Category Archives: Design and Innovation

Let’s Create a Culture of Collaboration

“Create a Collaborative Mind-set”

– IDEO

As GHC17 problem solvers, you’ve been tasked in identifying insights and opportunities to bring about positive change for real people experiencing very real and complex issues. Key to the success of this will be teamwork.

Let’s look to IDEO co-founder David Kelly for some advice whilst working towards innovation as multidisciplinary teams:

  1. Every team member should be given the same amount of respect
  2. Take advantage of individual skill sets: throw egos out the window
  3. Embrace the opportunity afforded by bringing together people with different backgrounds and expertise – you’ll have more resources, insight, and experience to draw from

In other words, let’s create a culture of collaboration and recognise the strengths afforded to your teams brought by the various backgrounds and fields of your members. The next five weeks are yours to explore, discover and ideate and embracing the opportunity to do this together will really make your project sing.

Building on this thinking and echoing some of the advice shared by GHC16 winners Open Ears in our induction session, here are some final top tips from your GHC facilitators for successful teamwork:

  • COMMUNICATE: Establish and use somewhere central, like Facebook or the GHC webmail platform to communicate with your group. Share where you’re at and discuss progress in between meetings.
  • BE MINDFUL of the commitment you have made to the team. It is good professional practice to give this your full attention – if meetings are arranged, attend them. 
  • PROJECT PLAN & DELEGATE: Compile a task list – who does what and when?
  • PREPARE for your final presentation. Make sure every team member is clear on their role within the presentation and collect and compile visuals to communicate your project well.

Empathy Maps

“Good design is grounded in a deep understanding of the person for whom you are designing. Designers have many techniques for developing this sort of empathy. An Empathy Map is one tool to help you synthesize your observations and draw out unexpected insights.”

-d.School Method Cards, Institute for Design at Stanford

Empathy Maps are useful tools in allowing us to gain a richer understanding of the lives of our user(s); what are their lives like; what is important to them; what do they need and want? Having this level of understanding is key for effective design. As a group you might like to map your users’ key issues and insights relevant to your developing design concepts to ensure you are considering both the intrinsic and wider impacts that your ideas and solutions may have within your chosen GHC theme.

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 13.42.06
Team OAPortunity use an empathy map to better understand the people they are designing for

Some great resources:

d.School Empathy Map Method Card

Nesta’s Empathy Mapper template

Strategyzer’s Customer Value Proposition Canvas

Using Change Cards to Consider Your Challenge

In a previous post we shared some advice and links to helpful resources on how to go out about framing the challenge your team is working on.  Once you’ve done this you might  find it useful to start to look at your challenge from different perspectives and one way you can do this is to use a set of change cards like the ones shared below developed by the Policy Lab.  These change cards are framed around six categories and you can use them to collectively explore your challenge further and to develop and deliver your project.  As you work through them they might inspire your team to frame some other questions and create your own change cards that can help shape and inform how you respond to the challenge you are addressing.  As you work through these cards you’ll find they get you thinking about how these challenges might be addressed in other locations, how different groups might approach the challenge and consider how you can be resourceful.


 

This second presentation from the Policy Lab gives an overview of the methods it adopts in its work with civil servants and others to help encourage more open and innovative strategies to developing policy and tackling different issues and challenges.    The Policy Lab makes effective use of user centred design-based approaches  to innovate and understand the problems individuals face and address these problems.  You’ll notice that the presentation talks about challenge setting, something we’re encouraging you to do by framing your challenge.  Another important concept presented here, which is relevant to all the challenges, is to consider and define different personas for the individuals affected by the problem you’re addressing.  This process helps you to build empathy with the people your project will be helping and to start you thinking about the journeys people take as they interact with different services and identify where things could be improved.


Framing the Challenge

This first week is about exploring and one of the first tasks is to frame your team’s challenge. A number of questions were created during last week’s Barcamp which should help you to do this. We encourage all of the teams to build on this work, to explore more, conduct further research and continue engaging in mindful conversation with your partner organisation and facilitators.

We know that framing a challenge can be tough but we also know, that when it’s done right, it can inspire everyone who is involved to thoroughly search for creative solutions. Here are some resources to help you think about framing your challenge:

IDEO.ORG DesignKit: Frame Your Design Challenge
Available at: http://www.designkit.org/methods/60
Accessed 23 October 2016.

VanGundy, A. B. (2005) The Care and Framing of Strategic Innovation Challenges.
Available at: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/sgc1/faculty/business-project-management/documents/VanGundyFrameInnov.pdf
Accessed: 23 October 2016.