Posts in category: Craftsmanship

Designing from where users are

Designing from where users are

Go out and meet your users where they are! User-centric design takes into account where the user is currently at – the cultural, psychological, ability and physical context – and engages with them from that point. An emergency defibrillator is designed to...
The discipline of simple

The discipline of simple

In the early stages of approaching a new problem, I inevitably find myself caught up in the enthusiasm and coming up with a solution or approach that is increasingly complex. Resisting this tendency to complexification is hard. Especially in fields like visual design...
Try on their shoes

Try on their shoes

Empathy – the ability to genuinely understand what a situation is like from another person’s perspective is a powerful tool for building relationships and de-escalating conflict and strong emotions. When we understand what it is like to walk in...
Visual reminders of the big picture

Visual reminders of the big picture

When we work on projects lasting more than a week or so, we can become increasingly caught up in the minutiae, and lose sight of the big picture. When we lose sight of the big picture, the details can end up driving the project; a squeaky wheel can derail...
Lifeline skills in consulting – Part IV

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part IV

Self awareness and ego management skills Lifeline crisis support skill Applied to consulting Clear boundaries between my issues/needs and the client’s issues/needs. Keeping my ego consciously in check. The only ego I can directly control is my own. Maintaining a clear...

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part III

Understand context, gather information, and analysis skills Lifeline crisis support skill Applied to consulting Meeting each client at where they are now; not where they were, or should be. Generally asking men “What do you think of…” and women...

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part II

Problem-solving Strategising Skills Lifeline crisis support skill Applied to consulting Strengths-based problem solving. Keeping the power with the client. Minimal directives. More empowering, more supportive, more encouraging. Leverage what is already working well,...

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part I

With about 250 hours of telephone crisis support experience under my belt since 2012, it is time to reflect on the skills I have learnt at Lifeline. Over the next four blog posts, I will share how these skills have contributed to my professional practice. If you are...

The Divine One

In the business media, we love to celebrate the Divine One – like Steve Jobs. Undoubtedly, Apple would not be where it is today without Steve Jobs. But at the same time, we tend to forget that Steve Jobs would not have been able to make his contributions without...
Escaping the status quo

Escaping the status quo

Read this inspiring story about Brian Lim’s journey from a “bottom feeder” misfit to a space industry kickstarter. The systems around us, even the ones that nurtures and protect us, can limit us from reaching our full potential. The Singaporean education system Brian...
Crafting our toolbox

Crafting our toolbox

Master craftsman Henry O. Studley crafted this magnificent tool chest. Image from finewoodworking.com What an amazing way to express his passion and dedication to his craft! What is today’s digital version of this? My toolbox is nowhere near as amazing. My tools...
We get what we measure

We get what we measure

“…the best and brightest are now working on ways to save fractions of pennies through efficiency instead of product development. And the problem lies in the way that businesses and the financial markets measure success.” — Clayton Christensen, Harvard...
Excuses for not improving

Excuses for not improving

These common excuses keep organisations stuck repeating the same mistakes or unethical behaviours. Tradition: We have always done this. Rules: We just do what we are told we have to do. Relativity: But everyone is doing it. Scope: Who cares? This doesn’t affect...
Convert Thinking to more Doing

Convert Thinking to more Doing

Don’t like what’s showing on the TV of your work or life? You have to pick up the remote to change the channel. The idea of change alone won’t change anything. Only actions will. Observations and thoughts are interesting. Asking probing questions to...
Two ways to use notes

Two ways to use notes

As a memory aid. When the literal content matters. These notes are read and edited iteratively to compose a fine piece of writing, or reread to reinstall force learning. New thoughts and ideas may or may not happen. As an aid to thinking. Where the outcomes (clarity,...
16 New Rules of Business

16 New Rules of Business

Hire outside the box. Time shift your team. Do a bit of everything. Tune out. Be transparent. Enforce a hard stop. Don’t think in annual terms. Splurge on things that are often overlooked. Toss out the projections – your business is you. Embrace a hybrid...
Purposing

Purposing

I have always be somewhat uncomfortable with the notion of “repurposing”. It’s like leftovers. Nothing wrong with it. But not quite the sort of thing to serve dinner guests. To repurpose is to re-use an existing product with minimal modifications so as to create...
The mastery-boredom cycle

The mastery-boredom cycle

Do you get bored after you have mastered something? Walking away from something you have just mastered may not be the wisest move. In his Forbes article, Neil Kane discusses How To Overcome The Boredom That Follows Mastery. I have summarised his recommendation in the...
Banyan conflict tree

Banyan conflict tree

Great idea from Working with Emergence’s excellent post: If you must do a conflict tree, at least use the banyan as your image. Photo courtesy Shutterstock; Concllifct Tree Tool diagram from Working with Emergence. The aerial roots coming down to “join”...
Client-centred consulting

Client-centred consulting

Client-centred consulting is very much like counselling. Unlike the traditional consultant-is-the-expert model, the client-centred approach acknowledges the client as the expert of their business, their unique circumstance, and their industry. The consultant brings...
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