Hybrid Design Research Method: Roundtable Review

Peter Jones Design research, Wu Wei

[110] in the Methods You Don’t Use Yet series Expert Roundtable Review Problem:  For a product or service inquiry, we often see the need to rapidly gather highly relevant feedback and informed opinions on a new concept. A similar problem is noted when a project team is identifying the opportunities for innovation and must conduct a rapid but deep scan of the current products or competitors in the field. When the problem necessitates access to highly informed professionals, the focus group, field study, or survey methods are not feasible, at least within the timeframe necessary to make an initial business decision. Solution: The Expert Roundtable Review, based on the Heuristic Evaluation [35] and Videoconference Focus Group [42], provides a dialogic tool for engaging a small group of informed participants online and by teleconference at a time convenient to their schedule. Use When: Useful for collecting responses, opinions, and insights from busy professionals and respondents that may be difficult to recruit for focus groups, interviews, or even surveys. Also useful as a technique for convening an online focus group supported in …

The exquisite artfulness of new business design

Peter Jones Innovation, Wu Wei

I’m holding a physical copy of most the inspiring, wonderfully visual and tactile business book ever written and produced. Because this self-published book was designed, not so much edited, the end result is both visual spectacular and readily understandable. Business Model Generation, by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, and designed by Toronto’s own Alan Smith (of The Movement) is billed as A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers.The design and physical awesomeness of this book shows why eBooks will never eliminate the printed book, especially the craft book. There is nothing more cognitively usable than a beautiful book. And Business Model Generation stands with or beats Taschen’s best craft books. This is the actual cover art, 1/4 cardboard with a flat lay binding: The book was uniquely co-created (contributed to) by me and 469 other paying members of the BMG Hub book community, an innovative and experimental business model for the book’s production. The book review and contribution community is a model I’ve since used (without the paying part) for the book Design for Care (now > 200 members …

Guided by Values

Peter Jones Wu Wei

In  the latest HBS Working Knowledge, Rosabeth Moss Kanter makes the case in SuperCorp: Values as Guidance System that an organization’s strategy is best steered by establishing a clear and committed foundation of values. Organizational commitments to a way of being, not the meaningless kind that sit flat on the wall plaques in most of corporate America. For vanguard companies, grounding strategy—which businesses to pursue and how—in a sense of wider societal purpose provides many significant advantages and only a few potential disadvantages. Values and principles of this sort not only speak to high standards of conduct but also stretch the enterprise beyond its own formal boundaries to include the extended family of customers, suppliers, distributors, business partners, financial stakeholders, and the rest of society. Vanguard companies gain both a moral compass and an entire guidance system. The range of advantages for vanguard companies through their strategic use of values and principles include the following. Competitive differentiation Public accountability via end-to-end responsibility. Common vocabulary and guidance for consistent decisions. Talent magnets and motivation machines “Human” control systems—peer review and a …

Design + Business as Agents of World Benefit

Peter Jones Transformation Design, Wu Wei

After attending a game-changing event, how do you share the experience so that a casual reader understands the impact? That, perhaps, there is a game being changed and that some projects we believed important before the event may appear less consequential after the event. The 2009 Global Forum, Business as an Agent for World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University created such an opportunity. The conversation challenged thinking about the fusion of design thinking with business education. For many of the management people in the room, I suspect the design side of the equation opened new possibilities for creative re-thinking their own commitments. But the “world benefit” theme blasted through my expectations. Speaker after speaker challenged us to realize the significance of the moment in history. After last year’s spectacular global failure of “business as usual,” a passionate group of influential thinkers are insisting that businesses do the right thing. A clear financial case has been made for sustainability; the most difficult changes remaining are cultural and social. Designers are also challenged to set aside their “known-knowns.” We like to …