A Tail of Two Cities

Peter Jones Wu Wei

I’ve just returned from 2 conferences back-t0-back (I don’t recommend it), and the difference between the two venues is almost unthinkable. First Bowling Green, Ohio for the Nexus for Change – followed immediately by the Information Architecture Summit in Las Vegas. Even though the 2 conferences also hosted two very different crowds, one other colleague attended both, Keith Instone.  The mega-hotels of Vegas were all 95% sold out, yet I didn’t see anything there for me to do. Bowling Green is one of those old Midwest small towns built around a state school, removed from the hustle of real life so that students can learn in relative isolation. As far as cultural experience, Vegas is the main trend, BG is way out in the tail. Neither of these uniquely American extremes of place offered any cultural interest or hope for future renewal. Both were depressing, in very different ways. But the conferences were excellent – and similar in a couple of ways. They were smaller, people knew one another very well from prior experience, and the conferences revealed a common …

Nielsen’s Hot Top-10 list

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Innovation

Nielsen posts another Top-10, hitting the mark on designing for business needs and e-Commerce sites. This time, a neat summary of the Top 10 High ROI priorities for website redesign. 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities “I often write about the top mistakes in Web design, but what are the top things you can do to make more money? Following here are 10 Internet tactics with a particularly high return on investment (ROI).” These include: 1. Email Newsletters 2. Informative Product Pages 3. High-Quality Photography 4. Product Differentiation and Comparisons 5. Support for Reordering 6. Simplified Text 7. Catering to Seniors 8. Gift-Giving Support 9. Search 10. User Testing Of these, I’ve bolded the ones that I’ve seen the most need for in professional services domains. Factors like high-quality photography should be a given for a professionally-designed site. And User Testing is a Nielsen high-profit item, not a website high-profit factor. More correctly, usability testing is HOW you identify the highest return values for your product, but it is not a factor of the site itself, for example, like a good search …

The Purpose of Purpose

Peter Jones Human Values

Harvard Business School professor Jim Heskett asks: Is There Too Little “Know Why” in Business? In a commentary-inquiry piece on the HBS Working Knowledge site, a dialogue asks how purpose is recognized and leveraged as a motivator in business. Heskett questions whether executives really know understand the impact of leading by purpose, and notes the paucity of examples of large companies that truly lead by purpose, such as the perennial reference to Anita Roddick and The Body Shop. Two recent books offer views of the roles of managers and leaders. The first, Know-How, by Ram Charan, sets forth eight behaviors exhibited by managers who get things done. The second, Purpose, by Nikos Mourkogiannis, could really have been titled “Know Why.” It describes four kinds of purpose, “starting points” that govern what great companies do and how they do it. Each of these purposes represents a kind of “holy grail” as opposed to goals (often merely financial), missions or visions, or even a set of values. As Mourkogiannis puts it, “Let others play with ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’ and ‘management.’ Purpose is …

What is dialogic design anyway?

Peter Jones Dialogic Design

Are you guys just making this up? Weren’t you just calling it Structured Design Process a month ago? Wasn’t it Interactive Management for 20 years? (No, Yes, Yes …) Today’s discussion on Blogora with Surinder Batra on IM and KM raised the realization that many of us are viewing phenomena of collective intelligence from the perspective of different practices, and we’re not using a “lingua franca of the same realm.” Dialogic Design as Organizational KM Both IM and Nonaka’s theory of the knowledge creation cycle rely on several stages of interaction to transform the functions of knowledge, from the personal and tacit to the shared and organizationally accessible. Perhaps the most significant barrier to organizational KM is the inability to coordinate the transformation of knowledge “on demand,” for the emergent needs of the business. It would appear the SDD process creates a new type of knowledge cycle, a collaborative model, which functions as such (using Nonaka’s language): C- Combination: Originates with the explicit knowledge of multiple individuals responses to trigger question. I – Internalization: An emerging pattern of new knowledge …