‘Glimmer’ – a review

Review of ‘Glimmer’ by Warren Berger – the subject is Design

Just read ‘Glimmer – how design can transform your business, your life, and maybe even the world’ – by Warren Berger.

Main focus of the book  seems to be Bruce Mau and his approach to Design – of his philosophy re Design and its place in the world.

The ‘Glimmer Principles’ are:

Ask Stupid Questions, Jump Fences, make hope visible, Go deep, Work the metaphor, Design what you do. Face consequences. Embrace constraints, Design for emergence and BEGIN ANYWHERE.

The book and the examples are built around these principles.

There are basic entry level introductions to a number of frameworks and concepts e.g. Doblin Inc.’s five phases of a consumer experience: attraction, entry, engagement, exit, extension (pp 134-137).

As someone who has been involved in BPR for many years now I could certainly relate to the principles referenced.  Asking Stupid Questions and Going Deep are critical to any effort.  I think current focus on lean processes in start ups also echoes many of the ket principles, in particular Make Hope Visible and Face Consequences – in the context of maximising learning/ experimentation with the potential users of the solution.

In summary, I found the book more to be an interesting introduction to Mau and a number of other Designers rather than a ‘how to’ type book.  In this sense I found the title a little misleading and the book a little disappointing.  On the positive side the book is a call to action for everyone to put on their Designer Hat – that design is not something limited to a small few creative types.

 

 

 

 

What about those not using social networking?

Twice today I was asked by people who are infrequent or non users of social networking solutions (and blogs) – how do you avoid leaving the non users out?  Or, when you are looking at a restaurant recommendation ot a wine recommendation – how valuable is the recommendation, given it is only based on information supplied by social network users, who may or may not be the best judge of the specific appeal of a restaurant or a bottle of wine for me?

If there are large groups of people who do not participate in social networking what is the impact for me, as a social networker and for them as non users?  Is a new elite being formed?  Even if people arecurrently  joining networks such as facebook in their millions, what about all of those users who cease to use the application some time after their initial registration?

Perhaps it’s a little (more than a little) like people choosing not to use a phone or not to use a mobile phone.  They are being left out, but may feel that overall quality of life is improved (or at least maintained) by not participating in a technology enabled, driven, environment.  And that environment is worse off for their non participation.

I tend to believe that social networking (when enabled by technologies/ standards such as SIOC) will prove to be a medium of communication and/or collaboration that people, for the most part, will need to join.  As the networks begin to work together and integrate the case fo participation will become greater.

It’s not all positive on the social networking side – lots of poor quality communication/ idea sharing/ workload sharing.   But grow it will – and opting out will gradually become less of an option for our citizens.

Increasing the analytic content without killing the message

Great piece by Jim McGee comparing oral v. analytic communications & interactions.

Remindeded me of a client situation – very effective and profitable business, not inclined to commit too much to paper, emphasis on the interpsersonal side.  As a result tended to stay away from formal meetings – lack of structured meetings, agendas, minutes.  But great at doing deals.

I was part of the reasons for introduction of meetings and a general rebalancing between oral and analytic.  I wanted to see more evidence of the analysis – for new deals, new business ventures, new initiatives.  Some of that has been great – in the context of a growing and more complex business.  For a time though some of this proved stifling.

I guess it’s the usual question of balance.  Many of us want the additional structure and analysis (it’s part of our training and our own approach to work).  But we also need the fire, the enthusiasm, the spontaneity – that can only be expressed and felt orally.

Learning from ‘the coach’

Short talk by famous US coach, John Wooden. 

Wooden outlines his own philosophy around teaching and coaching.  Makes it all seem simple and straightforward – and tells it as a good storyteller.  In these days of personal coaches, goal setting, emotional intelligence, Seven Habits…this guy makes a lot of sense.

Brought to my attention by www.twitter.com/missmcj

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom

Today's Irish Times includes detailed reference to 'Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom' – book by Soumitra Dutta and Matthew Fraser of INSEAD.  It's another piece calling Irish business to action in terms of availing of web 2.0 technology.  Companies have lots of employees who are used to using Facebook, Twitter, etc in collaborating in their daily lives – surely it is time to exploit the very real opportunities in Irish corporates?  We all know the benefits and necessity of collaborating – be it family events, school projects, playing team sports, organising school runs.  There is no argument about the merits of collaborating in the workplace – both internally and externally.  We now have technologies which make all of this a great deal easier.  And we have lots of people who want to use them.

The web site associated with the book is an excellent working example of the use of these technologies – incorporating the use of traditional brochure type avertising, a blog for publishing views of the authors (and inviting comment) and a wiki  to encourage collaboration with interested parties across the globe.

Book List: Books read recently

Books read recently

  • Richard Susskind: THE END OF LAWYERS? – Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services

    Discussed future of legal profession – challenges from clients, opportunities/threats arising through development in technology

  • Misha Glenny: The Fall of Yugoslavia

    Describes events in and around breakup of yugoslavia in 1991.

  • Richard Suskind: The Price of Loyalty

    Deals with Paul O'Neill's two years as Treasury Secretary in George W Bush's first term as President. Understandably written from one perspective. Paul O'Neill not a happy camper.

  • Alice Shroeder: The Snowball

    Warren Buffet and the Business of Life

Charles Handy: ‘the new or not-so-new’ economy

Interesting to reread Charles Handy’s excellent book in 2001, ‘the elephant and the flea’, at this time of enterprise 2.0, web 2.0 hype and excitement.  At the time he was commenting on the emerging impact of the internet, the new models, the new opportunities.  He included a chapter ‘the new or not-so-new’ economy’ – and it’s well worth rereading in the current climate of enterprise 2.0/ web 2.0.  The technology does present opportunities and potential changes – but it does not undermine many of the priniples of business and society.