Blog

30
Mar

Visual SenseMaking in Context

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Elizabeth Pastor’s new LinkedIn post clarifies important differences between Visual SenseMaking and Graphic Recording.

“We have been practicing Visual SenseMaking at Humantific since our inception in 2001, and I have personally been practicing it for 20+ years. About 10 years ago, there was a boom in visual thinking. We see this interest continuing to rise in how visual thinking can contribute to complex change-making in organizations and societies. We are happy campers!

However, what has come with that rise of visual thinking is also confusion regarding the value and differences between various visualization techniques and approaches.

In this short post, I will share how we see the key differences between Visual SenseMaking and the popular activity known as Graphic Recording. Both add value but they do so in very different ways. One is not the other.”

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAvAAAAAJDQ4ZjY1MTU5LWU3NDAtNGU5OC1hYmUyLTRhMzIxNGRkODI0YgSee the entire post on LinkedIn here:

30
Mar

The Karl Weick Question

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GK VanPatter’s new LinkedIn blog post addresses this often asked question: How does 21st century SenseMaking practice differ from Karl Weick’s SenseMaking?

“Many of our clients and readers know Weick’s work well. Often the question behind the question is: How does that literature, that theory, those constructions fit with what we do at Humantific?

Widely recognized as an important American organizational psychologist and theorist, Karl E. Weick is among the pioneers of the contemporary SenseMaking movement. The author of several important books including SenseMaking in Organizations, his work connects across numerous knowledge communities of practice.

While acknowledging and appreciating Karl Weick, we think it is important to recognize that his work represents only one of several avenues that lead into what is now 21st century SenseMaking. Weick’s avenue is one that happens to have a particular texture, tone, and focus. Other avenues with different textures and tones also exist.

To place Weick in perspective we appreciate this cross-community picture:”

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See entire post on LinkedIn here:

20
Mar

Humantific at Parsons Conference

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UPSTREAM Challenge Framing Workshop

Humantific’s Elizabeth Pastor and Amanda Greenough will teach a public workshop on UPSTREAM Challenge Framing at Parson’s upcoming Design Intelligence Conference in New York City on April 1.

The theme of this years conference is “Designing for Global Volatility.”

The conference and the workshops are free and will fill up quickly so sign up asap if you want to attend.

[Elizabeth will also participate on the opening morning Panel Discussion.]

To Sign up for the Humantific workshop go here: 

Workshop Description:

ReThinking Design Thinking Series

Workshop: Introduction to UPSTREAM Challenge Framing 

The changing scale of challenges facing organizations and communities requires a new generation of design leaders to be masterful of a new set of framing skills. Gone are the days when we can assume that all design challenges are product, service and experience related. In the context of complex organizations and societies today no such assumptions can be predetermined up front. Drawing from years of methodology-oriented practice knowledge, Humantific will, in this short workshop introduce participants to Real-Time Upstream Framing. Today these are among the most powerful skills in the strategic designer’s toolbox, useful on the fuzzy front end of any innovation project in any industry. Unlike traditional downstream, discipline-specific design thinking framing, upstream framers learn how to step outside his/her discipline to undertake the cocreated framing. It takes skill and considerable practice to be able to do this in real-time in meetings. This 1.5 hour workshop is an introduction to those upstream skills.

Conference Date:

Saturday April 1, 2017

Conference Location:

Parsons
The New School University Centre
63 5th Avenue
New York City

15
Mar

GK VanPatter in Transformations

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Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter was recently interviewed by Emma Jefferies and Joyce Yee, authors of the new book: Transformations: 7 Roles to Drive Change By Design.

Question 3 of 10: “Emma & Joyce: Our book is premised on the idea that design creates value, and specifically we are focussing on how it helps organisations innovate and transform (Design 3.0 based on the NextD Geography framework). In your opinion, what role does design play in this context and what is its key contribution? For example you talked about the importance of helping people become more adaptable. How does design help in this case?”

“GK VanPatter: Adaptability remains one of the most enduring goals in organizational readiness and transformation. As a need and a goal adaptability has endured through the ages across many generations.

Charles Darwin is credited with famously saying: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Certainly the organizational leaders working with Humantific recognize that static entities tend not to survive in continuously changing environments. As a goal adaptability keeps getting creatively repackaged by each generation. As a business need it has certainly increased in importance in a now continuously changing world.

To put this in popular business media context: A few cycles ago Fast Company published, with considerable fanfare, an issue heralding in what it depicted as the arrival of “Generation Flux”. Take a wild guess what that was all about?

Readers who were aware of innovation dynamics history would recognize that adaptability, flexibility, agility, “fluxabilty” are all different ways of saying more or less the same thing and that thing as a capacity for organizations has been a recognized need in American business organizations since the 1950s.

Adaptability and efficiency are recognized as too very different things. Efficiency is about doing the same thing better. Adaptability or agility or “fluxability” is about continuously identifying and actionizing how the organization needs to change…and changing it.

In terms of innovation and transformation, there is today an added wrinkle in play that adds to the complexity and that many organizational leaders want to do both. CEO’s seek to make the most of what they presently do while simultaneously creating new paths and possibilities. Many leaders have come to the realization that one or the other is no longer enough.

In the management literature this dual engine strategy has been framed as ambidexterity as in Ambidexterous Organizations. In that stream of literature the two dimensions are often described as Exploration and Exploitation. Currently the CEO community has considerable interest in enabling this dual engine strategy. This is essentially where Humantific operates.

What Humantific does is bring the Ambidexitious Organizational strategy to life as human-centered, inclusive innovation. Everything we do syncs with a visualized ambidexitious model of innovation, rather then the more traditional single engine model. It is true that to realize that ambidexterity model we make use of tools, behaviors and dynamics from design as well as from other discipline expertise that all interconnect with ambidexterity in one way or another. It is literally how we redefine human-centered innovation today.”

See the other 9 questions & answers in the book!

Other “Expert Interviews” in the book include:

Peter Coughlan: Consultant / USA

Mark Vernooj: THNK/ The Netherlands

Mariana Amatullo: Design Matters / USA

Brenton Caffin: Nesta / United Kingdom

Christian Bason: Danish Design Center / Denmark

Beatriz Lara Bartolomé: Imersivo / Spain

Transformations / 7 Roles to Drive Change by Design.

31
Jan

Transformations is Published

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More on Transformation By Design

Congrats to Emma Jefferies, Joyce Tee and Kamil Michlewski on the publication of their new book Transformations / 7 Roles to Drive Change by Design. We are delighted to be included in this new book examining how design/design thinking is changing…indeed has already changed!

“Tracking how design has changed in previous book Design Transitions has inevitably led the authors to explore how organisations are changing using design. Design is now the key driver of innovation and change within organisations across the globe. It is therefore important to learn how, when and why to use design to drive change in your organisation.

Transformations documents how design is being used to support change across different organisations, countries and sectors, sharing the stories of experts in their fields at varying stages of their transformative journeys.”

“Expert Interviews” include:

GK VanPatter: Humantific / USA

Peter Coughlan: Consultant / USA

Mark Vernooj: THNK/ The Netherlands

Mariana Amatullo: Design Matters / USA

Brenton Caffin: Nesta / United Kingdom

Christian Bason: Danish Design Center / Denmark

Beatriz Lara Bartolomé: Imersivo / Spain

Transformations / 7 Roles to Drive Change by Design.

27
Jan

Ambidexterity Skill-Building

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Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter writes about the state of “Firm of The Future” Skill-Building. Ambidexterity often appears in numerous depictions of the arriving future originating in the managagement consulting community. What is missing from that picture?

“Hello Humantific readers. In this post we return to the subject of ambidexterity in organizations. The recent report entitled “The Firm of the Future” from Bain & Company is one of the latest management advisory publications pointing out the importance of and shift towards operationalizing ambidexterity in future focused organizations.

“We’re beginning to see what the next generation of successful companies will look like….The firm of the future will manage two types of businesses—“Engine 1” of its core and “Engine 2” of its more innovative businesses.” Bain & Company 2017.

Accenture, Deloitte, Bain & Company, Detecon and others have all recently been offering up similar observations and advice to organizational leaders. Others such as Charles O’Reilly & Michael Tushman of Harvard Business School writing in Harvard Business Review have previously written on the subject reflecting their own research. It is a capacity referred to under different names that include Ambidexterity, Dual Engines, Exploiting/Exploring, Double Excellence, Dual Innovation, Integrative Innovation, etc. With numerous different takes on the subject now tabled, some more practical then others, what they are all talking about is the notion of future oriented firms enabling two engines or streams of innovation, each with different characteristics.”

Read the entire post on LinkedIn here.

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21
Dec

Methods Mapping Book Published

book_mockup_3The new Humantific book by GK VanPatter and Elizabeth Pastor: Innovation Methods Mapping / DeMystifying 80+ Years of Innovation Process Design has just been published!

Years in the works and long overdue we finally crossed the finish line on this one! Wooooo Hooooo!

Making sense of innovation process design is the subject of this new Humantific book.

Big thanks to all who contributed.

View the Preview here.

Buy the book on Amazon here.

07
Dec

Enabling Design Thinking

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Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter writes about one particular “fuzzy misperception wave” often appearing in Linkedin discussion groups.

“With some design thinking related discussion groups on LinkedIn now exceeding 80,000+ members, many new to the subject terrain, it is not so unusual for enthusiastic fuzzy misperception waves to build from one conversation to the next at a rapid rate. Like a fire-hose of run-away freight trains misperception waves seem to appear via social media at volumes that are no longer possible to intercept or comment on.

With everyone busy most practice leaders just let the waves flow hoping they will sort themselves out eventually. Some do. Some don’t. Some fuzzy waves are at times humorous and at other times painful to watch as they take hold and or grow.

Opposite to Donald Trump’s twitter postings, most practice leaders try to select their discussion participations and contributions carefully in consideration of limited time constraints..:-)

In this vein and considering the increasing impact of discussion groups we try to pick and choose which fuzzy misperception waves are important enough to comment on, to make more sense of and or to offer an alternate perspective on for our Humantific readers.

One such misperception wave, popular at the moment is depicting Design Thinking as a “mindset” thing.

Often seen in discussion threads is this murky phrase: “Design Thinking is a mindset not a process.”…On and on it goes being reposted many times by its advocates.”

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Read the entire post here on LinkedIn.

Related:

Humantific: Making Sense of Service Design Thinking

Humantific: Making Sense of Design Thinking & AGILE Method

Humantific: Making Sense of “Why Design Thinking Will Fail”

 

 

 

 

 

03
Dec

Innovation Methods Mapping Soon!

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Good News Readers!

Long overdue and years in the making, Humantific’s Innovation Methods Mapping : De-Mystifying 80+ Years of Innovation Process Design is in final review and will be published this month. It will be available on Amazon soon. Operating a busy innovation consultancy, while doing research and writing books is not a formula for speedy book making! We are delighted to have the first volume in this series finally heading out the door.

This book is designed to fill what Humantific perceives to be a void in the field of innovation process knowledge and literature. It has been created and is being shared for educational purposes. Its intention is to present a cross section of 50+ innovation process examples spanning an 80+ year time period. The focus of this study is to better understand innovation methods across the timeline of history in terms of knowledge evolution, design, and architectural construction, versus judging the effectiveness of various methods.

Innovation Methods Mapping introduces a new kind of method analysis framework designed to enhance understanding of historical and current process models as well as inform future process design.

INTENDED AUDIENCES

This book is intended for advanced readers on the subject of innovation related process knowledge. As a foundation for understanding, we assume readers already have a high level of knowledge, so this book is not going to be suitable for everyone.

Our intended audiences include:

Advanced practitioner leaders
Advanced organizational leaders
Advanced social change leaders
Advanced graduate and post-graduate education leaders and students
Adventuresome innovation process designers

ADVANCE PRAISE

“A masterful piece of work”
DR. SID PARNES & BEA PARNES

“Fantastic”
DR. BETTINA VON STAMM

“Excellent commentary”
DR. TERRENCE LOVE

“Clear, consise and simple.
An essential visual companion”
DR. EMMA JEFFERIES

“A welcome addition to the
innovator’s bookshelf”
DR. ROBIN WOOD

“An invaluable resource
for learning and research
in design ”
DR. WOLFGANG JONAS

“Elegant simplicity”
PETER JONES, Ph.D.

“An important reference”
UDAY DANDAVANTE

“Impressive, relevant, necessary”
DR. TIIU POLDMA

“Well documented”
LUIS ARNAL

“Incredibly clear and useful”
RAMON SANGÜESA, Ph.D.

“A rich and accessible tome
of innovation resources”
KATHRYN BEST

Thanks to all those who have already written to us requesting the book. We will be getting back to you shortly.

If others would like to know when this Humantific book appears on Amazon send us an email:

kickitup (at) humantific (dot) com

 

 

 

 

22
Nov

Making Sense of Service Design

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Service Design Thinking: Confusion or Clarity?

Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter has published another post in his popular ongoing “Making Sense Series.”

“Clarity or lack there-of is something that is often difficult to talk about in the design / design thinking community. Not everyone in the community of design communities is up for clarity. Lack of clarity often leads to a confused public. At the moment, mountains of confusion around the subject of design and design thinking exist publicly.”

“Contributing to the confusion we recently noted the UK Government’s launch of its “Design Principles”.

It is really none of our business but from a methods perspective, there seems to be some confused logic there.

Some enlightened person in the UK might ask:

Are these meant to be Digital Service Design Principles, Service Design Principles or Design Principles?

How did you get from “Design Principles” to “Don’t make assumptions” and “make things open” to “Service design starts with identifying user needs.”

Who said anything about presuming, predetermining that the challenges are service related?

This is an assumption often seen in service design logic.”

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Read the full post on LinkedIn here:

 

Related:

Making Sense of Design Thinking & Agile Method

Making Sense of “Why Design Thinking Will Fail.”

Building Strategic Innovation Lab Capabilities

Enabling Organizational Ambidexterity