re hiring content designers
We’re hiring user researchers

Mike Bracken: 600k new members, engagement scores and the All Team


Mike: Hello, welcome to week 7 update of Co-op Digital, lots to get through this week.

Let’s start with a big number: after just 5 months since September 21st last year
we have now passed 600,000 new members who’ve join the Co-op. That is a tremendous achievement well done to our Food colleagues particularly, and particularly our Membership team who are really driving that.

One of the big things happened this week was our engagement scores came in and we looked right across the digital industry outside of the Co-op about how other digital units are working and on 15 measures we are more than 10% up on every single measure across an industry range. For a team that didn’t exist 15 months ago that’s a tremendous achievement.

The team met yesterday and we had great speakers. Particularly good to see our new CEO, Steve Murrells, come to give his full support to the digital agenda, spoke to the team, stayed for 2 hours, watched all the show and tells. Absolutely brilliant stuff. Some of those show and tells: Andrew and his team presented around food waste; we had Anna Dick talking about membership; Ian Drysdale talking about how we enter new markets with new products and services and showing some of those.

I’ll leave that there as a tease because shortly you’ll be able to see all this work on the Renewal part of our blog. So keep looking at the blog and we’ll start talking more about the Renewal work that we’re doing with Rod Bulmer and the team.

A final word for today, we welcome the Digital Working Group of the council to talk about how they can help us and we can help them with the Co-op business through rest of the year. So a huge week, see you next week.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Mike Bracken: Digital Skills Festival, data principles and welcoming our new CEO

Mike: Hello. It’s the sixth full week of the year. Sorry to miss a week last week due to holidays.

Some big news this week. First thing to say is Co-op has a new CEO. Richard Pennycook, who is the person who has sponsored much of the digital work and the creation of the team, has stepped down. Steve Murrells who is the guy that’s been running and really driving our business, our food business, has stepped up as the new CEO. It’s been a really smooth transition this week and it’s been great to work with Steve and we’ll help him develop the digital vision for the Co-op. Richard won’t be saying goodbye because he’ll still be helping our Group Board and he’ll still be around with other parts of our businesses. So that’s the first thing to say. It’s big news. What does it mean to us? Not much right now. We just keep going and delivering.

So, 5 things to talk about this week. The first is data principles. We published our data principles. If you’re watching this, go to our blog, have a look at them, comment on them and help us improve them. Those principles are about how we deal with member data and how we deal with data in the wider digital economy will be the thing that sets us apart as a co-op in the future.

Some numbers. Our Membership numbers keep growing. The campaign to get new members is only just starting so hopefully we’re well on track for a million new members this year. That’s brilliant.

And closer to home this week we had the Manchester Digital Skills Festival. It was great to see the entire team present and loads of people coming from the region who want to work with and for the Co-op and help us on our digital journey. So a brilliant week, quite a big one but we passed some big milestones.

But I should finish by saying welcome to some new starters. Great to see Adam Warburton to come in and help us on our Membership and we’ve got 2 new outstanding product managers in Anna Goss and Faith Mowbray so we’ll keep announcing new people and we’ll keep bringing great talent to the organisation. Until next week, see you then.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer