Class exercise on story telling December 8, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in A Whole New Mind.
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Attached is the class exercise inspired by the book “a whole new mind”, and aimed at developing story-telling skills.
Design Thinking as a personal right-brain development program December 8, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in Design Thinking.
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My personal motivation for this new “design thinking” class is to expand my “thinking box”. So far my personal experience has influenced my thinking towards a traditional approach to problems based on analytics and problem structuring. However I realize that a more “right brain” approach is required to generate new concepts and communicate them in an innovative way. I admire the recent business application at Ducati , which combined innovative product concept and a sketching commercial.
The papers from Tim Brown (“Design Thinking”) and Sara Beckman / Michael Barry (“Innovation as a learning process- embedding design thinking”) come handy in my quest to define design thinking, identify the critical attributes and how to develop those.
Because of its integrative and collaborative nature, both papers call for associating design thinking as early as possible in the innovation process, and determine that the key success characteristics among team members are around empathy, integrative design thinking, optimism, experimentation and collaboration. Design thinking is also about trial and errors, and using work in progress prototypes to facilitate the search of a solution.
Beckman and Berry go the extra-mile in pairing the different steps of design thinking with the most desirable learning styles. This is the one of the first take-aways of the class: pick your team members according to the phase of design thinking you are in to optimize your success:
- The observation phase can be conducted through ethnographic research, participant observation or informant diaries. The most suited learning style is the diverging style, where people show the ability to see a situation from many different point of views
- The framework phase consists in interpreting the large amount of information gathered, which can be done through identifying stories, the identification of customer behavior dimensions or using timelines. Here a person with an assimilating learning style is more suited, where he or she can put the information into concise form and deal with abstract concepts
- The imperatives phase is about putting together the set of value proposition that the innovation should deliver, i.e. the goal to achieve. The most suitable learning style is converging, where people deal best with conceptualization and active experimentation, not to mention that those people are goal-driven
- In the solution phase, people most suited have an accommodating learning style which is characterized by a field and hands-on orientation
Class exercise – why we buy/shop December 7, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in Why We Buy.
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In class exercise - Ornwassa Siamseranee and Emmanuel de Garsignies
Why we shop: about understanding customers’ emotions and psychology to best influence them December 7, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in Why We Buy.
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In this era of abundance, retailers need to adapt their strategies to shoppers’ new motivation: self realization. The author drills down on consumer psychology and develops several interesting tactics for successfully capturing this “out of the box” shopping.
The insights on the information gap proved very actionable. Essentially, the consumer is in the market for information first, before buying the product. The consumer should be provided with a level of information which varies according to the stage of the purchase cycle. For example, a car dealership should only provide a consumer early in the shopping cycle with the model name and a quick description. On the other end of the spectrum, a consumer close to finalize the deal would value as much information as possible, which could be sent after the visit as a follow-up video through internet.
A consistent pattern from this insight and those of the “thrill of the chase” and the “bragging” phenomenon is that the salesperson needs to read accurately the customer, and react accordingly. I took away that retailers should not only think through the emotions of their customers, but also educate their sales force to read and leverage those emotions. As the critical contact point, the salesperson should receive an extensive training to develop his or her empathy, storytelling and integrative thinking skills.
“A whole new mind” = “Your plan for developing the right brain critical to your future successes” December 7, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in A Whole New Mind.
Daniel Pink does a good job at creating a compelling case for action for developing right brain creative skills, in addition to the left-brain generated analytics. I had witnessed firsthand blue collar jobs outsourcing from my industrial background. I knew that outsourcing white collar jobs was coming. But I did not know it was as acute as the projected 3.3 million US jobs estimated to shift to Asia, and as early as …2015.
The acid test is terribly simple. This is the first take-away: a job which can be done cheaper overseas, can be done faster by a computer, or does not satisfy the inner self in this period of abundance is not a stable job going forward.
The second take-away is that everyone can develop his right brain according to six dimensions (design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning) which turn out to be very much aligned with those highlighted in the research of Roger Martin, dean of the Rothman School of Business.
Lastly, the book truly helps in that each section offers simple exercises to develop one of the six senses. I found interesting that many had been taught in my recent class “power and politics” (mini saga, comment a picture…). This is the testimony that right brain and left brain skills do not conflict, but rather more complement each other.
Presentation “A whole new mind” December 6, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in A Whole New Mind.
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Presentation “Why we shop” December 6, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in Why We Buy.
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“As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life”
Confused with genomics? Wondering what their key consequences can be, from a human and business perspective? In his book “As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life”, Juan Enriquez offers his opinion on those questions, in an interesting fact-base and very visual way.
Throughout his book, the author uses a combination of facts and personal comments to reassemble the difficult puzzle of the DNA issues, by an opposite symmetry to the DNA sequencing with which genomics start.
Understanding the genetic codes represent a key innovation that opens many doors, starting with personalized treatments and the premise that 73% of diseases causing death will be non-communicable by 2020. As an innovation though, genomics will fuel the productivity gap (which is nowadays 427 to 1 between one person in the richest country and one person in the poorest country), and help reduce cost (the price of a Ford T was divided by 3 in 15 years). Additionally, the shift of power from countries to individuals will continue and result in high value spots (5 states make 44% of US patents), weakening countries which will divide (creation of 3 countries a year over the past decade).
The author argues that countries should take the direction of embracing innovation by providing stability and top education, rather than uselessly fighting it. There seems to be a clear correlation between the level of innovation/development of a country and a strong meritocracy: the USA have taken the lead over continents where corporations are more driven by families, such as Latin America. In addition to education, attracting foreign talents is critical to generate innovation: 1/3 of the US patents come from Asian students. Building or not this ecosystem of innovation dramatically impacts the development of a country which is not tied to availability of natural resources, as shows the rapid growth of Singapore which is now richer than Malaysia which declines to incorporates failing Singapore years ago.
However, the disparity of development between countries grows terribly as the impact of missing on innovation becomes greater, creating tensions as it becomes more difficult to defend free trade, control immigration, fight guerillas and drug. Innovation gaps create tensions with other countries, but also internally with the population that missed on the innovation (The United States jails twice as many citizens as Europe which has the same population size).
But Genomics is more than a technology innovation; it is an information innovation since DNA is a new language. As such, genomics work differently: the value lies in spreading the information and in network building by opposition to managing the supply of a scarce resource. The next big step is to marry genomics with silicium and nano-technology, to create computers on a molecular scale that can offer individualized treatments.
Finally, Genomics impacts YOU because it is about YOUR information and YOUR future. Cryopreservation is reality today and it is only a question of time before human cloning. Although the exact outcome of genomics is yet to be written, this book does a good job at creating the case for action to proactively manage your future in light of the drivers and key issues of the genomics innovation. Another title could be “genomics issues for dummies”.
Less is More in Presentations September 30, 2009Posted by Emmanuel de Garsignies in Presentation Zen.
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Presentation Zen offers an approach to prepare, structure and deliver successful presentations. I found the approach convincing in that it is applicable to most environments and builds on PowerPoint shortfalls, rather than ditching this tool.
The cause of the current “death by PowerPoint” status is well known to most of the users of this successful software: we are making it more than its original purpose of an assistant to produce visual supports for presentations. Slides are becoming more crowded as we use it as a memo or when we decide to squeeze some extra information, just in case.
The first step of working “off-the computer” does not really come as a surprise to presenters who experienced how much more time consuming it is to work on a structure after having built it electronically. But the tactical suggestions behind the recommended 4-step approach (1) brainstorming, 2) identifying the core message by grouping the ideas, 3) creating the storyline using post it or printing blank slides and finally 4) storyboarding using the slide sorter view of PowerPoint) come handy. I am curious to see if sketching the slides from blank PowerPoint notes helps boost agreement within a team.
Where the book really made a difference to me is in providing very tactical guidelines in the second step, that of designing the actual visual support. Multiple designing ideas are offered to make the support emotional and free of unnecessary information, i.e. really zen. I look forward to see the impact of banning 2-D charts and logos, maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio, as well as applying the rule of the thirds that I use often in photography to my slides (placing the important subjects at one of the 4 crossing points made by 4 intersecting lines).
However, I don’t believe the recommended approach of using a combination of 3 documents can work for any presentation (zen slides, speaker notes and handouts to be given at the end of the presentation). My experience in corporate setups is that the audience can be using the slides to validate a quantitative argument, and would still need at times a visual access to the information.