Tag: Meta CoCreation

23
Dec

Occupy Reimagining Design Education

Humantific CoFounder, GK VanPatter was recently interviewed by Wycliffe Radum of Aalto University Design Factory in Finland.

Wycliffe Radum: In the first Future of Innovation [CEB] conference in Helsinki, in September 2009, you challenged Aalto University’s designers to reach into the realm of organizational innovation by designing strategies and systems rather than products and services. Two years have passed since the conference and you have visited Aalto University a few times during this period. Do you perceive that Aalto University has risen up to the challenge? Has there been a noticeable shift towards the desired organizational changes?

Garry K. VanPatter: “Hello Wycliffe: Happy to do this with you…Yes, I do well remember speaking at that Future of Innovation Conference in Helsinki. I met many terrific people there doing interesting work including some Alto leadership folks who were working on the university combine initiative at that time. It seemed then like an ambitious undertaking. I do recall that several Aalto leaders were interested in the NextDesign Geographies Framework of Design 1,2,3,4 in addition to what Humantific does……”Continue Reading..

01
Dec

Humantific at Telefonica Madrid

Last week, Humantific’s Elizabeth Pastor was rocking away in Madrid teaching two back-to-back workshops at Telefonica. As part of an introduction to Humantific’s Complexity Navigation Program, Elizabeth taught A Glimpse into Visual SenseMaking and A Glimpse into Upstream Challenge Framing. Both sessions are designed to introduce cross-disciplinary skills useful to organizational leaders who are faced with challenges beyond product and service creation presumptions.

During the Visual SenseMaking workshop, participants learned the benefit of using visual models to bring clarity to complicated business ideas. Each person created their own visual toolkit and learned basic visual sensemaking skills.

The afternoon session was focused on Upstream Challenge Framing, a skill in high demand today as organizational leaders are increasingly tasked with tackling highly complex challenges in their institutions and communities.

Humantific’s Complexity Navigation Program focuses on a synthesized set of concrete skills that leaders can put into practice in their organizations and in societies.

Stay tuned for news about more Glimpse sessions in New York and San Francisco!

See more here:

Visual SenseMaking For Leaders
CoCreation / Sustainabilities FlipSide
CoCreating Strategy

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!

23
Sep

ReThinking Self-Organizing Innovation

Humantifc CoFounder GK VanPatter rerethinks the subject of self-organizing innovation. Having problems with getting innovation going on your cross-disciplinary team? Wasting alot of time and energy? Frustration levels rising? Are you experiencing the High-High-Low Effect?

We love self-organizing initiatives and recognize that there are many ways to self organize innovation efforts in organizations and in society.

The difficult truth is, in the marketplace we see a lot of innovation initiatives being referred to as “self-organizing” and “emergent” that look like mirror images of innovation efforts from 15-20 years ago. Some of the most well intentioned self-organizing innovation efforts seen today, seem to jump off from an odd-ball mixture of up to date and outdated knowledge. Often seen is what we call the High-High-Low Effect: High awareness of content and technology knowledge combined with low awareness of cross-disciplinary innovation process knowledge. For participants it can be a puzzling picture to be swimming around in…..See more inside the White Paper.

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!

07
Feb

Architecture / What’s Next?

We enjoyed reading the most recent issue of Architect magazine (“The Magazine of the American Institute of Architects”) entitled What’s Next?: Architecture in an age of Transformation. We recognized that many of the challenges raised in the feature article have existed in the architecture industry for many years. Since this edition of Architect magazine strives to be about organizational and industry “transformation”, we wanted to point out that there might be some process confusion embedded in “What’s Next”.

Recognizing that “What’s Next” is full of good intentions, lets not get what the magazine is successfully doing confused with the questions it raises. From a transformation methods perspective we would like to point out that the challenge of: How might a provocative magazine issue be created ? is quite different from: How might you reinvent your practice ? and How might you reinvent your industry ?. The well-meaning contributors appear to know more about the former and less about the later.

While the methodology of provocations is a useful approach to magazine article making, it is not robust enough, precise enough or scalable enough for use in addressing the latter transformation challenges. In other words, provocation is the right tool for creating entertaining magazines and the wrong method for organizational transformation. Transforming organizations and industries requires a different set of cocreation methods and skills.

Popular in academic circles, the provocations approach intermixes facts, challenges and possible solutions. In the “What’s Next” edition one can see them intertwined throughout.

While there has been no consensus (outside the magazines advisory team) on what the facts are or what the challenges are in the architecture industry, a partial picture is never-the-less created. Even with the best of intentions, the picture represented by the five central provocations in the “What’s Next” edition may or may not reflect what the key challenge areas actually are in practice and in industry.

While we were struck by the numerous insightful provocations in Bruce Mau’s “You Can Do Better” contribution to the edition it would be safe to say that the days are gone when simply complaining about complaining is enough to drive meaningful change. In the context of organizational transformation the act of “provoking” is recognized as the relatively easy lift.

Provocations tend to generate heat rather than clarity. The provocations approach typically yields more provocations, a lot of coffee chat conversations and not much forward change motion. If driving to coffee chat is your goal then provocation might be a methodology worth considering.

In the online feedback over at Architect magazines web site, one can see what happens when the wrong problems have been defined, solutions to problems that don’t exist proposed and little buy-in has occurred.

Since transformation is the subject of the edition the overall picture being created by using provocations as an approach tends to reinforce the misperception that getting to the future in organizational contexts is argument and provocation based. It seems likely that readers come away with the misperception that this is what organizational and or industry transformation looks like and feels like. In our experience transformation need not look and feel like a magazine hit-job.

The reality is organizational transformation is messy and often complex. It is quite common that the challenges present even in small organizations vastly supersede five problem areas. To undertake this kind of work one has to get ready for navigating upstream from the terrain of tidy framed briefs where many fuzzy complex challenges exist in parallel.

Perhaps ironically this is the operational terrain that Mr. Mau seemed to be referring to in his “You Can Do Better” commentary to the “What’s Next” readers: get prepared for a place where architects are willing and able to engage, not in building creation challenges alone, but rather in addressing challenges requiring no preconceived outcomes. Mr. Mau insightfully invites readers to rethink the DNA of architecture skill not the DNA of building creation. Unfortunately what is missing from “What’s Next” is the acknowledgement that getting to that terrain and operating there clearly involves more transformation skills than provocation.

While there is nothing particularly new in Mr. Mau’s message of reorientation and reskilling, the difficult and probably more meaningful truth is that much of the graduate architecture education community including high profile institutions like Harvard Graduate Design School have for more than ten years consistently missed the globalization driven message to prepare their students for working upstream from briefs. Many graduate design schools have been tone deaf to the need for this form of strategic change. In other disciplines that message was heard years ago loud and clear. As a result when it comes to leading cross-disciplinary cocreation upstream from briefs the realm of architecture is now playing catch-up. Today, much of the most current upstream cross-disciplinary cocreation knowledge exists outside of the architecture profession.

Perhaps unintentionally the “What’s Next” magazine edition brings one unasked and unanswered key question into clear view, and that is: How will the professional association of AIA provide relevant value to its members going forward in this time of great change? If we can acknowledge that the days are already gone when it is enough for a professional association to sponsor a magazine provoking “dialogue” as its contribution to industry transformation, what then is AIA’s plan for helping its membership make sense of and navigate the realities of what’s next?

With the spirit of constructing change making in mind we would like to table a capabilities challenge to American Institute of Architects as an association. Beyond provocative conversation stimulation you might want to consider creating a change making institute capacity inside AIA that in some form is capable of offering meaningful transformation help to its membership. If there is serious appetite for such an ecosystem Humantific would be happy to help AIA create such an initiative.

Perhaps this time next year will bring more to AIA membership than yet another “What’s Next” provocation.

Further Reading:

Join the NextDesign Leadership Network on LinkedIn

Into the Immeasurable: Understanding the New Umbau School of Architecture

GK VanPatter in conversation with William Tate. NextD Journal 2005

Human-Centered Innovation: Understanding the IIT Institute of Design
GK VanPatter in conversation with Patrick Whitney. NextD Journal 2004

18
Nov

GK VanPatter at Aalto University

Humantific CoFounder GK VanPatter will give a talk on SenseMaking for ChangeMaking at Aalto University Design Factory in Helsinki Finland, next week, Wednesday November 24.

For more information contact: Wycliffe Raduma

wycliffe.raduma (at) tkk.fi

20
Feb
05
Nov

Beyond Users & Experience

Humantific CoFounder and Editor of NextD Journal GK VanPatter takes five questions from Julien McHardy a Graduate Student studying transformation design. GK VanPatter shares his perspective on the activity terrain beyond the framework of users and experience where leading transformation oriented practices are already operating.

“Julien McHardy: I am currently a student at the Master of Research in Creative Practices course and of the transformation design course with Irene McAra-McWilliam at the Glasgow School of Art. My recent interest as a designer and researcher are the implications of design approaches that no longer focus on objects or users but on the very processes of design and use.

I follow the transforming-transformation group and the NextD journal for a while now and feel that a lot of the discussions closely relate to my research questions and provide a refreshing vantage point to the perspectives on transformational design within the UK. Your work is an inspiration to my research. I am currently conducting a range of expert interviews as part of my master’s thesis on the role of design in the creation of creative communities and I am most excited to interview you in this context.”

You can download the interview document for free on the NextD site:

Beyond Users & Experience
Making Sense of Human-Centered Design Now!



17
Jun

Beyond Sustainability / Meta CoCreation

Humantific CoFounders Elizabeth Pastor and GK VanPatter were invited to lead two hours of cross-disciplinary cocreation skill-building exercises with all participants attending the OverLap 2008 Conference in West Cornwall, Connecticut. Overlap is ambitiously advertised by its creators as “an annual, peer-to-peer gathering for those working at the center of emerging theory, methods and practices of innovation.” We found Overlap to be not exactly that (wink, wink), but we had a great day none-the-less.

It was wonderful to see such strong interest in learning more about cross-disciplinary meta cocreation methods even though some Overlappers were obviously determined to remain stuck in individual intutition based approaches. Change is difficult even for some “working at the center of emerging…methods”..:-)

In addition to teaching cross-disciplinary meta cocreation, Humantific brought a central message to OverLap that is often found to be missing from most sustainablity themed books & events: Sustainability is content not process. Sustainability is not a methodology. It is a problem type. Without scalable meta cocreation process skills in the room most sustainablity events turn into very entertaining but not very useful circular conversations. Sustainability is but one of many important problem types that exist in a continously changing world.

Humantific believes that the present sustainability movement suffers from a content / process disconnect. Those driving sustainability conversations often have significant content knowledge but lack practical, robust meta cocreation process skills.

Presently meta cocreation process knowledge represents the flip-side of the sustainability movement but this is finally starting to change. As the sustainability movement begins to move beyond problem finding (pointing out problems) and into the more complex terrain of  action, cross-disciplinary cocreation process mastery becomes much more important. Unless you are ready to settle for cat fight dynamics, anytime you have multiple stakeholders involved in highly complex problems significant cocreation skills are going to be needed. For more than ten years Humantific team has been working that realization. We have already learned alot!

What was particularily hilarious was to see the same few loud cantankerous voices so strenuously objecting to externalized visible cocreation process at OverLap 08 rushing 180 degrees afterwards to create innovation methods and tools oriented projects! Funny stuff goes on!

Unless you are just starting out and have no codified innovation knowledge, we could not recommend to any of our friends the unfortunately competitive harvesting phenomenon known as Overlap.

Related

ReReThinking Design Thinking

Towards Adaptable Inquiry / Transforming That Sustainability Thing

CoCreation is Rising

NextD Reality Check

NextDesign Geographies / Understanding Design 1,2,3,4

To learn more about Humantific Academy and CoCreation Skill-Building send an email to workshops (at) humantific (dot) com