Many of us, stuck in the trenches of Design Thinking, have to challenge the status quo.

We have to convince, cajole, or fight with people to effect change.  Change goes against established Orthodoxies or cultural norms, thus you would have likely heard a lot of: “Son, this is how things have always been done here…”

Kelli Richards, a 12 year Apple veteran, shares some of her tips to help get you going.  (Words in brackets are mine.)

  • Create a risk profile for your current strategy the way you would for a new opportunity. Looking at the trends you already know about—and considering you’ll inevitably face some that you so far don’t—how does maintaining the status quo increase your risk?  (Map out relevant trends that is going to make your existing business model outdated.) 
  • Show how the steps you recommend can lead to an increased return on investment, keeping in mind that you’ll need to define ROI in a way that resonates with upper management.  (This may not always be about money.  Customer loyalty, increased traffic, brand awareness are good alternatives.)
  • Shine the spotlight on indecision and help teammates get more comfortable taking action with incomplete information. Ask, “How much do we really need to know before making a decision?”  (Also remind your team mates that when we made a decision, it was based on the information we  knew then.)
  • Diplomatically resolve turf wars that hold the company back. When new products risk cannibalizing old businesses, emotions unavoidably get heated. Still, it’s better for an internal department to innovate than for an external competitor to gain an advantage.   (Better us then them.)

Via: Fastcompany

Great article by Benedict Evans who shares a lot of good information on why Microsoft is going to die.

The apps that people want on smartphones are not being written for desktop Windows anyway. Uber doesn’t have a desktop Windows app, and neither does Instacart, Pinterest or Instagram. The apps and services that consumers care about are either smartphone-only or address the desktop using the web, with only partial exceptions for the enterprise. You can’t tempt developers to support Windows Phone by saying ‘it’s easy to deploy your desktop app to mobile’ if there is no desktop app. So Windows is not a point of leverage for Microsoft in mobile. Neither was Office. Few people really want to edit an Office document on a phone – a viewer is normally enough. And as Blackberry also discovered, enterprise support is not enough if the broader phone experience is sub-par. As Apple has added enterprise features, the appeal of Windows Phone has fallen away there too.

This is an unfortunate result of “Legacy Thinking”. After being entrenched with their Windows platform for the longest time, it is time that Microsoft slaughters their last “sacred cow” if they really want to reinvent their business in the age of the Smartphone.

A soon to be fantastic case study on how large organisations should (or should not) innovate.

Via: Microsoft, Capitulation and The End of Windows Everywhere

Connecting the Dots
Photo Source: Flickr

It is the ability to identify patterns of insights and “connect the dots” in a meaningful way.

Bruce Nussbaum, in a blog post: 3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life, calls it “Pattern Sight”.

Pattern sight requires you to master the skill of looking for what should and shouldn’t be there. It’s the ability not only to see the rare “odd duck” but to routinely look for that duck and see it…It takes time to learn patterns of information, which is why you need to spend a lot of time “in the field.”

We call that “experience,” and you’ve seen that whenever you’re in a situation with someone who just “knows” what’s coming next without being able to explain it. That person is reading the patterns. This mastery is not about fresh eyes but wise eyes.

Many people use Design Thinking as a methodology for problem solving, innovation, or just figuring out what to do next. The key ingredient to arriving to the best solutions comes from identifying these patterns.

This is also the key reason why you cannot completely learn Design Thinking through, for example, a 3 day program or even one that is a week or more. We know, because we have been teaching it for years.

Most DT training programs will perhaps, at best, give you an introduction to Design Thinking and its value. However getting it done right requires experience, experience that stems from years of deliberate practice in identifying such patterns and applying it positively.

I like to expand this skill to also include the (overlapping) ability to reframe problems and situations. Many people look at reframing as simply turning negative to positive, or going from “left” to “right”. It’s a lot more.

This quote sums it up nicely and also my blog post today. Have a great week ahead!

Thus the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.

-Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860

150706.creativecritics-550x402

Tom Fishburne shares a pretty funny comic on how to give and receive feedback. While this is from a Marketing standpoint, we can (as designers) also learn from this.

For us in the creative industry, getting buy-in to our ideas or concepts is paramount. I’ve personally have experienced every one of this feedback. Sometimes delivered in a rather unpleasant manner. As Designers and Design Thinkers, we have to seek creative ways to deal with such feedback that goes beyond just doing good work.

Often this includes being vigilant with meeting minutes or what agencies call “client contact reports”, identifying roles and responsibilities very early in the project, ensuring you understand the needs of all direct and indirect stakeholders and finally building a good rapport with your client to tease all of this information out.

This is a really nice and timely reminder to all, including myself.

Via: Marketoonist

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