Tag: Business Design Thinking

26
Sep

Design Learning Imperative

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We appreciated the on-target blog post by Daniel Araya and Heather McGowan citing the need for broader recognition of a Design Learning Imperative.

Araya and McGowan touch on and recognize many themes well know in the organizational culture building business including: continuous change, adaptability, agility, problem finding, problem framing, innovation, opportunities, and design learning.

“The truth is that we can no longer afford to focus on graduating learners armed only with predetermined skills and (already existing) knowledge. The workforce is becoming far too global, too digital, and increasingly too self-employed. We must instead refocus on cultivating creativity, to include not only problem solving, but also problem finding and problem framing. Students and learners need experience with exploration, discovery, re-orientation, and most importantly, design thinking.

Evidently not so well known by the authors is the tricky part of design thinking methodology realities today. The attributes described by Araya and McGowan are those not of downstream situational design thinking methods where the vast majority of the graduate design schools remain focused, but rather of upstream meta design thinking methods where a still relatively small community of practices, some of which have executive skill-building academies themselves exist.

The starting points for upstream and downstream methods are quite different.

We could not agree more that challenge framing is extremely important but the fact is that teaching proactive upstream problem framing in the context of complex fuzzy challenges still remains relatively rare in the graduate design schools. Don’t ask the graduate design schools but the downstream situational methods have challenge type and solution type assumptions baked within. Upstream methods begin with no preconceived challenge or solution paths.

We certainly agree with Araya’s and McGowan’s observation: “Navigating this terrain requires adaptation and re-orientation.” This includes graduate design education itself.

Related Reading:

Making Sense of Design Thinking & “Agile” Method

Making Sense of “Why Design Thinking Will Fail”

NextDesign Futures Library

When [Old Design Thinking] LOVE is Not Enough

 

 

03
Aug

Making Sense of Design Thinking

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Making Sense of Design Thinking & “Agile” Method

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

“Many organizational leaders have become a tad confused as various parties pitch methods in a competitive marketplace that now includes the graduate business schools and graduate design schools seeking to reposition themselves as innovation advisory consultancies..:-)”

“In this brief post, with an objective towards advocating clarity, we share how, from a practice based methods perspective, Humantific differentiates between Design Thinking methods, Product/Service/Experience Design Thinking methods and Agile methods. While they all add value, they each add different forms of value applicable to different contexts.

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Read the post on LinkedIn here:

Related:

Making Sense of “Why Design Thinking Will Fail.”

Building Strategic Innovation Lab Capabilities

Enabling Organizational Ambidexterity

15
Jan

Harvard Downstreams Design Thinking?

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

“We were delighted last week to see Harvard Business School doing a heads-up in the direction of the already existing design thinking leadership movement! Ten + years after it began that is real and long awaited progress! Wooooo Hooooo!

Rather slow to recognize the business communities significant interest in next generation design thinking capacity building Harvard Business School announced that it has awakened to the opportunity and will be in 2016 formally jumping into the design thinking education business.

“Harvard Business School is emphasising design thinking as one of its big focus areas for leadership teaching in the days ahead.”

Being strategic design practitioners involved in the innovation leadership skill-building and innovation methodology communities for many years we were particularly interested to see what Harvard has in mind…:-)”Continue Reading..

16
Jan

Making Sense of Industries

We love and respect the complex history of what has become the sensemaking profession today. Here are more example images from Humantific’s Isotype Institute Collection. These are from 1955.

The Vienna-based Isotype Institute team, active in the 1920s-1950s, is widely recognized as an early pioneer in the commercial application of visual sensemaking. They applied their unique skill-set to the explanation of many business subjects, in addition to their social subjects work. These “Isotype Charts” are part of a 16-diagram series that explains the chemistry, manufacture, and use of plastics, with an emphasis on their application in the building industries. They appeared in the 1955 book, entitled Plastics and Building.

Isotype Institute work was not always focused on driving towards changemaking. In examples like this one, their focus was on explaining existing conditions within industries—what we would call the “today” picture—without any particular reference or speculation about the “tomorrow” picture.

Today, Humantific would consider this to be part of the Yin (without the Yang) component of changemaking. Pictures of “today” are not only helpful in constructing collective understanding of existing conditions—they are also great jumping-off points for cocreating futures.

We might point out that Isotype Institute was not just making sense of data-sets and information. They were looking at, and deciphering, many complex phenomena taking place in the field of focus, much of it rather abstract—including processes, chemical compositions, and various applications. They were using skills which can be referred to as information design, but they were not just designers of information. They could make sense of any subject, regardless of its state. From the Humantific perspective, they were early professional sensemakers. Their professional sensemaking often informed and accelerated the everyday sensemaking of others operating in organizational settings and in the public realm.

The output of Isotype Institute is immensely impressive and still highly influential today.

More on Isotype Institute

More on Otto Neurath, Gerd Antz & Maria Neurath

Note: For those interested in the finer points of Information Design history, we will point out three additional details:

1. Design was not a word that was used within Isotype Institute.

2. Isotype images were not made by individuals, but rather by a collaborative effort, within which the ‘Transformer” played a significant role—acting as Mediator, Organizer, Shaper between the information research and the graphic form.

3. Otto Neurath died in 1945, at the age of 63. Some see significant differences in images acredited to Isotype made after this date.

Image Source: Mactaggart, E. F. and H. H. Chambers. Plastic and Building. 1955. Diagrams designed by the Isotype Institute. Humantific Collection, New York.

Related:

Social Visual SenseMaking / InfoGraphics 1890

Humantific Teaching Visual SenseMaking

02
Jan

GK VanPatter in Barcelona

GK VanPatter, Humantific Co-Founder will give a talk on Design 3.0 / Making Sense of Design Now! at the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona on November 9 for Barcelona Design Week.

http://bcd.e-gim.net/gimmaster/ftp_bcd/bdw/news_ang.htm