Tag: GK VanPatter

07
Dec

Out of Balance Competition Heats UP!

Update: Our friends at Magazine ARCH+ in Germany are telling us that there has been a tremendous response to the Out of Balance Competition / Information Design after Otto Neurath.

By the end of the initial “Inscription” Phase that closed in early November, 495 teams from 40 countries had signaled their intention to submit over 1000 entries in January.

In some countries more teams have assembled than others.

Below are the five countries that have assembled the most teams:

In Germany 301 teams have assembled.

In Austria: 46 teams

USA: 25 teams

UK: 15 teams

Switzerland: 13 teams

It is going to be very interesting to see what 495 teams from 40 countries create!

Stay tuned for more!

Prize Money: 20,000 Euros

Competition Sponsors & Collaborators: Magazine ARCH+, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Autodesk, Humantific, M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst.

From The Competition Description:

“Today we have access to an unencompassable wealth of data, much of it automatically generated: statistics, personal data, photos, documents, etc. Hardly anything seems able to elude this universal visibility in the digital age. At the same time, the present is increasingly more opaque. There are precise data for more and more questions of detail, but it is getting harder to find orientation and gain an overview of the present; the quantitative description of phenomena is getting denser, but understanding of the underlying relations and processes seems to be vanishing.”

Exhibition and Publication
“The competition submissions will be published by the competition’s organizers and exhibited in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in Autumn 2013.”

Learning From Otto Neurath See Here:

Before, During & After Isotype
Isotype Building Bridges
Making Sense of Industries

 

18
Oct

McKinsey: Calling all SenseMakers!

We enjoyed reading the impressive McKinsey Global Institute Report entitled: Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.” We would highly recommend this 245 page report to anyone interested in the interconnections between so-called Big Data and Innovation.

Heavily weighted towards the technology aspects of the Big Data wave we were delighted to see growing awareness expressed regarding the human-centered aspects of the role of data and information in problem-solving and innovation.

For us these were the most important points in the 145 page document:

“Presenting information in such a way that people can consume it effectively is a key challenge that needs to be met if analyzing data is to lead to concrete action.”

“Human beings may have limits in their ability to consume and understand big data. The generation of big data may be growing exponentially and advancing technology may allow the global economy to store and process ever greater quantities of data, but there may be limits to our innate human ability—our sensory and cognitive faculties—to process this data torrent. It is said that the mind can handle about seven pieces of information in its short-term memory.”

“The topic of information overload has been widely studied by academics from neuroscientists to economists. Economist Herbert Simon once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”

“Despite these apparent limits, there are ways to help organizations and individuals to process, visualize, and synthesize meaning from big data. For instance, more sophisticated visualization techniques and algorithms, including automated algorithms, can enable people to see patterns in large amounts of data and help them to unearth the most pertinent insights.”

“Advancing collaboration technology also allows a large number of individuals, each of whom may possess understanding of a special area of information, to come together in order to create a whole picture to tackle interdisciplinary problems.”

“If organizations and individuals deployed such techniques more widely, end-user demand for big data could strengthen significantly.”

 “Human beings have evolved to become highly effective at perceiving certain types of patterns with their senses but continue to face significant constraints in their ability to process other types of data such as large amounts of numerical or text data. For this reason, there is a currently a tremendous amount of research and innovation in the field of visualization, i.e., techniques and technologies used for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate, understand, and improve the results of big data analyses. We present some examples to provide a glimpse into this burgeoning and important field that supports big data.”

“We project a need for 1.5 million additional managers and analysts in the United States who can can ask the right questions and consume the results of the analysis of big data effectively.”

The visualization examples provided in this McKinsey report are somewhat primitive and there seemed to be little awareness regarding the information design community that has been focused on shaping data and information for human digestion long before the current Big Data wave arrived.

In addition there were no examples of humans interacting with visualized information that has been integrated directly into innovation process. This report did not really talk about how leading firms are already working at this intersection combining visual sensemaking with advanced problem solving. Humantific has been working this intersection since 2001! We have already learned alot about the human to information to innovation interface! In terms of capability we call this The New Adaptability….more soon!

Overall this is an excellent report worth reading. It can be downloaded for free.

Mc Kinsey Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.

Related:

Mc Kinsey: Trust Culture = Social = Gold

The Rise of Visual SenseMaking

Go Social or Go Home

Michelle Obama talks Data Analytics!

Humantific at Data Designed for Decisions Paris

Data Visualization 1890

20
Sep

Origins of How Might We?

Since the term “How Might We?” has been in the news so much recently we thought this might be a good moment to repost a small portion of an earlier article from our Lost Innovation Stories series that was published here on February 21, 2012.

In that tribute to the early work of Sidney J. Parnes Ph.D. we made reference to and gave due credit to the appearance of the term “How Might We” in Parnes’s 1967 book entitled Creative Behavior Guidebook. We consider that book to be among the top ten most important early books on the subject of Applied Creativity. Lets give credit where credit is due.

Many have since built on Sidney’s work. The good news is that much of what Parnes created and shared early on has long since passed into the public domain.

We consider Sidney Parnes to be one of several unsung pioneers in the still evolving OPEN Innovation movement. The truth is, that movement has its roots in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, rather than in 2003.

“Invitation Stems (“How Mights”)

The introduction of what are known as invitation stems, sometimes referred to as “How Mights,” are among the important tactical instruments included by Parnes in his Creative Behavior Guidebook published in 1967. Invitation stems became important, fundamental building blocks in the still-evolving logic of what is known today as “challenge framing” or “challenge mapping.” In Guidebook, Parnes introduces numerous key invitation stems that have sometimes been creatively attributed to later arriving others; included are: “How Might I?” (page131), “How Might We?” (page 125), “How Might You?” (page 161), and “In What Ways Might We?” (page 127). Since that 1967 publication, many additional invitation stems have been added by others, including “How Might They?”, “How Might Our Team?”, “How Might Our Organization?”, etc. Thanks to Sidney’s early work, “How Mights” have been in the public domain for decades, and have become integral to numerous creative thinking systems. Framed as questions in search of answers, “How Mights” can be seen in practical, everyday use within many innovation consultancies today, including Humantific, IDEO and many others. What’s different now is what we do with them.”

UPDATE: See Part 2 and Part 3 of Origins of How Might We? below in additional comments by GK VanPatter.

Note: Applied Creativity pioneer Sid Parnes authored 17 books from 1960 to 1997, including: Toward Supersanity: Channeled Freedom (1972), The Magic of Your Mind (1981), A Facilitating Style of Leadership (1985) and Source Book for Creative Problem Solving: A Fifty Year Digest of Proven Innovation Processes (1992). That list can be found on Wikipedia.

See the entire post here: Lost Stories Applied Creativity History.

Image Source: Parnes, Sidney J. Creative Behavior Guidebook. 1967. Page 125. Humantific Innovation Archives, New York.

Related:

Coming Soon:

Innovation Methods Mapping: De-Mystifying 80+ Years of Innovation Process Design.

Feel free to subscribe to Humantific Quarterly.

10
Sep

McKinsey: Trust Culture + Social = Gold

We were delighted to see the conclusions reached in the new McKinsey Global Institute Report entitled: The Social Economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies:

“To reap the full benefit of social technologies, organizations must transform their structures, processes, and cultures: they will need to become more open and nonhierarchical and to create a culture of trust. Ultimately, the power of social technologies hinges on the full and enthusiastic participation of employees who are not afraid to share their thoughts and trust that their contributions will be respected. Creating these conditions will be far more challenging than implementing the technologies themselves.”

We certainly agree!

This is a realization that arrived rather late in the previous eCommerce era so we are happy to see it being stated clearly up front in this emerging Social Economy era.

Related:

E2: Go Social or Go Home?

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

08
Aug

Out of Balance Competition Launches

Humantific is delighted to announce our international competition collaboration with Magazine ARCH+ and Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

OUT OF BALANCE  – CRITIQUE OF THE PRESENT
Information Design after Otto Neurath

Prize Money: 20,000 Euros

Sponsors: Autodesk, Humantific, M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst

The Topic
“1. Societal processes are presently emerging that make a balancing of social inequalities ever more unlikely and that pose a serious danger that society will drift apart, both on the global and national level and on the regional and local level. People are born into socio-spatial circumstances. Their chances in life vary in the extreme because of this “randomness”. In the interest of social integration and in accordance with democracy’s postulate of equality, modern societies embody the promise of an equalization of living circumstances. This is a guarantee for the political stability of a community. So it is not only permitted, but clearly necessary to ask about the fulfillment of this political desideratum. That means to ask what social reality actually looks like; to ask about the balance of a 30-year phase of ne liberal economy on a global level; to ask what effects deregulation and the privatization of state tasks and the restructuring of the social systems in Europe have had; and to ask how the unleashing of the global financial industry affects above all the economically weak.

Cities have always been the sites of migrants’ hopes for survival and the improvement of their situations, but they are also sites of organized defensiveness, inequality, and exclusion. The urbanization of world society is an accelerating process.

In the 21st century, for the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in rural environments, with unpredictable and initially catastrophic consequences for both rural and urban areas. In the megalopolises of the Third World and emerging countries, the social conditions of 19th-century Europe are resurfacing in potentiated form. At the same time, these processes affect the “old” world by means of streams of capital, goods, and migrants, creating new imbalances and disadvantages there. Starting with the financial markets, a system of organized irresponsibility has spread that not only exacerbates social differences, but also consciously exploits them for private advantages.

We live in a time that must be newly surveyed – in social terms and as the basis for a new societal consensus. Coming back to “real things” is the precondition for this.”

“2. Today, the difficulty of empirically describing reality no longer lies in a lack of information, but, quite the contrary, in the constantly growing amount of data that make it difficult to draw an overall picture of society and to distinguish between what is important and what is unimportant. Today we have access to an unencompassable wealth of data, much of it automatically generated: statistics, personal data, photos, documents, etc. Hardly anything seems able to elude this universal visibility in the digital age. At the same time, the present is increasingly more opaque. There are precise data for more and more questions of detail, but it is getting harder to find orientation and gain an overview of the present; the quantitative description of phenomena is getting denser, but understanding of the underlying relations and processes seems to be vanishing. Considering that all societal activity depends on information, the wealth of data poses a real dilemma; we can indeed speak of a “digital opacity”. Automated processing with the aid of programs that autonomously view, order, and evaluate data in no way automatically creates transparency.

A situation arises in which political activity is not empirically verifiable and is dissolved in politically exploitable contradictions.

Information design is more than a collection of data: information design uses data to create statements that provide insights into societal circumstances. Information design reveals connections behind the surface of the phenomena. Information design provides orientation. It creates a hierarchy of information based on relevance and content. It reduces complexity, thereby creating an overview.

Information design is not neutral. The shaping of information is influenced by the interest in knowledge. An enlightening, emancipatory information design reveals facts that are repressed, not spoken of, or forgotten, but that are nonetheless essential for understanding the present. And it thereby influences the perspective of societal activity. The image of the world we make for ourselves determines how we act.”

Possible Thematic Fields Include:
“Urban processes/spatial transformations like urbanization, segregation, deterioration into slums, gentrification, pollution, etc.

Global streams of financial capital, goods and raw materials, the outsourcing of production, human migratory movements, etc.

The task of the competition takes up the thread of the picture-pedagogical work of Otto Neurath. With his method of pictorial statistics, he developed effective forms of visually preparing data and implementing them in informational graphics that make it easier to grasp societal conditions and processes.”

Participants:
“The competition is directed towards:

Members of the design disciplines: information design, architecture, urban and regional planning, environmental planning, graphic design, product design, media design, photography, film, visual arts.

Scientists in the disciplines art and cultural studies, art education, information sciences and communication studies, social sciences, economics, environmental and geoscience, ethnography, statistics, cartography.

Students in both areas. Collaboration in interdisciplinary teams with both designers and scientists is recommended.”

Exhibition and Publication
“The competition submissions will be published by the competition’s organizers and exhibited in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in Autumn 2013.”

Jury:
Heinz Bude, Social Scientist/Economist
Joost Grootens, Graphic Artist
Sabine Kraft, Editor ARCH+
Joachim Krausse, Cultural Scientist
Philipp Oswalt, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Philippe Rekacewicz, Geographer/Cartographer
Simon Rogers, The Guardian
Christian Weiss, Autodesk
GK VanPatter, Humantific
Ursula Kleefisch-Jobs, M:AI

Procedure
“Inscription from August 15, till November 12, 2012
Submission of the works by January 31, 2013 (postmark).”

Find Project Partners Online
“Starting August 15, 2012 for initiating cooperation between designers and scientists in interdisciplinary teams.”

Learning from Otto Neurath
“The task of the competition takes up the thread of the picture-pedagogical work of Otto Neurath. With his method of pictorial statistics, he developed effective forms of visually preparing data and implementing them in informational graphics that make it easier to grasp societal conditions and processes. For Otto Neurath – the co-founder of the Vienna Circle and central proponent of logical empiricism – statistics were a central source for the scientific description of society and the economy. But description was in no way his sole interest. The content gained from the data also conveyed the demand to participate in shaping the present and in securing an imaginable future. Neurath trusted the latent political message of numbers and made it his task to make them “speak” and to make them accessible to those they most concern.

In the twenty years in which it was elaborated – 1925 to 1945 – the Vienna Method of pictorial statistics went through numerous transformations and expansions, without abandoning its principles. This mutability manifested itself, first, in applicability to disparate thematic areas; second, in the expansion of its effective scope from the local to the global; third, in the internationalization of language and pictorial language (from the Vienna Method to ISOTYPE); and fourth, in the adaptation of the graphic signs to changing media, including the moving image of film. The clarity of the concept’s principles and its openness suggest that we concern ourselves again with Neurath’s approach to information design.

Today, more data are at our disposal than ever before; but precisely the growing plethora of data raises questions. How can meaningful information be extracted from the sea of data? How can one meet the desire for legibility, coherence, and orientation? What actual situations remain unobserved or under-illuminated, despite the wealth of data? Something else has developed: the spectrum of the digital processing of information permits animated depictions and interactive forms of communication. Viewers are involved in generating data and become potential co-designers of the information design. In the face of the demands placed today on interface design, the significance of Otto Neurath’s contribution to information design is clear. Material and technical means have meanwhile developed enormously.”

With this competition, we are seeking ways in which Neurath’s concepts of data visualization can be adapted for the capabilities and needs of today’s world.

Official Announcement
“See announcement in detail in German and English at
ARCH+  or Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

Note: Complete competition descriptions, dates and directions are available in German and English on the ARCH+ site.

Related Inspiration:
Before, During & After Isotype
Isotype Building Bridges
Making Sense of Industries

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!

 

 

30
Jul

SenseMaking is Core Leadership Skill

We are delighted to see Deborah Ancona, Director of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management acknowledging sensemaking as a key aspect of leadership in her post entitled The Elements of Good Leadership.

Today’s leaders need the ability to make sense of complex environments. Sensemaking — the ability to make sense of what’s going on in a changing and complex environment — is a particularly important predictor of leadership effectiveness right now, Ancona explained. Sensemaking in business (a term drawn from the works of Karl Weick) requires executives to let go of their old mental models and some of their core assumptions; to take in data from a wide variety of sources; to use the information they have to construct, with others, a “map” of what they think is going on; and to verify and update the map — in part by conducting small experiments that provide the organization with more information.”

We love Karl Weick’s work and consider him to be among a small group of inspirational pioneers. We are often asked how Weick’s work relates to what Humantific does today. We point out that professional sensemakers did not and do not exist in the Weick’s universe. Writing in a somewhat vertical way, Karl seems to have been unaware of the parallel universe of visual sensemaking that already existed at the time of his first writings (see below). Today organizational leaders have the opportunity to accelerate sensemaking and build sensemaking capacity by collaborating with professional sensemakers. At Humantific we link SenseMaking to ChangeMaking. This linkage is fundamental to how we help organizational leaders drive change in organizations.

Related See:

Understanding Social SenseMaking
Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter posts to the Social SenseMaking Group on Facebook explaining how 21st century SenseMaking and Social SenseMaking in particular differ from Karl Weick’s SenseMaking.

26
Jul

CEO’s Are Designers

We are always happy to see others being inspired by Humantific work and/or the ReReThinking Design Thinking work that we do via the ongoing NextDesign Leadership initiative. The interest in, and uptake of, Strategic Design Thinking for business continues at various speeds in numerous countries around the world.

The design community in Spain is just now (in 2012) beginning to have conversations regarding how to move beyond the narrow interpretation of design thinking as product and service creation. In a rapidly changing world, we know that narrow view to be ancient history.

Initiatives such as CEOs are Designers are springing up in Madrid, positioned as Best Sources for Understanding Design Thinking.”

Many conversations (in Spanish & English) are taking place on Design Thinking Spain on LinkedIn.

Humantific is happy to be contributing to those Spanish design community conversations.

Other conversations are ongoing (in English) on the original NextDesign Leadership Network on LinkledIn. It’s an open group, so anyone can join the conversations there. We are particularly interested in the application of design thinking in organizations and in societies, beyond product and service creation.

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Related: Managing is Designing? GK VanPatter in conversation with Fred Collopy, Ph.D. and Richard J. Boland Jr., Ph.D.

19
Jun

Lost Stories: Applied Creativity History

With the goal of inspiring others, we share a few cross-community knowledge gems from our lost stories innovation library.  At Humantific we have always had great respect for the innovation methodology pioneers and deep interest in the forgotten stories and off the beaten path landmarks of innovation history as they tend to inform present day understanding significantly.

Without historical innovation knowledge, organizations can expend a lot of energy reinventing wheels and or missing opportunities to build on knowledge that already exists.

You can download this publication for free here.

Related:

Innovation Methods Mapping:
De-Mystifying 80+ Years of Innovation Process Design [Being published in December 2016.]