From the monthly archives: July 2012

Services and Design Thinking

This week was held the first Service Design Drinks Braga whose purpose is to create a community of curious about Service Design and thus allow an exchange of ideas about the environment in which this “discipline” is developed.

It is important that people are curious, those who feel desire to participate in these events because curiosity is a good additive for creativity and innovation.

It is this curiosity that can lead to thinking about what is behind this way of thinking and this process we call Service Design.

Behind a Service Design is always Design Thinking!

Design Thinking is a common expression to designate an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, which can transport us to the authentic innovation.

An interdisciplinary approach is especially important to decide what to do in the first place, so that the power of intuitive creative processes can be leveraged to stimulate innovation, solving any kind of problem and develop new opportunities.

Design Thinking can help with “confused” and challenging problems that arise as a result of the complexity of the different contexts in the world of digital technology and global connectivity.

For example, the problems of complex projects, such as systems or services, will be better addressed by a team of people of diverse origins, who taking advantage of the intuitive processes collaborate so the result of shared mind is more productive than the sum of the individual contributions.

Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking is a creative process based on the construction of ideas, from nothing.

Because there are no value judgments or fear of fail we should ask many questions to feed our curiosity, even if these questions seem stupid.

Roger Martin said: “To become Design Thinkers we must develop the posture, tools, and experiences.

-Posture is our perspective of the world and our role in it.

-Tools are the models we use to organize our world and our thinking.

-Experiences are what built and developed our skills and sensitivities.

So, the many and fun questions that we can do when we seek to identify the needs of the people and with that understand people, are a way to make their hope visible. There are so many people waiting for our ideas!

To deeply understand people, their needs, desires, dreams or aspirations we transform our lateral thinking in a shovel and we must dig deep.

It was what we set out to do in this Service Design Drinks Braga to explore “cowork” as a service and try to find out what the needs and desires of any coworkers of the space where we are.

When looking for explore the needs not articulated and even hidden, we must work on metaphor and analogies and jump the fence, leaving the usual environment and proposing that we want facing the consequences.

To embrace the constraints and to draw on either side, in emergencies, even if only we have a paper napkin is releasing our creativity.

And above all to use empathy with dedication to observing truly and pay attention to people, because this is usually the best way to check the depth of the needs not articulated.

Ask questions, answer questions and visualize both is a good principle to move to the path of solutions:

Why are we living in this city? Why is it that I’m in this place to make this work?

Asking questions allows us to restructure the challenges that are posed or redefine the problems which can lead to think in new directions to find the best possible solution.

The basics of business, today so transformational, require a ability to question and rethink what business we face and what are the needs of consumers.

What is that they expect?

To answer these questions, design thinkers pose the problems on a visual form. We know that when we visualize everything ahead, the connections and patterns become more understandable.

Thinking laterally is also a way to analyze the solutions that are out of the way. The trick is to avoid problems in a simple way so that it is open to the other side of the world.

It is good to be away from rules based on experience and experiment with new solutions.

The models we create constantly quickly and without polishing are a critical component of innovation. When we give form to an idea, we make it real.

It is not easy to get the big hits, and to get there we must “think laterally”, looking for something very big, accepting ideas and influences and, above all, we must also be willing to attempt to connect ideas that may not appear to be linked.

Design thinkers know that innovation often involves an iterative process with indentations along the way, but knowing that small failures are really useful because they show what works and what needs to be fixed.

The ability of design thinker of “don’t follow” is an indispensable quality in times of dynamic change.

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Creativity without fears

In difficult times we try to solve problems through creativity and belief that we are able to succeed. But perform works or undertakings, with success depends on many aspects related to trust in the environment.

Many times I think that trust is closely linked with the degree of knowledge that we have in relation to the others and that this knowledge can be seen as a lever to take initiatives.

Trust can be a construction of emotions and thoughts, based on interactions carried out over time and where the result of previous experiences serves as glue in these relationships.

A trust relationship may be a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based on positive expectations of intentions or behavior of another person.

Do we really know each other? What about ourselves?

It may seem irrelevant but when it comes to creativity or when we have creative attitudes trust emerges as a latent need.

We must have confidence in ourselves to accept share our ideas or we need to create a trust relationship when we intend to co create.

Trust can be represented or felt at three distinct levels, namely, ethical, behavioral and knowledge that make us vulnerable according to the concept of acceptable risk that we set for ourselves and for others in these levels.

In a world of virtual connections that we have trust in the other will-piling with experience that is translated by the positive feedback that we understand acceptable but that is not always perceived in the same way by those who give feedback or by whom does not.

This return is vital when we think about the role that knowledge has on creativity and how it is crucial in opening disciplines until then not shared and which now are now targets of curiosity and questions. It is our confidence in who transfers knowledge.

But as the more specialized knowledge is usually tacit and the exchange of tacit knowledge is what leads more quickly to creativity, there is a need for an understanding of the background of interlocutors so that this exchange results in full and will combine the adjacencies of various disciplines. This is a situation stick into account in many interdisciplinary experiences that we face:

To collaborate with others involves often have to face opposing thoughts, but it does not mean having to abdicate of our for the benefit of the other or vice versa. Some of the groups of GSJ Lisbon experienced this challenge but eventually realized that collaborate also means integrating in their world views that at first sight not seem reasonable”

On the basis of collaboration is also creating a culture of courage and that is not only to make people courageous, it is to create conditions in which the courageous people can accomplish their projects.

These are conditions of integrity, trust and tolerance for taking risks. Integrity is the root of trust, which is the fuel for collaboration.

Similarly that we need to create confidence, an understanding of the background of our interlocutors, to share ideas and co create, we will need to know the intentions and the observable behavior of the people involved in the share.

The level of confidence I have in myself could allow my aperture and therefore provide information or ideas, because it allows me to accept the critical thinking and refine my thoughts on a particular matter.

The level of confidence deposited in other allows me not only to have a starting point of predictable acceptance but also be able to expect positive contributions to the development of ideas or solving problems for which feel unable to.

A sustained balance between trust in me and trust in others, that is reciprocal, it is only possible to establish yourself by the feeling generated and perceived in these connections. It is only possible through effective communication.

“The most productive people are the most trusting people. If this seems to be an astonishing statement, it shows how distorted the concept of trust has become. Trust is one of the most essential qualities of human relationships. Without it, all human interaction, all commerce, all society would disappear.” Taylor McConnell

Is that confidence can be shaken unexpectedly?

Is it trust related to the ability to establish connections?

 

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The application path

It is wrong to think that if something went wrong in a company should not be applied ever again. The context and the range of competences available within an organization can be the reason of failure.

Critical thinking must be always present when we discuss the good and bad practices.

Similarly it is wrong to think that a good practice will work well in our company. When someone asks if there are successful cases studies to appreciate our work proposal is it sensible to say that we do not know any cases of failure?

To find out why some practices were not implemented with success is a way to identify existing skills in organizations and it is also a way to redefine the problems or identify the real needs of people.

For example, “In the early days of digital, the core behavior we needed to understand was that people wanted information at their fingertips and the convenience that came with digital transactions. In the social era it was all these things plus social connectivity. Mobility means information, convenience, and social all served up on the go, across a variety of screen sizes and devices.” David Armano

Learn from failure or fault is a card that must be always ready to play. Very often we hear people trying to motivate entrepreneurs with their good business examples and acts of courage but we already have more difficulty understanding why some of them have failed (when, how, why and where).

Try to understand less good practices can be as (or more) useful than replicate good deeds.

Maybe there is not yet enough history to reflect about the failure of the new global adventure that translates in the production of applications (software) for any type of existing hardware, but for sure we can imagine that some of them were only used by the creator and a group of friends.

Microsoft has some 70,000 apps in its Windows Phone Marketplace. This pales in comparison to Google’s 400,000 apps in the Google Play or Apple’s 600,000 in the App Store.”

It is important to ask about the future, not putting in doubt the arrival of an impressive number of new applications, questioning not only the “how” but also the why of these realities and of the steps that have to get there.

It’s a bit like knowing the future best practices and understand the meaning of these imagined practices in the context of the future and the possible impact on the whole organization.

It is not easy to escape to what we learned as being safe or suitable for a particular process. But, what was transmitted almost always had as successful experiences that support justified attitudes to take.

In this beginning of century, we have already seen that the speed, at which new “things” are made available, requires a different attitude.

Gary Hamel in The Future of Management “(Putting principles to work), proposes an exercise that involves redesigning the answers to a challenge – to describe the main characteristics of a chosen process, applying the principles of the new management.

Once mapped the process, here are some questions to facilitate a response to the challenge, which extends to all of us and reveal how to ask questions:

– How to introduce a greater diversity of data, viewpoints, and opinions into the process? How would you design the process so that it facilitates, rather than frustrate the continual development of new strategic options and encourages relentless experimentation?

– How would you redesign this process so that it exploits the wisdom of the market, rather than just the wisdom of the experts?

– How would you change this so that it encourages rather than discourage dissenting voices?

– How could this process encourage employees to identify and connect with the goals they care about personally?

– How could this process be redesigned in a way that help the company to become an even more exciting and vibrant place to work and a magnet for creative talent?

We always seek to assert that these issues are appropriate to large and medium organizations, since most applications produced originates in start up, but we must not forget that these are medium-sized and large organizations that support this huge volume of applications available.

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Mother necessity

John Maeda shared on twitter a phrase that made me remember the need to reflect on what is, can or should be innovation.

Here it is:

“Innovation = Addition (new), Need (relevance), Opposite (surprise), Subtraction (focus), Epiphany (aha)” —R.S. Wurman

This could be the answer or guidance that I seek and involves two seemingly contradictory concepts, the complexity and simplicity.

The complexity that can be described through an expression that I like in particular:

“Complexity is the field of emergency, composed of many different parts and connected in unpredictable flows “.

We will go from here, to talk about innovation, using the words of Tim Brown, as an anchor forwriting:

I think simplicity, complexity, minimalism, medialism, maximalism all have a role to play in design“.

From simplicity to complexity we go easily. With origins in simple ideas we can create interactions with other ideas and the expect results will be complexity. There are the simple rules that usually create complex results.

That way, we stay with a reality that carries an extra work (not necessarily an addition of something new), when we transpose this, for other fields. I remembered now how many simple situations that we have in organizations and who come to become complex and therefore difficult to resolve.

When we look at a pallet, container or a lego, all objects representing simplicity we can identify four principles: predictability, affordability, performance and its capacity to clutter.

In organizations, especially when teams are interdisciplinary and from diverse origins (internal and external), if the organizational behavior is simple it must remain simple.

Donald Norman argues that “Once we recognize that the real issue is to devise things that are understandable, we are halfway toward the solution. Good design can rescue us. How do we manage complexity? We use a number of simple design rules. For example, consider how three simple principles can transform an unruly cluster of confusing features into a structured, understandable experience: modularization, mapping, conceptual models. There are numerous other important design principles, but these will make the point.”

The most salient issue, which Norman referred to, is that we should not talk about simplicity but understanding what keeps the bipolarization created with the concepts.

But the content of thought maintains itself through the use of modularization, i.e. we have an activity (complex) and we divided it into small actionable management modules. In the case of HP multi-function printers designed to perform tasks with scanners, copiers and fax machines. HP has created a common control mechanism, “simplicity”, to the same principles that governs the use of all functions.

Likewise when we manage people or groups of people, we must seek the ignition (primary function), to increase performance or to manage conflicts.

How  to do a function, we know how to do them all.

I understand and it is simple.

Maeda however, goes further and says that the first law, the laws of simplicity, is to reduce.

Just because I’m able to do it and this works, doesn’t mean that I’ll have to add. I have to focus on the people and realize that not all are scientists or have high abilities of reasoning or handling.

Not everyone has the same powers of empathy and not all have the same language skills or using technology.

In the process of innovation, we often import profiles and environments that do not identify themselves with the existing in the importer.

In the laws of simplicity referred arises the issue of organization of functions.

Build a sensible hierarchy so that users are not distracted with features and functions that do not need. After all most of the objects that we use in everyday life are not games with high index of difficulty of execution.

Similarly for people who work in organizations, do not build heavy hierarchies and matrix, in order to simplify the observation of the authority and to facilitate the communication streams.

I got my tendency toward simplicity and recognize that there are things that will never be simple. But if the orientation is to simplify without removing comfort or well-being, create balance, then the results will be magnificent.

This way there we will not need multiple functions that sometimes it is better to disregard.

The need (relevance) is Queen!

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To buy now is not what it was!

People don’t buy things to have in their possession, in the traditional sense.

People need things that help them to build their world!

The biggest insight we can glean from the death of ownership is about connection. This is the thing which is now scarce, because when we can easily acquire anything, the question becomes, “What do we do with this?” The value now lies in the doing.

In other words, the reason we acquire “stuff” is becoming more about what we get from the acquisition. Purchasing something isn’t really about the thing itself anymore. Today, a product or service is powerful because of how it connects people to something–or someone–else. It has impact because we can do something worthwhile with it, tell others about it, or have it say something about us. As leaders and entrepreneurs, we can intentionally use this knowledge to our advantage. We just have to think about the “stuff” we sell in a slightly new way.”

A few years ago it was possible to observe that many people devoted all their energy to how they could maximize the profitability of their work.

The answer that they found were was reproducing learning with a minimum of error as possible and for as long as possible.

They were and are what I call the high competition of good copy!

In anything they were doing (some still do) they added texture and wealth to try to understand the everyday life and assign meaning to their effort.

If eventually they found some meaning it was outside their working environment where, any financial reward for his efforts was translated into the acquisition of goods “desired” by third parties of their social sphere.

This was true yesterday and can still be today, at any age and for any social group.

But things started to change and the acquisition of stuff is made with other intentions than their possession and collecting.

People were closed in obedience to rules and forgot their potential for creativity and intuition and as a result of this oblivion were unaware of emotions and assigning meaning to their acts.

We traveled the hours of the day without finding a balance between the stress of work and the joy of accomplishment. Now if we put creativity to our service, we create an environment of simplicity and movement around us capable of solving most of what we call everyday problems.

Giving wings to our curiosity we are led to new discoveries and to ask more questions, either in that discipline, art, music, literature, science, or everyday life.

If we spend a little bit of our time to carve the place of creativity in our work we will be able to create an extremely interesting story of ourselves.

People need things that help them to write their story!

To tell our own history in the work environment is an exercise of reflection that transports us to the world of solutions.

-First, because this story is going to identify “our drama”, that is, the set of problems that we have at work and in family life and social, as well as the implications between them.

-Second, because easily we found links that allow us to create paths, simplifying the path to creating solutions.

-Third, because we fit the details on the whole, giving a different meaning and most comprehensive sense to the problems that we face.

-Fourth, because it frees our creative and intuitive ability, leaving space for fun and satisfaction with what we do, saying goodbye to most of the conflicts.

To be able to think what is possible without having to prove that it is true before we try is a capacity within our reach.

To create, can and should be an option to decide and if, without having to justify why my way, I paint my story to the flavor of my desire, then I get a happy ending.

People need things that speak for them!

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Our creativity embarrassed

When we participate in a discussion in a group, there is an innate desire for social approval that nourishes our hope to present a wise idea to a problem, but this can block our creative flow.

One of the reasons why we are afraid to speak about our ideas is the fear that there is no approval or sympathy for our idea, that is, the fear that my purpose is not shared by others or that does not meet their needs.

Many times our purpose, or the meaning that for us the idea has, does not correspond to the expectations of third parties or partners. But, just the fact that you have found a purpose makes the idea and me added value and therefore I should tell very well my story to be integrated by others.

This can happen frequently in groups of ideation where many times nor the clouds or storms of ideas happen in our brain.

However, even without these storms, it can be enough to say that there are no bad ideas and to create a creative comfort zone or make someone give the kick-off and thus infuses inspiration at the remaining members of the group for that the flows work.

Human thinking focuses of course around existing knowledge and the best way to generate new ideas is to add something new in the environment where we are. This can happen through analogies, short phrases, images, or combinations of a cultural nature.

So that my ideas are shared by other elements of the group or organization I have to find the common points of interest to the group and myself.

It was a bit what happened this week with a group of enthusiastic professionals who gathered outdoors in the city of Porto to try to find a way to release some ideas and thoughts that somehow could be “trapped in the box”.

During the day we were involved in experimenting with new approaches to problems and my role was to facilitate new paths to find solutions.

It was a fun day and a day of good results but, as was foreseeable, also some obstacles along the way.

In this meeting with Mother Nature and using common materials such as scenario paper, markers, crayons and post it we were leaving flow some ideas and giving space to visualization. When we create stimuli in an environment already stimulating the results come soon.

Often when adding a significant stimulus we cause a process of generating ideas and offer the opportunity to look at the problems differently, causing our idea to be shared, discussed and eventually considered valid and relevant. This stimulus can be a meaning that was masked in our idea or a purpose that others would like to have and which serves as a lever.

The problem is that, many times we use heuristics (mental shortcuts to simplify problems), for giving us a quick help in solving problems.

When we use these shortcuts based on an anchor and we want to expose our idea adjusting it successively to that starting point, we run the risk of being unable to exhibit in its entirety and with what we wanted.

Anchors hold us to box!

So that our idea is shared we have to be aware that we tend to make judgments and make decisions based on what is known or what our anchors are.

We cannot easily create something new being stuck to the old knowledge.

To eliminate our fears that the idea is not shared by others, does not only passes by creating the environment of “understanding” (empathy) and verification of possibility, also passes by finding an energy source that will allow me to develop this idea.

To have a shared idea, often means having acceptance in a group, being recognized as a value and results in motivation.

To have a purpose with our idea means having power to overcome any obstacle.

 

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The real needs in innovation

Hiring competent people in different areas of knowledge combined with a judicious investment and a policy that give people time and space to play and explore is definitely a way to invest in innovation.

However we must not forget that innovation is something for the long term.

As we’ve seen time and again, unbridled innovation is a wonderful thing. But it’s what comes next that’s arguably more important. To get an innovative idea off the ground, it’s crucial to have a cast of characters who can keep that tension between risk-taking and reality at a healthy balance midway between the sky and the ground — where innovation can thrive.”

I think the concept of innovation should be seen as a long-term thing and in that time it must take place the combination of “true” innovations so that the desired “innovation”, the vision, is a success as we have seen with some products and services around the world.

I also believe that, in organizations, we often judge ourselves by our intentions, and we judge others by their behaviors.

In this way we follow a path where what users and consumers want is what we seek to create and add a lot of value. For companies this means a return on investment, after a long period of activity, but on the part of users and consumers it should mean an experience with a feeling of usefulness and usability and an investment for the future after the acquisition.

This is not always the case!

What people want is not always what people need!

Not always what we propose to people is what meets their needs.

When we talk about long term innovation, we refer to the time required to understand and integrate the hidden connections that represent hidden or not aware needs of consumers or users. It is not perhaps so as long the term, as it may seem.

To know people’s opinion does not seem to be the more correct attitude to develop a product that can be simultaneously innovative and respond to a real need.

The manipulation of opinion is not very difficult to achieve. This does not mean that people should give up their tastes or trends or should no longer comply with the ecosystem where they are inserted.

Means that the research to identify the needs, must be made through a compass to give us the direction and not through GPS, thus allowing identifying opportunities and giving at the same time the possibility of different approaches.

There is a curious part in consumer behavior that is supported by some research which reveals that the vast majority of purchasing decisions are made in an emotional way, and experts estimate that up to 95% of the purchasing behavior has its origins in the subconscious level.

It is a hard work that is required to perform when we researched the real needs of consumers and users.

“Innovation has a sort of mysticism about it, almost like a magic formula. I actually think good design is 99% perspiration, it’s a lot of hard work. There is a process, there’s a series of steps you can take that start with research and end with well-designed products that meet the needs of the users” says Andy Budd.

Hence the need to apply a research through observation of people in their environments, to be able to offer people products that really are really a need.

Make projections of what are the drivers and motivations of people in the future will allow to see things that people still do not see, seems to be fundamental to innovation.

But organizations also need to occupy a good part of his time to draw well the products that will meet these future needs.

“Innovation is not always a key to business success. It is often a key to spending a huge amount of money and prepare the market for other more successful products “- Andy Budd

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Our ability to identify problems!

On Friday we create for two groups of people, from two different companies the opportunity to work a problem or business opportunity following a Design Thinking approach.

The work teams where the result of the mixing of elements from both companies to enable greater diversity and thus to be able to benefit from past experience.

From this day’s work we pulled out once again the “lesson” that one of the main obstacles to the resolution of problems is the clear definition of the problem or context.

We know from experience that our ability to create ideas is amazing but we are often difficult to assign meaning to it.

An idea is a purpose for an action whose meaning is closely connected with the definition of a problem, which can go from clarification of an aspect or situation to the solution of a delicate problem as the distribution of drinking water in areas where this is short.

To solve a problem part of a definition of the problem that is perhaps the most important part in the process of resolution, i.e. correctly identify the problem to be solved.

The definition of the problem requires the participation of a team that ask a lot of questions to identify the problem. Often what is called problem is a consequence or a particular aspect of the problem.

In the case of one of the teams in question was curious to note that the initial proposal of problem definition, gave rise later to the identification of a problem unproposed and that turned out to be considered the nuclear problem.

Only from this moment this team could say:

“My ideas are “good ideas” if in fact they fit the problem defined”

Often the problem is represented by a hidden or unexpected need.

If in fact we want a clear identification of a problem it does not happen without resorting to observation. The observation is fundamental in problem definition because it differentiates what it is said from what we really do.

Many times when we follow a given functional stream to identify a problem we did not find meaning in what we are told and once again the systematic observation and the questions are enlightening.

The diversity that a team brings when observing the environment where supposedly encounters a problem, facilitates a cross that lets us enjoy the vision several perspectives to understand the problem including their contextualization.

Our idea often has to wait to apply for the title of “solution”.

The idea is only truly valid when the problem identification is complete and this is possible when what we say is what we think or want to say.

The identification must be clear.

To have an idea, better, to have a reasonable amount of ideas, often seems frustrating, because the momentum of the want to put into action is caught by the definition of the problem.

Also for this reason, the definition of the problem helps to refine our ideas, allowing for rapid deletion of full failure proposals and leveraging environments more conducive to our creativity.

In most cases sooner is failure faster is the success because it does not use time looking for small improvements or in discussions about values.

The other team that participated in this experiment endured adversity of not fail early and trailed in blurring for a long period of time and they only came out of the impasse with the help of a push on the methodology of work.

A work team that identifies a problem correctly becomes owner of a broader knowledge and facilitator of the resolution of problems.

At the end of this day’s work, in addition to an excellent result (resolution) that includes learning from mistakes, here are some thoughts.

-The good ideas that we have, are “good” only after evaluated, this is, after we verify that correspond to the interests of the organization where they will be developed and that have the desired solution requirements.

-Good ideas are good ideas only if they can get in on the action. A good way to keep them alive is describe them and carry out a registry for consideration and discussion.

-The more interdisciplinary the team is the better result is expected with an idea. Often at the borders of various disciplines are solutions of high potential for resolution.

-The way I see a problem may seem correct to me, but the way a team sees a problem is certainly more appropriate to its resolution.

Maybe it’s time to play the role of handle problems!

 

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Diversity and T shaped people

Working on innovation or carry out an innovative work requires experience of team members and of their leadership mainly when we intend to solve the problem where the combination of various disciplines is an unquestionable necessity, as it can be the case in the area of health.

What happens when we add people with different backgrounds and experiences to collaborate to solve a problem?

What happens when these people are also experts in a specific area?

To collaborate within an interdisciplinary environment, individuals need to gather forces in two dimensions:

A dimension that we can identify as a vertical axis, where each team member should be able to answer to questions specific of a discipline or area of work.

Another dimension, identified as a horizontal axis, and that translates to the ability to generate empathy and move through a common language. This is translated into opening, in curiosity, optimism, a tendency to learn by doing, and for experimentation

Those are “T” shaped people. Those are able to show what could be a thing in a desired future, and build a path for its accomplishment, that is, to solve a problem or find a solution.

Those are people with a set of tools and methods to understand the uncertainty, propose new options and quickly make the right choices. This means that they are equipped with, integration capacity, of projection and exploration, along with skills in critical thinking.

The problem solver must therefore begin to structure or make sense of the problem by identifying goals, conflicts, procedures, restrictions and information needed to solve the problem. In some cases, problem construction is a relatively straightforward and quick process, after which the problem solver can begin to collect information, and generate ideas. In other cases however, the problems are so complex that successful problem construction is paramount for solving the problem in an innovative way. Several studies have shown that when people spend more time formulating and constructing a problem, they generate better and more original solutions (e.g. Redmond, Mumford & Teach, 1993). An individual’s expertise, i.e. knowledge and experience, is a strong factor that decides the ability to both comprehend and generate innovative solutions to a novel and complex problems.”

T-shaped people uses a dialectical thinking and see the conflict as challenges and that way they manage the potential tensions that arise in the clashes from different points of view in interdisciplinary teams. This is made by recognizing the limitations of today, the uncertainties of the future and seeing the possibilities.

The different skills in a heterogeneous team extend the knowledge base because its members have greater opportunities for networking and have too diversity in exchange with external contacts of the organizations.

Despite the good results recorded in interdisciplinary teams, we must not forget that many times these good results are replaced by personality conflicts that are anchored in the diversity of backgrounds. When these teams consist of “T” shaped people the risk of conflict is beneficial because it comes to knowledge confrontation.

This is not a new problem. The management consultants long ago realized that only certain kinds of people thrived in the unpredictable world where clients might ask an almost infinite set of questions. McKinsey and Company came up with the idea of hiring what they termed ‘T-shaped’ people. People with deep analytical skills (the vertical stroke of the T) but also broad empathy toward those other skills and disciplines encountered in business (the horizontal stroke of the T). These highly adaptable, rapid learners turned out to be ideal management consultants.”

If we think in the role of a consultant or in the role of a leader, probably, empathy is the most important attribute that an effective consultant or leader must possess. The success of an organization that operates in multicultural environments depends on how the leaders or managers can integrate different cultures in their own styles.

Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to understand another person. This is particularly true when we encounter cultural and/or religious differences or when language barriers will stand in front of us. But, this can also be true within the same country or city where there are natural communities in atypical settings.

We have to strengthen our horizontal dimension (empathy, communication) without forgetting, of course, the vertical (specialist).

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A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions. – M. J. Moroney.

When we create new knowledge from the data available in a moment, we are checking the results of the activities of the past, possibly with the intention of correcting the way toward the future.

This is what I call creativity, that is, a real surgical intervention in the possibilities!

It turns out that the choice of what is relevant, how combine the data, the identification of connections or correlation determination can be a precious help to make decisions.

Many times we look at nuclear factors, said representative, and forget the fringes or borders where small details make the difference.

For example, what if instead of taking the ideas up to the core of enterprises for decision-makers to make their choices, we placed managers or leaders in the fringes of the organization where resides much of the new ideas?

Generally at the more peripheral areas of organizations there are elements with high growth potential and creativity while at the core, that is, inside the company reside their traditionally analytical competencies. It is in these internal environments that decisions are made and where the statistic is always active.

To dissect the uncertainties can be an activity of paramount importance when it comes to analyze the behavior of a company’s customers and the best way to do that is mapping the empathy across the borders of the company.

The edges in the organizations represent the initial phase of business initiatives, with high growth potential, for example, when new market-oriented initiatives or new working practices are introduced in the work force.

So it is important that the edges are connected to the core in order to obtain resources and broaden horizons, performing that way the surgeries of suppositions or experiments of satisfaction of needs or desires.

Companies are permeable to environmental changes and their edges are spokesperson of the news of the world.

It is in these borders that, new products, new trends, a different view of the ecosystem and of the future, crash for the first time.

These fringes carry new ideas and are also fertile ground for its development. It is certain that they will find barriers in the company’s core often driven by immediate profits and or statistically advised.

The core need to realize that these ideas are opportunities, some more promising than others, as well as need they need to realize that they don’t have to apply great resources to turn these ideas into business cases.

Each tomorrow represents a growth of knowledge and connections that join the seas of inspiration to develop the creativity that cannot be ignored.

Whatever it is in the fringes of the management, the department or even in the fringes of the Organization, at the border with the outdoor environment, there is a territory to explore that cannot be described by a messenger.

The holders of decision-making and resource distribution must accomplish this walk to the edges.

“The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.”- Steven Johnson,” Where Good Ideas Come From”

 

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