A big psychological step forward for robocars

A big psychological step forward for robocars

GM has announced self-driving cars with no steering wheels or pedals. Laws aside, this is significant move from a psychological safety perspective. Steering wheels and pedals in cars have always signalled control to users. Even when they are not actively used in...
Finite f*cks to give

Finite f*cks to give

We all have a finite number of fucks to give. We should choose wisely where we give them. Many of wonderful people I know go out into the world with a strong sense of service, to make a difference in the jobs we do or the businesses we run. A passionate cause can,...
On celebrations

On celebrations

There is probably no other universal celebration than the coming of a new year. I have been thinking about how we could celebrate the new year: as simply the inevitable passing of another 365 days, or use it as a convenient point in time to reflect on what is more...
Experience design must move beyond marketing

Experience design must move beyond marketing

The increased focused on customer experience has brought design into more businesses than ever before. Unfortunately, there is still a tendency to see experience design as just another marketing function. If you want to maximise the returns from customer experience...
Sketch-draw digital art process

Sketch-draw digital art process

Here is something different in the lead-up to Christmas: after some experimentation, I believe I have found a way to create digital art that works for me. It combines the precision of vector drawings with the rich chaos of hand drawn elements. The broad steps are...
Elements which may be offensive

Elements which may be offensive

This flashed up on the inflight entertainment screen of all 3 movies I watched yesterday. I am guessing this message only appears at the start of certain movies. Who decides what may or may not cause offence? In today’s world of hypersensitive, twitter-powered...
Don’t marketing-speak to your people

Don’t marketing-speak to your people

Is your internal communication indistinguishable from your external marketing/PR? Are you using the same marketing-speak to talk to your people? If Marketing/PR-speak were an ointment, it would be labeled “for external use only.” This may sound stupidly obvious, but...
Why hotdesking is broken

Why hotdesking is broken

Our sense of belonging to a group, an organisation, a tribe, etc is rooted in location/space as well as in social/psychological factors. Whether consciously or otherwise, we have a sense of belonging to the organisation employing us. Our cubicle/desk/office is our...
Too senior to be accountable

Too senior to be accountable

Organisations can become too big to fail. The ones with the right political connections that can access public funds should their flounder for any reason. Similarly, certain management executives can become too senior, too well connected, too well entrenched, to be...
Entitlement to voice suffering

Entitlement to voice suffering

Suffering is part and parcel of life. It is only natural that we seek to ameliorate our suffering, to ease ourselves through the difficult times. Many of us have difficulty voicing our suffering. We engage in what I call comparative dismissal. “There is always someone...
Stability amidst change

Stability amidst change

Change is constant. And inevitable. But we also need stability. We are creatures of comfort. Change can be invigorating in short bursts, but we can only tolerate a certain amount of change-stress. Stability is the salve for change-stress. It is necessary for our...
Continuum of customer service care factor

Continuum of customer service care factor

Disinterest: I don’t care about what you need. I’ll help you if I want to and when I am ready. Customers are an annoyance. Self Interest: How much money can I make off you? Customers exist to enable my success. They should be so lucky to have me serve them. Balance:...
Three ways to manipulate the media

Three ways to manipulate the media

This is interesting write-up about Kellyanne Conway’s media manipulation techniques: http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/kellyanne-conway-banned-from-msnbcs-morning-joe-news-show/news-story/e0b6a3a7fcecd1cd1ee1482f1556c62c The bit towards the bottom “HOW...
Three obstacles to constructive discourse

Three obstacles to constructive discourse

The ability to have respectful, calm, rational, considered, fact-based discussion is a core of resolving conflict. These are the biggest obstacles to constructive discourse: 1. Belief/faith: opinions and interpretations over verifiable facts. We are all attached to...
Human- vs machine-centric content design

Human- vs machine-centric content design

Designers generally design for humans. Human-centric design makes sense as the consumers/users are humans. There are key principles and best practices governing structure, content, and presentation. These are factors that affect a design’s accessibility, usability and...
Context (in an alt fact universe) is king

Context (in an alt fact universe) is king

Content is king – back when we could trust the content. In alternate facts universe, content is malleable. It can be spun and massaged to suit any agenda. If we want to read content correctly, we need to know the context. We can leverage empathy to understand...
Thank those who go the extra mile, because it probably cost them

Thank those who go the extra mile, because it probably cost them

Those who go the extra mile (to deliver outstanding results) are probably doing so on their own dime. This seems to be the unfortunate reality of work today. We have set up the organisations that run our government institutions, community causes, and private sector...
Signs of a broken organisation

Signs of a broken organisation

A combination of the following behaviours and conditions, seen consistently over a period of time, can be a sign that things are not well in an organisation. Senior management is missing in action; especially during crises. Management is alienated from the workforce...
Can your business bank help (with innovation)?

Can your business bank help (with innovation)?

A bank is necessity a conservative, cautious, slow to react or change organisation. That is their DNA, tied in with their business requirements and industry identity. Who would go to a bank that is on the cutting edge; where chaos, uncertainty, and bleeding occurs?!...
What we pay attention to

What we pay attention to

I posted this aphorism on my Facebook feed a while ago which sparked a discussion with a friend. The following is a summary of the clarity that resulted from that discussion. Thanks Douglas! The thoughts and feelings we pay attention to are the thought and feelings we...
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