Two plans: one for planning, one for culture.
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I have found that the DNA between the two dynamics must be distinguishable from each other. Creation with compassion in an environment that feeds by compassion means we never forget the sight of what it is all about: people. In addition to acting this way because “it’s the right way,” quality of work, loyalty internally (team) and externally (users), and product innovation are all benefits.
Earlier, we talked about the concept of simplicity and its application to creation and the environment. Let’s now look at a few other examples of healthy benchmarks for a creative culture, as we’ve discussed in this book:
- Intentionally slow down / pause
- Everyone has a place at the table
- New day one
When you look closely at these aspects, their correlation HCD is readily apparent:
Culture: Intentionally slow down / pause
Design: Discovery / observation
The Swedish concept coffee goes beyond a mere “coffee break.” It’s about slowing down, interrupting during a typical day, and spending time in dialogue with someone (although a good cup of coffee is an important part). I make sure that this time is not just a known amount in my team’s creative culture, but that it is protected and actively used.
Instead of getting the product manager’s Powerpoint wire frame in the inbox to “make it look good” or at the customer’s request to circumvent the design for EOD approval, we must slow to understand the people who interact with our design (and the potential impact of the model on others, the environment and the community in which it is used, and so on). If you want to rush to do something, then the account manager’s customer-reassuring box is marked at the expense of human experience, is to sacrifice empathy, quality, and opportunities for innovation.
Culture: Everyone has a place at the table
As a definition of cultural transparency, Nick Sarillo’s pizza bars post their complete financial statements on a wall on a daily basis for all employees to see. Everyone’s hourly wages are listed on a nearby board and can be used to earn more money at once (training in multiple business areas = increased hourly wage). Many managers have made their way in this way and provide training for other employees who want to move forward by taking on more responsibility. It is about collaboration that brings success to both the employee and the company, sharing information and access for all; key dynamics of inclusive culture.
Participating in the design process helps us as creators to identify our own personal parties. By recognizing the exclusion of our work, we humbly discriminate against our assumptions; communicating with people from different communities, building empathy expands the coverage (access) of our products. By engaging with people throughout our design process, listening to them, and iteratively testing the usability of objective solutions that produce innovation.
Culture: New day one
The New Day One concept develops the employee’s first-day formulaic and sterile straight into personal and customized. Through the “Inspiration” part of the day and getting out of the office, we get an idea of a new team member as an individual who transcends what foil work can produce. What physical aspects of their chosen location have influenced who they are? How does it inspire their ways of creating problems or approaching them? Understanding the effects of spatial dynamics on the individual is vital toward an individualistic but ultimately holistic view.
Ethnographic research provides an environmental context for human interaction that a videoconference interview could never produce. Through direct observations, ethnography is a qualitative study of people in their original environment. Does the person sit in a busy area of the office, often interfering with their work? Are they field workers who primarily use a mobile device in direct sunlight and produce the most important color contrast needs? Doing research really human, we get an idea of how the people we observe see the world and how they ultimately react to it.
For the greater# section-2
Greater Good Studio (GGS) is a people-centered design company focused on social impact, founded by Sara Cantor Aye and George Aye. Their business is located in the Logan Share area, a collaborative space they also established in the Logan Square area of Chicago.
I pointed to the studio to ask if I could stop in their space and observe the “morning in life” view of their process: culture and design organically as both opened up. Sara (a former Northwestern University teacher) made me an offer without hesitation to join the team for observation. Once we have signed the non-disclosure agreement, we will agree on a date for my visit.
When I arrived on Monday morning, George (formerly IDEO) greeted me with a cup of coffee and walked me up the stairs to the naturally well-lit Logan Share space. I noticed that the open seats in the liaison department were already almost full when he gave me a tour based on a layout based on “human needs and purposeful configuration” and areas of active project. Long individual cardboard sheets hung with custom fasteners showed complete life cycles of project-oriented human-centered design objects. Once the project is deployed, George explained, the cardboard will be removed and saved for future iteration. Fresh sheets are reattached to form partitions of the new project space after that.
The six key steps in the studio HCD process are as follows:
Define questions to answer and engage people
Learning from people about their needs and values
Finding behaviors and opportunities
Creating a large number of new ideas
Making material models and collecting feedback
Test solutions in real time with real people
As a team, GGS operates on a working method called ROWE (Results Environment Only), a concept used in the book by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson. Why work absorbs and how to fix it: a revolution on results only. Taken from an article in the studio blog, they describe the practice at GGS as follows:
“The basic principle of ROWE is that there is no need to supervise staff when given tools, clear expectations and deadlines, people not only do their job but also better than if they tried to fit the mold. At GGS, this practice is handled by very diligent calendar management, clear deadlines, performance expectations, and cookie fees (we give each other little treats if we need to move something to the calendar).
Once a month, the entire team stops at a five-hour, time zone for a project outside the client, called an internal day. This time is set aside for studio-focused things: team members share lessons from conferences they’ve attended, how to improve internal practices, previous project reports, etc. It’s a deliberate interruption, full.
Sara arrived for a few minutes on my space tour, and the GGS team’s “BD charrette” was the first gathering of employees this morning (remote and personal). “BD” means “business development,” and in the comfortable living area, everyone had a place at the table in every sense of the sentence. Sara and George ran through the current call for proposals, after which each team member had the opportunity to express their views on whether the RFP should be continued based on its consistency with the personal values of the GGS (and their employees). Everyone was heard; every vote was respected.
The dialogue eventually shifted to another potential new customer, this time with GGS in the demonstration phase. Again, everyone at the table gave their feedback on Sara and George’s attack plan, and again, each team member’s voice had the same value and weight. Studio-wide participation in business owner decision-making was genuine, effortless, and natural.
Forty-five minutes later, the group physically moved to a few nearby couches; less than a three foot walk when I watched it. I asked about the very small change of status in the next phase of this meeting and I was told, “The purpose is different, so we’re moving to another space.” Each team member took turns describing their weekend in three words:
“Sunshine, beach, baking.”
I also got my turn. Changing the energy on these sofas from a new business to an individual focus brought about a significant climate change. In a few words, everyone had a sense of what their teammates were doing over the weekend, evoking smiles and sowing seeds for future dialogues throughout the breaks – intentionally throughout the rest of the day.
Next: “confirmations”. In this last part of the meeting (pre-project space), anyone who wanted to express their appreciation to a team member during the previous week did so. One person acknowledged his co-worker for his selfless cooperation. He took time in his own project work to help his clients prepare in time. A similar but unique “thank you” arose from diverse people; no one was required to speak, but all did.
After the project updates, I sat with Sara one at a time to chat with coffee. I asked him about the synergies of their HCD process and how he interacts with his team in the office:
“I think where it has become more intentional and obvious, it has been with our staff who are not a trained designer. The operational people or our community manager, etc. I have had to say, ‘I want you to be a designer of this’ (what ‘this’ is).” We are your users, you are trying to get us to do our work schedules or clean the kitchen, etc. Note. Talk to people. Find out our motivation. Summarize everything you have learned and then come up with ideas. ‘
As a designer, I constantly design at all levels. In many cases, I design deliverables for clients or coach Teams to design deliverables. I also design the process we work on by writing proposals, expanding, etc. And at the highest level, I design our company. I design our culture every day based on our customs, traditions, and practices (hard and soft). Users are not hypothetical, they are real people. “
When all is not well# section 3
Sara went on to mention how her previous work experience shaped the leader she is today:
“I think many of my design choices are based on (unhealthy dynamics) with previous employers. If decisions were not made transparently, everything financial was completely opaque. Lots of distrust of other employees. It has been so critical that I have had bad experiences, so I can now say clearly: we are not doing it. “
The tactics, ways of thinking, organizational change, and flexibility of operations discussed in this book are based on a simple truth: a company supports and operates as a creative culture or is truly ready to develop into one. Along the way, I have spoken primarily to those who are able to help bring about change; even on a small scale. But what if you are not in a situation where you will be heard, or in a situation that will help change?
Reality is not always unicorns and rainbows. Bad experiences can affect us all. For example, the fabric of a company’s creative culture may be irreparably damaged due to management changes, acquisitions, or it may lack sustainability. Whether these circumstances have revealed themselves over the years or overnight, your passion and evolution should never be their victim.
Sometimes creating in an environment best suited to growth and passions means finding a new opportunity.