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Archive for the ‘Design thinking’ Category

Many of my readers know I was trained as an architect. Some of the rhythms, insights and passions of that profession continue to weave into my work and my sense making.

Just over the weekend, I completely randomly bumped into a very well done interview with star-architect Rem Koolhaas in Flanders’ business newspaper “De Tijd”. It’s in Dutch, but I found it so inspiring that I translated the juiciest chunks of that interview, with some personal context around that.

Rem Koolhaas (70) founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975. Besides its headquarters in Rotterdam, the agency has offices in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai. He is also a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and wrote important publications on architecture, such as ‘Delirious New York’ (1978), “S, M, L, XL (1995) and ‘Content’ (2004). In 2000 he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Nobel Prize for architecture.

322_1rem_koolhaas_oma__portret_portrait__copy

Portrait Rem Koolhaas O.M.A. Office for Metropolitain Architecture shoot for Andy Warhols INTERVIEW, Russia © Ronald Tilleman all right reserved

The interview was made in the context of the opening of the Garage Museum in Gorki Park.

Garage Museum

It was Dasha Zhukova, the 34-jarige spouse of Russian multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich who approached Koolhaas to build “her” museum. Thanks to the deep pockets of her husband, she ensured herself this way of her own name and fame in the international jetset and art scene.

I really encourage you to watch this great promo-video of the museum. It is so inspiring when you start thinking about musea as educational spaces. Look at the wondering faces of the kids in that video. Think on how educational immersive experiences are becoming so key to our understanding and sense making. The Garage Museum is run by the Post-Soviet generation and that is so refreshing. And – surprise – it includes fragments by performance artist Marina Abramovic.

Her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Active for over three decades, Abramović has been described as the “grandmother of performance art.” She pioneered a new notion of identity by bringing in the participation of observers, focusing on “confronting pain, blood, and physical limits of the body.” (from Wikipedia).

It is a coincidence – or probably not – that performance, improvisation and new notions of identity cross my path again, and makes me reflect again of my work as event-creator evolving gradually into experience, romanticism and mystery.

But back to the interview. The journalist kicks off with an observation about the label of “star-architect” and how that is associated with neoliberal money-grubber who designs antisocial icons for the private super rich.

Rem Koolhaas reacts:

“Since the beginning of the 21st century, there is increasing attention to an ever smaller group of architects, of whom one expected to produce ever more spectacular buildings. Especially in high-rise commercial noticeable increasing pressure to make extravagant, rare designs. “

“Since the triumph of the market economy, the relationship between the public and the architect is cut. The takeover of the market economy in the architecture was harmful. The architect can no longer identify as someone who serves the public interest. Previously our inventions benefited humanity. Now that’s gone, like a tablecloth is suddenly pulled away.”

“While architecture previously revolved around the creation of community, to live together, the emphasis on selfish icons wipes that away. Cities can no longer exert as much influence as before, when they had enough money to build projects.”

It makes me think about the work of Christopher Alexander – my all time favourite – who protests against efficiency in architecture and the loss of appreciation for patterns, beauty, and the “quality without a name – QWAN”. See elsewhere on my blog, like here on “The battle for beauty”Like Alexander, Rem Koolhaas is at least as famous as a thinker and writer on architecture.

I think an architect must be a change expert, because you have to shape change. Therefore, you must know what is happening in the world. Before I became an architect, I was a journalist. And actually I’m still investigative journalist. I observe. My life is one big string of anthropological and sociological explorations. I’ve always had a particular attention to what is neglected. So I wrote my book about New York in the late seventies, when everyone had written off the city.”

He also confirms some of the insights that digitization of architecture – but I would expand that to any form of making great work – creates some fundamental flaws in creativity.

“I think some architects have a very simplistic look at the digitisation. For instance, they believe that 3D printing will provide free creativity. That is a myth. Therein lies a fundamental fallacy about architecture. Architecture is not at all about letting your imagination go. You must confront your imagination again and again with the request and desire of your customer.”

And then on privacy, something that becomes most tangible when you are at home, in your house, in your bedroom.

nest

“It dawned on me last year when I was curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale. We have reconstructed the history of building elements, such as wall, floor, heating, and so on. We realized that all of them are on the verge of changing status. Take the thermostat. That used to be a thing that you checked. Now that gives your data to the energy supplier. Such a smart thermostat knows when you leave the house and when you come home again. Before you know it, sensors that follow you anywhere in your home surround you”

“We live in a world which is so addicted to comfort it as undermining our freedom. The dividing line between comfort and repression is thin. We submit ourselves to a huge monitoring system that records all of our movements in a building. We seem almost happy that we have no privacy anymore. For someone of my generation is that strange because we were still in the streets in the seventies to defend our privacy. “

lonely swimmer by Sterling67

Picture of Lone Swimmer by Sterling67

“I travel a lot, and I find that very inspiring. And above all gives me a great deal of privacy. Like swimming, though. I swim every day one kilometer, wherever in the world I am. “

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As from now, we offer you weekly updates related to our 5th edition of Innotribe at Sibos in Dubai from 16-19 Sep 2013.

As you probably know by now, we’ve designed our programme like a metro map. Just like the underground or subway, it’s up to you to decide which “track” to follow, depending on your expertise, interests, learning objectives, and availability.

Innotribe_TubeMap-01

In this week’s post, we’d like to walk you through the Value Track at Innotribe@Sibos 2013.

 

 

The Value track will explore different aspects of the great value discussion:

  • What is the future model of banking?
  • What is wealth beyond money?
  • Can everything be measured?
  • And are we even measuring the right things?
  • Can we valuate companies based on their intangible assets?
  • How does all this drive happiness and well-being?

Future of Money – Opening Plenary

Location: Innotribe Space

Day: Monday 16 Sep 2013

Time: 09:30 – 10:30

In this session, we will identify how the current model is being disrupted and how the impact on cost and revenues. We will co-create the corporate banking business model of the future, using the Business Model Canvas methodology of Alex Osterwalder.

Innotribe co-founder Mariela Atanassova (Mela) recently posted a great article on this subject on the American Banker blog “BankThink” as part of their series “The Future Model of Banking”.

To guide us, we have invited six awesome speakers, each highlighting one dimension of disruption of the existing corporate to banking model:

  • Scott Bales, Chief Mobile Officer, Moven will focus on Social and Mobile;
  • Dave Gray, Author, The Connected Company will focus on organizational change and how his principles lead to “The Connected Bank”;
  • Hank Uberoi, CEO, Earthport and Dan Marovitz, Founder & CEO, Buzzumi and previously Head of Product Management, Global Transaction Banking at Deutsche Bank will articulate what has changed in infrastructure;
  • Patrick Murck, General Counsel, Bitcoin Foundation will ignite us on transparency and transaction costs;
  • We are in discussions with a major bank, which has experimented with hybrid business models in the Corporate to Banking space.

Two host moderators will guide you through this exercise and will ensure a deep interaction between audience and speakers in an exciting TV Studio type format. One moderator (Udayan Goyal, Partner and Co-Founder of the Anthemis Group) will work the stage; the other moderator (Chris Skinner, Chairman of The Financial Services Club) will work the audience.

Design Thinking

Location: Innotribe Space

Day: Monday 16 Sep 2013

Time: 11:00 – 12:15

This is a “Toolkit” session: an immersive learning experience to help you internalize the basic principles of design thinking with hands-on practical activities. We will practice process step by step the different stages of design-full thinking and apply them to examples from the financial industry:

  • Human observation, particularly using extreme users to inspire idea
  • Looking at a larger context – analogies from other fields; examine interaction touch points
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Experimentation, prototyping
  • Engaging others in the process to build enthusiasm for your idea

Speakers: We have invited two world-class experts to guide you through this process:

  • Vince Voron recently joined Dolby Labs as their VP, Executive Creative Director. He has more than 20 years of marketing design experience from two of the world’s most iconic brands: Apple and Coca-Cola. At Apple, he developed and led the human factors and color teams responsible for iMacs, PowerBooks, iPods and the iPhone. As head of Industrial Design at Coca-Cola, he led the form and user interface design for the Coca-Cola Freestyle platform.
  • James Moed is the leader of IDEO’s work in financial service design across Europe. In that role he advises clients and design teams, combining observations of human behaviour with inspiration from other services, new business models, and emerging technologies.

Investment Management 2.0

Location: Innotribe Space

Day: Monday 16 Sep 2013

Time: 12:30 – 13:30

In the financial industry “shareholder value” and “profit maximization” are still very much the main criteria for investment. Nevertheless, new investment trends are emerging as a result of global changes and new ways of thinking,.  Investors are starting to look for criteria beyond maximizing profit, shareholder value and pure financial return – many of which are based on ‘intangible assets’.

To put all this in context, we strongly recommend Otto Scharmer’s latest book “Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies” (Amazon Associates Link).

otto

This session is designed to be highly interactive, applying the design thinking methodology to investment management.  The session is designed as a political campaign debate, where two protagonists will prompt the discussion through at times provocative statements and trying to convince the audience of their deep insights.

During this debate, we will look into following aspects:

  • Definitions of intangible assets, how to account for them and how to invest in them.
  • What role do financial markets play/should play, and their future “design principles”
  • We will paint a broader evolutionary context and the role of technology in all this;
  • Leading into transparency, self-empowerment and permissive organizations

Each of the protagonists will then detail their personal actions for change.

Speakers:

  • Mary Adams, Founder of Smarter Companies, expert in accounting for intangible assets
  • Stephen Richards, Principal of Ability Capital Solutions, who is launching a Pension Investment Fund, based on crowdsourced recommendations for investment by the pension beneficiaries.

Accounting for Intangible Assets

Location: Innotribe Space

Day: Thursday 19 Sep 2013

Time: 11:00 – 12:00

Is it possible to make investment decisions based on intangible assets? In this session, you will learn that the financials used as a measuring stick are being generated out of a new kind of factory, a new kind of infrastructure. Most of investment and asset managers understand this intuitively.

We will give you practical hands-on exercises to empower you with a vocabulary and a framework that helps you change what you do and how you evaluate companies.

Speakers:

  • Mary Adams, Founder of Smarter Companies, expert in accounting for intangible assets

Beyond GDP – What is real wealth?

Location: Innotribe Space

Day: Thursday 19 Sep 2013

Time: 12:30 – 14:00

Happiness Indicators like Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness, the OECD’s Better Life Index, and the UK’s Happy Planet Index are already helping the world define well-being and wealth beyond money. The H(app)athon Project www.happathon.com wants to go one step further by “hacking happiness”, and shifting how the world’s view of value can move beyond the lens of GDP.

Innotribe has partnered with The H(app)athon Project to co-deliver this customized,  super-interactive, not-to-be-missed game experience, where several imaginary countries based on new economies will work together to increase their collective progress. We have gone full-blown for the design of this session, with light and sound-scapes to immerse you 100% in this real live experiment, where you are the subject of research 😉

The results of this experiment will be fed into the development of the Happathon mobile app that will be launched in March 2014.

Speakers:

  • John Havens, Founder, The Happathon Project.

Closing Plenary Innotribe: “Around the campfire”

Right after the Happathon session – at 14:30pm – we will all join the Closing Plenary Innotribe: “Around the campfire”, where we will share the lessons, tools and techniques learned during the week. We are very proud to confirm our two tribal wise men:

  • JP Rangaswami (Chief Scientist of Salesforce.com and direct report of Marc Benioff) and;
  • Andrew Davis (Global Head of e-Commerce Strategy and Innovation, HSBC).

More information about the Innotribe@Sibos 2013 programme can be found in our programme Brochure (PDF flyer), on Sibos.com and of course Innotribe.com

By @petervan from the Innotribe Team

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The question every bank should ask itself is: “Am I a creator or a remover of friction?”

John Hagel hit the nail on the head in a recent Harvard Business Review blog post: The cost and difficulty of coordinating activities across entities, on a global scale, is far lower now.” Today’s hyper-connectivity not only makes it possible to coordinate across entities in a more efficient way, it also causes a deep disintermediation of players that were able to maintain their monopolies through sheer scale and power.

A really good example of this is Uber.com, the well-publicized peer-to-peer limousine and taxi service directly connecting drivers and customers, disintermediating completely the dispatching taxi companies that proved to be the friction in the system.

The same phenomenon is now happening everywhere, including in banking, as we see the advent of more peer-to-peer (mobile) payment systems.

Besides disintermediation, we have disintegration. What we witness is the end of highly vertically integrated organizations, and the birth of organizations whose chief strength is to pick and choose best-in-class functionality from outsiders and mix and match those with their own internal world-class capabilities. For that to happen, you need a decomposition of previously highly integrated functions into smaller chunks (for example risk management, payments, securities, reference data, even identity and trust) and the ability to expose those functions through application programming interfaces. Externalizing your core competencies has become an economic imperative.

Sean Park from the Anthemis Group suggested all this five years ago. Back then, you still could create a competitive advantage with these methods. Today you are a plain loser if you do not have this in place yet.

So if all this is commonplace, what’s the next big disruption? In my opinion it’s peer-to-peer, the ability of two or more entities to share data and do business without a central orchestrator. P2P changes everything. It changes product and service offerings, it changes how companies are organized; it fundamentally changes the business models we are used to. This is very quickly leading to a “fragmentation of everything”: the fragmentation of work, of applications, of hierarchies, of states.

camel

To illustrate how deep the change is, I’d like to use the metaphor of a camel in the ocean. The camel is the bank, and the water is data. Until now, the camel was carrying its own water through the desert. Now the camel is in the ocean, surrounded by data. We will require a new kind of species that can survive in this data ocean, can cope with the advent of trillions of nodes on the grid, all hyper-connected, hyper-fragmented and 100% distributed.

The world needs a new kind of bank, way beyond a money-bank, probably a “trusted data bank” that can help human beings store, change and transact data, and in doing so create new authentic value. Not just gimmicks, tricks, quick wins, or dirty fixes.

We seem to live in a “perpetual crisis,” jumping from one incident to another, where there is no room anymore for building a story with a beginning, middle, and an end; no room for reflection, no room to assess and, like a surfer, scan the waves of change on the surface of the data ocean. It’s like the camel is under water, drowning in tactics and ad-hoc firefighting, incapable of interpreting the tsunami of change.

The world enters a level of complexity that cannot be addressed anymore by conventional, binary, linear thinking. We need new tools, capabilities, and more non-linear ways of thinking, to be prepared to open up for more options. These new tools are about forecasting and assessing in different ways, deciding our options in different ways, ambitious design thinking with focus on what needs to be achieved versus what is the problem to be solved, and richer ways of expressing our options through visual thinking and other techniques.

This is way beyond the flashy designs of hyper-tech branches and “punchy-music-cool-sexy” apps or product videos.

The bank of the future is a humanizing bank,

where “I am not my device” and where the focus is on relationships, intimacy, depth, and human connection – supported by technology. It’s about deep human behavior, about deep culture change. But that does not happen through top-down instruction. What is needed is viral change at scale of specific behaviors, seeded and nurtured bottom-up from deep within the fabric of the organization.

Behavior creates culture,

and not the other way around.

Cross-posted on American Banker

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On 10-12 June 2013, I was invited as a panel participant to the ISACA Insights World Congress. It was the second time in two weeks – the previous time was during a session at the Amplify Festival – that the panel was asked by the moderator what the future would look like in 2040. At Amplify the question was around the future of work. At ISACA, the question was even more open ended.

untitled-by-allison-mcd-on-flickr

Although nobody of course knows what the future will hold, and everything I say on this topic is almost wrong by definition, I believe I surprised my audience with my very dystopian view on the future.

Many seem to believe that the future will be “bright”, with lots of possibilities for hyper-collaboration, in open and shared spaces, where serendipities happen every minute, where hierarchies don’t exist anymore, sort of love-and-peace in a sharing collaborative back-to-Woodstock environment.

woodstock-poster-for-sale

That may be the case in 2020, but I think the picture will be less rosy in 2040. Already today, algorithms trade in matter of milliseconds, a real-time world that we as humans can’t even grasp, let only survive. Where those algorithms now work for stock trading companies, by 2040 we will most probably be “augmented” – at best – by our personal algorithms.

It will not be a nice picture to look forward to: by that time, we will be totally ruled by robots and algorithms, and we will have to fight – assisted by our “devices” – for that very last minute of work in a crowded world marketplace where we will have to compete at rates of 1.5$ per hour. And this for probably high-skilled tasks, as the rest will be taken over by robots: a “Present Shock” of technological presence, a world undone of human presence, a very disturbing place where we are ruled by algorithms working on our behalf, where betting on peoples future is the new normal, where siren server masters raise interest fees on the mortgage of the personal success/failure of the data slaves.

The Singularity will have happened, but in quite a different way, in a way that technology owns us, eats us, swallows us, not a singularity of jolly happy people being more intelligent or augmented. A world of technology versus machines, where technology will dictate what it wants from us (See also Kevin Kelly “What Technology Wants” – with Kelly being the technology optimist he is – and Jaron Lanier “Who Owns the Future?”).

What we have witnessed during the last weeks’ revelations represents a true tipping point. Where we still may have had the illusion that we could empower ourselves, take charge, we will be at best be empowered by other powers: a new dystopian world where authoritarian technology rules, an authoritarian singularity, where we are reduced to data slaves of the new data masters.

As part of the Digital Asset Grid (DAG) project (an Innotribe project stopped after its incubation phase, and given back to the community), I have written in the past about the “Catastrophic Complexity” that is emerging right now through the explosion of the number of nodes on the grid, ànd the explosion of data. Where these data are more and more stored by “Siren Servers” – a metaphor used by Jaron Lanier – and where the DAG proposed a 100% distributed model of data storage in personal or corporate clouds, but with a choice of appropriate Trust Models, so that we don’t end up in another worldwide west. Indeed, with the advent of trillions of nodes on the grid, we will require a new kind of species, a new kind of architecture, but more importantly a new type of governance.

camel

I am also getting more and more disturbed by a sort of “over-glorification of technology. This may be surprising as a “Techonomist”, where the belief is that technology will enable a new philosophy for progress – I still believe that – but we need some solid healthy criticism in the debate.

techonomy

When I read this week in The Guardian – a quality newspaper, right? – about the “gadgetry and behavior concepts for the 21 century” and the related comments that these are “super important” new behaviors, I believe we are missing the point; we need to counterbalance all this excitement with way more attention for humanizing our businesses.

I am afraid we are slipping into an “Authoritarian Surveillance State” as described in Washington Post, or even a “Techtarian State” as articulated by Stan Stalnaker in The Huffington Post.

To understand what’s really going on, let’s looks at some understreams that cause the waves of change at the surface. I have split them in technological and more societal changes:

  • Technological:
    • SMAC: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud
    • Platforms and APIs leading towards the end of highly vertically integrated organizations, and where the new skill becomes horizontal sourcing of pin-point functionality
    • Explosion and loss of control of data.
    • Explosion of Cyber-threats
    • Our identity schemes not keeping up with the sheer explosion of nodes, hampering our security, as the internet was never built with identity in mind
    • Disintermediation through hyper-connectivity (example Über)
  • Societal
    • Erosion of Privacy
    • Platform, everything as a service
    • New economies (P2P, Sharing, Reputation,…)
    • New expression of value, currencies, assets, cred, influence, reputation,
    • Crowdsourcing everything (credit cards, funding, investing, lending, mapping, reputation, …)

We probably most underestimate this trend of crowd-everything. There is something deeper going on: this is really about the use of external power to scale; think platform, using crowds as change accelerators, like developers for building on your APIs, but now through users. Google recently acquired Waze for 1B$ !.

waze

The industrial scale application of crowd is very much a “Singularity University Meme”, says Haydn Shaughnessy in Forbes.  Crowd-recording, crowd-sensing, crowd-data collection, more eyes and ears and sensors, through Waze, through Glasses, etc. It’s clear some parties want way more data to be available,  searchable, to be monetized, with us working like slaves to provide all these data for free. We evolve from democracy to “crowdocracy”.

Our near future will witness the “fragmentation of everything”: the fragmentation of work, of applications, of hierarchies, and states giving in to power data houses, data guerillas, pods, and cells.

We will see the “asymmetry of everything”: asymmetry of transparency, of search and computing power, of concentration of data. This will lead to power unbalances, to surveillance mania, to loss of freedom of speech. Already now the recent developments makes me more selective on what I tweet and share. The only way out is a 100% distributed system, but I am afraid that it is already too late for that and that our future is already owned by Jaron Lanier’s “Siren Servers”

We already see the “exceptionalism of everything”, where the exceptions become the norm: events such as stock exchange black swans become the norm. We take for granted the exceptional qualities of uber-people like Marissa Mayer, Zuckerberg, and other “heroes”.

We are “attacked by everything”: our secrecy is attacked by Wikileaks, our privacy by Siren-Servers, our security by cyber-attacks, our value creation by thousands of narrow innovations at the speed of light. All this happens at the speed of light, at “Un-Human” speeds, runs on a different clock, lives in another world.

We seem to live in a “perpetual crisis”, jumping from one incident to another, where there is no room anymore for building a story with a begin, middle, and an end; no room for reflection, no room to assess and scan the waves of change on the surface of the data ocean.

The world enters into a complexity

that cannot be addressed anymore

by conventional binary linear thinking.

 

We need new tools, capabilities, and ways of thinking, more non-linear, be prepared to open up for more options. These new tools are about forecasting and assessing in different ways (scenario thinking), decide our options in different ways, design thinking in context with intent and within constraints, and richer ways of expressing our options through visual thinking and other techniques more leveraging the human senses of color, sound, smell, trust, sensuality, presence.

We have come at a point where our only options out are a revolution of the data slaves and evolving as a new kind of species in the data ocean, trying to preserve what makes us human.

I have no clue how we can avoid this dystopia, but we will need a new set of practices for value creation; where data slaves dare to stand up and call for a revolution; where value creation and tax declarations go way beyond being compliant with the law; where we see the emergence of ethically responsible individuals and organizations. But it will be very difficult to turn back the wheel that has already been set in motion several decades ago.

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At the Front-End of Innovation conference in Copenhagen this week, there was a fascinating presentation on “Why Companies Can’t Afford Not to be Design-Centric: The Future of Strategic Brand Identity” by Vince Voron @vincevoron from Coca-Cola, North Americas.

vincevoron

Vince has an interesting background: he is former senior designer of Apple where he worked for 16 years, before joining Coca-Cola six years ago.

Vince in essence deconstructed the Apple methodology, so he could teach it and apply it in other companies.

He looked back at the 1998 – 2004 history of innovation at apple, where designers were key to drive innovation for their business and their cultural relevancy. I like that:

for their cultural “relevancy”

In the early days, R&D money was going first into software, hardware engineering and product design; in that order. So the first big insight was where does the money go, and how can you switch the priorities.

Good Design was NOT good brand identity: all products in 1997-1998 looked/felt differently, even though all products were designed by one design company (IDEO). Personal design preferences were not controlled.

Then there was a phase of designing with constraints. Apple identified a geometric shape to be core to visual identity, the lozenge (on oval shape) as a unifying element of design. It was a way for objective, non-confrontational conversations on design.

Apple started designing for all consumer touch-points. Hardware buttons that were touched most were designed like “Jewels” and there was a move towards empowering passion inspired innovation; from functional to emotional experiences.

Apple also was (still is ?) a better integrator than innovator; for example integrating packaging and product design.

The biggest lesson learned however was that packaging was valued and incentivized on productivity and cost containment. And the way to make package creators think like designers was to give credit to those people and let them shine based on their metrics.

Over to Coca-Cola. When arriving at Coca-Cola, the biggest challenge was to develop a culture based on design driven innovation. When Vince started the biggest R&D investments went into liquids/beverages, packaging and equipment; in hat order.

In 2006, Coca-Cola made a huge investment in equipment, integrating people, assets and partners. To sell the idea to finance people to like their models, it was really about using the same language as the CFO.

Vince did an awesome job in decomposing the language used, whether you talk about your innovations to Finance, Marketing or Manufacturing, realizing that this way each of them could be a designer. “Everyone is a designer” and professional designers are best suited to drive innovation to shape ideas and provide tools for x-functional team to achieve success. Designers had to come out of their design studios and into the organization. Designers also need to be trained to understand business jargon like ROI, finance terms, marketers, etc

A great example was to reposition vending machines to marketers as “Consumer Touch points” and “Media Assets”, and to measure success based on the number of “impressions”.

 

coca-cola-coca-cola-freestyle-2000-70751

Same for manufacturing. Before: it was about design what we could manufacture (vending machines). Now it was about manufacture what we design.

All this lead to the second big insight to “respect your partners in different business units” and make them win on their terms and based on the metrics that they are incentivized on.

The third big insight was about the importance of language and narratives. Vince described this as “Design by Common Nomenclatures for “Inclusivity. Instead of talking about industrial designers, graphical designers, digital designers, it was now about “Media Designers”, “Iconic Assets” Engaging with the equipment (vending machine) and “emotional engagement with the equipment (in this case vending machines).

Not just thinking about the transactional experience of buying a bottle of Coke, but looking what a young person’s first experience was when that person for the very first time in her life decided herself on what machine to put your 1 $. This was about brand love at first retail experience.

Even for vending machines there is a way about thinking in terms of a “3D Visual Identity System”: similar geometric shape, respect the past, sculpted flows, and using on purpose asymmetric design as it was prove to be more attractive. And yes, even in vending machines you can conceive “jewels” for the touch-points, thinking in great detail for example about the shape and look and feel of the refrigerator plate, making sure it is well lit where you serve the ice.

Coca-Cola is now also experimenting with digital consistent user experience. “We are so naïve, we have so much to learn”, said Vince and showed crowdsourcing experiments for creating environments for co-creation: checkout www.unlock.coke.com. They went also so far in integrating new tech on old machines; replacing all refrigerator doors with a new door with Samsung screens (yes, Samsung, not Apple). Results are staggering: +38% brand love, +78% volume lift, +83% media savings.

Integration is also at the level of “Integrated Partnerships”. Coca-Cola partners with all their suppliers on THEIR innovation initiatives. They now operate as a multi-dimensional agency; brokering and bringing together BMW and Coke for example, and make them play in the same Sandbox

Vince was rightfully proud to close his presentation with the reward by Forbes of the iPhone and Coca-Cola listed as the coolest products of the decade. Vince is now in the list of great design thinkers. Checkout this video http://designthinkingmovie.com

The Q&A was fairly interesting as well, and about a theme that I have heard a lot about during this conference. Vince does not really like the term “design thinking”. It was just a term invented by an IDEO guy who wrote about it. In essence the big achievement of design thinking is that it brought together Engineering academics and Business academics to have a conversation and get their act together around “customer driven integrated design”.

I would have loved seeing Vince coming on/off stage with tanned torso, carrying a crate of Coca-Cola on his shoulder, as from a design point of you, he is probably the real Coca-Cola Man 😉

Post originally appeared first on Front-End of Innovation blog

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