Tag: Complexity Navigation Program

07
Jan

High Demand Work Skills

businessweek

Humantific works with organizational leaders in numerous industries to build team-based innovation capacity so we were naturally interested to see this article appear recently in BloomBerg BusinessWeek directed at its MBA audience.

“We surveyed recruiters in two dozen industries, from consulting to consumer products, so while we asked specifically about their preferences in MBA recruiting, their feedback likely applies to a wide pool of applicants for the same types of jobs.”

Framed as “These are the Skills You Need if You Want to Be Headhunted” many of the high demand capabilities are those embedded in what participants learn in Humantific’s Complexity Navigation Program including these 10 key skills:

Strategic Thinking*
Creative Problem-Solving*
Leadership Skills*
Collaboration Skills
Adaptability Skills
Analytical Thinking
Initiative Taking
Decision Making
Entrepreneurship
Communication Skills

Data from this survey showed that Strategic Thinking*, Creative Problem-Solving* and Leadereship Skills* are not only in high demand but are also “the hardest to find”!

In the context of organizations this 10 skills list translates into need for investment in innovation capacity building, in innovation skills, in a new generation of adaptability skills.

Many organizations are already hard at work on building such innovation capacity. Today a new generation of adaptablity skills have taken shape in this “big data era” where making sense of complexity is now often key.

For more information on the Humantific Complexity Navigation program feel free to send us an email: programs (at) humantific (dot) com

Spontaneous FeedBack from Complexity Navigation Graduate

Related:

Building 20/20 Workforce Skills

Humantific at ICADE Executive MBA Program

Future Evisioning Workshops In Organizations

Humantific: New Visions, New Leaders

OnBoarding Advanced Problem Solving

McKensey: Calling All SenseMakers

 

 

18
Dec

Humantific at ICADE Business School

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Humantific CoFounder Elizabeth Pastor is back in Madrid this week teaching Complexity Navigation skills to MBA students at ICADE Graduate Business School, one of Spain’s leading business and economics universities.

This week-long series of sessions include tracks in Strategic CoCreation and Visual SenseMaking have been customized by Humantific for ICADE. Increasingly graduate business schools are recognizing that every leader in every industry is facing innovation and change driving challenges today. The hunger for new generation changemaking methods that integrate data/information sensemaking continues to rise.

We teach these skills in modules. As students advance they integrate the modules spanning Strategic CoCreation, Design Research and Visual SenseMaking. These are 21st century leadership skills.

For more information on how to onboard the Humantific Complexity Navigation Program feel free to send us an email: engage (at) humantific (dot) com.

Related:

Humanific at European Institute of Design 

Trumping Brainstorming

The OTHER Design Thinking

21
Nov

Humantific at Gates Foundation

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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?

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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.

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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

 

 

 

27
May

Miosuro Visual SenseMaking at CPSI

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Humantific’s Valentina Miosuro will be teaching a Visual SenseMaking workshop at the upcoming CPSI 2014 (Creative Problem Solving Institute) conference June 18 to 22 in Buffalo, NY.

For those not familiar with the applied creativity community of practice also called the CPS (Creative Problem Solving) community, this is its long running annual conference and the most important event of the year. This year CPSI is celebrating its 60th anniversary!

“About CPSI:  CPSI is an annual international conference hosted by the Creative Education Foundation focused on three main areas – creativity, innovation and leading change.”

What is Visual SenseMaking?

It’s not graphic facilitation! Visual SenseMaking is the activity of making sense of ambiguous complex situations, through visual methods and tools including word, images, drawings, diagrams, charts, graphs. The power of Humantific’s Visual SenseMaking is that we integrate it with advanced Strategic Cocreation skills. While the skill of Visual SenseMaking can be broadly applied to many life situations, we focus on Visual SenseMaking in the context of organizational change making.

At Humantific Visual SenseMaking is part of a broader skill-building program that we offer our organizational leader clients. Humantific’s Complexity Navigation Program combines basic and advanced skill-building in Strategic Cocreation, Design Research and Visual SenseMaking. Combined these are change oriented 21st century leadership skills.

Related: See what we do with Visual SenseMaking!

Visual SenseMaking

SenseMaking for ChangeMaking

The OTHER Design Thinking

 

10
Feb

The Energy of BRAINBOOM!

This short video just published by European Institute of Design in Madrid captures the energy of BRAINBOOM, a four day graduate student orientation program designed by Humantific. Shown here leading from center stage is Elizabeth Pastor.

Special thanks goes to the IED faculty and staff for a great collaboration! Thanks for having the courage to undertake such an adventuresome rethinking of graduate student orientation with us.

Humantific is often asked to design experiential learning programs that involve cocreation skills-transfer.

Related:

Istituto Europeo di Design

BRAINBOOM: It’s a Wrap!

 

24
Dec

On-Boarding Advanced Problem Solving

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We are always happy, happy, happy to see writers and organizations setting aside the often appearing verbal volley-ball around terms such as problem finding/problem solving and instead return to recognizing the value of such skills in the context of the challenges being faced today by organizations in every industry. Michael Skok modeled such a return recently writing in the Harvard Business Review blog entitled: “Amazon Turned a Flaw into Gold with Advanced Problem-Solving”

In the Amazon story, problem finding, problem solving and the orientation of seeing problems as opportunities play significant roles as does the turning of a specific internal situational solution into an external global solution offering.

Here are 10 things that we liked and agreed with in Skok’s post:

1.  “…make it everyone’s responsibility to solve problems at EVERY level in the organization.”

2. “Grass roots collaborative solutions are so often the best.”

3. “Some of the best solutions come from multi-disciplinary, multi-level, 
cross-functional problem solving.”

4. “Try even to engage your customers, partners and communities from 
outside the company. This co-creation often fosters trust and understanding.”

 5. “Encourage self-awareness and motivate people to ask for help to develop their weaknesses and team around their strengths.”

6. “Offer training and development for those who want to reach higher.”

7. “Recognize and reward progress up…problem solving [Skills Progression] levels.”

8. “Look beyond problem prevention – create new opportunities from continuous improvement.”

 9. “Taking this approach to problem solving will build both abundance and resilience on your team.”

 10. “I’ve found that the companies that attract, nourish and reward people with great problem-solving skills as a core competency get tremendous competitive advantage from it.”

Of course making it everyone’s responsibility to solve problems at EVERY level in the organization suggests the on-boarding of an adaptable skill-set that extends beyond product, service, experience and interface creation. Today most organizational leaders recognize that many types of challenges exist in their organizations in addition to product and service related creation.

Whether organizations choose to call what they are using to address such diverse challenges their innovation toolbox, problem solving toolbox or complexity navigation toolbox matters a whole lot less than what is actually inside it, what it is designed to help you do. Whatever you choose to call it we agree that having an adaptable change-making tool-set and skill-set applicable in multi-disciplinary contexts remains key.

Related:

ReAppreciating Applied Creativity History

 

 

19
Dec

Beyond Brainstorming

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What Humantific Clients Already Know…

Andy Warhol was once asked in an interview what he thought about Jasper Johns. Andy replied that he thought Jasper was great. The interviewer then asked why he thought so. Andy replied, “Because he makes great lunches.”

Well that’s kind of a good way to think about brainstorming too. Practitioners of team facilitation with years of experience can see value in brainstorming and like Andy’s perspective shift on Jasper, probably not from the direction that you might expect and certainly not for the reasons being endlessly debated in the mainstream media these days.

Here at Humantific we often ask ourselves; what’s the big deal about brainstorming? Other than driving attention to websites what’s the hullabaloo in the media all about? The topic seems to translate into a lot of dogs chasing tails when with a little more context, a little more insight, that energy could be better invested elsewhere.

As we have pointed out to our readers on this blog several times: In this innovation enabling industry; “It is widely recognized that brainstorming has not been considered a stand-alone creative methodology or technique since the late 1950s. No leading innovation consultancy that we know of [including Humantific] uses any version of brainstorming as a standalone method.”

In most practice-based innovation skill-building programs, including Humantific Academy, brainstorming in its various reinvented forms is considered introductory skill, boot camp level knowledge. Once organizational leaders are engaged in their innovation journey they rapidly see that serious innovation capacity building is like building a house. Saying brainstorming is ineffective is akin to saying a hammer doesn’t work to build a house. Clearly you are going to need more than a hammer! Yes indeed you will need to conceive of the house design before you start building and once under way you will need an arsenal of tools in your innovation toolbox not just a hammer. In addition to a great design and multiple tools, you need the deep knowledge of the house building process. No organizational leader that we work with today operates under the assumption that mastering brainstorming is going to get the innovation job done.

To build that innovation house will not only require a variety of tools, you will also need to know how to use them effectively. As a skilled cocreation facilitator, you should have many tools and know how and when to use them. Walking around as a hammer is not very effective. As an innovation leader what you want to have in your back pocket is more like a Swiss-army-knife.

For seasoned facilitation practitioners the key to extracting the value of brainstorming is to understand its ingredients, its DNA, the ‘what’s inside’ part and then know what is needed to reconfigure those elements in ways that bring to bear their full power. Experienced practitioners know how to get at the key ingredients and how to reformulate their value in the context of everyday work. This is “the great lunch” of brainstorming.

Years after brainstorming was created, Alex Osborn and Sid Parnes had already embarked on that reformulation road when they shifted towards a more powerful mash-up that included what we now refer to as root behaviors that operate inside an adaptable framework that is focused, not on ideation but rather moves from fuzzy front end through to implementation and today measurement. Osborn and Parnes recognized early on that much more than brainstorming was going to be required. Don’t miss that turn in the road.

Shift and build, shift and build more or less describes the continuous cycle of knowledge construction that has been occurring ever since. Many experts and non-experts have made contributions to that ever-evolving knowledge field at the center of this hybrid community of practice. If you miss all the shifting and building that has occurred it is unlikely that you will understand what’s needed and what’s possible today.

At this point, many additional tools, instruments, techniques, refinements and ways of working have been added or subtracted to that knowledge soup. Of course the hammer itself has also been redesigned many, many times and is today a shadow of its original self. For this reason, we don’t expend energy re-debating the effectiveness of the 1953 perspective as it has long ago been superseded.

From the early pioneering days of addressing relatively simple challenges to the current era of tackling highly complex fuzzy situations, integrating upstream framing and data/information visualization, there are two things that have remained constant. However you choose to slice and dice all of those many knowledge additions the principles of skills and behaviors remain key elements today.

It is mastery of root innovation behavior orchestration in the context of multiple disciplines that holds the possibility for organizations to create sustainable adaptive cultures today. Unless you are up for the long, painful route to house building, don’t miss that key ingredient.  Even if you seek to put your house on wheels or attach wings, a strong foundational platform is crucial to its success. In sustainable innovation culture construction everything builds from foundational root behaviors. It sounds easy. It’s the getting there that takes the real work.

If your organizations’ goal is to build capacity for proactive innovation, changemaking, adaptability, flexibility, fluxability, resilience, whatever you choose to call that, you will want to set your sights far beyond the capacity to simply generate ideas. Forward thinking leaders in every industry are busy on-boarding advanced innovation skills to the point where having them has already become an essential component in many next generation leadership programs. The truth is root behavior mastery is foundational to many advanced innovation skills. Mastering those behaviors individually and collectively represents an important step along the skills progression ladder, not the current end state of innovation capacity-building today.

Thanks again for the perspective shifts Mr. Warhol. Lets all have a great lunch on Andy today!

GK VanPatter & Janet Getto

Humantific’s 3 Universal Beyond Brainstorming Principles:

1. BrainFraming Preceeds BrainStorming

Unless you have undertaken some form of upstream framing with multiple participants there is a 75% chance that your brainstorm is being focused in the wrong direction, at the wrong altitude on the wrong problem. Before you begin, back-up and make sure you are pointing your brainstorm in the right direction. Conscious real-time participatory reframing is now possible. Understanding context of the challenge precedes getting to a strategic and meaningful launch point for ideation.

2. Everyday Innovation Trumps Brainstorming

Don’t wait for special occasion “brainstorming sessions” to skill your team from a behavioral perspective. Embed mastery of generative thinking as separate to evaluative thinking as one root behavior in your everyday innovation learning program. Do the work to understand that the behaviors appear in every meeting, in every organization, in every industry, in every country, everyday. Make an investment in understanding the dynamics of everyday innovation.

3. Practical Realizations Trump Media Slogans

Forget the endless sloganeering being generated in the media to attract readers. Stay grounded in real needs and practical realizations. Connect root behaviors directly into your already existing corporate values. If you have identified diversity and innovation as among your values you are half-way home. Now do the work to figure out how root behaviors are connected to these values. Doing such work represents a much smarter investment than reading yet another armchair experts blog post on “Let’s Kill Brainstorming”. Lets understand what trumps what and keep moving forward beyond individual techniques and towards inclusive innovation culture building.

Related:

Making Sense of Alex Osborn

Lost Stories Applied Creativity History

Teaching Complexity Navigation

02
Dec

Humantific at ICADE MBA Program

ICADE-Nov2013

Humantific CoFounder, Elizabeth Pastor is this week teaching cross-disciplinary Strategic CoCreation skills in the Executive MBA Program at ICADE, one of Spain’s leading Business and Economics Universities. We continue to see interest in practical innovation skill-building rising around the world. Near and dear to much of what we do at Humantific is the theme of New Terrain, New Leaders, New Skills. It is a theme that we believe in as we work with several forward thinking graduate schools.

Strategic CoCreation skill-building is part of Humantific’s Complexity Navigation Program. These are 21st century leadership skills taught in experiential workshops.

To inquire about having Humantific teach Complexity Navigation in your organization or graduate program feel free to send an email to programs (@) 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

28
Oct

BRAINBOOM! in Madrid: It’s a WRAP!

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BRAINBOOM! wrapped up on Friday in Madrid. Thanks to all who participated.

Our congratulations and best wishes go out to all of the masters students at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) Madrid who kicked off their year with the 4-day BRAINBOOM! event, designed and delivered by Humantific. Nearly 200 participants from around the globe came together for 4 days of intensive cocreation, visual sensemaking, and envisioning skill-building. It was an incredible few days for all involved.

Our special thanks goes to the IED faculty and staff for a great collaboration! Thanks for having the courage to undertake such an adventuresome rethinking of graduate student orientation with us.

Interested in Future Workshops?

Skill-building workshops is only one of many work streams at Humantific. We are doing workshop based cross-disciplinary innovation skill-building on an ongoing basis with organizations in numerous countries. If you would like to consider bringing Humantific in to your organization to help with your innovation skill-building, innovation strategy creation, strategic thinking for leaders, feel free to let us know. Send email to: engage (at) humantific (dot) com

18
Jun

Elizabeth Pastor in Madrid

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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