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Wednesday, 26 October 2011
He will present a master class reaching these tools at Creative Innovation 2011 as well as a keynote speech. Ci2011 16-18 November at Sofitel Melbourne. Register at www.ci2011.com.au
Design thinking is a team based creative approach to solving problems. We’re asking our best clients to let us help them solve their toughest challenges through design thinking. We start with a multi-disciplinary team who are collaboration experts. As a starting point, understanding the business and issues surrounding the problem are a must. A design thinking methodology will then move into an inspirational stage. We will spend deep qualitative time with the different stakeholders in the scope of the question. Typically we spend time in users homes understanding the problem in context. The team is hopefully uncovering insights which the competitors have not seen. Those insights are synthesized into a point of view, often the original question is challenged and modified as a better question is identified.
From here the team will move into an ideation stage. We’ll want to diverge and create many possibilities that tackle the question. Many different ideation techniques are used. Think brainstorming 2.0. Next we’ll narrow down to the most promising directions and create prototypes or experiments to test out the concept. The ingredient to successful experiments is to do them fast and at low resolution. Tom Kelley calls this “The ability to squint” What he means is don’t waste time making your prototypes fully resolved and beautiful. What you desire at this stage are the learnings from these experiments so you can improve your concept or discard it and go in a different direction.
A recent example that comes to mind is the work we did with Steelcase around redesigning the age-old classroom chair. The team observed, among other things, that tablet-arm desks had remained unchanged for decades, even though class sizes and densities had grown dramatically. This presented an opportunity for Steelcase to enter the education market with a product that could immediately make an impact on seating arrangements. The final product, dubbed the Node chair, has received praise for promoting student collaboration, allowing educators to reconfigure classrooms to fit different teaching styles, and enabling institutions to save money by making spaces more flexible and accommodating for varied uses.
Other types of challenges that we’ve used design thinking are: helping Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower’s work pass division with their Business Process Redesign to collaborating with Center for Disease Control to fight obesity with a challenge on how to get kids to eat more vegetables. I’m passionate about the diversity of business challenges that design thinking can be used to help solve.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Who Killed Creativity survey:
We need your help in an unusual murder investigation. The just released IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs has identified creativity as the No. 1 leadership competency of the future, and yet results from 300,000 CQ Torrance tests have shown that since 1990 creativity has been on the decline. We want to know: Who Killed Creativity?
Your results will add to this important international research into the area and be included in the new book ˜Who Killed Creativity?™ by Andrew and Gaia Grant (to be published by Wiley in 2012).
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
AUSTRALIA has continued its slide in the world rankings on competitiveness, pulled down by too little innovation, too much red tape and a restrictive labour market. The latest World Economic Forum annual report on global competitiveness puts Australia at 20th place on a list of 142 nations, down from 16th place last year and 15th the year before. ‘‘With an unchanged score, Australia drops four spots to 20th place as other countries move ahead,’’ the report says. Switzerland was the top performer for the year, with the US slipping to fifth spot behind Singapore, Sweden and Finland. The forum warned that Australia still lagged top performers on business innovation and sophistication, ‘‘two critical drivers of competitiveness for advanced economies’’. And its survey results showed restrictive labour regulation and inefficient government bureaucracy had risen up the list of concerns to become the two biggest problems facing business. Australia rated 116th globally for flexibility of wage determination, 97th for hiring and firing practices and 75th based on the burden of government regulation. Tax rates and inadequate infrastructure also remained major issues, with the report noting that seaports, in particular, had become increasingly strained by Australia’s rapidly growing commodity trade. The nation’s macroeconomic environment was deemed ‘‘satisfactory’’, especially considering the state of other advanced economies, but government deficits nonetheless had Australia’s budget balance ranking falling from 67th to 86th over the past 12 months. However, the nation did improve its performance in education, where it ranks 11th globally, and returned strong results on health. Australia also won praise for its efficient financial system, supported by a banking sector that ‘‘counts among the most stable and sound in the world’’. Australia’s public and private institutions performed well on transparency and efficiency, with overseas investors apparently taking note. Australia now ranks 10th in the world for prevalence of foreign ownership, up from 19th last year.
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
One of our extraordinary scholarship winners, Adrian Camm, answers and poses some questions in his blogs: Change and a Better Future: “In this super-connected world, what is your idea for change and a better future?” and Children as Makers.
Monday, 3 October 2011
In July this year, Robogals launched a Science Challenge for girls all over Australia to do a science experiment, film a 4-minute video, then submit it online for some great prize. http://www.sciencechallenge.com.au/ (Entries close 28 October 2011).
To prepare for the Science Challenge, I got as much input and suggestions as I could from television producers, journalists, and employees of Google, GE and Engineers Australia. After taking on all these great ideas, we fired and went to work making the Science Challenge happen.
Yesterday, I was talking to my sponsorship and partnerships manager about next year’s Science Challenge. Just in examining how things were going with this year’s Science Challenge, we came up with specific and actionable ideas that will focus our efforts and have even more girls participating next year.
We could never have come up with these ideas if we hadn’t first already implemented a plan.
In March this year, Robogals implemented the pilot of the Robogals Rural and Regional programme. The plan was to have female engineering students from rural and regional areas around the country come to Melbourne for a Training Weekend and get equipped with the skills necessary to hold a large community event back in their hometown. The pilot included just universities from Victoria.
The pilot didn’t go very well. We only managed to get 4 volunteers from 2 regions attending, and none of the girls successfully held an event.
On the grant application for this project, we had stated our goal was to have volunteers from 19 regions reach 1900 schoolgirls this year. Gulp.
As our first plan didn’t work, we racked our brains and came up with another plan.
Our new plan has two components:
1. Have our Robogals city chapters go to rural and regional areas near their city for one week and teach as many schoolgirls robotics lessons as they can in that week.
2. Have female engineering students from rural and regional universities come to Melbourne for a Training Weekend and learn leadership, presentation and public speaking skills so that they can return to their hometowns to deliver talks about engineering to schoolgirls.
We began implementing the plan in April. Since then, the Robogals Rural and Regional programme has reached 2101 girls from 46 schools: 801 girls from 17 schools were taught robotics workshops and 1300 girls from 29 schools were given presentations about engineering.
We wouldn’t have been able to come up with our new plan, if we hadn’t first already implemented a plan.