Interview With Doug Thompson – Director Technology Strategist at Microsoft

Doug Thompson

In today’s interview, we had the opportunity to speak with Doug Thompson – Director Technology Strategist at Microsoft

Doug Thompson is a very positive and pleasant person and does everything with a positive, joyful attitude. He is a successful storyteller, coach, trainer, and speaker. He has also worked with the largest Microsoft Partners and the smallest Mom & Pop shops in far-flung places in the world. He has also leveraged his technical knowledge and business acumen to guide numerous institutions through modernization initiatives that added efficiencies, reliability, & cost savings.

Hi Doug Thompson, Tell us about your Role and Responsibility as an AI Ambassador, Director of Technology Strategist at Microsoft?

I lead my customers through the digital transformation of their business. This is much more than simply shifting workloads to the cloud, this is transforming the way they use technology to do business. Often this involves a modern data estate leveraging AI and ML which requires a transformation in the way they think about data and how to ethically leverage this technology to improve their business.

Please Share an Experience of your Journey As a Keynote Speaker?

I have been speaking publicly for over 2 decades and have coached dozen of people to become better speakers and had long forgotten how scary it can be.  In 2019 I completed a bucket list item of doing  TEDx talk and felt fear like I had never felt before. I pushed through this and delivered the talk but didn’t feel good about it. Later I was meeting with the crowd when A young man came up to me with a notebook in hand. He had been taking copious notes and asked me to clarify a few points.  He thanked me for giving the talk and that the topic really hit home with him and was just the guidance he was looking for.  My philosophy is that if I can help even one person with a keynote then I have accomplished my goal of making the world a better place.

Can you throw some light on how you have guided numerous institutions through Technical Knowledge and Business Acumen?

Too many times companies get focused on tactical changes that focus on slight improvements to current technical problems instead of solving the much more transformational problems which are business processes. I begin my discussions by discovering the business problems that need to be solved and then identify technology and services which can totally transform the company. Leading with technology often leads to getting the wrong answer faster.

As per your saying “Successful Projects require excellent communication” So, How this can be helpful for the business Growth and positive effect on ROI?

Communication in any change is key to not only get buy-in from stakeholders but also to set the proper expectations. The best method of communication is storytelling and it is a skill that can be learned.  The human mind is wired to learn from stories as a properly told story touches emotions and creativity in a way that facts and figures can not. Once everyone understands the story, their role in it, and a big goal, in the end, magic happens.

How do you Inspire people to work with AI Technology?

First, you have to remove the fear people have about AI.  Many people form their opinion about AI from dystopian movies and fear it. The first thing I do to inspire people to explain AI to them using their words and their frame of reference by telling stories. Once they have a more positive view of the benefits a well crafted AI solution can provide, they are much more likely to enthusiastically support AI adoption.

What Marketing-Related challenges do you meet every day? How do Technology and Collaboration tools help you to overcome these?

Marketing always comes down to the message and reach. Technology won’t help a bad message improve, only spread faster. However, a technology used properly can improve the reach and measurement of results of marketing.  Things like sentiment analysis can really tap into emotions and help tune your messaging.

Would you like to tell your Unique Skill which you think you have as Public Speaker, Trainer, AI Ambassador?

I am a polymath so have many interests and I think in stories. These two skills allow me to be able to communicate with many different types of businesses as well as all levels of an organization.  I also think in stories that allow me to adapt a story to fit in many different situations.  My stories are always sprinkled with humor and believe that learning must be fun in order to be really impactful.  I call this edutainment.

So, What is Next for you?

I am working on adapting to virtual keynotes until in-person events can be a thing again.