Tag Archive | Creativity

My Minds Boggling with Design Thinking!

Last spring I received a letter from Laurea University of Applied Sciences, I was accepted to study Master degree of Hospitality Management, service design. I was thrilled! I have been looking for such an education where I can exploit my past as an Artist and professional of Horeca. First semester started with Design thinking, lead by Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valenca from Portugal. What a great topic to start  this creative study of services. I had not heard of Design Thinking before. I was very excited and looking forward to hearing more.

What is Design Thinking?

Tschimmel introduced Design Thinking to us via a model called E6.
This process model has six “E”s – each process space starts with letter E.

Emergence
Empathy
Experimentation
Elaboration
Exposition
Extension

This model can be used under several contexts such as trainings, courses and coaching.

e6

“E.6, because in Portuguese and in English, the division into 6 process spaces, which we consider the most appropriate ones, start with an ‘E’: Emergencia (Emergence), Empatia (Empathy), Experimentação (Experimentation), Elaboração (Elaboration), Exposição (Exposition) and Extensão (Extension). Since there are moments of Exploration (divergence) and Entering (convergence) in every phase of the model, we call the model E.6 elevated 2.” – Katja Tschimmel The graphic solution of this version of the model was developed by the Design Atelier Nunes e Pã.

Design Thinking is observation and research. Companies may benefit from designers of their way of thinking and working. Design Thinking offers new tools to develop organizations and their services. It is a very effective toolkit for any kind of innovation process. As a great example of this innovative thinking and creative confidence gives David Kelley on his speech of “How to build your creative confidence”. He shows in his lecture example of children´s hospital´s scanner and how they re-design such a fearful experience as being scanned to an exciting adventure. Designer creates a story of a pirate ship when going to be scanned. Scanning becomes exiting adventure! This is an excellent example on how to bring creativity to life by using people involved in the service. In this particular case children wanted to come back again tomorrow – for a new trip!

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The Inspirational New Children’s Hospital 2017

I am glad to have participated in The Service Day 2015 on the 18th of March. As a new student in the field of service design and innovation it really made me open my eyes to how much service design has already spread into the health sector. I saw a lot of commonalities in the projects, which were presented. All of these projects included a great holistic view of the all the parts tied with the service and even better, an innovative fresh way of organizing them in a new customer centric and efficient way. This holistic view of customer insight was a part of all of the projects.

What impressed me was how these projects really had people believing in them. In their minds there was little space for pessimism, a bit of sanity and a huge believe in the idea and a great deal of professionalism. What comes out when all these talented people with a different background are put in the same room, are these incredible service design projects.

People need other people, and what all these projects had in common was an impressive amount of collaboration. Good service design is creating together. This is where I emphasize the word co-creation! The best sand castles are built with many hands and ideas.


Children have the best imagination together, so why not adults? One raising castle is the new pediatric hospital, which has been largely discussed in the media and a lot of debate (e.g. 1a, 1b) has been going on about the funding of the project, which hasn’t followed the traditional norms of building public buildings. A foundation for building a new children’s public hospital was founded in 2012 and the hospital is going to be ready in 2017.

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Anne Berner presenting the  Children's Hospital 2017 project

Anne Berner presenting the Children’s Hospital 2017 project

Anne Berner had the first presentation in the Service Day 2015. As her presentation really impressed me, this blog post is devoted to her project. Among many other duties Anne Berner is the Chairman of the board of the Association and Foundation New Children’s hospital 2017. She pointed out that in the beginning of the project it wasn’t known who owns the project and who is in charge of it. She says that this was not easy as it wasn’t clear if it is the county of Helsinki or the state paying the bill. The solution was an open fundraising campaign, so that everyone anywhere could partake in the project. But … especially the media and part of the Finnish public seemed to think this was wrong. Happily not everyone. The funding is based on donations which some people think is begging.

The way Anne Berner talked during the Service Day made me believe that this project is in the right hands. She has a humble and an iterative attitude towards the project which characterizes a good service design. She is very well aware of the critics and sees even the negative discussion around the hospital as positive. She takes critique in a constructive and strengthening way, which is necessary in service design. She also says that the more there is discussion, the more important the campaign becomes. According to her, best innovations are built only with criticism. Myself, I think this project is revolutionary and shakes the traditional thoughts of service into a new service design way of thinking. She pointed out that there has always been a lot of community effort in Finland, especially during and after the wars. Hospitals have been built using fundraisers before, so why should it be different now?

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Experiences from the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2015

10393857_741350965951185_8017900955231328757_nGlobal Service Jam is a yearly event enabling anyone interested in service design and design thinking to co-create, experiment and develop new solutions inspired by a shared theme.  This year, the Jam was arranged in 100 cities during the weekend of February 27th – March 1st all around the world.

In the Jam, the participants will go through the entire service design process in one weekend, gathering customer insight, creating new service concepts in interdisciplinary teams, building prototypes and testing the new concepts with real customers.

For me it was the first time I have ever participated in the Global Service Jam. I had high expectations and have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The Jam is an absolutely fantastic event to learn about service design, customer oriented service development, creative methods, concept development along with meeting new people and getting new friends. It is a 48 hour journey, focusing on “doing and not talking”, creating solutions based on real customer needs – and having a lot of fun!  The following video will provide a glimpse of what the Global Service is all about and revealing what the shared theme for 2015 Jam was.

During the Jam we also had inspiring presentations by Jani Turku from IMPROVement and Anton Schubert, the Head of Design at Futurice. The key message from Jani Turku was that creating new services requires you to allow yourself to play, be human, listen, say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”, dare to try new things and to be open-minded.

Anton Schubert talked about the importance of prototyping and how everything can actually be tested. It is just the matter of using the right tools and methods. Prototyping is about learning, failing safely and inexpensively, i.e. failing often to succeed sooner, as stated by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

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A Crash Course on Creativity!

Where do ideas come from?

Creativity is looked at as the engine to bring ideas, but also most of us think creativity is an epiphany, where some will get it, while others will not!

What if I told that creativity is something that every one of us can learn, its only a matter to understanding its underlying framework and how to unlock it.

Creativity is more than imagination!

How can we understand creativity as persons and how can we enable it in the world we live in? This is the topic of this fascinating course provided by Tina Seelig the Stanford professor, who has spent the last 13 years or so looking for the answer to the question, how we can unlock creativity?

Most of the efforts in the course where in the psychical group sessions (+videos) as we have formulated as team of 5 from the same location to carry on the assignments. The team was called Alien Team, just in case we pumped in the name below 🙂

5 + 5 = ?

Can you solve this equations? The answer may be obvious as we learned in school that there is only one right answer to this problem, but what if we looked at the equation in this way (? + ? = 10)! Suddenly we have infinite numbers of answers that we can suggest!

What happen is that we have changed our perspective of the problem and this helped spared our imagination.

Click on the image to watch the video!

Click on the image to watch the video!

The innovation engine

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Innovating mind should be like a parachute

New innovations are launched by companies worldwide almost daily. I have been wondering how many new innovations in design has for e.g. toothbrush evolved. What customers need is what customers get. However you can’t just ask them for what kind of toothbrush they would like to have, because they don’t know. Of course companies need to listen to their customers, but like Steve Jobs has said that it is hard to customers to tell what kind of products they would want Apple to produce because they have never seen anything remotely like it. When launching new products or service the timing is vital. Like Steve Jobs once has said also “you can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new”. That’s why innovation should be foreseeing the future, while observing customers habits and needs and how they are evolving.

 Very often companies start creating their new product or service when competitors are launching their own ones. Many times innovations facilitators are taking short-cuts in innovation process because they are anxious to come up with solutions for problems or to come up with new business plan. Hurrying kills innovative mind I think. You can’t force out new ideas. Coming up with new ideas for innovation takes sometimes time, but proper facilitation setting and methods can improve people’s ability to think creative way and yield out new ideas.

New ideas, fuel for innovation

I have been in many work-related innovative and idea generation session where manager don’t let the participants freely raise idea but instantly comments that the idea raised is non-feasible. What happens? Ideation is stopped for moment and further ideas are raised more self-critical monitoring. Quantity rules over quality when ideating. Why? Because ideas that are raised no matter how crazy they are they acts as a inhibitors to other ideas. This is why in innovation process proper mind-set is vital; mind should work like parachute, it functions only when open. When your mind is open for new ideas you are letting old ones go. 

 If you have a problem there is always a solution

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The Rabbit Hole of Design Thinking

Professor and researcher Katja Tschimmel and ideation facilitator Gijs van Wulfen showed us where the Rabbit Hole of Design Thinking is. So I also jumped in it, dug together with fellows hands on for two full days – and we are still digging. The more we explore, the more we find. This post is about what I have perceived here for so far.

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See how far the rabbit hole goes and what Design Thinking and innovating can be in practice (PDF)

Everyone can be a Design Thinker

We all have the gift of creative thinking. We just need to find it and start thinking mind open. Children do this all the time while playing, so we all have already once been creative thinkers. We just forgot and lose skills that we don’t use or practice.

Explore the challenge

Observing the business case context

We also know what it’s like to perform our daily tasks in hurry. People are expected to been efficient to make decisions when challenges are met and needed to get over them quickly. But quite often we meet the same challenges again – one after another and day after day.

To make a difference we need to stop for a moment, change how we act and learn to understand the true nature of the challenge. Look at them together with your collaborators from different point of views. Smell the challenge. Taste and listen to it, shake, turn it around, feel and live it, observe and learn. After we know the challenge throughout, we can start changing it.

Think outside-the-box…

Photo Safari photos in the Mood Board to create ideas

This is where we need to take a few steps backwards. We have to see the big picture and give space to emotions and feelings. Because if we don’t follow our hearts and base the later coming solution on feelings we won’t be able to solve the challenge in a creative way. Why? Because then we wouldn’t like the solution we would create.

“And be visual. Because ideas can’t be seen. They need to be shown.”

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