Designers Make Ideas Real

26 may. 2013

Ideas are places to go, not mental limbos. And business strategies are ideas made real: Otherwise are only beautiful fireworks. 

I call a "false" strategy the one that doesn't come with a realistic and possible implementation plan.
Designers are very used to having to take over a false strategy and rethink it to make it real.  
For a senior designer is easy to distinguish fireworks from a real strategy...Therefore distinguish a false strategist from a good one. Senior designers also know that nowaydays they are not going to take credit for a successful strategy although they made it happen... 
It's a question of time that designers seat at the decision-making table.  

From fireworks to reality. Design Thinking in action.

A real and succesful strategy plan aligns:
Company expectations and business goals with the idiosincrasy of the company and the adecuate implementation plan that will make the strategy happen.
And a lot of communication.
So, does your strategy plan meet the expectations of reality?

I encourage senior managers to think out why and why not their strategies failed last year and the years before...

The rest are just fireworks.

This is a great article: The Best Strategy For Big Innovation: Knowing Your Limits


Talking Design Thinking: Communicating Ideas (1)

23 may. 2013

I keep on investigating Design Thinking processes involved in communicating ideas on social media. Ideation in action. I also want to test my own DT capacities and discover some I didn't know I had.

Last year I was focused on communicating by writing about Design Thinking-in-action, and this year I 'm going to investigate and analyze the process of communicating by talking about Design Thinking related insights.
My first test goes as follow:

I defined what I wanted to communicate and wrote it down (below), and then I used this text as my talking script (on video).

My question to my design-thinking-self is: Why the result is not the same? 

My script was:

"Hi, I'm Pilar Saura, a designer focused on making ideas real. 
Last year I begun investigating design thinking processes applied to communicating ideas on social media. My creative move was to launch a blog about design thinking-in-action, where I could create my own design story...and as a platform of learning by acting and testing, observing my own theories about design thinking methods and tools involved, and most important, to push further my own limits. The CONCLUSION was meaningful to me…and it's been fun.
This year I'm going to investigate (experience) the difficulty of talking about ideas and design thinking: In this project I'm going to focus on the design thinking methods and processes involved in sharing and communicating complexity in social media, not in the outcome ….Let's see what I can learn by pushing my limits and hustler some more...This is my challenge. Let's see what happens".

I'm a hustler: I just cannot help it...

Designing A Life Part 1

2 may. 2013

My thoughts about applying design thinking principles to designing a life.

We all are designers of our lifes: We all have to develop a strategy and design our way to get where we want to go, our intimate, vital sense of purpose...and we all have to make decisions, and choose paths and iterate, and learn to fail fast, and test, and manage different contexts, and empathize and...choose a destiny-a why- from the heart when we think we are not ready to do so (need to apply intuition and instinct). 
Life happens and so does our design thinking ability.

I love metaphors as ideas made images or viceversa. Maybe this one would help to prototype the designing-a-life experience:
Designing a life is like mailing a blank letter to your future self. The most important decision is choosing the stamp.  

The stamp represents the path, your destination: Where you want to go, who you want to be, how you want to feel, what you don't want at all. In other words, the destination you choose represents the why, what and the how... of (who) YOU: They conform a person’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. 
The blank letter represent the process that would take you to your chosen destination. It is going to be written and updated by you with your findings, learnings, experiences, while you itinerate and act. The process it’s something we grow — we create and build over previous experiences and insights.

Your chosen goal or destiny
I find Viktor Frankl’s  "The meaning of life" totally inspiring:
What man actually needs is not some tension-less state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.
You hold onto to your destiny along the process, while itinerating. Your understanding of it would improve over time. 

Design Thinking principles applied 
There are a few abilities that might take you years of personal work, such as pattern recognizing in order to understand, measure, compare, predict and develop skills that will help you understand contexts, people...including you. You cannot effectively lead your life if you failed to understand you. You cannot scale your life without inner leadership. Need to learn to lead, and need to learn to follow.
You lead, you follow you. 

Life experience will increase your understanding over the years; You will change your mind a thousand times; Follow wrong paths; Failed furiously over and over again, and forget your WHY...  But you don't leave because you're the problem and the solution that you are trying to solve. 

How big of a problem it is? How much of you are you willing to pay? How painful is this problem going to be? What can you create that is going to solve this problem? Is is worthy?

Important questions

What can happen if you don't stick to your destiny?
Are you and your process sustainable?
Understanding the context?
Considering a human-centered perspective?

One more Design Thinking principle 

No situation repeats itself, but emotions do.
Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, each situation needs a different response, but it might make you feel similar to other experiences... 

Prototyping your sensations. 

Design thinking attitude
My "letter to your future self" metaphor is an idea with radical implications that it requires further and transcendent thoughts. 
Questions to myself:
  • Choosing one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances is crucial.
  • Setting a meaningful, honest, difficult and almost impossible goal can be a life inspiration
  • The life-process is everything, and as meaningful as achieving the goal itself.

  • The goal defines your life, therefore, your life process, your own design. 

  • "And yet fulfilling work doesn’t come from the path of least resistance" Viktor Frankl

    Note: "The most important decision is choosing the stamp-destination"  

    Fostering Macroempathy 

    Life experiences are part of our vital CV and show off our multiple selves, values and talents and also tell our personal exposure to other realities, therefore, life experiences frame our capacity of understanding others.

    Why life experiences are not crucial in our professional CV?

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