Posts in category: Human Nature

That Google Duplex demo

That Google Duplex demo

There’s been some negative reactions to the recent demonstration of Google Duplex where the AI assistant called a hairdresser to make an appointment. The natural-ness of the voice and speech pattern is astounding. The use of fillers and minimal encouragers – umms and...
Top tip for working with a difficult person

Top tip for working with a difficult person

In collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-functional design projects, encountering the difficult person is inevitable. In the opening interactions with a difficult person, a lot of their behaviours (hostility, obstructiveness, complaining, blaming, general...
Interrogation vs Inquiry

Interrogation vs Inquiry

Traditional fact-finding tend to revolve around Why. Why did this happen? Why were these things done? Why weren’t these measures implemented? Appreciative Inquiry tends to revolve around How. How did this situation come to be? How could we do better? How can we...
Agency in UX design

Agency in UX design

“Agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.” [Wikipedia] The User eXperience (UX) of a piece of software, equipment, or process has significant impact on the user’s sense of agency. This affects the psychological...
De-conflation in problem-solving

De-conflation in problem-solving

Conflation is a common challenge in problem-solving. Conflation happens when we mix multiple issues into the problem we are trying to solve. These issues can feel like they are related, especially when we are caught up in a spate of worrying. The more we worry, the...
Two reasons to leave

Two reasons to leave

Sometimes, it is necessary to leave a job or end a contract early; for the sake of our wellbeing. Here are two signs that may signal that time has come: 1. When we (as the service provider) no longer care about the work. Or we find ourselves constantly struggling to...
Enable individuals over systems

Enable individuals over systems

Individuals make the difference. Systems and processes don’t innovate, or break out of the box, or strive for excellence. Individuals do. They stay back late when they don’t have to. They work around rules and bureaucracies to excel. They make things happen because...
From data to insights and strategy

From data to insights and strategy

Data collection is not the challenge. We have cheap sensors, ubiquitous connectivity, mature database tools, and inexpensive computing power. We also have decades of legacy data – both digital and analogue – in government and industry archives waiting to...
Visualising antidepressants

Visualising antidepressants

Here is a series of visuals I sketched in response to several discussions about depression and the effect of antidepressants. These are visualisations of shared anecdotal experiences only and should be read as such. In a non-depressed person (normal as in...
Don’t judge: “always on their phones”

Don’t judge: “always on their phones”

This video was shown at a workshop I attended. While I appreciate where the author was coming from, and why the workshop presenter chose to show it, I also found it rather judgemental and dismissive. The video belittled the true power of these technologies. It made a...
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,...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
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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