Head of Customer Insight and Futurology, BT
Once described as “human caffeine” on Twitter, Dr Nicola Millard injects a positive, people-centred expresso shot to innovation and future strategy. Half social scientist, half technologist, all academic, she uses techniques from disciplines such as design thinking, psychology, anthropology, computing, theatre and business consulting to generate data, provocations and stories which can engage and create conversations from the board room, to the front line. No frothy coffee; just solid research.
In her long and varied career at BT – mostly based at Adastral Park in Ipswich, Suffolk – Nicola has done a number of jobs, including futurology, research, usability, customer service, marketing, and business consulting. She was involved with a number of BT firsts, including the first application of artificial intelligence into BT's call centres, BT's initial experiments with home working, and helping to develop BT’s “net easy” score, a new way of measuring customer experience. Her most recent areas of specialism are consumer trends/customer experience and the digital workplace/future of work. Nicola got her PhD from Lancaster University in 2005 on motivational technologies in contact centres, and published her first book in 2009.