From the monthly archives: September 2012

Combine options to create a difference

An “organization has to be transparent. People have to know and have to understand the organization structure they are supposed to work in. This sounds obvious— but it is far too often violated in most institutions (even in the military).” – Peter Drucker

According to Roger Martin, AG Lafley, while P & G’S CEO, always made a great effort to explain his thinking. Be able to be transparent with his logic gave all that formed part of its hierarchy, the guidance they need to succeed him one day, and to the Organization every chance of keeping their trajectory.

In an organization where the leaders intend to create a climate of transparency comes naturally a climate of openness that serves as a lever for the courage to fail cheap and fast, not spending unnecessary resources on projects so submerged in deep analyses and long-term tests at the time.

It is above all a culture of transparency and courage.

Creating a culture of courage is not only create brave people who before were afraid to express their ideas and experiment, it is also creating brave people who leave their enclosed spaces.

It passes mainlyto create a mood of trust, integrity and tolerance for taking risks and also allow a network of collaboration rather than switch different models of thought.

“I think the reason silos exist is because people learn their own model and have no idea how to talk to somebody who uses another model. – Roger Martin

When we are able to replace models switching by their integration we are in the way of design thinking.

Design thinking is to solve problems creatively and with eyes and ears to the other, going through daily life through observation to detect opportunities and identify needs often hidden.

First of all it is easy to see that there are silos not only in organizations where each one learns well his model and stay closed in its habitat, without the concern to clarify his thinking and his intention to management, but also in all those who are calling for a template which is sheltering in the search for a path to personal fulfillment.

The silos are not always meaning of physical spaces or departments and of the organizational structure, confined to the secret and to not sharing information. They also exist when multiple people try to solve a problem and not give up their mental models or assumptions.

But if we seek a balance and try to integrate the different models that arise in our meetings or team-based decision making and we create a new one, the result comes up with more benefit than an individual victory.

Integrative thinking often appears as a discomfort for both managers and designers when it comes to creating a model that is neither A, nor B but can be a new and simple, created from the design and business processes.

Garr Reynolds says:” Managers may be afraid to embrace simplicity. In business we are all scared of being called “too simple.” People confuse simplicity, which is hard to achieve, with simplistic, which is easy and usually lacking value. When in doubt, a manager may add a layer of complexity where it is not needed just to be safe. It takes courage to be simple. And don’t throw away “good” in pursuit of “perfect.” The simplest solution is often the best (though not always), yet the first idea you have is not always the simplest. Be careful of going with the first idea.”

In this experience of different models and trend for the complication, we need to give frequently paces behind and think about the beliefs and assumptions that we developed to verify that much of what we believe to be true, is nothing more than a fantasy.

For example, there are intangible issues such as services or systems that are not yet dealt with the same rigor and discipline that you use with the products and hence difficult to imagine solutions to some problems we face.

But, “We can develop prototypes of environments that allow us to learn from the failure without catastrophic implications. We can accept that we need better mechanisms for criticism and comments so that we can begin to establish a body of knowledge about what works and what does not work, the design of these things that are not going to “give the thud” when we leave. ” – Tim Brown

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Before assuming a risk, say why

I and some friends we are already preparing (co-organizing) an event called Braga Sustainability Jam that will happen between 2 and 4 November.

Faced with a few possible discrepancies (failures) between what we think and what we will do later, I decided to reflect a little more on what causes some differences (sometimes significant) between what we think and what we do.

The first idea that came to me, maybe intuitively, is that when we do we are not always thinking on what we do. That is, we have a great starting point, full of enthusiasm, but then our convictions run aground on a reality not drawn.

To put it another way, there is a difference between designing a project and implement a project or if you like, there are big differences between the conception, the construction and execution of something like a project.

And are these differences that drive us to think ahead, think over and think after our initiative, to ensure that failures can be translated into learning and not just notes for the next meeting.

“If we have that logical structure thought through and documented in advance, we will have a much better chance of understanding which of the things that we knew and believed would have to hold true didn’t turn out the way we counted on. We can learn things, for example, about how we were overconfident about how fast consumers would adopt our new product, but we were right about the industry, our capabilities, and competitor reaction. – Roger Martin

Think at different times and think at different speeds seems to be a possible path for the success of any initiative or project in which we engage.

Think before to fail with logic and thinking to learn from mistakes can be connected to a slower speed and accompanied by reflection. But I think in the heat of action requires a gear is not always synonymous with clarity and critical.

There are two types of thought equally important and that should happen in parallel.

For example, at certain times of organizations’ life, most executives would like to spend some time thinking and building the right team (as we thought to do with Jam) and then concentrate on the execution, taking decisions, action and results.

What we need is to think of a methodology (preferably step by step) that identifies aspects of workflow, procedures, and structures and aligns them so that our initiative results as we think. We are talking about a reality built around several people that will form groups with a definite purpose, which translates to reach a result within 48 hours and where the awareness of the watch has extreme relevance.

It could be a project in any organization on any deadline.

We are talking about the integration of people in a common project which includes processes and work habits, technologies and other resources as well.

I think that a well designed organization ensures that its purpose and strategy (the same as execution) meets the challenges posed by the reality of the activity (business) and significantly increases the probability that the joint efforts of the people will be successful.

“While most executives are aware that much of planning is a waste of time as you describe, I think they need to understand that the alternative is not just to execute as best you can on the path you happen to be on. It’s to go forth as a great designer, develop a compelling vision of how things could be, and then rapidly, iteratively and experimentally, but with great creative intent, evolve a living system that brings that vision into reality. To me, this is central to the uniqueness of being human…

Much of the reason things don’t get executed is not because there wasn’t sufficient discipline, action etc.   It’s because of systemic barriers, mainly things like people feeling threatened, not valued, not adequately compensated, etc. In other words – it’s a design problem, not an execution problem.”

From this reflection I take with me:

Being, “Doing, not talking”, one of the mottos of the Global Sustainability Jam , may be “thinking when doing” could be the corollary of the success if we have previously thought of how things could be.

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Retain the wisdom

If we want good fruit, that with its scent delight our customers and that provide juicy content, we must treat their knowledge tree from the root to the Crown, not to mention a healthy stem.

Many companies have started a series of knowledge management projects that include using computer programs capable of storing data on astronomical amount.

As a tree, it is necessary to protect the structure that supports the information resulting from these data.

If a tree is laden with fruit and is not supported with stakes, a small gust tips some of its branches. Too much information does not bring benefits, by contrast, makes the decision difficult in what concerns relevance and application.

If a tree does not have its roots well developed on the ground where it is deployed, will fall with the strength of a storm.

The way in which knowledge was being built in the Organization will identify its roots and dynamics of its structure. As much closer to the values and mission, stronger structure and less subject to detours. But this raises a question:

What will need to happen in our organizations, to retain the wisdom accumulated by Baby Boomers when they are no longer active in their roles?

It would be easy to read quickly, all those years of experience, skills and knowledge, capable of being understood by younger generations, though they had been an effective integration as the result of a planned transfer, but that didn’t happen.

Even under these conditions, we would still have to wait for the result of great struggle for the succession, in the Kingdom of wisdom.

Something needs to be done to facilitate knowledge transfer of a “wise” for a less experienced person.

Among the many obstacles and in addition to the short time available for this task to sit, with the keeper of the wisdom, we must sum the complexity of absorption, thanks to the ingenious way the wisdom was built.

The wise men don’t know how to explain how they got wisdom and yet from time to time someone appears convinced that has the magic formula that allows articulating all the information available.

Yet the needs of transfer persist and or we continue the millennial process word of mouth, or we find a continuous and systematic process for doing so.

The great difficulty seems to be in the filters that we use.

What we find today, while speaking of change, is more about the wisdom that the employees of an organization own and use and less about the knowledge.

How does an organization holds, this wisdom in its possession?

A hypothesis that has been well crafted is the use of storytelling and storytellers. A story well told holds the listener’s attention and then give their retention.

To retain the wisdom you need to capture it and to do so we should look for:

-The complete collection of the fundamental rules that the keeper of the wisdom accumulated over the years.

-A list, the broadest possible, of his working tools.

-The map of contacts and relationships, as well as the ways that the wise used as advisor.

-The plan which he drew up and used to surround himself with talent and excellence.

-Complete narratives of their most significant experiences.

-The description of skills used, and how the applied vis-à-vis the challenges it was facing.

This would mean that we would be in the presence of a tale, where each chapter, does justice to the most relevant aspects of their wisdom, and where one can understand the growth dynamics that, over the years, structured knowledge to be applied and makes it subject to transfer.

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Thinking about the future

The risk of image that people feel when they want to submit suggestions for improvement or to innovate in their organizations seems to be seen as high.

It seems to be a feeling that, by doing so, we will be judged for the rest of our lives or that we will not support some momments of contempt or humiliation.

But if our attitude is seen as an act of courage to overcome the mentality more conformist or closed, than, even if our idea is ridiculed, our self-confidence increases.

For example, if an employee has functions that do not typically call for innovation, it will have a tendency to avoid giving his opinion for fear of being called to attention.

For an employee who works on a job that does not normally ask for innovativeness (e.g., a blue-collar worker whose job is assembling furniture), if he has an innovative suggestion for a new work procedure, he may be afraid to express it because of the concern that his coworkers (and supervisors) might think he is stepping out of line”

However when the company requests the participation of its employees in the process of ideation and supports these initiatives, providing tools and the intersection of opinions, the initial inhibition tends to disappear and there is a spread of flame of creativity and innovation.

It may be difficult to some employees take the initiative for fear of criticism but the value of attitude creates respect and admiration, even though in silence.

It is almost always easier to say than to do, because one of the reasons of nuisance or misplaced criticism is the fact that other people are not also authors. To avoid discomfort and impediment is always good to gather the ideas in a team so that the whole process can be shared.

Another thing that managers can do, but it takes time, is to create a culture in which everyone realizes that being innovative is rewarding. It is absolutely correct that without a culture of innovation it hardly we will have a climate for the participation and collaboration of the employees of the organization.

However other attitudes and measures can be taken, for example, to recognize the value of innovation initiatives and the absence of fear we are advancing the role of the human resources department, he also require innovation.

It is a part of the establishment of a culture of innovation, to innovate processes and organizational structures, their definitions and descriptions.

Dave Ulrich, professor of business at the University of Michigan, has long argued that HR leaders should assume a more vital, strategic role inside their companies, rather than merely keeping busy with everyday stuff like: policies, payroll, and picnics. Ulrich says that HR leaders should strive to build and strengthen the unique set of organizational capabilities that give an organization its competitive advantage. In essence, this means developing a particular mix of resources, processes and values that makes it hard for rivals to match what your organization does.

IBM completed a survey of global HR leaders in 2011. The results showed an agreement among Human Resource leaders that driving creativity and innovation is their number one business challenge, yet only 50% of these HR executives indicated that they are doing anything about it.”

Maybe fear also has residence in HR and maybe fear may arise masked of fear of pinching the image, fear to fail, afraid of being punished, etc., but it’s always a fear that differs according to the experiences of the past, experiences that also contain the solution of the problem.

It is up to the leadership and human resources to create a favorable climate for unlocking the solutions.

There are a few things that HR can do for innovation:

-Hire creative people

-Help create a culture of innovation

-Reward and form in innovation

To participate in the processes of innovation we need to integrate our team with our body and soul.

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So do you believe innovation has to occur naturally?

I think it’s something you can set up an ecosystem to encourage. Obviously hiring smart people, giving enough investment, giving people time and space to play and explore is definitely a way of investing in this idea of innovation, but you have to understand innovation is a long-term thing…

So what you often find is that the innovators are the ones who create the technology, but it takes a designer to understand the impact of that innovation and package it in a way that users actually want.” – Andy Budd

It seems easy to accept that the concept of innovation should be seen as a long-term thing and that time must be the combination of “true” innovations so the “desired” innovation become the success we have seen with some products or even services.

We can’t say the same about creative problem solving that have an emergency character quite different.

In this sense what users want may be in fact what we seek to create and add value.

But this is not always the case!

What people want is not always what people need! It is very often what people desire, or as Antoine De Saint Exupery said:

“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.”

That long period referred by Andy Budd is the time required to understand and integrate connections that represent the hidden or not aware needs of consumers or users.

Sometimes to know the opinion of the people may not seem to be the more correct attitude to develop a product or service that can be simultaneously innovative and respond to a real need.

This does not mean that people should give up their tastes or trends or should no longer agree with the ecosystem where they are inserted. It means that the search to identify the needs must be made, not through GPS but through a compass that gives us the direction to identify opportunities and at the same time the possibility of different approaches.

I think the best way for a company to understand what people want is through a process of openness, not neglecting chances of co-creation and keeping close to the consumers/users.

This way it is possible to discover in consumer behavior, supported by some research, that the vast majority of purchasing decisions are made in an emotional basis and experts (Bruce Lipton) estimate that up to 95% of purchase behavior originated at the subconscious level.

Therefore we need to apply a research through observation of people in their environments, to be able to propose to that people the products or services that are missing to them.

There is a significant difference between what people need and what they would like to. This means that we will have to find the best ways to put the questions so we can get the best answers.

Some techniques of psychology and anthropology can help us understand how people think filtering what they want to say to us. Analyzing contradictions in what people say, look at the real life or combine several techniques can give us a framed picture of the real needs of people.

We know that people live in groups, communities or systems and act as units of relationship between themselves. They are not independent units.

There are two kinds of needs which in my opinion should be over worked not to run the risk of being creating dream solutions but with no applicability.

On the one hand we have not articulated needs, that is, those that exist but that users or consumers fail to clearly expose and whose message needs our help to translate into understandable language.

On the other hand, the “hidden needs” that are the kinds of things that people really want, but are unaware or do not feel this need. Those needs only manifest themselves in plans for future (building scenarios) and are often a result of a change in the environment or in the evolutionary process of each one of them.

Innovate to meet the needs of the people is a hard marathon!

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This post was originally published in OpenMind

 

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Our attention focused on the traps!

When organizations recruit their employees should make three types of questions before deciding to hire them:

Are you able to do this?

There are a set of skills that the organization needs to have in the candidate profile.

Are you able to connect…?

There are requirements in communication patterns that are fundamental to the smooth functioning of the organization.

Are able to grow?

Organizations expect that their investment in employees produce return through increased competence and productivity.

These seem to be legitimate aspirations on the part of the organizations, but of course on the part of the employees there are also aspirations, needs and reasons.

Katy loved her job and she loved her team and she didn’t mind staying late to help out. What was bothering Katy was something entirely different. Often, Katy confessed, she showed up late at her children’s events because a meeting went overly long, for no important reason other than meetings tend to go long. And she hated having her children watch her walk in late. For Mayer, this was a no-brainer. She instituted a Katy-tailored rule. If Katy had told her earlier that she had to leave at four to get to a soccer game, then Mayer would make sure Katy could leave at four. Even if there was only five minutes left to a meeting, even if Google cofounder Sergey Brin himself was mid sentence and expecting an answer from Katy, Mayer would say “Katy’s gotta go” and Katy would walk out the door and answer the questions later by e-mail after the kids were in bed.”

Organizations need leaders alert and aware of the needs of customers but above all, they need leaders concerned with the needs of its employees and with the evolving reality.

This text transcribed above has very strong references to several aspects of “organizational behavior” (individual and group level) and shows how easy it is to fall into the traps of “organizational desires” that we unconsciously create, we amplify and in which we fall.

Marissa Mayer was alerted to the dangers and consequences of organizational imbalances and went into action.

In large organizations, and even in medium-sized organizations, the cult of the meetings can be a good example of a lot of disfunctions and it is certainly also a good thermometer of the agility of organizations and of the care that they lay in the management of talent.

However meetings no longer means getting stuck in any room and let family or friends disconnected from our presence and friendship.

Maslow in the middle of the last century introduced the “hierarchy of needs” that explained the motivation of people to satisfy certain needs.

Today, self-actualization, for many, is reflected in the ability to choose where, when and how work and what tools to use.

It may not be very different from the premises laid down by some artificers of 20TH century or of Renaissance artists, but it is a reality that new technologies and mobility brought.

Today’s organizations must start worrying about people who want to participate in the construction of their way of work.

” According to a different Cisco report, more than half of 2800 college students and young employees surveyed in 14 countries say they cannot live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives.”…

Going forward, workers will expect to connect, share and work collaboratively from home, a café, an airport, at a client’s location and even on a commuter train. Improved, robust, optimized networks elevate Internet connectivity into that “Hierarchy of Needs” Abraham Maslow identified nearly 70 years ago.”

And if by chance our initial questions had positive responses, we, as an organization, must be competent to satisfy the most basic needs of those who work with us.

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Observe to be able to run

The detail is differentiating and it is when we observe the detail that, often, we create policies to innovate and meet people needs.

For example, if the goal of our observation is to know what the feelings and emotions of the people are, in the face of determined stimulus, we have not necessarily to use experimentation and eventually be obtrusive. It may be sufficient to observe people in situations identified with the stimuli or establish a dialogue with them.

However to observe or to ask people there are some filters that we must bear in mind when we do research:

-People have some difficulty in predicting what they can do in the future.

-People will amplify the truth to be closer of what they think we want to hear, or what is socially acceptable.

-To tell what they do, people are saying what they remember they do.

-To report what remember, people rationalize their behavior.

On the other hand it is important to bear in mind that we, as observers, do not use always declarative sentences to report the observed results, this is, we do not always achieve desirable levels of empathy.

To observe it is advisable to use, whenever possible, drawing, photography, video or audio recording, etc.

To interact with people we ask questions that facilitate the transition of what we know to what we need to know about the problem or about the challenge that is being proposed.

In this sense, when we find a delimited context, we begin by questioning the issues that are raised in order to find the right questions that enable us to perform the interviews and to make direct observations of those who will use the solutions in their natural environment.

However it is good to remember that people are accustomed to look at the whole as being the image that they want to capture to subsequently incorporate as knowledge.

This is useful because it allows a greater assimilation and facilitates answers, by elimination, when they face the situations of adversity.

In Design Thinking we can split the search in:

The initial or primary more focused on interviews and direct observations of users or final consumers;

Later or more secondary related to other stakeholders, be they partners, internal or external collaborators of the Organization and who went looking for the differentiator detail.

This work is not the work of an individual, is the work of a team that we intended to be interdisciplinary.

With the secondary research is intended to give the team a holistic view of aspects of the proposed challenge.

This means that in addition to the research on users/consumers the team will do research to find new business models, emerging technologies that can do highlight the project, or even competition, as well as all knowledge in the areas of research or in adjacent areas.

Further, the research should focus also on the legal and cultural aspects of the context defined.

An understanding of how the acquisition, translation and distribution of information are processed in individuals can help the Organization to deal with the adverse or favorable circumstances in the development of their projects.

The defined context is our business world that includes data and behaviors, the latter being crucial to the survival of our relationship with others. And (some) are the details that make the difference, details that we detected through observation which often make us feel the need to experiment.

Note: To experience we need to isolate, prepare and manipulate things hoping to produce useful evidence. Observation is to care with interesting details of perceived things under conditions more or less natural, or, by extension, things perceived in the course of an experiment.

Look for an orange, and appreciate its color and shape would be to observe it. Extract the juice and apply reagents to measure the acidity would perform an experiment.

Observation and experimentation can help make fit our ideas and dreams on the needs and desires of others.

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When and how to get the tough answers

Our ability to find answers to questions often depends on the type of question that we do and almost always more than find answers we need to know how to ask questions.

“How do you ask the right questions?  It starts with a process I call “success visioning.”   This involves focusing on where you want to go (your target destination) and then picturing what it looks like when you get there.  Not if you get there, but when you get there.  Once you have a clear picture of what winning looks like for your organization, ask a series of future, active, past-tense questions that presume the target has already been achieved. – Holly G. Green

Whenever we encounter a problem we immediately raised a series of questions that can be the most correct or not to solve this little problem or part of a larger problem.

If our dream is to create something awesome, something that is greater than ourselves, it is not enough to have a huge passion for the work we have done. We must also have a vision and we know that a visionary has passion. Not being the same thing, passion and vision, walk always together.

It is the vision that drives us to create the future and based on that desired future is our imagination that brings us to the point of arrival, to the right questions and with sufficient opening to embrace alternatives but without losing the focus on vision.

We did not learn, getting advice, policies, or statements more or less elaborate. We can learn, looking for answers to questions always focused on where we want to go.

We did not learn when we ask questions to confirm our opinions, assumptions or convictions. We learn when we challenge the status quo, when asked while experience or what would be the result if…!

Make important questions means recognizing prejudices, to distinguish facts from opinions, consider relevant aspects, seek alternative points or ask to be criticized.

We did not learn when we ask questions and we induce the answers. We learned when we ask ourselves:

What are the questions that we need to do in order to have the right answers?

We learned when we asked how to innovate the business model. The business model innovation helps companies grow and there are questions that should be:

What we need to know about business model innovation?

“Our typical way of creating a future is by specifying the vision, the goals and then defining a blueprint to achieve it. This is called destination strategy for solving problems… this way of thinking does indeed work for many things, especially in the material world. It does not work well with human systems or when the desire is to create something out of nothing. In fact, it is this very mindset, one based on clear definition, prediction, and measurement, that prevents anything fundamental from changing.” – Peter Block

The power of analytical thinking gives us the ability to ask the right questions, while our natural attraction in design thinking by the assumptions or by the “what if …?”, often leaves no room for thinking about the meaning of the questions.

Ask interesting questions and surgical (with focus) to meet the needs of others, is done with the help of analysis and synthesis, the parties naturally complementary divergence and convergence and at the right moment.

Here are some good moments to ask questions:

When we seek through observation meet user needs to resolve problems of a particular subject, ask questions can help us to find the meaning of things and make them desirable.

When we co-create ask questions develops new ideas possibly richest than the first interesting ideas.

When we identify a problem, ask questions causes divergence and facilitate its definition to converge.

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Interdisciplinarity and the combination of possible solutions

Creativity is a fundamental aspect of innovation, but it is not a specific aspect of a project, of a phase or a fashion of the time.

Creativity can be seen as a partner that accompanies us in any moment, activity or mode, either individually or in collaboration.

Creativity is present in the lead or in the management of interdisciplinary teams, through interpretation and assimilation of teamwork results.

Interdisciplinary innovation team’s members integrate in their basic disciplines, creatively, the results of the work of the teams, i.e. they assimilate the return creatively.

Innovation is a concept that occupies a space of its own in the creation and development of business and is without a shadow of a doubt today, the most relevant competitive factor. Innovation is to create value for people through the implementation of new ideas in certain contexts.

We begin by thinking in innovation to arrive to innovative thinking. Many of the traditional innovation methodologies no longer respond to new challenges and new approaches are required by organizations.

Innovative thinking is the thought that goes beyond what we can see. It is the use of imagination leaving what is obvious to the back of our field of vision and looking for what is different and extraordinary.

Often leave behind what is obvious or logically correct is the best way to facilitate our imagination and to do that there’s nothing like working with people from other disciplines or areas of knowledge.

Challenge our normative structure is a step that can be taken in good company.

“Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem. More precisely when opportunity finding becomes more important than problem solving, which leads to answers that were not apparent or existing before – where designing is related very closely to inventing.

… all disciplines needed during a project to guarantee a successful outcome. – Christiane Drews

Interdisciplinary teams usually have a high level of production and are usually numerous teams, in the implementation phase of ideas, so we need to be attentive to the way in which channel the energy.

There is an advantage in interdisciplinary teams that results from the creation of generalist skills by members of the team, when they have the possibility to discuss third-party interventions in its areas of expertise. It is good to note that despite this power put the hypothesis of the creation of conflicts such does not happen because the consequences are predictable as “threats” are known.

We begin above by highlighting the presence and importance of creativity in all moments of life and environments and processes of innovation and enhance the importance of interdisciplinary teams to this approach. Now let’s look at some of the benefits of this combination!

We know and feel that often one or another discipline considered itself, through their representatives, of prime importance and even leader so that the innovation is a success. These representatives are the so called elites established, supported on status quo, who reject the most valuable result of interdisciplinary teams:

To define unexpected questions!

Define unexpected questions is often identify a problem that does not correspond to what was initially imagined.

The whole environment created by the members of interdisciplinary teams is a source of recognition and almost immediate reward for team members, where to set the right question may represent a resounding success in the search for solutions.

“The most significant benefits from innovative interdisciplinary initiatives are:

 likely to be different from those that were expected

 likely not to be expressible in terms of the discipline that originated the

initiative

 likely to involve new questions, or reformulation of objectives

 likely to be in the form of capacity to respond to future events, not past ones”

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The diversity of values enriches the co-creation

Our lives are shaped by the experiences that we have over the years. Some more striking than others and other less negative than we possibly think. Learn from the experiences is a positive part of our journeys always present.

People (customers) are now more experienced, more demanding, more active and more connected with the global world, requiring transparency, better and clearer communication processes and new technologies for social interaction.

So most “smart” companies must perform a very careful work (creative and directed) to provide adequate resources and environments allowing customers to have experiences that they can cherish.

It is important to find a sense in the search we gather to address the stakeholders on a service but this information has to be used to generate proposals for a new service. It must be consequent!

These experience proposals shall provide the opportunity for users to feel their needs met convincingly and find meaning in these experiences.

It is essential to provide the resources so that people can create their own experiences.

Recalling Maslow, today we can say that a significant part of the population, have their basic needs met. These people return your attention to the search for new experiences that are enriching and memorable, even if it means an extra investment in certain moments.

Service design appears not only as a process that brings together skills, methods and tools to create value for the customer but also to create long-term relationships between the co-creators (proponents and customers).

The fact that being a father leads me to think how it will be possible to make proposals in order to reconcile the various generations who today are facing in various arenas and welfare services.

The experiences have changed and accompanied the change of generations. People today want experiences that support their values.

Generations and behaviour

Let’s look at how generational values shape the way people respond to technology. Gen Y have grown up with computers… but being ‘digital natives’ doesn’t mean they’re tech-savvy, far from it. They probably know less about how computers work than their parents…

In terms of online behaviour, there’s a clear split between Gen Y and Gen X on one hand, and Boomers and the Silent Generation on the other…

I think the difference between the generations is captured well by some advice I’ve seen on designing a website. Gen Y want it to be fun, or they’ll lose interest. Gen X want it to be customisable, so they can express their individuality. Boomers want it to be useful.

The interesting thing is that, at the moment, most sites are designed by Gen X.

I wonder if they’re factoring in the needs of other generations?”

Perhaps more cross-generational is the fact that some people are looking for meaningful experiences, more integrated into the community, such as volunteer work or more linked to the environment, more natural and less synthetic.

For all these reasons organizations need promote co-creation of exceptional experiences!

If we start with experiences, then we must focus on the interactions between the individual customer and company, and on generating outcomes of value to individuals. Our DART model helps shift this focus.

• Dialogue: How can we create a corridor of two-way communication between individuals and the company to facilitate transparency and manage risk-return for both sides?

• Access: How can we enable access to tools, knowledge, and expertise that facilitates dialogue and allows value co-creation to take place?

• Risk-return: How can we help individuals and the company understand and balance risk-return relationships that underlie their interactions to generate economic benefits to both?

• Transparency: How can we create transparency in these interactions to build strategic capital for the firm? ”

Create competitive advantage for businesses through proposals of meaningful experiences is a way of facing Service Design assuming participants are the starting point and at the same time new lenses to explore the unknown.

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