Get Shouty


KISS
November 11, 2014, 11:03 am
Filed under: The Rules

occams_razor_comic

William of Ockham was an English monk, philosopher, theologian, who provided the scientific method with its key principle 700 years ago. ‘What can be done with fewer assumptions is done in vain with more,’ he said. That is, in explaining any phenomenon, we should use no more explanatory concepts than are absolutely necessary. Simplicity should never be despised.



peak insight
September 25, 2014, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Experience

flying haiku

Have been lucky enough to be at the Spikes Festival of Creativity in Singapore. I’ve been involved in the forum sessions about creative talent and I presented on this:

Does your business value creative thinking? Of course it does, and you are almost certainly one of the 91% that believes it impacts directly on your company’s success. But are you one of only 26% of employees who strongly believe their working culture encourages creative thought? And where does this leave the future success of our businesses?

While we all know it’s important, one of the fundamental challenges organisations have is in developing a culture of innovation and inspiration. Jack Morton conducted research among employees across the globe which suggests the lack of understanding and consequent support for creative thinking could be hampering effective creative output and the ability of business to attract and retain talent.

This Forum discusses to what degree business across the globe is actively encouraging a culture and environment conducive to creative thinking and consider the success stories of those organisations that hold the nurturing and promotion of creative thinking close to their hearts.

I think that the case for change for our industry and for Enterprise is quite well-known. We know why we need to change (disruption) and we know we need to change (creativity and innovation be that digital, integration or whatever) the challenge is away going to be how.

In Andrew Ho’s session he spoke about a better marriage of strategy and creative and how the tools, perspective and approaches of each discipline works better in combination rather than pass (or parse) the parcel, and a  question ‘will we ever run out of insight?’ really stimulated some reflection on the experience of presenting and facilitating my own session.

The questions around how we deliver great ideas, how we can innovate our process, how we can support people through this journey are  tough to answer.

And here’s the journey to my refection. Jack’s creativity research puts forward 6 recommendations to help build more creative cultures: collaboration, play, freedom to fail, space to think, ego support and idea collection. The best kind of cultures have all of these aspects and I wanted to create an experience of what those six principles in action might look like. I love the haikugami tool

  • as of freedom to fail I show a haiku written about my own work culture and attempt to demonstrate how to fold a paper plane- giving permission to people to make their version as imperfect and human as they like
  • I tell them a story of collaboration, how I’ve sought out their participation by putting a sheet under each of their seats. I tell them about the goal- let’s make a hundred co-created wishes for creative culture fly. I want their thoughts and expression, but I want us to share and build on our thoughts
  • I ask for playfulness a thought articulated in only 5 or 7 syllables, and line by line I ask them to stand up and let their thoughts fly across the room, and to jump and catch someone else s thought as it flies past
  • ego support is about making the rewards of creativity real, fun  and transparent, hopefully a room full of heads down and the energy of sharing reflects this notion
  • the conference and the session itself is place to think, a context that is designed to open up different parts of the brain
  • and I collect ideas and celebrate participation at the end. The photo above is just some of what I was given back from the audience

What did I learn? What thing did I see, what human truth did I observe, from delivering this experience to  room full of punters wanting creativity, believing in  creativity and eve working in creative fields?

It’s really award and uncomfortable to move from a passive state to one of participation.

It’s hard to know what’s the right thing to say when you’re asked to express your feelings.

And that’s the point- creativity feels chaotic  and a bit weird if you’re not used to it. It’s the reason why there’s such a gap between the desire for these kinds of cultures and them grit it takes to deliver them. But the  results! I have a hundred poems: inspiring, playful and brave that tell the story of what can happen in a room when you start to do things differently.

Peak insight? I think I’ve only just started to learn about the power and potential of human creativity.

 



Creativity and the meaning of ‘now’
July 3, 2014, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Experience, Zeitgeist

Have been part of the Sydney Social Media week advisory board ( top geezers) on crafting how we can explore our theme of The Future of Now: Always On Always Connected.

For me creativity, and  the future are inextricably linked.  We just won’t make it unless we fully harness the limitless resource of our creative potential.

“As deep knowledge becomes a common asset, creativity will be the differentiating factor. Creativity is not a ‘nice-to-have’ attribute anymore, it’s a prerequisite for performance, development and growth—supporting us in our ability to innovate and drive change faster and better.” –Ben de Vries, Head of Brand Management, Ericsson

But we also won’t make unless we share, we collaborate and we inspire each other with our different perspectives. I believe that social technology and behaviors may well be one of the engines that will provide the forward momentum  to allow creativity to really be embraced.

The team I’m part of  have been doing some global research on this (on Slideshare here) talking  more than 7,000 people in 11 markets and we found that creative thought was  defined as: solutions to problems that are unexpected in any field of work, not just within traditionally creative fields such as writing, design or the performing arts.

Some of the key outtakes of the research (Collaboration, Play, Freedom to fail, Ego support, Space to think, and Idea Collection)  are helping me build my approach to the panel sessions I’m involved in, and these are the notions I’m looking at:

  • How can we achieve more through collaboration and co-creation?
  • How can we facilitate meaningful conversations, practices for devoting time to creative thinking and mindful contemplation?
  • How can we balance and preserve humanness — meaning the ability to listen, empathize, engage, focus and be present in the moment — despite the constant disruption that technology enables?

Would love to know if you find the research useful. Am looking forward to my own Eureka moment. All anecdotes welcome!



how do you value culture?
January 9, 2014, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Experience, Get Friendly, Great Stuff, passion, Zeitgeist

art-culture_metricv5

It’s Festival time in Sydney. While I’m super excited about taking my inner child by the hand and having a bit of a frolic on Sacrilege, the true sized inflatable bouncy castle Stonehenge in Hyde Park’s Festival Village, I was interested to read this in The Australian

FESTIVAL organizers measure success in terms of ticket sales and economic impact, but a new cultural metric may be tweets and pictures on social media. Last year, an enormous yellow duck was a hit of the Sydney Festival, where 1.7 million people could not have missed seeing it at Darling Harbour. Some 14,000 images were posted on Instagram using festival hashtags.

Mmmm. ‘Cultural Metric’. Good notion. Loads of tension in it:

  • What is culture?
  • How might culture be measured?
  • How do we value it?

The NSW Government is investing more than $5 million to ensure the success of the 2014 Festival,

“Last year the Sydney Festival attracted more than 500,000 people with more than 120,000 tickets sold to paid events, including more than 33,000 people who attended events in Western Sydney. In 2012, it injected almost $57 million into our economy

From that perspective an arts investment looks like a pretty good return to the taxpayers hereabouts. I wonder how they’d value those tweets.

Early last year MoMA curator of Architecture and Design Paola Antonelli led a discussion about Culture and Metrics, (which I’ve entirely re cut below):

  • why bother?
    • the reality is that cultures come and go over time. If we don’t know what’s valuable about a particular culture, we run the risk of losing it forever.
    • not all art is concerned with culture, and not all culture is arts-based
    • it’s the best way to create a future that human beings want to inhabit.
    • MoMA has been one of the most important cathedrals of the imagination in my life since childhood, and envisioning it as a driver of R&D across society at large is extremely exciting.
  • measurement
    • Kate Levin, the Commissioner of The Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City: measuring culture, is mostly about objectives and outcomes. She used The Gates as an example of a valuable, measurable project funded by the Department for Cultural Affairs. Four million visitors to this 16-day installation created $254 million in revenue for NYC.
    • Measuring culture will require us to think of new ways to measure and share the story of a project’s insights and impact.
  • culture and value
    • “For me, The Gates was never about whether the saffron curtains and plastic frames were art. Some people argued that it was a hideous monstrosity while others loved it. Instead, I just felt lucky to be part of the flow of conversation and people as we passed together through The Gates on a beautiful blue and gold day. I felt lucky to be a New Yorker. And that’s the point of culture. It gives us a sense of place while at the same time evoking a deeply personal experience of the universal. “

As Rita observed, and who was at the MoMA talk, it brings to life one of Andy Warhol’s statements:

  • “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”

Creating a deeply personal experience of an enterprise, creating a real and vibrant culture, feels like a bit of an art, and has the same kind of challenge:

But, how do you measure that?

Answer: With great difficulty.

Then again…. people are the only metric that really counts.

It’s hard. Really hard. Most companies can’t do it. The ones that can, make a fortune. Life is unfair.



how long is the truth?
January 7, 2014, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, The Rules, triangulation, Zeitgeist

triangulating favourite things

Had an interesting question about the triangulation exercise- how long should it be?

In a true form I’d have to say: How long is the truth?

I’ve put the challenge forward with ‘manifest the outcome how you like…’

I do know that the blank page is the hardest to start with and the that structure is a fine tool to get the ball rolling….

So to help actually answer the question I can put forward some options on process and practice:

  • I’m a big fan of visual thinking as a tool to explore intersection- to mine where commonality lies and to use it to find a singular point of truth
    • the above was a bit of a joke for a mate (if you’re not a Top Gun fan- it means that the absolute truth between his three favourite things is that they FVROOM/ Doppler effect/or can disappear out of sight in a second)
      • this was a while ago- today I’d say that the intersection could be brought to life by Archer
      • this might mean that you could structure a deck like this:
        • Demonstrate key learnings/ Identify themes: one chart each on the major themes of each of the articles
        • Explore intersections: commonalities between each article
        • The absolute truth- your key out take/ observation/ pov
  •  When I started doing these exercises myself as blog posts I tried to keep them around 300 words

I’d love to see a podcast, an interpretive dance, a cartoon if that can take us on a journey of your thinking.

I’m as interested in what you see along the way as the destination of your journey.

Anyhoo- good luck, and thanks for asking.



triangulation and the apparent truth
January 6, 2014, 12:36 pm
Filed under: triangulation

triangulation-method

In social science triangulation is defined as the mixing of data or methods so that diverse viewpoints or standpoints cast light about a topic.

You can use it to unpick bias in news reporting, and  in design you’d use it to find ‘apparent truth’.

I like that term. Apparent truth. It feels like chocolate.

If you want a bit of substantiation here’s a paper full of fruit cake dense notions like ‘epistemological chasms’, ‘empiricist view points’ and ‘hypothetico- deductive methods’.

I’ve written about personal taxonomies, my Bowerbird ways, and general bricolage and pirate treasure pursuits for collecting stimulus. What I’m looking forward to exploring (with my team and you if you like) is how stimulus can used to grow perspective: both and the practice of developing perspective and the articulation of your thoughts.

 Wassa?

So what’s going to happen here is a weekly challenge to triangulate three ‘cultural objects’.

 How?

Randomly selected by me with the only selection criteria that I found it recently and I think there’s something interesting in the intersection.

 Why?

  • A group practice in order to generate a dialectic of learning
    • Examine the contrasts between what seems self-evident, what seems to underlie the lay  discourses, what appears to be generally true and what differences arise when comparing all these with ‘official’ interpretations.
    • Build interpretation skills
      • Move away from the fetishism of quantative research methods (ooo!)
    • Deepen and widen your understanding of culture

So here’s the challenge

Read and form a perspective on what these three things say about ‘culture':

Join in! Manifest it how you like- I’ll get back to you on the conversation this prompts at the end of the week and whatever objects are created…

 



getting into the swing of things
November 26, 2013, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Experience

Trying out the lovely Haiku deck….

These are my notes from a breakfast meeting with the lovely Megan Brownlow from PwC.

She spoke about their interesting report: PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study, Millennial Workers Want Greater Flexibility, Work/Life Balance, Global Opportunities

This comprehensive and global generational study conducted by PwC, the University of Southern California and the London Business School looks into the aspirations, work styles and values of “Millennial”/”Generation Y” employees (those born between 1980 and 1995).

The study, which included more than 40,000 responses from Millennials and non-Millennials alike, captures the various forces at play that are influencing the experience of Millennials. These include: workplace culture, communication and work styles, compensation and career structure, career development and opportunities and work/life balance.

I followed with these notes on how the existing behaviors and first language of millennial employees can be harnessed to meet both their needs and that of their employers.




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