Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Design Banana

Before we continue, let me take a moment to talk about the banana. In the US, CEOs and top managers hate the word “design.” Just believe me. No matter what they tell you, they believe that “design” only has something to do with curtains, wallpaper and maybe their suits. These guys, and they’re still mostly guys, prefer the term “innovation” because it has a masculine, military, engineering, tone to it. Think Six Sigma and you want to salute, right? I’ve tried and tried to explain that design goes way beyond aesthetics. It can have process, metrics all the good hard stuff managers love. But no, I can’t budge this bunch. So I have given up. Innovation, design, technology—I just call it all a banana. Peel that banana back and you find great design. Yummy design. . The kind of design that can change business culture and all of our civil society as well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving - Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

Section One: An Introduction to Wicked Problems

This section first introduces the idea of wicked problems—large-scale social issues that plague humanity, like poverty or malnutrition—and then describes the role of design in mitigating these problems.

Section Two: Skills for the Social Entrepreneur

This section describes the skills designers will need in order to tackle wicked problems effectively.

Section Three: Teaching and Learning

This section describes a model for teaching and learning social entrepreneurship. If you're an educator, the model will help you change an existing curriculum. If you're a practitioner, it will help you structure your own course of study without enrolling in a formal program.

Section Four: Methods

This section contains methods—stand-alone techniques—that you can use as you take on wicked problems from an entrepreneurial perspective. Some of the methods are for conducting research and gaining empathy, while others are for making sense of data and coming up with new ideas. There are also methods for building financial models and worksheets to help you target financial success.

Methods for Conducting Research and Gaining Empathy

Methods for Synthesizing Data and Developing Ideas

Methods for Creating New Designs

Methods for Planning a Business

In Closing


Monday, January 30, 2012

Massive Health - Carbs Are Killing You [infographic]

Psychology of Persuasion — PsyBlog

Do you want to be an agent of change? Psychological research reveals how to tip the balance in your favour.

All human societies are alive with the battle for influence. Every single day each of us is subject to innumerable persuasion attempts from corporations, interest groups, political parties and other organisations. Each trying to persuade us that their product, idea or innovation is what we should buy, believe in or vote for.

In our personal lives the same struggle is played out for the supremacy of viewpoints, ideals and actions. Whether it's friends and family, work colleagues, potential employers or strangers, each of us has to work out how to bring others around to our own point of view. We all play the influence game, to greater or lesser degrees.

Psychologists have been studying how we try to influence each other for many years. I've been covering some highlights of this research, which are collected below.

1. 3 Universal Goals to Influence People

Effective influence and persuasion isn't just about patter, body language or other techniques, it's also about understanding people's motivations. Central to the art and science of persuasion is understanding three goals for which everyone is aiming. Read on →

2. The Persuasive Power of Swearing

Show your passion and people have one more emotional reason to come around to your point of view. But how can we convince others of our conviction? Light swearing at the start or end of a persuasive speech can help influence an audience. Read on →

3. Loudest Voice = Majority Opinion

Even if only one member of a group repeats their opinion, it is more likely to be seen by others as representative of the whole group.

Read on →

4. Don't Take No For An Answer

You ask someone for a favour and they say no. Where do you go from there? Dealing effectively with objections can be more powerful than other standard methods of persuasion.

Read on →

5. The Influence of Fleeting Attraction

Friendship is a fantastic lever for persuasion and influence, a lever we happily push on every day. But how much does someone have to like us before we can start to influence them?

Read on →

6. Caffeine Makes Us Easier to Persuade

Of all the effects caffeine has on our minds—enhanced attention, vigilance and cognition—perhaps least known is its tendency to make us more susceptible to persuasion.

Read on →

7. Persuasion: The Right-Ear Advantage

fingers in ears

If you want someone to comply with a random request for a cigarette, you should speak into their right ear.

Read on →

8. Balanced Arguments Are More Persuasive

The instinct to paper over weaknesses in our argument is wrong—so long as we counter criticism.

Read on →

9. The Battle Between Thoughts and Emotions in Persuasion

Nowadays people tend to use 'I think' and 'I feel' interchangeably. Does it make any difference whether what you say is couched in 'thinking' or 'feeling' terms?

Read on →

10. Our Secret Attitude Changes

When you change your attitude about something, do you know why? Psychologists have argued that the inner workings of our minds are largely hidden away from us. One aspect of this is the surprising finding that people are often unaware when they have changed their attitudes. Read on →

11. Are Fast Talkers More Persuasive?

Beware the fast-talker, the person with the gift of the gab—the friendly salesman, the oily politician—running through the 'facts' faster than you can keep up.

Read on →

12. Persuasion: The Sleeper Effect

Any time we receive a persuasive message before we find out who the source is, the sleeper effect can come into play.

Read on →

13. Communicating Persuasively: Email or Face-to-Face?

Face-to-face communication is usually most persuasive but it's not always possible to meet in person. How, then, do people react to persuasion attempts over email?

Read on →

14. The Influence of Positive Framing

Do people really pay more attention to frightening messages? Actually emphasising the positive can be more persuasive than pointing out the negative. Read on →

15. The Illusion of Truth

Repetition is used everywhere: advertising, politics and the media. It seems too simplistic that just repeating a persuasive message should increase its effect, but that's exactly what psychological research finds (again and again). Read on →

16. 9 Propaganda Techniques in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11

Back in the Summer of 2004 Michael Moore brought out 'Fahrenheit 9/11', his personal view of how terrorist attacks in the US were used to pursue illegal wars. This article examines the psychological techniques of persuasion used in that film. Read on →

17. Persuasion: The Third-Person Effect

Attractive woman holding a bottle of beer? Hah! How stupid do they think we are? Many people say that persuasion attempts have little or no effect on them. Other people, oh sure, adverts, work on them. But not you and I, we're too clever for that.

Read on →

18. 20 Simple Steps to the Perfect Persuasive Message

Perfection is hard to achieve in any walk of life and persuasion is no different. It relies on many things going just right at the crucial moment; the perfect synchronisation of source, message and audience. But even if perfection is unlikely, we all need to know what to aim for. Read on →

Image credit: Martin Howard

How to Be Creative

If we can all be creative, why is it so hard to come up with truly original ideas?

It's because creativity is mysterious. Just ask any scientist, artist, writer or other highly creative person to explain how they come up with brilliant ideas and, if they're honest, they don't really know.

But over the decades psychologists have given ordinary participants countless tests, forms and tasks and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews. From these emerge the psychological conditions of creativity.

Not what you should do, but how you should be...

Click here to find out more...

Published: 4 January 2011