Tag Archive | collaboration

Where is the Groan Zone in Design Thinking?

By Salla Kuuluvainen

Abductive thinking is a skill crucial for Design thinkers. It refers to being able to stay analytical and emphatic, rational and emotional, methodical and intuitive, oriented by plans and constraints, but spontaneous at the same time (Tschimmel 2012,3). We practiced our best capability in abductive thinking in a two-day workshop with Katja Tschimmel, learning a process for Design Thinking called E6 developed in her company Mindshake.

Trust the Process – There Will Be One Solution at the End!

As facilitator I have worked quite a while with enabling better collaboration in teams. In the workshop I paid special attention to the process of divergent and convergent thinking, which is very important in creating new ideas – divergent meaning the space where we create new ideas and convergent the space where we make decisions and prioritize on the ideas. Tim Brown (2009, 68), explains that as design thinker it is important to have the rhythm of divergent and convergent spaces, and with each iteration arrive at a result that is less broad and more detailed than the previous iterations.

I have worked with the Double Diamond process for quite a while, and I was fascinated about the level nuance in the E6 process in regards of convergence and divergence, which in this process were simply not only seen as phases in the process but as qualities of the different tools. I found this approach allowed for a very in-depth process.

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The Classical Double Diamond model – only two iterations with divergence/convergence.

I liked how different forms of prototyping were present in different phases of the process, not only at the end, and how prototyping could also be a generative, divergent tool for expanding on the idea. In our group I noticed very clearly the value of our prototype in not only showcasing the consept, but also in expanding the idea, by working with our hands and thinking at the same time.

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Our first prototype allowed for lots of discussion and expanding on the idea.

Better brainstorming is what every creative team needs

Some more detailed observations in regards to creativity were Katja Tschimmel’s instructions to brainstorming, which I found great. Often the problem with brainstorming is that ideas have a very different level of detail: some are on very high level and vague, others very specific and almost ready concepts.

Often the problem in the Double Diamond method is that we tend to loose the more detailed ideas in the process of clustering ideas under bigger headlines. But in the Mindshake process the vague ideas were developed further and semantically confronted with other ideas to have more detail.

I noticed that we did not end up in the famous Groan Zone, which lies somewhere between the convergent and divergent zones of process, where the group experiences feelings close to despair and has a very hard time finding their way forwards in the process. Even if some facilitators claim that Groan Zone is natural appearance in every process and can indeed produce some of the best solutions, I as facilitator try to minimize it in the processes I facilitate, since I feel that with the right tools the groups can often avoid it.

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I think that the reason why the process felt easy was the fluctuation between divergent and convergent – in most cases people feel at ease on one area of the process but not the other, and now they were allowed to find their comfort zone in many phases of the process.

I still think I have some personal journey ahead to become a full Abductive Design Thinker, but this workshop was a great start on the path of creativity and collaboration.

References:

Brown, T. 2009. Change by Design. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

Tschimmel, K. 2012.  Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In:
Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona.

Design Thinking – Be creative and fail fast

“What if I´m not creative?”
– Of course you are, we all are – otherwise we don´t survive in this world.
Prof. Katja Tschimmel

This is how our lecturer, Prof. Katja Tschimmel, answered the question when our two-day Design Thinking module started at Laurea. An interesting journey started for all the new Laurea MBA Service Innovation and Design students. After the module I realised that those two days were an amazing trip to a Design Thinking world – collaboration, new innovations and solving problems that required being creative and explore failures.

What is Design Thinking?

“Design Thinking today is not only a cognitive process or mind-set, but it has become an effective toolkit for any innovation process, connecting the creative design approach to traditional business thinking, based on planning and rational problem solving”.
Prof. Katja Tschimmel – Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation

DT mindsetThis is Tschimmel´s description of Design Thinking in her article `Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation`. Before the module I didn’t know much about Design Thinking. I had only read Jeanne Liedtka´s article `Innovative ways companies are using design thinking` for the Laurea entrance exams and remembered it had something to do with how companies can solve problems using the design tools. Katja introduced Design Thinking to us via her own Design Thinking process model called Evolution 62. First I was a bit confused – I remembered the process model and the toolkit from the article to be a bit more simple and that there weren’t so many tools as described in Evolution 62. Katja´s toolkit is quite complex and we only had two days to learn how to use it. Usually it takes months to experience and get to know such a complex tool!

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”You can’t do everything on your own.”

Event: Open up, become inspired and innovate! Global perspectives at Innovation Breakfast

Time: 5.9.2018 klo 8:00-10:30

Place: Hard Rock Cafe (Aleksanterinkatu 21, 00100 Helsinki)

”The focus of the USCO-project is to develop Finnish organisations capabilities to utilise digitalisation. The project explores digital business development on an organizational level, and in implementing open service innovation. USCO-project relies on experimentation and taking actions fit the focus of management, well-being at work, open innovation and customer centricity.” This was the first time I really paid attention to USCO-projects goals, and I have to admit that I was impressed. All those main focus areas are something that I am very interested in.

In the introduction Ruusa Ligthart and Riitta-Liisa Larjovuori started by explaining more about the viewpoints in USCO-project and opened some basic enablers in the open innovation process.

Four viewpoints to digitalisation

  1. Leadership
  2. Wellbeing at work
  3. Open innovation
  4. Customer centricity

What helps and enables open innovation:

–       Open and systematic processes

–       Strategic support from organization

–       Leadership support, examples

–       Organizational culture

Coming from quite hierarchic work environment, I was delighted to hear more about the fact that open innovation is also about collaboration and open mind. That is the reason why I decided to start study MBA at Laura UAS.

 

Keynote1: Professor Tim Minshall (University of Cambridge): ”Creating open innovations throught networking.”

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Management challenges of open innovation

 

Innovation is about solving customer needs.  Before this event innovation felt more like something complex and something that only experts and researchers in the field could do. Now I realised that knowing your customer is the key factor. That needs understanding, and that I believe I’m good at. The key action is to listen, and that’s what I mostly do at work. Dialog.

 

 

Innovation is about doing, understanding and delivering. It may be a product that makes life easier or something totally different, a shift in the way services are viewed. Sometimes the change can be incremental and sometimes simplicity is the key word. I really enjoyed when Minshall told about one case of innovation. A kettle. John C. Taylor invented the bi-metal kettle switch that makes sure that your kettle switches off once the water starts boiling. It reminded me of a coffee filter, that was invented by a German housewife Melitta Bentz simply because she didn’t was coffee to taste bad and have grounds in it. Bentz took blotting paper and transformed that into a new business idea 110 years ago. Mr. Taylor also said that “Innovation is no longer just for the elite in business, it has become the norm”. Collaboration acts as an enabler. It is important to be resilient and withstand difficulties because innovation process usually involves handling such things as failure, risks and the fact that a lot of times you hear the word ”No”. It is a good thing that my current profession has trained me to work under pressure and limitations, because all three challenges are going to be in my personal improvement -list for a while as learning targets. Not really used to fail 😉

Basically Open Innovation videns the basic innovation project from ”Research – Development – Commercialisation” to more accessible and friendly prosess, where also social skills are important. Companies share their information with competitors in aim of mutual gain. Networking comes down to doing and giving in co-creation. More and more people are getting together for stimulation. That is one reason why I just started volunteering in The Shortcut. The Shortcut is a community driven organisation that promotes diversity as an engine for growth. They inspire and empower their community through gatherings, workshops, trainings and programmes that help people explore ideas, share knowledge and develop skills to enable new talents required in the startup life.

 

Keynote2: Adjutant professor Marja-Liisa Manka (Tampereen yliopiston johtamiskorkeakoulu): ”Kaikkien innovaatiopotentiaali käyttöön työpaikalla – Ruudun takaa aktiiviseksi toimijaksi”

Freely translated: Everyone’s innovation potential at use in work places – Away behind the screen to become an active agent. I almost got goosebumps when I heard Manka say: ”Well-being at work is very essential part of innovativeness and that empleyees should involve in the (strategic) decision making.” Well-being at work is a subject very close to my heart and I’m even thinking about maybe doing by thesis related to improving organizational culture. This happens by developing work resources in a new way, emphasising community and trust.  It is also important for the individual to take care of his/hers own resources: development, activity and psychological wellbeing. The base of well-being at work and innovation lies in organizational culture. That’s why it is important to adjust and change work together. What are the mutual goals and requirements? How to add social resources? What it takes to improve structural resources at work?

 

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Guidelines for the community

 

The day ended in panel discussion in which eight Finnish organisations shared their experiences being part of the USCO-project. At first they shared their positive outcomes and quidelines before giving out examples when the innovation collaboration might not work. The most common warning signs were overcomplexity and self-willness. It is important to keep focus, no matter how enthusiastic people might be. What is the reason and the need? That said, it is also crucial that organization supports innovation. Timing is important, especially when constructing workshops. Dynamics can be a fragile thing and needs to be nurtured during an innovation process. Workshops are always a good idea, assuming that they come from actual need. Getting customers involved in the process ensures that user experience is also accounted for and results get better that way. Collaboration and agility shoud be in the core of actions and organization culture should be open and visible. Open innovation requires new skillsets that also includes empathy, courage, curiosity, trust, and being systematic. This was the first time I learnt about the skillsets. I was happy to notice that I can say to already possess some of those attributes already. Rest of them are about practise and learning. I’m eager to learn more.

 

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Drawing by Jaakko Porokuokka

 

As Tim Minshall said: ”You can’t do everything on your own.”

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

 

More information and ideas:

https://tapahtumat.tekes.fi/tapahtuma/USCO_aamukahvit/registration

http://www.uscoproject.fi/usco—english.html

https://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk

http://industrialdigitalisation.org.uk

http://theshortcut.org

Book: The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge

Public Health Booster – Project which brings startup thinking into health care

I took part in a Public Health Booster Workshop held in the Laurea Tikkurila Campus – a project formed together by the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, City of Vantaa and HealthSPA – the Finnish health ecosystem booster, a non-profit association for health startups, with its main aim at placing Finland among the top best in healthcare. HealthSpa creates events, like this workshop, which matchmake healthcare professionals, students and startups and make it possible to improve the customer experience in healthcare and create new opportunities in cooperation.

Hanna Vartia, HealthSpa

Hanna Vartia, HealthSpa

First we heard the opening words of Hanna Vartia from HealthSpa who introduced the main purpose of the workshop. This autumn, Laurea healthcare students have taken part in the Public Health Booster Project by interviewing startups, City of Vantaa healthcare professionals and their clients. With knowledge of the existing problems that needed to be tackled they tried to find solutions to the challenges. After the HealthSpa introduction, Laurea’s V.C. Kyösti Väkeväinen explained that annually 30 startups were formed among Laurea´s 7,000 students, making Laurea a cradle of innovators and innovations. The next speech was held by vice-mayor Jukka Salminen who said that the health care system “is not healthy” and should undergo a comprehensive innovation process with startups taking ideas to the next level and creating the kind of services the citizens would be willing to pay for and to buy straight from them.

Petteri Hirvonen, Klinik

Petteri Hirvonen, Klinik, http://www.klinik.fi

Next, Petteri Hirvonen introduced the project Klinik, which enables us to take better care of our health. Together with patients, doctors and other experts, they have developed an easy-to-use health service with which it takes just two to three clicks to get a proper understanding of what´s worrying a patient. Klinik changes the way we look for and find the right health care professionals. Klinic has filled a niche in the health service market because according to the statistics, 80 % of adults want an immediate answer to their health-related questions. Klinik uses simple language on their pages without any latin explanations which makes the text easy to understand for just about anyone. The Klinik service has made a breakthrough with as many as 100,000 visitors to its websites in a single month. Petteri Hirvonen proves how important an electronic evaluation of the need for treatment is because the modern healthcare

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Collectively ‘Thinking Design’

..my experience..
Starting studies after a decade…years of work life and now back again to a student life!

Was not sure what to expect and get from the SID master’s program starting on the morning of 4th September 2015 with ‘Design Thinking’

A very exciting day to begin, students around full of inspiration, motivated, energized and from various backgrounds. Getting to know and learn from each other all about the concept of Design Thinking was the essence of the two-day workshop held by guest lecturers Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença.

An interesting ice breaker for the team was the ‘mind shake warm-up’ and ‘who is who’ activities. Learnt a lot of new things not only on the subject but also about other students as well as myself! That’s when I realized that it is going to be an exciting learning journey ahead!

 Mind Shake game

Ice breaker – Mind Shake game

 who is who

Group exercise – who is who

..my knowledge..
Why design thinking?

Design Thinking is a way of thinking which leads to transformation, evolution and innovation. Tschimmel, K. (2012) it is human-centric approach which starts with observing people in their natural surroundings, helps to understand customer’s actual needs and create business that taps into their existing behavior. This way customers are much more likely to relate to the new business.

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#Generate, #dream, #take risks, #inspire

Design Thinking offers a variety of new ways to accelerate the creative process. During the first contact session at the SID program we were immersed in the world of Design Thinking with an intense two-day workshop held by guest lecturers Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença.

BRAINSTORMING is a widely spread idea generation tool that can be extremely effective when conducted appropriately. As explained in Katja’s article Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation, brainstorming is a participatory idea generation session, which is done without discussing the ideas or thinking them through to the end. The main goal is to generate a myriad of ideas in a short period of time, being emotions and intuition more important that rational thinking.

The process

Team members start generating new ideas in complete SILENCE. Each of the members write down their ideas on post-it notes and sticks them on the wall (see Fig. 1). After a while, participants start elaborating on the other ideas. The goal is that an idea of one participant can be a source of inspiration for another. Brainstorming is a good technique to generate ideas that the whole group feels ownership of.

Brainstorming session SID

Fig. 1 Brainstorming session during the DT workshop

While reading the book The Innovation Expedition I was introduced to the spiritual father of the brainstorming technique, the American Alex Osborn. From him I learned two essential rules when brainstorming – ‘Defer your judgment’ and ‘go for quantity’. The underlying assumption of brainstorming is that people are scared of saying something wrong.

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Design Thinking – exclusively for everyone

On September 4th school kicked off with the Design Thinking course and I recall thinking huh, this ought to be interesting! The classroom was packed with professionals from various backgrounds and industries as our lecturer Ms. Katja Tschimmel took us down the road of Design Thinking.

classroom

We started the journey with a lecture about the background, basics, different models and principles of Design Thinking before jumping into action. One thing in particular that Ms. Tschimmel said stuck in my mind, and it was that there is no right or wrong way to visualize the Design Thinking process and its tools can and should be applied depending on the context which they are used in. Many visualizations on the concept can be found and within our two day crash course Ms. Tschimmel walked us through the Evolution 6 model. We got to try out its tools in practice by creating a new service concept for Laurea. We were split into groups and after getting to know each other a little we started our development process with mind mapping. After some following steps like creating the intent statement, observation, interviewing and rapid prototyping we were ready to introduce our brand new concept of Creating a culture of holistic wellbeing for the rest of our study group and the instructors. It was very exciting to see all the concepts presented on the final day and witness the statement, that Design Thinking truly is an effective toolkit for innovation for everyone and anyone can be a design thinker, come true (Tschimmel 2012).grouping

After the contact days I pondered upon the concept of Design Thinking versus my own experiences. My professional background is in design and naturally I have previously studied Design Thinking and applied the processes and tools into my work. Intentionally too, but mostly intuitively. The last time I took a course on Design Thinking was I think in 2008 and back then, as a Bachelor student with no real work experience as a designer, it was quite challenging to internalize the whole concept in the beginning. Of course after I got to practice my profession in real working life I saw it in a new light and pieces started to fall into place.

prototyping

Yet, I have many times struggled to answer when asked questions like “What does your design process look like?” or “How do you design this and that?”, so I found great comfort in Nigel Cross’s book Design thinking: understanding how designers think and work (2011) where it is stated that in fact it is a common experience. Many professionals, designers or not, may find it hard to explain their processes, presumably because when working they use and trust their intuition rather than try and find justifications or rational explanations for their decisions or processes. They simply just do it because it feels right (Cross, 2011).

It was on this two day sprint of Design Thinking that after a long time I really got to dig deep within the concept and refresh my skills. For a change, it was good to really be aware of all the steps taken during the process of innovating something new and also try out some new tools.

Written by Saara Gröhn, Service Innovation and Design MBA Student

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Sources

Cross, Nigel 2011. Design thinking: understanding how designers think and work. Oxford: Berg Publishers.

Tschimmel, Katja 2012. Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona. http://www.academia.edu/1906407/Design_Thinking_as_an_effective_Toolkit_for_Innovation