Tag: CoCreation

11
Nov

Making Sense of Strategic Design 2015

Talking up SenseMaking

[Part 2 of 3]

Ana Barroso in Conversation with GK VanPatter

Ana Barroso: Welcome back to Part 2 of this conversation GK. Here in Latin America we are seeing rising interest in the subject of sensemaking, maybe because we have a lot of complicated things going on here!

One of the layers of findings you apply to the NextD Geographies framework has to do with the toolboxes that are increasingly more complex and cross disciplinary in Design 3 and 4. What skills does it take to conduct a visual sensemaking process? Do you believe a non-designer, without formal academic training, can make a good 3.0 or 4.0 design thinker or sensemaker? Can you describe the process of capacity building Humantific does in its innovation capacity programs?

Continue Reading..

21
Nov

Humantific at Gates Foundation

BK413352

Due to the strategic nature of the work that Humantific does with many organizations we cannot always talk about what we are doing in the exact moment it is being done.

When possible, we do try to provide a window into this kind of strategic cocreation work and there is certainly alot going on in many sectors including the philantropic community.

In different communities this arena is becoming known by different terms including Philantropic Innovation, Social Innovation, Social Design, Social Change Making, Social Infrastruture Design, Change Making For Good, Markets For Good, etc.

Since its inception 5 years ago Humantific has been working closely with the Markets for Good leadership team.

For Humantific this work often involves providing visual sensemaking combined with a hybrid form of strategic planning that includes more upstream challenge framing and wider participation than is typical. Today mainstream business media is full of “big data” talk but we already know that generative innovation involves not just using data for decision-making but rather integrating numeous forms of information based insights into the cocreation process that all participants learn as a common language.

One such session was held in June at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle when Humantific collaborated with Markets for Good and the Gates Foundation to design and undertake a two day workshop. Framed as “a gathering of select leaders engaged in improving the social sector’s data and information capacity” it became an engaging work session that included 65 participants from 50+ different leading social good oriented organizations including: Network for Good, Case Foundation, Global Giving Foundation, New Philanthropy Capital, Heron Foundation, Aspen Institute, Microsoft, NetHope, GuideStar India, LiquideNet For Good, Social Impact Lab, The White House, Intentional Futures, Urbn Institute, Standford Digital Civial Society Lab, Keystone Accountability and numerous others.

This was the Primary Challenge that was collectively worked on during the two day session: How might we collectively build the information infrastructure—the data hubs, information exchange standards, knowledge and collaboration tools, and favorable performance culture and policy environment—to provide all actors in the social sector with the insights they need to inform their decisions?

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.09.38 PM

Much of the work that Humantific does today involves the framing of, not one challenge, but rather an interconnected constellation. Most often we are surfacing that constellation for the first time. This is part upstream challenge framing and part systems thinking. It rapidly becomes clear that many challenges are interconnected. There are very few free-standing unconnected challenges in this world. Coming to terms with this in real-time is often part of the experience for participants. Here are some of the additional challenges that were worked on during this particular two day session:

How might we develop a minimum viable product for measurement to plug into while strengthening accountability? 

How might we get stakeholders to align on standards?

How might we develop sustainable business models for pieces of the information infrastructure?

How might we establish collective shared values and norms for the markets for good movement?

How might we make great giving easier for funders and more common?

How might we frame data analysis as a growth engine for non-profits?

How might we develop the data ecosystem from data collection to insights? 

This constellation of challenges is a good example of the kinds of issues being framed and tackled in community settings being transformed via the data/information/sensemaking/cocreation revolution.

This community is making great progress accross a complex landscape of issues and this work is ongoing on multiple fronts.

BK413310

What is your challenge constellation looking like these days? When was the last time your organization surfaced it via cocreation?

Related:

Markets for Giving Workshop 2010

Markets for Good Background Paper

Data Visualization Meets CoCreation

Portrait of California / Social SenseMaking Project

 

 

 

18
Jun

Elizabeth Pastor in Madrid

IEDWorkshops_Feb2012 - 277

Humantific CoFounder Elizabeth Pastor is teaching graduate students in Madrid this week at Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) and at ICADE graduate business school.

Elizabeth is a faculty member at Istituto Europeo di Design and teaches there once a year in the Master of Design and Innovation Program. She teaches both Strategic CoCreation and Visual SenseMaking.

From the IED website: “These…Master’s programs, conceived as research laboratories, prepare professionals to overcome the challenges of a global, interconnected market through the perspective of New Visions, New Leaders.

In business communities around the globe we are seeing rising awareness of sensemaking and cocreation as key future leadership skills.

Interested in Future Humantific Workshops?
Humantific has announced new workshops…see here! Humantific conducts cross-disciplinary innovation skill-building on an ongoing basis with organizations globally. If you would like to consider bringing Humantific to your organization to help with your innovation skill-building and strategic thinking for leaders, contact us: engage (at) humantific (dot) com

Related:

Elizabeth Pastor at TeamLabs / Spain

Teaching Complexity Navigation

The Rise of Visual SenseMaking

When [Old Design Thinking] Love is Not Enough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20
May

CoCreation’s Tipping Point

Every quarter we see more experts from various communities of practice discovering the power and timely relevance of cross-disciplinary cocreation. The Rise of CoCreation continues!

Each new arrival seems to offer up a different perspective on the rational, origins, structure, need and various purposes of CoCreation. Some are focused at the scale of product or service CoCreation, others on organizational change and others on societal transformation. Long a stable in leading innovation practices CoCreation is reaching its tipping point in public awareness.

Last week we were delighted to see “Social Architect”, Jon Husband join the wave, offering his view of CoCreation in his blog post:

“Co-Creating as Disruption to the Dominant Cultural Framework”

Of course, CoCreation process design, application and leadership have a long history in Applied Creativity circles. More recently in Design Thinking history CoCreation is often referred to as Participatory Design. Unlike tradional Design Thinking we consider CoCreation to be a different innovation language. We see CoCreation rising in tandem with the Rise of SenseMaking.

It seems inevitable that many new streams are emerging, some aware of CoCreation’s past and some not. Some aware of present practices and some not. As in the Design Thinking wave, Integrative Thinking wave, Big Data wave and Innovation Acceleration wave, there are always going to be repeating starting points as various disciplines arrive and chime in with their “future” depictions. The truth is CoCreation has been around a long time and continues to evolve.

Right now the Big Data wave seems to be merging with the SenseMaking wave, the CoCreation wave and the NextDesign Thinking wave which certainly makes sense to us…:-)

Some firms are not only already practicing in this direction but have codified experiential learning programs up and running. Humantific has been teaching team-based cross-disciplinary cocreation since we founded the company. We have added a lot to the original innovation program. For some time we have believed that CoCreation is just part of a new hybrid skill-set for changemaking leaders. See Teaching Complexity Navigation.

Related

Humantific Teaches CoCreation to MBA students in Madrid

Teaching CoCreation Now!

When (Old Design Thinking) Love is Not Enough

05
Sep

Michelle Obama talks Data Analytics!

We were delighted to see Michelle Obama’s insightful comments on the relationship between complex problems, data analytics and creating the future that were embedded in her speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. Who knew she knew data analytics?! Michelle gave a glimpse into Presidential sized challenges:

“I’ve seen how the issues that come across a President’s desk are always the hard ones – the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer…” Michelle Obama

We certainly agree!

As trendy as the data analytics and data visualization movements have become and as useful as data analytics are to all organizations today, outside of those movements it has been recognized for some time that data analysis is capable of generating only certain types of pictures.

In our change making work with organizational leaders we find that a useful first question to ask is WHEN is the picture that you seek to create? Are you seeking to create a picture of Yesterday, Today or Tomorrow?

We ask this knowing that any serious look at the history of data visualization will surface the realization that the vast majority of data visualizations that have been generated since the 18th century as well as those being generated today are pictures of yesterday and today, not pictures of tomorrow. In spite of advancing technology tools that orientation inside the data visualization business has not changed in 226+ years!

At Humantific we certainly recognize that while data analysis and data visualizations can significantly enhance organizational sensemaking of yesterday and today, pictures of tomorrow need to be cocreated. The not so hidden truth is that cocreating futures together requires a very different kind of skill-set than simply crunching and visualizing data sets.

Most forms of complex problem solving, all forms of meaningful organizational change and societal change require cocreation across many constituents, many disciplines. However well intentioned, change making is rarely as simple as placing visualized data in front of human eyeballs. Lets get real. If effective change making was that simple we would be living in a quite different world today.

This cocreation realization has been at the center of our Humantific work since we founded the company in 2001. We are deeply involved in visual sensemaking and realize that its real value is made possible in the context of cocreation. It is a realization that we share with the organizations that we have ongoing work with. Savvy organizational leaders are already operating in the beyond data analytics era. In that next era that is already here, sensemaking and cocreation are deeply intertwined.

Full transcript of Michelle Obama’s Convention Speech

Related:

Humantific CoFounder, Elizabeth Pastor presents SenseMaking for ChangeMaking at the “Data Designed for Decisions Conference” in Paris.

Lost Stories in Information Design History

Out of Balance Competition Launches

03
Aug

E2: Go Social or Go Home?

Thoughts on the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.

On June 18-21 I attended the Enterprise 2.0 (E2) conference in Boston.

Was it just another social media Kool-Aid festival?

The good news is that I saw a lot of opportunity space at Enterprise 2.0. Much of it was between the official narratives.

Here are a few observations for those who might have missed our earlier tweets:

1. What struck me most about the conference was the remarkable sense of energy and optimism around the social media phenomenon. Most conferences present limited views into a subject, typically based around the organizers’ and speakers’ perspectives. In this regard, Enterprise 2.0 was no exception. Clearly the Boston conference presented an edited view into the rapidly moving subject of social media and its many implications for enterprises today. For many attending E2, it seemed to be the technological and organizational business revolution of the moment. Similar to previous technology-driven revolutions, there was a lot of “Get it…you prosper”, “Don’t get it…you’re dead” rhetoric floating around.

2. On the question of whether or not the social media revolution has reached a tipping point in terms of its application to enterprises, the vibe at Enterprise 2.0 reflected a resounding “YES!” Like in other heavily promoted revolutions there were abundant pronouncements that it is a done deal and already late in the game. According to the prevailing folklore of the revolution, it is no longer a question of “if” but rather “how.”

3. My favorite speakers at E2 were Michael Wu from Lithium Technologies, who demonstrated one view into real time analytics, and Andrew Carusone from Lowes, who spoke on enabling change in his organization. Both had real insights to offer.

4. For those with more than a one business cycle perspective, numerous shades of the previous eCommerce revolution could be seen at the E2 conference, including early stage presumption/misunderstanding, that what all leaders need to do to make their organizations more collaborative, more innovative, is buy more IT, this time repurposed as social media. It is going to be interesting to see how such re-spun enthusiasms play out in the much more IT savvy marketplace of today. For Cisco, IBM and various consultancies, the packaging of this wave as social media has been heaven sent.

5. The portion of the social media revolution that appeared at E2 was seen to be less about connecting brains to work on world peace, and more about selling more cornflakes and running shoes faster. It was a little like someone asked an MBA student what could business organizations do with social media and the result was the creation of the E2 conference. There seemed to be very little awareness that a parallel “social universe” already exists, that has, for some time, been focused on social innovation, i.e., innovation in a societal context, rather than business organization context: same “social” term but very different meaning. For those who are familiar with both “social universes,” there was a sense at E2 that half the social universe was missing. It seems likely that, in the near future, Enterprise 2.0 will catch up to the realization that there is a lot more going on in other parts of the social media social universe. Other social media for good conferences seem likely.

6. Adopting social media dynamics to creatively increase consumer spending as the next big survival/growth strategy for corporations was the primary focus of E2.  In many cases what that meant was that underneath all the social technology and social analytics talk was the rather unremarkable, some might say, old world order goal of driving more consumerism. There seem to be no seasoned intellectual heavy hitters on stage, interested in or inclined towards pointing this out, or offering alternates to this singular narrative. Drink the “Lets go do this” Kool-Aid or die seemed to be a central vibe of E2. Of course the idea that this massive, emerging capability should be used solely for driving sales, would represent a significant missed opportunity for a new generation of leaders in the new world. The mind bender was that others in the social innovation space have already figured this out. Many alternate narratives and purposes already exist, which were not discussed or shown at the social media focused Enterprise 2. It took awhile to get the brain around that presence and that absence.

7. Overflowing with references to new analytics, there seem to be none regarding the percentage of the social media movement focused on enhancing consumerism, and the percentage focused on the social innovation for good sector. Considering the bigger picture, rather than the one on view at E2, I would guess presently those numbers look something like this: 50% enhancing consumerism, 50% enhancing social innovation for good.

8. Interconnected with the social media revolution is the parallel revolution in so-called Big Data that is being generated by social media. On the question of—what should humans do with such never before seen data? —again the E2 answer is—use it to sell more stuff to each other. Not present was all the great work being done in the realms of data analytics for good, social sensemaking for good, etc. In addition the focus of presenters at E2 talking on the subject of Big Data was on conveying how easy it has become for amateurs to use open software to generate data visualizations. The process of making sense of all the stuff being generated, good and bad, was not even mentioned. The process of understanding when a visualization is junk or effective was not even mentioned at E2 as the speakers themselves seem to have no idea. It does appear that the various communities assembling around Big Data visualization, including the presenters at E2 are in the very, very early stages of realizing that more is required in change making than visualizations.

9. The Enterprise 2.0 community presently seems to be rather unconnected from the design thinking, innovation, sensemaking and changemaking communities from which they could learn a lot. Considering all the possibilities, the aperture of E2 seemed to be rather narrow. Widening the aperture, it is not difficult to see that deep knowledge exists in many communities connected to the underlying themes of the social revolution, including collaboration, design thinking, sensemaking, analytics, integrative thinking, cocreation, innovation capacity building, etc.  Barely a tiny slice was seen of these knowledge domains at E2.

10. If you are looking for nuanced appreciation of how your business organization has changed and progressed in the last few years, you would not have found it at the binary oriented E2. At the core of the Enterprise 2.0 concept is a giant and rather out of the loop assumption that organizations today remain stuck in old 1950s style command and control structures depicted as Enterprise 1.0. If your organization has already progressed beyond command and control, and you have already enabled collaboration, you might find some of the social media assumptions a little perplexing. The logic seen at E2 works best if you have been drinking the E1 Kool-Aid from 1950 up until last week. Of course many organizational leaders have made significant strides in building innovative collaboration cultures long before social media arrived. That kind of picture was never acknowledged or referenced at E2. With the addition of social media to such organizations, does that acceleration make them E3 organizations? The underlying 2 step logic of E2 seemed to vastly oversimplify the organizational change revolution that has been going on for years. Ordering up some McVisualization, some McChange, some McInnovation was a notion that crossed my mind while watching some of the speakers.

11. Of course mobility and gamification were presented as key trends at E2. The former obviously has deep long legs with enormous implications. Mobile first, desktop second was an often-heard refrain. While gamification was presented as a key performance enabling concept it still seems more like a flavor of the month to me. There is no question that gamification has packaged into a technique for marketers or others looking for new services to offer organizational clients. Did you get your teddy bear today? While I can certainly see situations where gamification can be useful being applied internally with employees and or externally with customers, I wondered about its shelf-life. When will customers grow weary of gaming pitches? Smart senior employees are going to line up to be gamed with 50 colors of teddy bear badges? Once gamification dynamics become widely transparent, how long can that infatuation last? It seems probable that the “Beyond Gamification Era” has already begun somewhere. That would be no surprise.

12. Perhaps the biggest underlying theme at Enterprise 2.0, that seemed to be everywhere, was collaboration. For some it seemed to be a new subject..:-) There was a wide range of interpretations on what the term “collaboration” actually means ranging from simply getting connected, to casual conversation, to more deliberate focused problem solving. Is subscribing to a discussion list now collaboration? As in the earlier eCommerce era, there were lots of IT folks on hand at E2 suggesting (again) that collaboration was going to be as easy as plug and play. It never is. Other than plugging into social media technology and monitoring data analytics, few presenters at E2 seemed to have the foggiest idea how to build collaborative capacity in organizational contexts. The prevailing philosophy seemed to be that the technology itself will get the job done as long as managers stay out of the way. What I saw at E2 could best be described as very early stage awareness of how to cultivate collaboration and innovation in the context of organizations. In terms of an opportunity space, there would seem to be no question that the social media era is a ripe opportunity space for those with deep collaboration enabling knowledge.

13. It was interesting to see that behavior was an often-discussed subject at the E2 conference, but often what was meant by the term was technology adoption- not innovation. Evidently innovation behavior, what it is and how to enable it as a core capability within collaboration, is a subject not yet on many E2 radar screens.

14. Time has returned as an important ingredient in this revolution. The ecommerce era siren call that: “organizations have more money than time”, was replaced with the Nike proclamation: “fast is not enough you need faster”. Accelerating data collection and data visualization are quite different from accelerating the sensemaking and the related changemaking. These more action oriented connections seem to be not yet on radar screens at E2. Of course cognitive acceleration in a business context has a long history but none of that made any kind of appearance at E2. It was like acceleration started when social media arrived. After a while such foreshortened one cycle perspectives grow a little weary.

15. Making sense of the Enterprise 2.0 event in general was not helped by a package of way-finding and catalogue navigation materials, which were, shall we say, a tad under designed from a sensemaking perspective. Running what amounted to a vender event in parallel to the conference, using similar signage added considerable confusion. Such details, as not listing the speaker names beside the event names in the conference catalogue made figuring out who was speaking when and where more difficult than it needed to be. These are rather basic human-centered event and experience design considerations, so I was quite surprised to see them executed in such a mediocre way. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being exceptional from a sensemaking perspective, I would give the E2 way-finding system a 1.5 and the conference catalogue a 1.0. Combine those two elements with a vastly over-scaled event facility and the result was a challenging event landscape for participants.

16. Overall, the Enterprise 2.0 provided an interesting window into the business enterprise side of social media, where that part of the community is and is not, as well as where it is likely going. It does not take a rocket designer to see that where it is not (yet) represents rich opportunity space for others.

I might go back to E2 if they significantly widen the conceptual aperture, redesign it at a more strategic level, have less IT focused presenters, connect it to other communities and revolutions already in motion, fix the navigation and find a venue scaled to the event..:-)

You can follow Humantific on twitter!

 

 

13
Jan

Consultants Kill Innovation? Huh?

We could not help but notice the peculiar article in Fast Company’s online Design section posted on January 9, written by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen provocatively titled: Do Innovation Consultants Kill Innovation?

In the spirit of keeping things simple and straightforward: What a load of crap!

To state the obvious in a slightly longer way: What a fascinating, out of touch, grope in the dark that has little to do with the current state of what is going on around innovation capacity building today.

Some good news…

Savvy organizational leaders already know that posting junk provocations online is a great technique for magazines to generate fleeting web traffic and a lousy technique for building innovation capacity in organizations. As entertaining as it might be, let’s not get expertise in the former confused with expertise in the latter.

Some not-so-good news….

In the real world outside of Fast Companyville, the old marketing quackery approach of suggesting that having no knowledge, no tools and no skills can be sold as the next new thing has been dead for at least ten years. Unless you are also ready to buy the Brooklyn Bridge it is unlikely that you would get much from the “Kill” innovation article. Fast Company seems to be adrift in nonsense bubbles from bygone eras.

Speaking of innovation: When was the last time that Fast Company published anything even remotely relevant to the actual current states of design and innovation today?

26
Oct

Teaching Co-Creation Now

Continuing its ReReThinking Design series, NextDesign Leadership Institute has published a new virtual book: “Teaching Co-Creation Now” which makes transparent several long-brewing but seldom-talked-about graduate design education challenges. Like most NextD material, this story reflects considerable synthesis after years of listening to NextD Academy workshop participants and many visiting graduate students from around the world.

To quote the story’s author, GK VanPatter: “Not everyone is going to like the notion of defuzzing this particular subject, but when it comes to deeply understanding what the rise of cocreation really means for graduate design education, it’s getting very late. It’s possible that we have not been clear enough in some of our own earlier materials. Cross-disciplinary cocreation remains at the core of next design, whether everyone likes it or not.”

Recognizing that it’s important to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk, NextD Academy has been offering next design leadership workshops every summer since 2003. Numerous forward thinking design education leaders have attended.

Join the NextDesign Leadership Network conversations!

27
Jun

Thinking Made Visible Research

We are delighted to see so much interest in Humantific’s Integrative Thinking Research Initiative. Much to our surprise viewers of the Design Thinking Made Visible Project story have exceeded 15,000.

Posted for public viewing the research outcome included these findings:

Integrative Thinking Research: 10 Key Findings:

Finding 1
This research predates and debunks the widely publicized 2009 academic theory that thinking attributes (reliability & validity) can be rigidly pre-assigned to individuals or teams based on discipline labels such as design, designer or business, business manager. (This is a nice way of saying this was already known prior to 2009.)

Finding 2
Some students of design schools have the same thinking preferences as some students in business schools and vice-versa.

Finding 3
Professors and students are generally unaware of how radically different design process approaches are from one person to another.

Finding 4
Many students of design/innovation are not accustomed to externalizing their thinking process.

Finding 5
For numerous students in this study design thinking jumps off from a framed problem defined by a brief. Often there was no process activity upstream from the brief.

Finding 6
Design Thinking processes often appear very different visually while similar fundamental steps can often be found within. Some steps appear universal, other situational.

Finding 7
Most Design Thinking processes seen here have assumptions embedded that outcomes will be product or service creation.

Finding 8
Most design thinking process models seen in this study contain no reference to behaviors.

Finding 9
This research makes visible why the orchestration of design innovation work remains complex and a key challenge for teams and organizations.

Finding 10
This research suggests that real tools and visually sharable results are extremely useful in moving understanding of Integrative Thinking beyond stereotypical notions of design thinking and business thinking.

You can see these findings on pages 119-129 inside the Design Thinking Made Visible Project.

For “What is Integrative Thinking” see page 13-29
For “Humantific’s Innovation Harmonics” see page 18-29
For “Integrative Thinking in History” see page 131-135

Humantific has numerous streams of Thinking Made Visible Research in progress. Not all Humantific research is public. We often work with business leaders seeking to create private internal research projects focused on better understanding various aspects of their organizations “Innovation Brain”.

If your business organization or school would like to participate in one of our public or private streams of Thinking Made Visible Research send an email to thinkingresearch (at) humantific (dot) com.

27
Jun

Humantific at the BBC

Bringing Complexity Navigation Skills to the BBC in London

Humantific is working with the BBC bringing Complexity Navigation Skills to their User Experience & Design senior leadership team this summer and fall seasons.

Humantific’s Janet Getto and Elizabeth Pastor spent a week in London this past June with BBC’s User Experience & Design senior leadership team. The Strategic CoCreation program was focused on learning cross-disciplinary innovation process skills. The team was very engaged and enthusiastic and gave the whole experience a 9.1 average rating (over 10). Adam Powers, Head of User Experience & Design for Branded Experiences, had great things to say after the experience:

“Humantific were hired by BBC UX&D to deliver a four-day workshop. I am not overstating things when I say that Janet and Elizabeth’s work was transformational for the fourteen people that attended. Seismic organisational changes in BBC UX&D meant that all attendees were particularly open to new ways of thinking, problem solving and collaborating, but Humantific gave us shape and extraordinary focus. We left with practical tools and felt empowered to use them, along with a sense of shared purpose that unified a previously disconnected bunch of creatives. Many organisations can provide training in this Design thinking /Innovation space, but Janet and Elizabeth bring unique insights and approaches – and what’s more, they bring themselves. Inspirational.”

Humantific’s Elizabeth Pastor and Michael Babwahsingh will be back this fall for the second part of the program focused on Visual SenseMaking. Stay tuned!