I was interviewed by BrandWeek the other day for a story on the recent hype around “Design Thinking” in marketing. They were looking for a skeptic and found me. First of all, it is worth noting that the term “design thinking” is of course a clever marketing buzzword. It’s ironic that marketers themselves embrace it as the next big thing as it doesn’t create a new marketing paradigm so much as it proves that marketers are prone to being persuaded by their very own tricks. “Design Thinking” has become a brand, and brands are all the more powerful … Read more
Now that the exhaustively inspirational Pop!Tech 2008 is over, it’s worthwhile taking a look at what’s next, in other words, at the conference's theme for 2009. The organizers’ choice is pretty telling and may be indicative of a larger shift among not only the elite thinkers gathering at Pop!Tech, but also broader public opinion. Succeeding this year’s theme “Scarcity and Abundance” will be “America Reimagined,” a “top-to-bottom look at America’s opportunities, its challenges, and its future” that promises to explore what it means to be a “superpower in the … Read more
I asked my colleagues in frog design's Shanghai studio about their perspective on the current economic downturn, and here's what they wrote back:
"The US may be the initiator of this round of global economic recession but it may not be the final payer. China's economy is about to suffer as well - and in more ways than one.
And yet, the people who have been around the longest know not to pay too much attention to one-direction comments. They know that the sufferers will always shout much louder than the beneficiaries. They also know that … Read more
"We're doing all the things we tell our clients not to do," admits a strategy director at a renowned design and innovation firm, "it is ironic." He's not alone with his assessment. Other employees of creative firms (let's just use this label as a catch-all for all design, innovation, marketing, brand, and advertising firms) secretly confess that while they go out preaching to their clients about the importance of open innovation, brand consistency, or a distinct, provocative marketing messages, it is the very absence of all of which that often severely hampers their … Read more
I saw the Royal Ballet of Flanders perform William Forsythe's "Impressing the Czar" last week at the Rose Theatre in New York. It was a mesmerizing experience: a demonstration of the possibilities of the human body and its bold orchestration as part of a stampeding, Dionysian collective.
As I followed the breathtaking, ultra-structuralist choreography, especially the acclaimed "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated" part, I couldn't help but draw parallels to other high-performing teams: Why, I wondered, can't businesses (and governments, for that matter) accomplish the same level of perfection? What is it they … Read more
"If you spend as much time on the road as I do, you're likely to run into Digital Nomads. This sector of the workforce includes both independents and corporate workers. They use web-based tools like Twitter, wikis, Google Docs, social networks and Skype to collaborate and work wherever, whenever and however they want.
The reality is that many of the tools that workers need to do their jobs are … Read more
I have a piece of advice for those who bemoan the lack of knowledge-sharing in their organizations: Make tacit knowledge explicit. Externalize expertise and experiences across all functions, from the office manager to the executive team.
How? Make it mandatory for every employee to keep an internal blog and post at least once per week. Depending on their role, employees can blog about customer experiences, sales tactics, strategy, product improvements, organizational design, competitors, market trends, and even gossip. Potential productivity losses are outweighed by the value of knowledge that is being generated and shared.
And what is productivity anyway these … Read more
The magazine cites a Mercer study covering 232 multi-national corporations, stating that the numbers of GNEs have increased by more than a third in recent years and now outnumber traditional expats (who return home) and long-term expats (who finally settle in their new place).
For GNEs, home is where they're going to, not where they're coming from. … Read more
Remember the movie The Game, with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn as unlikely brothers, shot before the backdrop of vertiginous San Francisco?
Well, here's a new interface for the city by the Bay: SFZero is "a new representation for the data that's already there. Your mind is full of inaccurate representations that are affecting the way you use the San Francisco data flow, steering you away from interaction and collaboration and toward unproductive reflexive data loops.
SFZero designers are working double shifts to engineer this next-generation interface that will bring you together with your cohabitants to experience … Read more