“Some thoughts are like the digestive stones that birds swallow.” — Owen, in a conversation on change.
If you’re in Washington D.C., do see the concrete exhibit at the National Building Museum, where you’ll learn that concrete does not have to be heavy, solid, opaque, flat, gray, or ugly. Quite the opposite.
Walking home from work tonight I was thinking that most everything written about innovation is useless. It’s generic banter. Fixing companies must be done in the context of their problems by people passionate enough to constantly push against the dead weight of status quo. If we learn anything useful from the Tom Peters of this [...]
Marc Rettig, one of the most thoughtful practioners in the user experience world, will be in New York next month discussing Interaction Design is Language Design… …The notion of a “design language” has been with us for years, but if we take the idea seriously, perhaps ideas and frameworks from linguistics can help us design [...]
I usually don’t participate is such folly, but I’m feeling frivolous… Four jobs I’ve had: painting playgrounds building houses administering computer networks writing about music Four movies albums I can watch listen to over and over: Steely Dan’s Aja Death Cab For Cutie’s We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes Mahler’s Tenth Symphony Led [...]
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making waves at Davos. I like her attitude: “She acknowledged the political necessity to move ‘in small steps.’ She added, ‘In Germany, sometimes things never get going because one doesn’t know how it will work out, and maybe it’s better to do nothing. That’s not my maxim.’“
We’ll be teaching a full-day seminar prior to the IA Summit called Enhancing Your Strategic Influence: Understanding and Responding to Complex Business Problems. I’ll be joined by John Zapolski and Scott Hirsch of MIG, Harry Max (formerly of Dreamworks), and Mark McCormick (Director of Design at Wells Fargo). We’ve been designers. And we’ve partnered with [...]
This essay by Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins offers some useful models of the software industry that could easily apply to similar industries in a state of major transition. This year, many software companies will be busy trying to convert their offerings from products into services. In fact, I would estimate that last year, software-as-a-service [...]
Quotes from the Wall Street Journal… Ford will announce a plan tomorrow called “The Way Forward” that will involve 30,000 layoffs and target “the root of the auto maker’s recent woes: a stifling corporate culture.” [In the war room,] high on the wall, hangs a big, white sheet of paper on which is written: “Culture [...]
The latest HBR offers a pleasing overview of decision making. The below callout is from Who Has the D? by Paul Rogers and Marcia Blenko… A Recipe for a Decision-Making Bottleneck At one automaker we studied, marketers and product developers were confused about who was responsible for making decisions about new models. When we asked, [...]
In Berlin over the holidays, we walked passed this beautiful building with a classical center and modern wings. It’s the former Staatsratsgebäude (East German government center), the portal from a pre-war city palace which the East Germans built around. It was recently restored and only days away from the becoming the Berlin campus of the [...]
If you’ll be in New York at the end of February you should consider attending the Design 2.0 day of presentations and panel discussion on strategy, design, brand, product, service, customer experience, and all things innovation. Also, full-on cocktails. Among the speakers will be Andrew Zolli, of whom I’ve written, “If you ever get a [...]
There’s a funny (or cruel, depending) dilemma to improving your work over time. If you don’t do it, your organization becomes less and less valuable over time, gradually failing, and dying an unfortunate death. If you do all the time, you never get to benefit from each change very long and probably suffer from change [...]
For the sake of innovation, it’s tempting to mash up people internal and external to a company. We’ve seen how important it is that employees be customers, like JetBlue’s employee-centered priorities, and how customers can contribute to companies. This could be one of the most important changes in culture we can bring to companies, but [...]
Another way to illustrate the evolution of consumer control… Shopping in 1920, photo courtesy Theodor Horydczak Shopping in 1960, photo courtesy Country Joe Shopping in 2005, photo courtesy Nicole Gesmondi