Simple Tools for Complex Times
Stephen Anderson opened UX Camp: Home Edition with his keynote “Simple Tools for Complex Times.” Enjoy!
The following transcript may contain typographical errors. Please forgive any mistakes!
Yeah, some slides quite late last night, but… Brand new, talk fresh ideas. I do want you to use the Slack channel. I’m gonna have some questions throughout… In fact, I have the first one there, just a couple of minutes here, so if you haven’t yet signed up for the Slack account, please do, ’cause we will be making gratis heavy use of that to create a little bit of a dialogue. And then of course, if you wanna keep the conversation going after, there’s a separate Slack channel for us to the speakers today so we can continue chatting about some of these things, the… Today is when a rustic have a bunch of talks, I’ve given a bunch of the works, but with everything going on, this one just came quite quickly and I didn’t give her she options, I just said, I know what I’m gonna get, and we talk about simple tools, for complex times, and I think the title is fairly self-explanatory, but let’s go through each of these holes really quickly.
So when I talk about simple tools, I’m thinking about things like car decks, canvases, tool gets playbooks, models, maps, coaching questions, questions from reflections, analogies that we use to shape our thinking, all of these types of things, and I’ve become really interested in why these work from a cognate perspective over the last several years, and so when I see things like this, this is what I’m talking about, people together in a room, plural, people playing, you see them happy and smiling. The game, quite a quite below, it’s a learning game, but people are checking themselves and seeing if they got their group answer correct or not, but I look at these things and the question I always wonder about is, What’s going on cognitively, why is this better or worse than just having the conversation.
And so to understand a bit about this, I wanna take a brief detour through and the fundamental premise of my book that just came out last month, very excited by that, by that. The fundamental premise of the book is A, we have all this information out there, but what we don’t have is understanding, and we open with what we’re not talking about, which is… If you ask a simple question like, Who are the speakers for today’s line up, or who wrote far in High for 51 or things like that. There’s a clean mapping between information, understand, it’s a very simple, very clear question, you don’t need to do any work to figure things out, but what we see happening more and more often is with questions like, How do I get PPP loan as a small business or more complex questions like this, How do I make sense of my retirement plan or 41, if we have… There’s lots of information out there, but we don’t know is how to work with information as a resource.
And so that’s really what the book is all about, is how to work with information as a resource, how to make sense of it all, how to treat information like a raw material that we manipulate in different ways to create understanding, and just to experience this really quickly, this is the first Slack questions. I want you to put the answer to this question in the slight channel, so the question is multiply 32 by 11 quickly, you can do that.
And there’s no trick questions, so don’t worry about getting wrong.
Yeah, and even the people have already answered, keep doing it to signal that there’s actually people out there. Yeah, alright.
Like I like how you explain your thinking, that’s how I did it to 32 times 10 plus 32… One of these tricks we learned…
Okay, so from a Connie perspective, what just happened is, I would be willing to bet many of you work this out in your head, some of you may pull that paper or may use the calculator, fumbling, bet many of you looked and said, Okay, 32 times to… So a zero plus 32, I can do that, and we can do that because of prior associations, but it real quick to… In this blue box to not put the blue… Sorry, Botox blue circle, and I’ll put the blue circle around the brain, ’cause learning happens in and through the world, so at some point, way back in early childhood education, we probably learned math through tangible physical things. I know I use counting beads. I was taught the Montessori School where we learn fractions by cutting cheese slices in half and a half again, so there was this very tangible interaction with the world that built up these cognitive associations in our brain, so now when we go to do a problem like 32511, or 22, two times to… We can just draw that association to memory.
I wanna ask a slightly different question now though, I want you to multiply 327 by 4089. I’m gonna give you more time to do this, so take your time, figure out as soon as you have the answer, go and and put it in a Slack channel.
Thank you for the gift. A fantastic.
Alright, in the first case, as I said, I’m willing to bet. Many of you do it in your head. In the second case though, I doubt full… Many of us did that. In fact, I’m willing to bet on many of you, either used to calculate and the calculator could have been on you mate in your hand, could have been asking Alexa. Some of you may have taken the time, or maybe taking the time right now to write the problem out in methadone, which ever way you chose to solve a problem, what you did was you chose to employ or create some thing in the world, some external representation that you interacted with… And so then if we talked about Where does cognition happen? It actually happened in and through that whole space, so you interacting with a calculator to get the answer was part of the thinking and the cognition space, so more complex problem required that you bring ideas into the world and manipulate and work with them.
So that’s a big part of the book right there is associations, interactions, external representations, how we create them, things like that. So just other shows up in every day life, this is a board game called Ben span, where you’re creating these bird habitats and then you notice is the thing I’ve circled off to the left, and the formal board game areas, everything you see on the playmate, but what’s interesting, and you don’t have to Nanyang about the game to observe this, what’s interesting is as players play and you start having cards in your hand as players are thinking about the moves they’re gonna make next, and after that, they’ll put that card, they select card out to the left of the board, and maybe the piece is required to bring that card into play, and it’s a way to hold a thought or a plan in memory. In fact, this was my board when I was playing and I have cards in my hand, but I put this one out on the board, it was a way to remember and recall what I’m gonna do in future turns, and this happens a lot with more complex board games, in fact, I was listening to the Shut up and sit down podcast podcast all about board games, and they were talking about the differences between an online version of the game and the physical version of the game, and some of the things they’re lost… One of the folks said, Do you guys do this? Where if you’re playing in your game where you have three different resources and four tracks and all this junk, you’ll love the physical objects that you own around prompts, I really want to use a car, I’ll put it in a certain place in your hand or on the table and matter blind. Yeah, yeah, I’ll put these cards here because I know I’ll do that there, and so we’re using space around us to either work out options or old options for us. We do this with Scrabble. When we rearrange the Scrabble, why are we doing that of thinking only happened in the brain, we wouldn’t need to physically rearrange tiles, scribes to see more possibilities.
So then, let’s multiply rete 7, my 49. that was a little more complicated, but let’s do something different. How about… Let’s plan the next sprint. Very different kind of question. At this point, this model actually wouldn’t pull up, you might be able to prepare your part or your contribution, but the model actually changes and it looks more like this, where we have many people, many actors in the cognitive space, we have many tools, and the tools could be sticky notes, it can be notes, it can be white or notes, it could be jurors, it could be any number of things, and we’re having dialogue and we’re having conversations, and we probably all been in Sprint, plenty of meanings that would… Well, and ones that I didn’t… And I would argue, if you have a really good structure for things like sprint planning or road maps or difficult conversations, things can go much better, and so when I talk about simple tools, that’s really what I’m interested in, and particular… And this is the nerve more sin, slide a screen shot it. Here’s what’s going on from the cognitive perspective when we employ these tools, whether it’s a board game or sticky notes or Alexa, help us out. What these tools do is they create persistent shareable structures, what he mean by that is, if we have an idea in our head, if I talk about it, it flips away in a few seconds, but if I put it on a sticky note, put it in front of us, it sticks.
And then because it’s there, other people can look at it, in fact, I can reflect on it an hour, a few days, a few weeks later, it provides computational benefits, so we put all these sticky notes out in front of us, we can start to find patterns and cluster things and rearrange things, our short-term memory is relieved and we can actually do more computation on the information that we’ve offloaded into the world.
Implicit in that is that we’re interacting with the information, we’re rearranging it and moving it around and seeing at different places, and depending on the tool you’re using, this can frame the conversation, there are different canvases and different structures, we can use everything or I can… Babies long canvas, all these things that shape the conversation and direct us to specific outcomes, and of course as a group, what this does is to accelerate collective learning, which is phenomenal. So the key idea, and this is gonna be a bit of a sampler talk, but the key idea, if you take nothing else, is that when we bring ideas into the world in a thoughtful structured way, we extend our ability to think about it individually and discuss collectively complex topics.
So that’s the theme, you’ll see, and all these tools I’m gonna share, and I’m gonna share about eight or nine different tools, and I use that term very loosely. But that’s really why I am enamored with these things and why I am so excited about curating, collecting and creating different all things to think with, because when we bring ideas into the world in a thoughtful structured way, we extend our ability to think about and discuss complex topics.
So that’s the simple tools part, a little bit of the background, complex times is to make about that, and for the purposes of brainstorming, I’m gonna change complex times to complex problems, and maybe think about complex problems you are experiencing in the world at home, at work, and whatever you feel free sharing. Go ahead now those to the Slack channel and I’ll pause. Give time to you that.
I took a ton. Yeah, transforming in-person events, online events, we are all learning, have accessibility for all… Communicating effectively, inefficiency with my work teammates while we’re all scattered… Yep, definitely a complex challenge, especially the nuance, things that you miss out on when you’re distributed, just the body language, the staring at faces when it does, just cognitively, getting people to embrace Cloud-based sharing… No.
Oh gosh, working and being a mom with special needs kids on… Yeah, these are all fantastic. And keep them coming.
The type of complex problems… Now, when I talk about simple tools for complex problems, obviously I can’t dig up tools for every problem that’s been identified, or even the ones I’m going to list, but I’m gonna share seven or eight tools or a nine tools that have been helpful for me over the past year in different circumstances, because on the speaker, I can share my own brainstorming with you and actually put this across three slides, so first of these is complex problems in the world, and if I had to sum up the things I’m feeling… I think these two cartoons of some of everything that’s on my mind is on the left, you have a Be sure to wash your hands will be well, and the title come to find, that’s the title wave of a recession and wants, Ben, my mind for years is that of the climate change.
And of course, more recently, you can talk about the surface stuff, the racism, cell phone, but there’s this deeper systemic racism that we’re talking about in the dressing and hopefully addressing. So those, I would say these two some up what’s on my mind in the world, and I’m gonna have to say, even though some days I struggle all… No, I’m hopeful. In fact, in all of these areas, I’m seeing positive things and I’m seeing… I’m seeing the chance that we could make a real difference or a change that we couldn’t have if things had or were to just stay on the course they’ve been on, so I’m actually hopeful and all these things, so we’ll come back to the two and called the Four Futures for all address this again. Personally, I’m overwhelmed, and here’s some of the things I think I mentioned already applying for a PPP loan and navigating that, figuring that out, other things, I think about caring for an aging parent, supporting local businesses that I wanna see make it while I’m actually living off my savings, having difficult conversations with friends and family, I’m working on setting up a new on my adventure. I’ll tell you a little bit about the end, transitioning to all remote workshops and keynotes is definitely a learning challenge in energy each day to even the most basic things done. What I’ve been struggling with, I’m actually trying to create a framework.
Just that you have my own ideas is how can we navigate facts, beliefs, theories, biases, assumptions, opinions, true disinformation, misinformation, hypothesis, all of these things, and how can we actually bring people into a dialogue in a structured… Healthy way. So I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Privacy currents with concerns with the lack of viable options, I really enjoy using Zoom for the quality, but also have concerns about some of what they’ve done historically, a privacy and encryption, then I don’t see an alternative, so I’m start going with that and my values sticking to a diet, I think that’s an ever green one for some of us, and just general anxiety and uncertainty about the future, so I personally… Those are some of the things that are… They’re on my nine.
And then in case you’re at turning a… You’re like… And I thought this was a UX camp and design stuff. The complex problems I talk about here, or the simple tools apply to work, apply to personal apical, these things, and I’ll comment that on that as we go, I would say generally, well, I’m overland by these things, life is good and I feel less in so many ways, and every day, and I’m grateful for the things I have in the house, I have over my head and the food we got on the fact that we can help out and provide for others, so common design struggles, just to bring this back home a little bit, things I see, I saw this mentioned the general already, accessibility issues are often ignored, teams don’t use or contribute to one style guide, how do we build a modern mobile experience, and whether it may be while maintaining legacy code.
Training, that I work with a lot of learning and development organizations, and I see this concern that some of the training that truly is vital to a company’s culture is often few is peripheral to the core business.
Over and over in different domains, they see a lack of trust and expertise, I see short-term decisions that will hurt us in the long run at all levels, zoom levels, the concern that product managers are doing design work and doing it poorly, we’ll want… They get off my turf from that we do my job. Engineers don’t understand design, teams can’t share the same vision, they’re all working on their own visions, the right things never seem to get prioritized for an AR spread, we have this backlog of stuff that just never seems to get fix… The research we’re doing seems to fall on deaf ears, and this one came from a design leader at a very large company, and I thought was a great example of a complex attention the design leaders are facing, and that is, how do you grow the design job family how more people get more support for designers while also democratizing design tools and methods and the mindset and making design something that everyone to do.
So all of these and the personal stuff I listen before, I would say they’re all complex problems, complex challenges, so when I use that phrase, these are the types of things that are on my head in my head, and I would say if you’re feeling some of these or all of these, this is normal. It’s universal. And when I saw some research on some of these feelings, it suddenly that it was… Were universal? It’s something felt valida.
I felt good.
So these are normal things. They’re everywhere. Or in most places.
So things I’ve learned, most simple problems aren’t… I… You scratching anything long enough, you’re gonna see the complexity behind it, things are always changing, so I think we’re feeling the change right now, we’re seeing change… The things have always been changing in different ways, and complexity is not new, the complexity has always been there, so let’s get to the core of the talk, so that’s all the preamble and the set up for that, why I think these tools are effective, let’s actually just… Go through, like I said, 90 tools, again, I use that term liberally, but these are tools I found to help cope with very complex problems, and like I said, I’m gonna use… I’m gonna try to use professional design-related examples as well as more broad global world examples doesn’t go far.
The first of the tools, I always get the petition wrong, it’s ocean framework, and this helps us assess the situation and make decisions and put off this a lot as I was writing the book, ’cause early on, I would use words like complicated and complex interchangeably, and it was the content framework that actually helped me refine my language, and normally, if you Google this, you’ll see an image like this, time with this I… I swear, I E… But looking thing with disorder in the middle, and the canine framework says like, we can diagnose the situation and things can be so complicated, complex or chaotic, and disorders in a domain… I like this VR a little bit better ’cause it kind of starts your range things on the continuum, you see from simple to chaotic, this is on the axis of close to certainty. Far from certainty. Close to agreement. Far From agreement.
So I, this version, make the idea a little… The idea of a little bit easier to understand, but perhaps the best explain I’ve heard, it’s just a look at games to understand, and by the way, I simple as often used, I think most recently, the language has a changed to obvious or clear… I’m using clear since that’s the most recent language, but basically problems can be clear, complicated, complex or chaotic, and I’ve kind of arranged them on the Continue and you’ll see here a clear or simple problems, would you… Something like ticket are… The solution is obvious.
It can be now an effective is known with things that are complicated, it’s almost like ticket but on steroids. So if you think about chess, just is a complicated game, but if you have the computing power, you can math out all the possibilities and the answer can be known, and so both clear and complicated problems are what are called order, because the cause and effect are now and it can be discovered so detector to just clearly complicated, but things get more interesting is when you have complex problems, and I…
I would say poker is on the less complex end of things than I had to, but I think it’s a good example. Yeah, there’s still finite number of cards in poker and some rules to be, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, you don’t know what card is gonna be drawn next, there is bluffing, there’s the human part, things become much more complex with the game, like poker, and there’s a lot more uncertainty.
And then finally, chaotic. Is there aren’t rules… Or the rules change all the time. Children at play is probably the best example. Young children at play where the cross change all the time. I thought we were doing this and there’s fights and disagreements and laughter and all these things, and so with these unordered problems, cause an effect can be used only with hindsight or not at all.
Now, this came to mind, I wasn’t gonna include this in the presentation, but just five days ago, a friend of mine, who’s a design design leader, he wrote this, the sector that we’re on, and he says, basically, some projects we tackle are pretty obvious landing page, except for example, the objective is easy to find, there are patterns of best practices, been there done, do not much need to explore, and they said on the other hand of the spectrum are complex problems, faces are wicked problems that escape definition for which we must invent UAs or thinking of working.
So let’s think about the UX process.
And he mentions you, IMAX at UX design sprints to Don framework, etcetera. Every month, someone is selling a new way to do UX that is presented as a one process to rule them all, but it is that the right way to think about the UX process.
Might we do better to, one, define a level of complexity of the project or tackling the… To choose the UX process methodology well suited to that level of complexity and that’s… On the thread, one of the things that came up was the Kevin framework, because once you can diagnose or assess the type of situation you’re in, then there’s a set of verbs, and the most important one being the one that’s bold or block here.
So with a clear problem, you categorize it, complicated, you analyze with complex problems there you have kind of proven test and then sense and respond, so you’re in a safe environment like things aren’t burning down, so you can run test and you can try things if you’re trying to change the culture of your company, you can run little test or try implementing new meetings or new rules and things with chaotic, the house is on fire, you have to act and then sense some respond, you have to do stuff and try things.
And so, as a simple abstract, it’s not simple at all, but it’s a really clear framework that we could use to start to diagnose things, and this is a really powerful… All right.
So tool number two, I wanna talk about how do we discuss competing priorities, and the tool I wanna share is something I stumbled across a couple of years ago, it’s called Polarity mapping, and just to set this up, I’m gonna read two quotes from obviously two different roles or people… First, it feels like no one cares about user research or leaves the room for a good thoughtful design.
We talk about how important users are, but our processes are all about shipping features as quickly as possible with the promise that we’ll make it better in the future. To be frank, I’m not proud of the work I’ve done, we’re building the wrong things, most of it is stuff only the business cares about, then I’ve heard this sentiment from folks, the design team wants to slow everything down right now, we need to move fast and get a pilot in market, a SAT.
We can learn along the way. As he does, teens spend too much time in research, we need more execution, so if these quotes to resonate with you, just… You can chat EBU in the Slack me. Now, I see this is a fairly universal problem, wide spread one, and I would say these aren’t attention, neither position is right or wrong, they’re both wrong, and this is, if you look at these things, innovation, they’re efficiency delivery or quality growth, a consolidation, short-term games versus long-term organic growth in all of these cases, it’s a both and situation, they’re both important. And the problem is, when we treat these polities as a problem and not as a clarity, and let me explain the difference there, a problem is something that can have a right or best or better answer, a solution exists. So if you got two things like Which tech stack should we go, should be used, you can do an assessment, you can do a conman, if it analysis, you can do things and arrive at the best answer for those circumstances. So that’s a problem to be solved.
But with parties, it’s really a dilemma that is ongoing unsolvable and contains seemingly opposing ideas, and the danger is when we treat treat parties as if they were problems, we use our linear reductive thinking to find the right answer for something where if you double down them one clarity, you’re actually gonna have problems, these… The clarity, you need a both and problems. It’s an either or.
With problems, two ideas are directly opposed in conflict, but with the clarity to ideas are complementary and independent, and think of it like this, You got this arrow going between the two extremes, rarities were not a problem to be solved, but rather a paradox, balance and the best summary of this quote or this analogy, think of it like breathing, breathing isn’t a choice between inhaling or exhaling if you inhale to the exclusion of exhaling, the negative result of results show up quickly. And the reverse is also true. The polarity approach says, we must both inhale and expect.
And so here’s where the polarity map comes in. Basically, you have this thing with these four quadrants, and you have a color coding for one half and a different color coding for the other half, and so the four quadrants are really, really this… You have the benefits of one clarity, and as you start to talk about the benefits, then you kind of give way or talk about the unintended consequences of over-focusing on that polarity, and of course, that swings to the other extreme where you can talk about the benefits so the other viewpoint, but those benefits also give way to an intended consequences, and so I… The first thing you want to do as a group is figure out what the two plates are in language is really good, here are really critical, ’cause you wanna make sure everyone’s thinking and talking about the same thing, I put learning and building here with… Put discovery and delivery, research execution whatever you want, but a stick with learning and building for this example, you might say the benefits of upfront research and learning are we can have faster decisions later on, we can get deep context and insight, so we solve the rock the right, problems, we could go on. Usually there’s a dozen or more UCAS in each client, but the unintended consequences, we can fall into analysis paralysis while we’re doing the research, competitors compete us to the market, so then we swing to the other extreme or whether the benefits of just building… Just launching, just giving up at the door pretty quickly get the Flavin and the hands of alfa users.
Well, we generated something that can be added to and we’re delivering real customer value quickly, but then we have… And it’s in the consequences of this approach, we create waste, there might be a framework that was used to get things out the door quickly, but now it’s holding things up, we prematurely constrain the thinking, I sadly not a solution, we lose sight of the customer.
So what I found with this tool is when you bring people together, and I did this with 100 designers and product managers, brought them all in a room and paired them up in the small groups, and they talked about this very issue, and it was… One of the best tools I brought in to facilitate dialogue around this very complex issue, and some of the conversations that came out were amazing, there were a lot of myths and misconceptions about each side, each one of view.
In fact, it was interesting ’cause a lot of the designers and researchers of this company felt like we were spending too much time on research, and a lot of the product managers didn’t get that or understand it because you had this neutral tool that said, let’s just talk about the benefits and intended consequences of each of these things, it brought people together in dialogue, and it broke down some of those barriers they had had… It’s a really fantastic tool. And there’s more to it. So once you have a dialogue about the core, you can actually then say, Okay, what are the action steps we gonna take as a group to maintain the benefits and what are the early warnings we’re gonna look for when we see the unintended consequences is the whole goal of the tools, the facilitate dialogue around what is a very complex topic to bring people into balance and alignment around these issues, and I mentioned these tools can be used in many places, so I use the Learning versus building example As a UX work one, but I’ve been thinking a lot about as polarity S-What about individual freedoms versus collective needs, then thinking about that in the whole pandemic and people cry one or the other, but really, I think these things are polarity we could discuss…
I would say we too, this is not a tool for Solo use, it really is a tool to bring people into dialogue, so you’d want to do this with multiple people in different few points.
You can also do the same thing with reopening the economy versus protecting the health, that I think that could be Pilani to discuss as well. Again, very complex topics that you see reduced or treated as problems, when in fact, they’re not problems, they’re kind of both and…
Alright, next one’s less of a tool, it’s more of a mental muscle or just all… Just breeze through this one, but I do have a homework ask of you, and I’m actually digging into systems thinking right now, I think it’s a way of thinking that I don’t know when or where, but I picked it up, but it comes naturally to meeting… That’s just seeing how all the parts of a whole are interdependent and relate to each other, and I think more than ever with since the endemic, we’re seeing… We’re seeing the system exposed, we’re seeing the chain of dependencies in our economy and different things for what they are… What I’ve been doing a skip that one, but I’ve been doing is just what the assignment I… We the have you do is just draw a bunch of things and then map the relationships between those, don’t worry too much about structure and the axis or anything like that, just get a bunch of things down, that’s a good muscle to start developing and pick a really narrow thing.
So for me, in the exercise I’ve been doing, that’s ongoing, is I started with the moat that I get in my favorite local cafe, and I put that in the center, I like the Moot, and I started looking at and say, Okay, well, to make the moon there’s the cafe, I like it. The cafe has a known ER, Cafe has employees, some of whom have lost the job, the self, as beings that are purchased from a supplier, local Vorster, the milk is ordered from a distributor, the distributor gets the milk from a farm, I believe… In this case, what about the chocolate… A way you just start mapping things out and he will see, by doing this tangibly, again, you can’t just think about… You need to do it on paper or a sticky notes, you start to see the web of relationships, and as you do this and it really engage in it, you’ll see patterns, and one of the patterns that emerged for me was kind of the stacks that…
I think implicitly, I always knew, but it was neat, seen it come out and there’s the retail store, the cafe, right. And then there’s the businesses that supply the retail stores, but then below that or all, all the companies that are leasing space or renting apartments or doing these other things, they’re all sitting on top of banking and the financial system, and I think I would have a biases and prejudice in favor of the… Let me say, I guess people lease the space, except I know a few folks who are in that space and they’re feeling pinched as well, were like, If they don’t get payment from some of these retail stores, they can’t make cement the bank. And so all of that to say, I have a greater awareness and sympathy for all the players involved in the system that play and how interdependent, interconnected tens.
So homework assignment, find a very narrow topic and just start following the branches wherever it goes.
Okay, let’s switch it differently, I wanna talk about four futures, this is from a man named Jim Day, or who’s been the for site started just futures for last many decades since 1970s, and he basically proposed that I… Salas read the quote. Actually, this is a… Why I included a quote, I do not to read this, I’ll just just tell you, I felt a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the future and will the economy snap back, will I start picking up some of my training a workshop clients again?
And I was introduced to the frame work back in February and the future meet up, and it was comforting to me ’cause I think there were so many overwhelming possibilities that to have a way to channel some of my exploration into one of these four possibilities, it just felt comfort, it felt like I was able to have more structured thinking and Jen data or just the background, these four structures before I tell you what they are, he says, Many years ago, we concluded that all of the millions, deed, billions of images of the futures that are in people’s minds and actions are specific versions of four generic images of the future.
So what are those for generic images to data proposes, and a lot of people pick this up, that there’s basically four options, things can collapse and collapse, none of these are good or bad, these are just ways of viewing what can happen with collapse comes new beginnings, and so we can talk about economic class, so we could talk about the collapse of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix, for example, I usually a Cole-Anne beginning, we can talk about continued growth where things just continue as they’ve been, the system moves forward on the current trajectory, this is often considered the most likely in official future, the problem with continued growth as we’re starting to see now, the limits of growth and the limits of resources and things, things changed you to transformation, often ate transformation or some external thing that allows things to change quickly, I like in this to the scare model, where something changes and gives away something radically new and that it… There is a transformation, and then finally things change you to discipline, this is where things Plato, the system reaches a balance, do a careful coordination and management, and this one honestly, I struggle with as a culture, can we reach that… This is kind of that Star Trek, old school Star Trek future, but then I look at countries like the Netherlands that are looking at embracing donate Economics as their economic policy, one that’s more sustainable, more balance in like, Okay, I made… Maybe there’s a possibility for this pointing with these, these are four windows or lenses to look at the future, pick something, and I would encourage you to be something much smaller and much more narrow, if you say What’s the world can look like the future that you’re gonna be overwhelmed by this. Right, but pick something you care about, something that’s personal, it could be… I know a lot of designers who got into design because of more the expressive side of it, are anxious about things moving to more coding, a machine learning, so take that and use that and say, Okay, if people are proposing that as a designer, I need to be more of a core, if that’s the proposal, but may explore that through these points, is so find something much narrow like that. For me, I’m thinking about things like what is the future of learning and development for adult learning, and I’m running it through this through this machine, quick and easy one, a little bit lighter, how do we anticipate and avoid under tended consequences?
I’m seeing lots of talk about ethics and statements like this lately, no one, none of us ever anticipated their platform would be used in this way, had I known what I know now, I might have built things or design things or done things differently.
Simple tool I’d recommend here, if you’ve not had a bit the hero cards of tech from the artifact group, and really it’s a small deck of about, I wanna say 16 cards have remember correctly, and they just ask you these very forward looking thought-provoking questions.
Who are what disappear is if your product successful, if you’re wildly successful, who gets hurt in the process? It’s just these forward-looking things to help you anticipate possible outcomes for the thing you’re building right now.
Fantastic tool, highly recommended.
So at this point, we got a few more tools I wanna quickly introduce you to, but there’s a been a bit of a mental model in my head of… This is a model I’m working on developing. We have clear problems, right, those are the day-to-day ones, the ones where we can make a decision, we can use linear reductive thinking, right.
And then we have more complex problems, which is really everything I’m interested in in the first three tools or thinking tools, systems thinking can even parity mapping really about looking outward of the complexity, four futures tour cards of tech.
I could look at a 2-2 scenario, major sees other things, they’re really about looking ahead into the future, but I wanna turn our attention to for the kind of the final round up of things are looking inward and see if I added the slide, just say, looking at like active list, vulnerability, self-awareness at development capability, and I was just asked on Twitter a couple days ago about someone was saying, Look, my peers or my boss isn’t interested in the research, what can I do? And I shared a few tips, but the thing I stressed was the core issue is often really an ego one on the behalf of individuals and that need to be right to retain power, to avoid risk of failure, to be seen as smart or competent, etcetera.
Those are often the real issues, they’re human issues, and even I was sharing clarity, mapping and thanks with a design friend of mine, he was like, Yeah, yeah, but I have people who know that and they still act in the sport was I’m like, well, the core issue is really one of these, one of these of looking and after personal… So just a couple of tools here. keep in eye on time. For those of you who find yourself getting into difficult conversations, I can’t recommend the book Crucial Conversations enough, it’s packed us so much, but there’s a particular model in more than chapters where it basically says we… A lot of real… A lot of the reason we get in the conflict with others is because we create a story or a belief around what’s going on that often isn’t true, and so they have the simple framework, see in here, those are the facts, those facts lead us in the moment like in microseconds to tell a story or concert the story, that then they exist to feel a certain way, physical, bodily sensations, and then that leads to our behaviors are at… And so as an example, I just threw this one, you’re working on a screen design and your manager checks up on your three times in one hour offering suggestions, what story might you tell yourself Well, but no, that was jump to a story that’s kind of critical and not so forgiving. But when we look at the facts, there’s many possible stories we could construct and we often to enter into the dialogue to understand what’s going on with the other person. Fantastic framework, you can also use to look back on a difficult conversation you had, so you brainstorm, you pick one… Usually an interaction with the person. And then you look, Okay, what are the facts, what actually happened? What do I believe happened in the situation? How did this make me feel? And what do I do? Because I believe… And the punchline of all this is we learn to separate facts from beliefs, and we learn that when we can control the narrative and our beliefs, we can shape how we feel and we can shape or influence Hellyer in the situations.
This one comes up a lot is sentiment the… I’m trying to figure out what’s next to me, what I’ve been doing the longer excites me, but I’m not sure what I want to do next, so it’s a lot of people going through our career crisis… Sure. What is happening next? There’s a tool is. There’s some good books like Design the Life You Want, and things like that. This is a tool kit I just picked up called The what’s worth doing cards? It’s a bunch of hexagon cards and you basically play with it and prototype with it, and the categories are… I care about… So you start with topics and the other dozen or 20 topics you can choose from, and you can write in your own, I enjoy working with… I want to make a next I need… And this is kinda the thing you do just turn into a plan, so fantastic tool, and it’s… I joined a workshop of a month ago where we actually played with it and used it, and it was great, and what I like about this could have been a canvas with link boxes, but by having the cards, it prompts you to think about things that maybe you wouldn’t have considered an ad a friend, he was looking at the yellow cards I enjoy working with, and he saw a… It’s the screenshot just as educators, Designers, business leaders, but if you go through the deck has things like farmers shifts, religious leaders, athletes and coach trains people, scientists set, it gets you thinking differently about who you enjoy working with, what you wanna do… You know what might be the next career move for you… Just be an I on time here. I think, I think this is a risk it, this one… Just for one that… For the last one, this is something that I figured I gotta throw it in ’cause it’s come up in three different conversations in the last week, and I usually take that as a sign, if something’s coming up, that’s the spoon theory, there’s a link in the slide deck and I can put the link to it and Slack, my friend Christina, which introduced me to this a few years ago, but basically when you read the post, it’s written by someone who has Lupus and group is to get very fatigued, very tired throughout the day, and she recounts having dinner with a friend or lunch, a humic, and the friend asked her, what is it like living with Boots? And she looked around and she had a friend collect the spoons that were available in some from the table or friend gathered up like 12 spoons, and she said, I want you to think of it like this. Every task I do throughout the day is a spoon, and I only have some of these spoons… Yeah, for every day. And I asked, and this is the person who Lewis speaking, I asked her, my friend to listen off the task every day, including the most simple as she rattled off day tours or just fun things to do. I explained how each one the customer spoon, when she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first test in the morning, I cut her off and took a waste, and I share this because while it’s written and was originally an intended explain living with a chronic illness, it’s been picked up by a lot of other people to good people struggling with depression or situational depression as a way to explain and even understand for ourselves, I… The lack of energy, and it’s worked its way into my vocabulary here, I might have a really tense interaction with someone and I’ll tell my life that just depleted all I spend, and that’s a catch word or phrase went… I need to retreat. I don’t have any more energy, mental energy, it’s just a good… In using the phrase, spoons at Ocala is a great way to think about this, and it’s come up a lot lately, ’cause I think with everything going on, the world, we’re feeling like we have a small number of students in the day and it’s over, we’re done. And so I think it’s just a good read and I’ll put it in the slight channel, again, those would be looking inward, looking back, will skip. So wrapping this up, if you’ve enjoyed this talk, you’ve enjoyed the types of tools that I’m sharing, I would encourage you to go to The Mighty minds club dot com, will be basically picking one of these tools each month and going deep with it, ’cause with the line of these, there’s a lot of nuance and detail that needs to be explored to use these tools will… And so we’ll be going into that, I’ll be interviewing folks, for example, the four futures, I’ve got interview a couple interviews lined up next week with folks who’ve used this in workshops, and I’m listening for what works, what doesn’t… So The Mighty minds Club is all about these tools to navigate changing times, tools to help product teams and groups of people work through difficult situations, so again… So we bring ideas into the world, and I thought from structured way, we extend our ability to think about and discuss complex topics. As the underlying theme of all of these tools, I share why I wanted to share those. So thank you very much.