Archives

Confusing change-making with actual change

Change-making is the process of transformation and not to be confused with the transformed outcome that results from such a process. We confuse the two at our peril. “We are changing the world” is a rallying cry from many individuals and organizations working in social innovation and entrepreneurship which is both a truth and untruth at the […]

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E-Valuing Design and Innovation

Design and innovation are often regarded as good things (when done well) even if a pause might find little to explain what those things might be. Without a sense of what design produces, what innovation looks like in practice, and an understanding of the journey to the destination are we delivering false praise, hope and failing […]

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What’s the big idea and how are you going to make it real?

Concepts like design thinking and developmental evaluation are best used when they help ask big questions before seeking answers. How we frame the problem is much more important than the solution we generate, but that way of thinking means going into an area that is much talked about and rarely delivered on: strategy. Many companies […]

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The Organizational Zombie Resistance Kit

Zombies — unaware, semi-conscious, distracted individuals — are all around us and running many of the organizations we work in or with. And just like combatting real zombies there is a need to target the head. There is much musing about what a zombie apocalypse might look like, but anyone paying attention to what is […]

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How Serious Are We About Learning?

When journalist and book author Daniel Pink tweeted the above image the other day it provoked thinking about what real learning means and what it takes to achieve it. We produce enormous amounts of knowledge, yet struggle to put it into use, but we also teach much and learn little because the systems we’ve designed […]

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Failure Fetishism and the Language of Success

This month’s Harvard Business Review is focusing on failure, showcasing a concept that was once avoided at all costs. But is this new lexicon of success by failure really helpful? The global design firm IDEO has a mantra that caught my attention when it was first shown to me many years ago. Fail often to […]

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Design and Science: An Opportunity for Knowledge Translation and Exchange??

Knowledge translation models, such as the widely cited one conceived of by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, are both process and outcome oriented; ideal for designers. KT is a designed process and the more it is approached through the lens of design thinking, the greater likelihood we’ll get a system that reflects its intentions better than what we currently have.

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Time and Chance Doesn’t Happen to Us All

We have this remarkable paradox where the demands for more, better, appropriate, timely knowledge is greater than ever on problems that are becoming ever-more complex with more tools to generate and sort this information, and no time to actually use it effectively.

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Jaron Lanier and Dominant Design

Are we creating path dependencies with our creative technologies that actually limit creativity? Jaron Lanier thinks so and in this post I introduce the concept of dominant design and what it means in terms of technological and social innovation.

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Innovation and (Higher) Education

  In my last post I wrote about the problems facing scientific discovery and how our system of research funding and support is stifling opportunities for young innovators. I’d like to expand on that by focusing on the larger system that this research is couched in, particularly the way in which education is tied to […]

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