It is impossible to know everything. But, if you can learn to listen and collaborate, you can know anything.
This was on the top of my mind as I wrapped up two life-changing years at Presidio Graduate School and started with Navicet.
By my second week, I was already embedded in three client projects. I was particularly excited to start work with a client who has an excellent track record on environmental sustainability and employee engagement. We were asked to design a Learning Journey, a cohort-based professional development program that combines workshops, coaching, and practicum projects. With my background in participatory education and professional development at an international nonprofit, I knew I could jump right in to add value. We began designing the Learning Journey in the way Navicet always does, by interviewing stakeholders who have the most context and interest in creating great outcomes...
When an executive at one of our client's asked me for a list of simple principles of design-thinking a few days ago, it got me thinking.
It's not like there's a shortage of them, as you can see from a quick Google search. We even contributed our own list years ago, which I expected to be sufficient response to this particular CTO. But as I considered them on this particular day, they all fell flat somehow.
I wanted something that reflected the trends and challenges that we see in our day-to-day work now, something that might be useful for seeing where an individual or even an organization might improve. I wanted the principles I shared with her to gently shine the light on the limiting habits that hold us back, often without us even being aware of them, and to be useful for any team, regardless of how well they were doing...
Once you get a taste of what it's like to truly delight your customers, it's hard to settle for anything less. In retrospect, whatever you did to delight them can seem obvious, and you wonder how you didn't see it sooner...
This is my first week as a strategic design intern. A week ago, I had no idea that such a thing existed.
At Navicet, we're on a mission to build design-led organizations. On the surface, the goal seems simple enough. Digging deeper, however, it turns out that a useful definition of the term is anything but obvious.
Just the other day, a board member from one of our favorite nonprofit clients asked: what exactly does it mean to be "design-led?" Having been at it now for a little over three years, we thought we would take a stab at putting it into words.
Here's how to tap in to the potential already hidden on your team...
Having a clear, coherent set of actionable principles is an essential ingredient for designing great customer and employee experiences, especially for larger organizations. But, easier said than done, right?
Employee engagement matters. A lot. In fact, according to a recent Gallup report, companies with the highest employee engagement outperform their competitors by 2.5 times. That same Gallup report found that 70% of the U.S. workforce was disengaged, and 20% are actively working to sabotage their employers objectives. The number one influencer of team health? Manager performance.
Over 70% of large IT projects fail. Conventional remedies promise greater predictability and control but only marginally improve team engagement, collaboration, and innovation. Is it possible to trade predictability and control for better results?
Here's a simple idea. Try using the same sensibilities you use to calculate story points for user stories for estimating business value.
What really counts for IT organizations? In most cases, the business struggles to get the most value from IT. They do their best to develop requirements, road maps and strong relationships, but still, they struggle with missed expectations.
Last week, I was talking with a group of super-smart architects when the topic of design came up. As you might expect, this happens pretty frequently for me. But this time, I was struck by how different our ideas were about the nature of design.
Most dictionaries offer mundane, concrete definitions for design, emphasizing either the creation of a specification or the planning of something to be built. In some cases, they touch on aesthetics, but only with some unease. Wikipedia, on the other hand, offers a scholarly analysis of different types of design and the intended purpose of each. It's a pretty tough read if you ask me. John Maeda, author of "The Laws of Simplicity", shares his thoughts on the topic on his blog. This is a pretty good read for the initiated with lots of insight and implications, but it feels like most of the talk is about design, how to recognize good design or the role of simplicity in design, for example, rather than an attempt to define it.
At Navicet, here's how we think about it...