Tag: GK VanPatter

09
Aug

Virtual Visual SenseMaking

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In the Recording Studio

Humantific’s E. Pastor and GK. VanPatter having a few laughs working in the studio recording the new Visual SenseMaking virtual course as part of the new Future Work Skills Academy in collaboration with our friends at 4th Industrial Revolution.

Big thanks to Donna Eiby for all her amazing guidance and support in this new adventure. Designing and delivering virtual learning programs is hard work!

Virtual Visual SenseMaking Coming Soon!

Send us an email if you would like to be advised when this program launches. kickitup (at) humantific (dot) com

 

04
Aug

Design Thinking Futures [Part 2]

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PART 2 of 2:

GK VanPatter in conversation with Rafiq Elmansy

Rafiq Elmansy: What is your advice to design students in order to help to prepare themselves for the future business challenges?

GK VanPatter: In speaking at various graduate schools what we suggest in general is to look forward not backward. It is great and useful to understand design history and appreciate various design heroes but understand that the marketplace is in forward motion. The arenas of design are changing. First and foremost think carefully about what scale of challenges you are most interested in. There are serious methodology and skill building implications because there is not just one design thinking.

If you want to work on logo and poster size challenges then a 100% invisible, intuitive process might be perfect for you and that arena. If you want to work in the context of organizational change-making or societal change-making where there is high complexity and many disciplines typically involved then more process skill is going to be required. Understand that the diverse worlds of design focused at different scales of challenges, with their various neighborhood heroes, all have their strongly held opinions regarding the process or lack thereof. That will never change. You have to decide which neighborhood, which arena makes the most sense for you to belong to.

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To new generation folks, we also suggest thinking practically, realistically about which scale arena is growing and which is shrinking. Not often discussed in the graduate design schools is that some arenas are growing and some have already rapidly shrunk due to globalization. Some of your old design heroes might have practiced in a now greatly reduced in size arena.

Globalization has ravaged the fee structure of Design 1 and is on its way to doing the same with Design 2, product, service and experience creation. Thus Design 1 is a shrinking commoditized arena while Design 3 and 4 are growing arenas with vastly different fee structures. In part, this explains the movement in that direction by all the major design consultancies as well as the graduate business schools and their graduates.

The tricky part is those arenas also involve different skills and methods.

See the entire Part 2 of the interview here:

01
Aug

Double Diamond Method

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Understanding What was Missed

Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter posts to his LinkedIn blog: Hello again Humantific readers. This week we are taking a short look at one of the most blogged about historical design community process models and that is the infamous Double Diamond circa 2005.

Recently I saw someone on LinkedIn offering up a critique of Double Diamond pointing out deficiencies and suggesting that Triple Diamond is really the solution today. :-) Others in the design community have offered a zillion redrawn versions of Double Diamond sometimes oddly grafting up to 14 steps within two diamond shapes. There seems to be an endless supply of blog posts on this subject, many coming from within the design community.

Of course method design experimentation can be wonderful AND what we find often missing from this particular exploration is any kind of meaningful historical context. To coin a popular knowledge management community phrase; it seems that often the Double Diamond experimenters do not know what they don’t know in terms of methods history. Never a great idea is designing innovation methods in a historical vacuum. :-)

See the entire post here on LinkedIn.

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27
Jul

Design Thinking Futures [Part 1]

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PART 1 of 2:

GK VanPatter in conversation with Rafiq Elmansy

Rafiq Elmansy: In one of your articles, MAKING SENSE OF: “Why Design Thinking Will Fail,” you classified design thinking into upstream and downstream design thinking. Can you clarify this taxonomy for our readers?

GK VanPatter: Yes certainly. We see a lot of articles online like the now infamous “Why Design Thinking Will Fail” post that you referred to. Our response, posted to LinkedIn contains a reference to the situation that I just referred to above. The impact of the methodology mess that now exists becomes clear in that article. (See link below.)

Regarding upstream and downstream, we created this distinction as one part of a larger taxonomy while researching and writing our recently published book Innovation Methods Mapping to convey important differences in methodologies. In the book, readers can see and make use of the entire taxonomy as a reusable analysis framework. Our goal in creating the analysis lens is not jargon-making but rather to introduce considerations and meaning not previously present.

The terms upstream and downstream relate to the assumed starting points of the methodology. Upstream means upstream from the “brief”, which is a framed or semi-framed challenge. In upstream contexts, one cannot and does not assume to know what the challenges actually might be. Part of the work is to create the interconnected constellation of challenges, often seen for the first time. The everyday context for upstream is complex organizations and societies where many types of challenges tend to exist. Why would anyone assume all challenges on the planet are product or service related? From our open innovation perspective that makes no sense at all.

Downstream is the brief business where much of the traditional design industries (and graduate design schools) have been focused for decades. Most often in downstream methods, the assumption is that the challenge to be addressed is pre-assumed to be related to product, service or experience design regardless of what the challenges actually might be.

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Both upstream and downstream methods are useful. The problems arise when downstream methods are force-fitted into upstream contexts. Today in a competitive marketplace, whether we all like it or not, many graduate design schools are, due to their slow adaptation over a decade, out pitching the quick-fix notion that down is up, that downstream methods are universal, that downstream methods are meta design. That is more about marketing than methodologies. This spin pitching has contributed, not to the making sense of the subject, but rather to the mountain of confusion that now exists and continues to grow. Ultimately that spin will likely undermine the credibility of those advocates, but hopefully not the subject and the interest in adaptive skills.

What we find is that the methodology related sensemaking that we do is welcomed by many and not appreciated by some who would prefer that these differences not be pointed out. Not everyone is going to be a fan of more clarity around the subject of design/design thinking. So be it.

See the entire Part 1 of the interview here:

13
Jul

Crediting “How Might We?”

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Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter posts to his LinkedIn blog: “Hello again Humantific readers. In the spirit of proper crediting and on behalf of Dr. Sid Parnes [1922-2013] we are returning again to this slippery subject. It keeps popping up and up! An often seen crediting error that seems to keep repeating itself over and over again in the business community media, now in the government community media is in reference to where the now widely used invitation stem How Might We? came from.

Humantific readers will already know it came from Dr. Sid Parnes not IDEO.

Sid is no longer around to speak up for himself and IDEO never seems to step forward to correct the often appearing misdirected crediting. We have ourselves written extensively on this subject crediting Sid.

The most recent appearance of this misdirected crediting can be seen here in this article entitled “The Three Words That Make Brainstorming Sessions at Google, Facebook and IDEO More Productive” appearing on July 10, 2017 in the publication “Government Executive” written by Leah Fessler.

To be fair to Dr. Parnes we have repeatedly pointed out that How Might We? actually has its roots in the CPS (Creative Problem Solving) community, not the design community. Sid is internationally recognized as a pioneering figure in that community of practice. His contributions are many.

“How Might We?” “How Might I” and “In What Ways Might We?” were all first introduced publically some fifty years ago by Sid Parnes in his groundbreaking book Creative Behavior Guidebook published in 1967.”

See the entire post here on GK’s Linkedin Blog!

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28
Jun

Clarifying “Design Thinking”

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Forbes vs Humantific

Humantific CoFounder, GK VanPatter offers Humantific readers a deeper level of leadership understanding on the murky subject of “Design Thinking”:

“A recent article appearing in Forbes entitled “Design Thinking: Your Next Competitive Advantage” reminded us that the mountain of confusion around the subject continues to grow. Most articles on the subject of Design Thinking appearing in the business media are well intentioned but many miss the mark, adding to the public confusion on this subject. This seems to be occurring for several different, often overlapping reasons:

A: Many authors assume their specific neighborhood perspectives apply to all aspects of the Design / Design Thinking community, when they don’t. There is no one Design Thinking. Different parts of the design community are engaged in vastly different types and scales of challenges. Working on posters, toothbrushes or applications is vastly different from transforming organizations or problem solving in communities.

B: There is a constant self-reinforcing stream of overly simplistic depictions of Design Thinking in the media which parrot the promotional literature of the graduate design schools whether it makes any sense in the real world or not.

C: Often historical figures are quoted from eras when the operational arenas of design were much less strategic and considerably narrower then they are today. Some historical quotes no longer apply. Others are flat-out incorrect. As design knowledge expands some of these popular old quotes remain relevant while others fall away.

On the one hand it would be easy for us to jump on and go along with the promotional parroting train around Design Thinking but none of that is really advancing leadership level understanding of the subject.

For our Humantific readers we want to offer more. In the interest of clarity for our readers we offer here a different perspective on several dimensions of Design Thinking that were referenced recently in the Forbes article.”

Read the complete post on GK’s LinkedIn Blog.

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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:

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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