Currently viewing the category: "Designthinking"

Mindset is commonly described as the filter through which people give meaning to the world. Cognitive psychologists use the term mental map or cognitive schema to describe the concept of mentality as they address the question of how people make sense of the world in which they interact.

But defined in a simple way, mentality is a habitual mental attitude (a set of assumptions, methods or notations) or characteristic that determines how we are going to interpret and respond to certain situations.

Being a DT minded leader is having a mental attitude that begins by embracing empathy.

Being a leader means accepting risk and developing trust instead of promoting the efficiency of “everything as usual”.

Being a leader is also to sponsor collaboration and learning rather than being summed up to know his specialty.

To be leader is to know how to listen, even if truth hurts, instead of taking refuge in norms, procedures or time constraints.

Being an organization leader or being a leader in an organization is looking outside and inside the organization and understanding the culture and context of the problems of customers and employees.

Instead of looking inward looking for the ingredients that the organization has to create a product or service, leaders must first seek to know what their customers need and then identify how the organization can meet those needs.

When we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, what aspects of their experience do you care to improve or which aspects do not yet have an answer?

We can easily see that technologies as well as competitive dynamics move rapidly in the organizational environment, so it is of the utmost importance that an organization’s leadership seeks to redesign customer experiences by widening, for example, the range of touch points in customer journey map or introducing new digital instruments.

But if it is precious that excellence is impregnated in the experience of the clients, it is also essential that the employee experience is felt by the leadership as another jewel that shines in the organizational universe.

Design thinking provides an excellent way for leadership to focus on the employee’s personal experience (understanding the problems) and to create processes, novel solutions and tools that directly contribute to employee satisfaction and to achieve better levels of productivity.

People-centered leadership means seeking to identify the needs (known, but not met, not articulated or hidden) of both the clients and the organization’s employees.

The definition of a problem can rarely be summed up in a reported or felt complaint.

On the contrary, by researching, observing and through direct contact with people, it is possible to identify problems that need to be solved and which, in turn, make it possible to gather useful information to improve or create products, services or even work processes and methodologies internal environment of the organization.

” Building to think instead of thinking about what to build ” – Tim Brown

Leadership that also facilitates experimentation/prototyping and builds on collaboration easily directs creative action to seek solutions in two strands, customers and collaborators (be they consumers or users). The success in the employees’ leadership, resulting from the resolution of their problems, has a direct impact on the resolution of customer problems due to the environment favorable to the commitment that is created.

Design thinking minded leaders within a creative process (problem definition, information search, idea generation and evaluation) should be facilitators, but also provocative, they must be conductive, but also motivators.

It must be a leadership that embraces ambiguity and builds prototypes of visions, products and services and even the magical experiences of its collaborators. Prototypes that will be tested and that will produce feedback of useful information to find the integrated solutions that satisfy the needs of all the interested parties (customer, suppliers, collaborators, etc.)

Notice: “You can prototype with anything.  You want to get an answer to your big question using the bare minimum of energy and expense possibly, but not at the expense of the fidelity of the results.  It’s not only about aluminum, foamcore, glue, and plywood.  A video of the human experience of your proposed design is a prototype.  Used correctly, an Excel spreadsheet is a wonderful prototyping tool.”

A leader embraces complexity because that is where the best answers come from.

It is therefore crucial for the leader to develop integrative thinking, that is, the ability to grasp two opposing ideas to create a solution that results from combining the most relevant points of each of those ideas.

A leader must be optimistic, but not overbearing, positive and must celebrates small successes.

It is not easy to find leaders of this nature! 🙂

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Some companies want to be more agile, faster in responding to challenges and more effective in action.

These companies seek to provide great customer experiences and for this they can combine lean management with the advantages of innovative technologies to reduce costs, improve quality, build trust and create value.

To do this companies needed to find a new way to run the organization! They needed to combine digital technologies (available and incorporated) with the ability to operationalize, but in an integrated way and not as a sum of individual achievements.

To reach this state of operation, change must be driven throughout the organization (a holistic perspective) and must find a transformation path that suits its situation.

In this sense, it is necessary to end up with departmental silos and focus on client work, that is, it is necessary to offer a unique experience that is focused on the client’s journey and in the internal processes that support it and which are transversal to the organization.

It is necessary to leave behind the design of teams conditioned by decision-makers and to create autonomous and multifunctional teams dedicated to the customer’s journey. The team type, of desirable excellence, will result from the developed iterations that allow us to test the various possible configurations, thus responding flexibly to changing customer needs.

You need to introduce flexible technologies and business process management (BPM) tools and share them across customer journeys.

Decision-making should be more supported by real-time information, which implies a performance evaluation (efficiency and effectiveness) in shorter periods of time and properly leveraged with incentives for employees.

It is necessary to speed up the companies, valuing the speed in the capacity of answer to the clients and the learning with its journeys. Companies should seek to holistically reinvent these journeys instead of looking for small, incremental improvements. With this reinvention, it is possible to praise simplicity and streamline processes.

How can we then create distinct experiences for clients?

If, on the one hand, companies need to combine digital technologies in an integrated way with an optimized operationalization capability of the client’s journeys, which translates into a true organizational revolution, on the other hand, companies need to be aware of the experiences of its employees to ensure excellent performance.

Let’s look at some levers to implement a new way to create unique experiences for a company’s customers and suggested by Digital MacKinsey:

-Digitization – Digitize customer experience and day-to-day operations.

-Intelligent process automation – Introduce intelligent automation to reduce human tasks.

-Advanced analytics – Provides intelligence to facilitate decisions.

-Business processes outsourcing – Uses resources outside of the core business to complete specific tasks or functions.

-Lean process redesign – Streamline processes and minimize waste.

To implement these levers: “Organizations need to ensure that each lever is used to maximum effect”.  They should also ensure that “each lever in the right sequence” and finally, “the levers should interact with each other to provide a multiplier effect.”

But not enough! Creating distinct customer experiences is also dependent on good employee experience.

Now the HR function will have to play a very important role in finding innovative ways of engaging in the increasingly diverse set of employees and break organizational silos.

The HR function itself must now reinvent itself and give HR professionals the opportunity to expand their competencies to become more capable of listening, to identify the most hidden needs and unarticulated needs, to become proficient with analytical technology to base their decisions and to initiate co-creation processes, as a way of solving the employees’ problems.

Designing employee experiences can be a healthy alternative to the usual administrative processing of many HR departments.

Like the customer experience, service design is about the design and implementation of interactions that occur along the client’s journey.

Without good service design the customer experience suffers!

Summing up:

Human relations with products, services or experiences are constantly evolving and yet it is still possible to make some predictions for the future!

“Eric Flowers, co-founder of Practical Service Design, says that service design is effective in driving change and offering value for both customers and organizations, regardless of industry.

His top six predictions for the future of design are:

“… The medium of your brand will become irrelevante. The only thing customers will attach to your name will be the service you provide them. If the future of service design is to come to fruition, what a company makes will not be as important or relevant as what a company does to serve…they will be known more for that type of need they serve.

-Touchpoint design will not be enough to differentiate. Differentiation will come through the relationship you have with your customers and how you serve over time.

-Holistic experiences require holistic organizations. What you produce mirrors how you are organized. Cross-silo coordination will be the key to delivering outcomes.

-Customers adopt more fluid expectations They will expect quality services to feel the same across categories and contexts.

-Employee experience will become a design priority. Design thinking will be applied to how experiences are produced and services delivered internally.

-Building service design capacity will be essential. Service design is a much-needed tool for companies to better design and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

What is your opinion?

 

 

The experience accumulated throughout our lives is often a lever for meaningful leaps in problem solving, be it personal and family challenges or professional challenges when we are part of an organization.

In any of these environments there are always moments to learn and moments to unlearn.

This accumulation of experiences is a wealth that cannot be ignored or underestimated without first consciously realizing its greater or lesser importance in solving problems.

For years, in a cyclical way, we learn and reserve our wisdom, but there are two types of experiences that we should reconcile and use in our day-to-day lives:

– One, experience based on experimentation that provides fun and learning,

– and another, the experience accumulated and translated into tacit knowledge that we must share, interacting with other sources of knowledge.

According to Heidegger, “to set up an experiment means that something happens to us … to set up an experiment means, therefore, to allow ourselves to be addressed by what is in our hands, by entering and submitting to it.

We can thus be transformed by such experiences, from one day to the next or in the course of time.”

Today, when we think about the performance of organizations, we find that even after some rapid, processes of restructuring to cut costs, it is in the success of innovation that organizations put their hopes to recover acceptable levels of profitability.

But then what are the conditions or adequate environment to make emerge the success?

Some authors emphasize the role of tacit knowledge as the key to achieving innovation success.

Tacit knowledge is that which the individual has acquired throughout life, through experience, as opposed to explicit knowledge, that is, knowledge that has already been or may be articulated, encoded and stored in some way.

If on the one hand we can learn quickly in a changing world and share knowledge to create new knowledge and new things or to experience new emotions, on the other hand sharing the accumulated knowledge when we are part of a team, may not be an easy task.

Teamwork based on a Design Thinking approach is a creative and innovative process that combines a wide variety of interdisciplinary contributions from its members and fuels the emergence of emotional memories.

It is easy to see that much of these contributions come from tacit knowledge.

It is a personal knowledge that is applied in thought and action, through a design thinking / design doing, without definitions and no elaborate recitals, but which clearly promotes a collaborative interaction.

Not all portions of tacit knowledge are emotional memories, but much implicit information is stored in us playing a key role in our decision-making and in the way, we link points of view and diverse knowledge about the context, dimension or subject.

Tacit knowledge is not easily recognized or acknowledged, but it can be a key factor in enhancing the quality of strategic decisions made by the top management team.”

Deciding when working as a team is a time of surgical precision and it is a time when having creativity as an ally is helpful. It is an action that must be developed with the participation of the specialized knowledge in the matter in question, but which also calls for the collaboration of other people.

Thus, the way we deal with this information, over many clashes with a vast amount of data, can facilitate the creation of new knowledge.

Moreover, if we are skilled in managing how people share and apply that information, we can provide interesting creative leaps. This is because the tacit knowledge that every individual possesses and that is unique, once unlocked, can be a great creative contribution in an organization.

“We know more than what we are able to say” (Michael Polanyi), and so we are able to pick up on that more specialized knowledge that is often tacit and through sharing draw our way towards creativity. This implies an understanding of the antecedents of the participants in these exchanges, something that we can only acquire through empathy.

Combining experiences and sharing interdisciplinary knowledge leads to the best of strategic decision making in organizational innovation.

 

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People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.”

This is a warning to all those involved with Human Resources, who for a long time have filled their professional life, and not only, with the images of discouragement produced by a culture that always privileged the reward for those who do well what is requested and never rewarded creativity, that is, what could be done.

Human Resources as an integral part of organizations have been looked (and has allowed) as weak elements in the organizational value chain despite the good work of some HR Business Partners.

Many of the people involved in traditional HR departments feel lonely when they are confronted with more agile business environments and with various future alternatives in management and HR development strategies.

This loneliness is occasionally interrupted by initiatives of great boldness and courage as happened recently in Coworklisboa with Employee’s Experience Design Workshop: Innovating in Human Resources – by Busigners.

This workshop underscored the need to create a sustained approach to problem solving rather than adaptations of best practices or models linked to organizational management trends.

Those challenges arise from the search for the satisfaction of hidden needs, not articulated needs or only known but not satisfied needs.

Now HR must assume its true role, which is to lead resources, human resources that feel, have will, are capable, are creative and want to grow. These people are potential internal entrepreneurs and are also a new challenge and a new perspective of management and leadership.

Therefore, Human Resources (HR people) should innovate in the communication processes, in the ways of promoting well-being, in the perspectives and personal growth models of each employee and in different contexts.

In this sense, they should for example:

– Watch, listen and ask questions. Yes! Ask questions!

– Avoid distractions and be completely present when they are with other people.

– Avoid thinking that multitasking is good and that your problem is bigger than others. Empathy with all employees of the organization is crucial as it is the only way to understand the true needs of all employees including leadership and management.

– They should attach meaning to collaboration and connectivity, managing combinations of talents and innovating in recognition and reward plans.

-They must learn to work with constraints. Constraints can be a good source of creativity in solving problems.

– They should be part of the right and left brains of organizations because they are heralds of norms and freedoms, discipline and creativity, success and recovery.

Today’s Human Resources can be the leadership of a process of cultural transformation, which involves reducing the excessive weight of analytical thinking in organizations and balancing it with intuitive and creative thinking.

This is achieved (my interpretation) per Roger Martin in Design of Business:

1 – Selecting, more creative people over analytical.

2 – Not rewarding traditionally and exuberantly those who promote what is trustworthy, but rewarding also those who promote what is valid.

3 – Including in the processes of evaluation criteria that aim at creativity, work with restrictions, empathy, holistic thinking, collaboration and experimentation.

Human Resources should no longer have as fundamental concern to maximize the profitability of what they have today and begin to explore new paths, analyzing the experience of employees to predict the future and to create solutions for tomorrow!

Innovation for HR managers is to create a new dimension of purpose, more inclusive and open to the whole, respecting the magic inherent to each employee.

 

“Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection – (MAGIC)”

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Some of the big companies that operate in the global market consider that the most important skills to be developed in their employees to promote their growth in the next five years (according to Flux Report by Right Management) are Leadership, Management, Interpersonal, Innovation and Creativity, Resilience, Techniques, IT, Sales / Marketing and Customer Management.

When we verify that the HR of these organizations establishes as desirable to ensure results at these levels, we cannot stop thinking about how this path will be done from the hiring or through the inventory of the existing skills in their employees at a given moment, and their consequent development.

Reconciling organizational desires with employee needs may not be an easy marriage, but there are promising engagements!

Developing skills implies somehow inspiring the commitment. This means that HR must seek to improve people’s lives and remove obstacles by building environments and tools to facilitate and improve the performance of their work.

Providing magical experiences to the organization’s employees means getting them to find meaning in what they do and to have the autonomy to do the best. It also means making them feel that they can grow, show that their actions impact the organization and that they are in connection with the world around them.

This is MAGIC “Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection”

Looking beyond efficiency and focusing on the employee involves understanding their needs, whatever their physical, cognitive or emotional nature. In this way it is possible to develop “personas” that guide the delivery of services and / or products successfully.

Organizations use the “persona” of their employees to discover their unique needs. This can mean defining the employee’s functional identities (for example, a manager, a senior specialist, or a T, etc.) by identifying the most important moments for these employees and creating journey maps of their work experience.

The experience of the collaborator is not a single thing; it is actually a set of experiences gathered in a continuous movement that arises in three distinct environments, namely: Physical, Technological and Cultural.

Employees respond to the stimuli of these environments and their responses must be analyzed by the organization.

How is seen publicly the organization or the team?

Do employees feel comfortable to talk and share their experiences? If they talk, the employees feel that something will be done?

How is the employee’s commitment inspired?

Do employees want more autonomy and responsibility? How to turn this will into reality?

Do employees feel that hierarchy is jamming decision making? How do you solve this problem?

What does the organization give the employee in return for his or her work?

What has the organization learned from these responses?

Now is the time to act and make changes based on the ideas the organization has captured.

Using transparency, the organization has to define what to do and also what should not be done in order to move to its implementation of change. It is crucial not to forget that it is a process of change and in this sense everything must be taken care of from clear and universal communication to the achievement of a healthy commitment. For example:

“In order to drive employee self-service and enhance the employee experience, the Telstra HR innovation team has introduced multiple new digital channels and apps over a short period of time. Over a year or so they’ve launched or updated an HR knowledge portal, a digital ticketing system, an on boarding app, an employee benefits site, and a general HR app.

An existing personalized dashboard has also been enhanced. The net result is an engaging user experience for HR services.”

We all need our interactions with technologies and other more complex systems to be simple, intuitive and enjoyable.

Design thinking, because it is empathic, is an approach that allows us to understand the needs of an organization’s employees. This understanding arises when we analyze the sum of the various perceptions that these collaborators have about interactions with the organization, that is, their experience as collaborators.

In this way, it is possible to think of reconciling the desired competencies of the organizations with the potential of their employees and to develop a magical organizational environment and mutual growth.

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In the last article of this blog, I stated that “…in organizations, HR managers must increasingly be concerned with updating skills related to user experience and behavioral economics.”

Now we will try to understand to what extent this statement corresponds to a reality felt by organizations and how we can improve those skills.

This reality is already felt, as we can see, for example, through Busigners, which clearly leads us to the implementation of the “employee experience”, highlighting the loyalty of employees, attractiveness of the organization and the motivation of employees and consequent increase of productivity.

But let’s look deeper! A first aspect, which jumps to the desk when we try to follow the experience of each employee, is the need of personalization at the expense of mass treatment.

We must devote an individualized attention to the flows of each employee in order to allow the construction of a robust, agile and learner whole, that is, in order to shape the new skills in the work structure of each employee. It is not possible to adapt the same menu of competencies for all elements of the organization, as if it were a formative offer from a “work school”.

This process may seem expensive and time-consuming, but its application at the organizational level is fast and costs are clearly diluted in the result obtained.

A second aspect to work on is simplification. The useless complexity often supported by the bureaucracy in organizations to justify increased difficulty has to be converted into accessibility and easy integration, with higher levels of execution and learning.

Simple is beautiful and desirable!

There are, however, situations that will always remain complex by nature, but in these cases it is not a useless complexity, rather it is a feature of the system, which will lack a particular ability to become simple and understandable. Complexity is not necessarily complicated.

Transparency is another aspect we must consider to improve skills.

Transparency should be part of the company culture because it contributes to the perception of organizational trust.

Transparency helps build bridges of trust that bring people together and create cohesive nets to get results across the organization.

Of course these aspects show unmet needs within organizations, but those needs will only be satisfied when the organization as a whole is able to respond effectively (quickly and assertively) to the challenges of its purposes.

An organization must function as a living organism and maintain a healthy balance between all its components.

A living organism has a physical environment where it moves and was usually created new or has been adapted in the environment where it is installed. By observing the experience of employees, organizations can contribute to the well-being of their employees, adapting the existing to what they value or want, but also reflecting the organizational culture in that environment.

As we continue to observe employee experience, we can easily see that not everyone is extroverted, introverted, or has thousands of daily interactions. The observation of the existing links between the different employees, as well as the touch points with the outside world, is essential to develop an improvement in the working environment.

An important part of employees’ motivation or discouragement during their work day results from the positive or negative balance of the social connections that they establish in the organization.

To feed this motivation, that is, to provide the energy needed to “the work to be done” is only possible if there is:

– Constant monitoring of data on the employee’s experience and its transformation into useful and accessible information.

– Explanation of each employee’s journey and identification of the different touch points internally and externally, in order to ensure effective communication, flows of creativity and efficiency in the processes’ implementation.

– A clear awareness of the significance of each role in the organization and a deep knowledge of the individual responsibilities as well as of the expectations created for each team or functional part.

– This feeding is part of an iterative process that is intended to exist in the continuous improvement of the organization’s performance and constant adaptation to the environment or environments in which it may be inserted.

Finally remember that:

Journey maps are a powerful tool for diagnosing and fixing interactions. They’re valuable for understanding both customer and employee experiences, which is why customer experience (CX) pros along with their colleagues in human resources (HR) should use the discipline of journey mapping to look at critical journeys like hiring, onboarding, and evaluating performance.”

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Power can disrupt our ability to understand others and this can be terrible for an organization.

The rational / legal power according to Max Weber is what is based on the rules and legal order recognized as valid by a determined community and is also what is observed most in organizations or companies.

Empathy, the ability to perceive and share another person’s emotional state, has been described by philosophers and psychologists for centuries… This most recent study, however, firmly establishes that the anterior insular cortex is where the feeling of empathy originates.”

Some experiments seem to show that people in positions of power exhibit patterns of behavior usually associated with failures in the zones of the cerebral cortex that control empathy, that is,  the ability to imagine the world from the point of view of others. Is it true?

Power destroys the ability to understand that there are other perspectives beyond the hierarchy in organizations and we know that the hierarchy functions as a cascade.

It is an evil for which there is no easy cure or treatment!

The most common leadership failures don’t involve fraud, the embezzlement of funds, or even sex scandals.  It’s more common to see leaders fail in the area of every day self-management — and the use power in a way that is motivated by ego and self-interest… They reach a choke point, where they cross over from being generous with their power to using their power for their own benefit.”

It seems to be true that the best treatment for abuse of power is transparency, and it also seems that the worst abuses of power can be prevented when people know they are being watched.

There is, however, another side of the coin that assumes that power can be refined by other means and become a lever for success.

So how can integrative thinking help managers or leaders in organizations looking at people as an important part of their decisions?

When we are in the presence of two opposing models that create tension, if we choose a creative resolution (new model) that contains elements of both models, but it is superior to each of them we are using integrative thinking in a constructive way.

What usually happens in organizations with traditional hierarchical models when it comes to using the power to make decisions is the elimination of some factors that should be appreciated and thus relieve the tension that decision-making carries.

The relevance of factors

On the contrary, if who uses decision-making power to consider all relevant factors, then embraces complexity and needs to feel what is relevant. However, these factors have relative importance, that is, through their ability to perceive (this includes putting on the shoes of others – empathy) and comparing and analyzing contrasts, the decision maker can recognize the truly critical factors.

It is good to remember that all this is only possible if people are not subject to the limitations of a hierarchy that uses prejudice as a factor picker to practice the confirmation bias.

This relevance of factors is the first task of a set of four which form integrative thinking.

An integrative thinker after determining the relevance of factors has now to understand the relationships that link these factors or variables and to do so he will deal with ambiguity and create causal maps while developing alternative theories.

The causal interrelationships

Traditionally a decision maker abuses power by taking refuge in its status and by ignoring alternatives. On the contrary, says Roger Martin, the integrative thinker will embrace mysterious elements instead of excluding them because he has the ability to maintain a clear purpose in this case, through the difficult step of drawing the complex causal interrelationships, while maintaining the flexibility to review judgments about patterns of causality, even on the map causal relevance that develops.

The sequence

Creating a sequence of variables is a complex problem and the tendency is to eliminate variables to make the path more accessible.

In essence, the integrative thinker creates a causality map that groups the variables considered most important in the first step, but retains thought in the global image of the causal map, while exploring the various options to focus on where and how to address the problem.

Resolution

The ability to select the point of incision in the problem is crucial for the integrative thinker who along with his ability to utilize his experiences allows him to reach the fourth point of the cascade, the resolution.

In order for decision-makers to find the right path, the attitude when facing obstacles or adversities is fundamental. Not an attitude of power without dialogue, but an attitude that sees the challenges as something transposable and friendly management.

Instead of deciding for A or B the integrative thinker chooses the continuous improvement path to find the creative solution that the organization and its clients need.

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This article was inspired by Integrative Thinking

 

Today, more than ever, customers from different organizations are able to engage in the development and use of “things” that companies have to sell or propose that may end up becoming co-creators.

We can say that co-creation with customers (collaborative creation) is open innovation with customers, but it is not the same freedom offered to customers as a revolution of thoughts, desires and needs or want.

There are limits! There are boundaries! There are directions!

Most often there is almost always a set of constraints and legal, environmental, economic or social barriers.

Co-creation is not a clear path for everyone and everything. Organizations and their leaders establish a strategic line and define the boundaries of performance and possible contours for successful interaction.

We can create value by employing creativity, knowledge, experience and skills of people (internal and external to the organization) but for that we have to respect certain rules and principles.

Venkat Ramaswamy and Francis Gouillart describe “The four principles of co-creation” that is a great starting point to a successful path in co-creation. They say:

1 – “Stakeholders won’t wholeheartedly participate in customer co-creation unless it produces value for them, too.

2 – The best way to co-create value is to focus on the experiences of all stakeholders.

3 – Stakeholders must be able to interact directly with one another.

4 – Companies should provide platforms that allow stakeholders to interact and share their experiences”.

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Although these principles are a good starting point, because they are liberators, they don’t cease, however, to provoke some questions which I leave open:

How to motivate stakeholders to participate?

If employees feel threatened, how can we create value and avoid value destruction?

On the other hand we know that the sharing of experiences of all stakeholders promotes a deeper understanding of the issues and the interactions developed could enhance the experiences of all.

So how can we develop and maintain a desirable dynamic in interactions?

Co-creation is certainly a way that organizations must go but this also requires an agile processes and rapid learning cycles that the available platforms should allow.

The interactions that occur in co-creation with customers should also, in a agile and clear way, serve to correct deviations from the objectives and clarify the boundaries of performance.

So I like to think that some of the assumptions for moving ideas to services or successful products are:

The possibility of technical implementation of an idea (feasibility).

There is technology available to realize this idea?

The organization is prepared for execution?

The time required for its implementation fits the organization’s guidelines?

The economic viability.

Does the result fit the client’s budget?

Does the result fit the organization’s goals?

The return on investment is it satisfactory or good?

Your ability to express desire to users or consumers.

What is the impact on the lives of customers?

Does it meet the customer’s articulated needs?

It’s good to remember, by one hand, that the non-articulated needs, i.e., those that exist but that users or consumers failed to clearly display contains a message that needs help to translate into understandable language. The interactions, that are made possible by platforms, are based on a duality, the organization with its structure, its rules and resources, and customers, who are mutually influenced, often don’t clarify the real needs.

On the other hand, the “hidden needs” which are the types of “things” that people really want, but are unaware of or do not feel that need. These needs will manifest only in future plans and are often the result of a change in surroundings or in the evolutionary process of each person.

In conclusion, although it is tempting to be really creative, ignoring the restrictions, to be able to see the restrictions as liberators is to reach another level of wisdom and it is also motivating.

The ability to execute (feasibility), economic viability and the clear identification of desire of (need or want) of consumers or users, should not be considered steps of a process.

It is at the intersection of these constraints that we must seek a solution to a problem.

These constraints are the pillars of execution that simultaneously serve to filter all possible interactions in organizations that promote co-creation projects with their clients.

What do you think about this?

 

The prejudices that hinder curiosity

Yesterday in a small exercise on Design Thinking I realized that most of the participants felt a hard time understanding the meaning of empathy and simultaneously devoted little enthusiasm to curiosity about the problems of others.

It seemed that to be curious to understand deeply the needs \and problems of people was to be indiscreet or rude.

On the contrary have an empathic curiosity means that there is a knowledge gap that we need to fill. We feel the curiosity when we feel a gap between what we know and what we don’t know, and this leads us back to learning.

Curiosity is our main ally to understand the complexity that involves many challenges we face today, whether it’s the relations between people or their sensitivity in the face of adversity.

 “I am a true believer that being a good person is much more important than being a good musician, and that in order to have the success I seek in music, both are required…I’m a sensitive person, but I always perceived that sensitivity simply as good listening in musical situations. I’m sensitive to people’s feelings and moods, and I believe that it generally makes me someone that my friends feel they can come to.”

In fact it seems a complex world when dealing with relations with people in a changing environment, but there are ways to decode this complexity and present it as being simple.

empathy-experiment

One of the outputs, that we have when we are faced with complex situations, as for example, to analyze the real needs of people (customers) is looking to fit what we have available in the complaint or request of the people in question.

It is not however a desirable output because many of us do not know enough about the needs of the people, to change our products or services, or the way we interact with them.

Without realizing that, we drag people to a complex network of processes that hamper a good service when we propose services or products wrong by wrong motives.

We need to listen carefully and amplifying curiosity we must find out what are the needs of the people, understand what are, the unmet needs, the non-articulated and unveil the hidden needs.

Empathic curiosity is underpinned by the core skills of empathic listening and maintaining a curious attitude.”

When we talked with someone, we hear or read news, often we find that a lot of people has unmet needs, but these are just the visible part of the iceberg.

Underneath the water line there are many other needs that people still could not express or have not yet been identified because they have not yet been confronted with environments that require more of themselves.

When we are able to combine curiosity and empathy we are facilitating the identification and definition of problems.

Deny the existence of problems is to escape their resolution or reject the challenges which we are placed. Do not dig deeper to understand deeply the people is to follow the direction of laziness and propose the mediocrity as a solution.

Dig deeper also means understanding the context where people are, to understand the values and cultural norms or criteria for satisfaction.

This cultural empathy, which equates in traditional environment of each one of us, incorporates a significant weight, in addressing the needs or problems that we want to identify.

So learning plays a key role, and begins with the ability to learn to develop the work collaboratively.

After all, having empathic attitudes is not as easy as talking. In addition to requiring a conscious learning of what is empathy, requires knowledge of the environment where the attitude is manifested and the existing connections.

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Developing habits to lead the change

I don’t know what most people think when they see children playing, but I see, often, children imitating adults using miniature objects that represent the reality of those adults.

Those are prototypes and serve to tell beautiful stories of a future that still looks promising and where creativity has a stomping ground.

They do not give them the same use that their parents and maybe that’s why almost always have more fun than the parents. They tell stories, they add functions and solve problems that although amzing are often symbols of dramatic situations.

On these occasions, children use communication processes not very structured and yet they communicate with each other effectively and understand deeply the needs of roles that their toys represent.

For us adults, prototypes are usually seen with useful, to test (assess) our chances of solution but it can also be used to realize better what are in fact the real needs of the users that we observe.

You can also develop prototypes or create situations specifically designed to gain empathy, without testing a solution at all (or even having a solution in mind). This is sometimes called “active empathy” because you are not an outside observer, you are creating conditions to bring out new information. In the same way a solution prototype helps you gain understanding about your concept, an empathy prototype helps you gain understanding about the design space and people’s mindsets about certain issues.”

An empathy prototype does release a story full of non-articulated or hidden needs that allow us to deepen the existing problems in specific contexts which we are addressing.

Understanding the choices that people make and the behaviors that compromise them we can identify the needs of those people and create effective solutions for them.

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“Empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner – Webster

The empathy prototypes of are often used with greater use when we want to develop a particular area in the project we are developing.

However, using a prototype to develop empathy with our future “customers” requires some experience and to create some work habits:

1 – To develop curiosity about strange people to the world with which we usually identify and where we live.

2 – To challenge prejudices and discover similarities where apparently there are only differences and opposites.

3 – To put in the shoes of the other and go through a similar path to what he would have to go.

4 – To listen carefully and always be receptive.

5 – To pay attention to collective action and social change.

6-  To develop an ambitious imagination.

“We can cultivate empathy throughout our lives, says Roman Krznaric—and use it as a radical force for social transformation.

To do this we must also count with the organizations that need new skills and a new mindset that embrace integrative thinking, empathy, optimism, experimentation and collaboration.

Empathy is a high-performance fuel that leads us to the realization of projects with shared purpose and passion with those who interact with the organization.

And to finish:

“Here’s my new prototype rule of thumb: your prototype has to be better (better build quality, faster interface, better lighting, whatever) than the finished product is going to be. That’s what people expect anyway–they see your prototype and take off 20% for reality.” – Seth Godin

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