Category: Federico Hernandez-Ruiz

Identidad y la propuesta de nuestras empresas.

Por: Federico Hernández Ruiz

En nuestro entorno y quehacer como empresarios hay una constante que aparece una y otra vez, esta constante es como debe ser la propuesta. Nos referimos a la propuesta de servicio o a la propuesta de producto.

Muchos de nosotros como empresarios definimos un producto o servicio y creemos que lo que sigue es comercializarlo para lo cual están las áreas de mercadotecnia y ventas.

La verdad es que todos comenzamos haciendo una propuesta con lo que tenemos o lo que creemos que debe de ser, esto no es un mal inicio. Es más, es el mejor inicio que hay, solo que este debe estar enriquecido por un halo de duda. A lo que me refiero es, lo que hemos mandado al mercado es una propuesta y como tal puede ser bien solamente recibida, bien recibida o incluso puede ser rechazada. Si concebimos que lo que hicimos fue una propuesta y que estamos reconociendo lo que la gente o el mercado quiere, entonces podremos mejorar o cambiar nuestra propuesta. Y es justo ahí donde muchos nos atoramos. Creemos que lo que proponemos es lo adecuado y que solo debe ser mercadeado o vendido adecuadamente, pero eso no es del todo cierto.

Efectivamente, mercadotecnia nos ayudará muchísimo. Sus técnicas y procesos facilitarán la manera en que nos comunicamos con la gente pero siempre necesitará contar con la clara identidad de la empresa. Si esta identidad tiene oportunidades no atendidas, mercadotecnia y ventas se verán limitadas en sus capacidades para entregar un mensaje claro, contundente y con la fuerza necesaria no solo para entregar, sino para que la gente lo pida.

Les comparto, hacer una propuesta necesita incluir una palabra: “Valor”. Necesitamos hacer una propuesta de valor. En la cual está implícito un beneficio para la persona o entidad que va a usar o consumir el producto o servicio. Así es, nuestra propuesta debe beneficiar a alguien y por supuesto a nosotros también.

En este diálogo que existe entre lo que ofrecemos y entregamos, con quien recibe y usa, es donde muchos perdemos camino o dejamos de ver con claridad hacia dónde vamos. Creemos que si cambiamos nuestra propuesta, dejaremos de beneficiarnos, dejaremos de ser quiénes somos, perderemos nuestra identidad, la razón de ser. Yo les comparto que esto no es así.

La razón es que antes que nada, nuestras empresas y nosotros somos entes sociales y funcionamos en sistemas de convivencia. Nuestro intercambio es eso, un sistema en el que participan diferentes actores o elementos y todos construyen una experiencia que sucede.

Todos vivimos la empresa y sus productos. Al manejar un carro, no solo consideramos la marca, sentimos los asientos, olemos el interior del carro, escuchamos el motor, vemos los accesorios y tocamos las vestiduras, los asientos y el volante; al manejar, escuchamos el sonido de todo el carro en tránsito. En fin, es un sistema que vivimos con la marca y el modelo, sabemos que la identidad y su propuesta es la que nos gusta.

Es por está razón que nuestra propuesta y nuestra identidad están estrechamente relacionadas, necesitan reconocerse en un sistema en el que ante todo hay intercambios. Intercambios de productos y servicios por dinero, pero también hay emociones, relaciones, vivencias, espacios… Es un conjunto de elementos que debe tomarse en cuenta para reconocer con mayor claridad: quiénes somos, cómo participamos, cómo somos percibidos y lo mejor, cómo nos concebimos.

Es un sistema que está vivo y que puede moldearse o cambiarse en el momento que sea necesario.

Esta dinámica de vivencias le sucede tanto a la gran empresa como al micro empresario. Todos participamos y contribuimos en estos sistemas. Todos podemos cambiar y transformarnos para tener una mejor relación con nuestro entorno, para ser más competentes, si así lo queremos ver.

Podemos ser y tener la identidad que decidamos, para hacer la mejor propuesta al mercado. Una propuesta de valor que nos beneficia a todos.

Si reflexionamos sobre nuestra identidad como empresa y recordamos que la identidad se vive y sucede, entonces podemos relacionarla con el cómo queremos que esto suceda. Yo tomo como principio las características que definen ser competente y éstas son:

“Parecer ser, ser y actitud”

Todos conocemos empresas que podríamos colocar en esta definición. Es más, por ella tomamos muchas decisiones para relacionarnos con ella. Nuestras decisiones van desde el coche que usamos, el lugar en el que vivimos, el grupo con el que convivimos, etc. Como personas nos sucede exactamente igual. Convivimos en el sistema y llegamos a acuerdos o principios que nos guían para actuar.

La identidad de una empresa está estrechamente relacionada con su propuesta y es por ésta que podemos ver con claridad si nos propone un beneficio.

A todos nos ha pasado que hemos sentido desconfianza sobre un artículo, un servicio o una persona. Hay algo que no nos gusta. La respuesta está en cómo nos sucede ese contacto, cómo identificamos si nos conviene o no. La razón atrás es que el sistema está actuando y el conjunto de elementos que están participando no entregan un mensaje coherente y congruente. Sencillamente hay algo fuera de lugar. Y no digo que algo esté mal, digo que hay algo fuera de lugar, algo que desentona y que muy posiblemente necesite ajustarse.

Parecer ser, ser y actitud no son características que se dan por creación espontánea, son expresiones de la empresa. La empresa, sus empresarios y colaboradores construyen de manera cotidiana esta identidad.

La identidad por eso no se puede inventar o colocarse, la identidad es una expresión única de cada empresa.

Como dice el dicho: “La mona aunque se vista de seda, mona se queda”, y la empresa no es ajena a este dicho.

Un buen ejemplo del manejo común de la identidad es la de crear un logotipo. Un logotipo puede servir para identificar a la empresa, para que la ubiquen solamente. Pero no llegará a ser una identidad hasta que contenga y represente a ese sistema dinámico que es la empresa. Un logotipo se transformará en identidad hecha marca al contener esa expresión cultural de empresa.

Una identidad puede tener diferentes propuestas, entendiendo propuesta de servicio o producto durante el tiempo. Además es la manera en que interactúa con su entorno. Una identidad es un proceso que nunca termina, que trasciende en el tiempo y contribuye a la construcción de una cultura.

Una identidad implica poder ofrecer un servicio desde el interior de su razón de ser. -Por quien somos, proponemos y resolvemos para tu beneficio, para el beneficio de todos-.

Tener una identidad con una propuesta clara parece sencillo y sí lo es. Lo único que se requiere es disposición para reconocer que participamos en un sistema. En el cual tenemos características únicas por las que hacemos y ofrecemos un producto o servicio. Lo hacemos con una propuesta que corresponde a nosotros, gracias al proceso de reflexión constante, continuo y estructurado que hacemos. Tener identidad y una propuesta significa que hemos diseñado quiénes somos y cómo nos relacionamos.

El secreto está en el diseño. La palabra clave es: “Diseñamos”. Diseñar no es otra cosa que recrear un proceso de reflexión que nos permite cuestionarnos el por qué hacemos lo que hacemos, cómo lo hacemos, para quién lo hacemos, qué esperamos y qué esperan de nuestro producto o servicio. Diseñar no es embellecer, no es acomodar para que se vea bien. Diseñar implica observar, reconocer, crear ideas, hipótesis, probar y experimentar.

Diseñar nos invita a instalar un proceso continuo de reflexión, capaz de alimentar a la empresa y expresarse en todas las áreas, incluyendo la manera en que se entregan o se brindan servicios. Identidad y propuesta requieren ser definidos por diseñadores. Si eres empresario, este es el momento de comenzar a diseñar tu empresa, sus productos y servicios. Con ello podrás contar con una de los capitales más grandes que una empresa puede tener: el ser querida, deseada o admirada.

Podrás lograr con tu empresa ser la razón por la que muchas personas conducen sus vidas, ser un contribuyente de valores y riqueza en la sociedad. Con tu aportación, la sociedad entera te retribuirá con lealtad y con sentido de pertenencia. La gente adentro y afuera de la empresa se sentirá orgullosa de pertenecer a ella, a tu empresa.

Ahora sí, si en tus planes está darle identidad a tu empresa y crear una propuesta, acompáñate de los diseñadores adecuados como lo son los consultores de la comisión de Consultores de Coparmex en Querétaro. Más de uno podrá acompañarte, pero sobre todo, podrás liberarte de los mitos que te detienen.

Si decides contratar a un diseñador para crear una imagen que te identifique, cuida que no sea solo un embellecedor o creador de disfraces. Con él o sin él, saldrá a relucir la verdadera identidad de quién eres y cómo es tu empresa.

D.G. Federico Hernández RuizSocio fundador y Consultor en Identidad estratégica en asimetagraf y representante para la CGTFL en México de Duraznos, Nectarinas y Ciruelas California

Como consultor se destaca en la creación de sistemas de identidad especializado en productos de consumos. Su trayectoria cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia y ha colabora desde grandes transnacionales hasta pequeñas y micro empresas. Algunas de éstas son: Kellogg’s, Heinz, La Perla, Grupo Pando, entre otros.

Actualmente representa a la California Grape and Tree Fruit League “CGTFL” para la promoción de duraznos, nectarinas y ciruelas California en México. https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDNC

Para conocer más de asimetagraf y su propuesta, favor de entrar a: http://www.asimetagraf.com

Para contactar a Federico y conocer más sobre su trayectoria, entrar a: http://www.linkedin.com/in/federicohernandezruiz

Andy Budd explains why every startup should hire at least one senior designer as soon as possible – The Next Web

Andy Budd explains why every startup should hire at least one senior designer as soon as possible

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Any emerging startup with a bold, innovative product can be held back by a lack of attention or focus on design.

Andy Budd is a UX designer and CEO of Clearleft, a digital design agency based in Brighton, England. He took to the stage at The Next Web Conference today to deliver a keynote on the importance of design and how technology companies should position these creative minds at the center of the product.

So why isn’t every startup doing this already? The problem centers on money and the pressure to build a product with as few people as possible.

“The difficulty is that you can create a startup with just a technical team and no designer,” Budd said. “But it’s very difficult to start the other way around, unless you’re creating physical design products.”

He suggests that startups hire “a few really good designers” at an early stage to set the initial vision and groundwork, as this will attract better talent down the line.

“Designers want to work on products and in companies where they think there’s a big design culture,” he added. “So if you don’t have any of the designers in your organisation, or you don’t have a really senior designer, that spells a warning sign.”

Startups can also struggle to hire high-quality designers because their company website looks sub-par or is misrepresentative of the company ethos and vision.

“You would think that was a really attractive proposition because they (designers) get to change a lot of stuff, but it also often backfires,” he said. “If the website looks terrible, that’s usually an indication that the company doesn’t care about design. And if the company doesn’t care about design, why would you join it?”

TNW caught up with Andy Budd after his speech to discuss the importance of design, the lack of user experience designers in the UK and much, much more.

Keep up with all our #TNW2013 coverage

Image Credit: Julia Deboer/Flickr

Integrative Thinking, Feeling, and Being

Viewpoints Integrative Thinking, Feeling, and Being

By Tonya M. Peck, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Tonya Peck At DMI’s June, 2010 event in San Francisco, “Re-Thinking the Future of Design,” Darrell Rhea and Roger Martin continued their conversation from 2009 exploring Integrative Thinking and its sibling Design Thinking. It was an alluring conversation, surely: if we just “think different” we could finally solve the myriad complex and systemic issues currently confounding corporations and communities. Roger’s book, The Opposable Mind, offers us his four-step process for Integrative Thinking. Richard Florida, Roger’s colleague at the Rotman School of Management, paints a related and irresistible picture of urban renewal and recovery achieved by attracting “high bohemians” (the very people predisposed to integrative thinking). And Dan Pink has popularized the notion that right-brained creatives would soon remake the world into a better place. Under-employed left-handed architects, your time has come! Certainly, integrative thinking and design thinking hold a lot of promise. But will these methods lead us to the effective solutions our corporate and community sponsors require, and the authentic connections with customers we hope to create? And will we realize a future of design that includes the increased impact we seek? I believe the answer is “Yes, yes, and…” Yes, these methods can be effective. Yes, they can drive impact. And they could drive more impact if we apply the behaviors that they require to ourselves and not just to external problems and research subjects. It’s not sufficient to think different, we must be different by demonstrating compassion, curiosity, openness, a comfort with ambiguity, and an unconditional positive regard for our experiences with one another. Let me demonstrate this reasoning using Roger’s four-step process.

1. Salience In the last decade, design as a function, an awareness, a differentiator, and a strategy, has grown from niche and premium markets to the mainstream, the classroom, and the boardroom. Yet scenarios like the following remain all too common. Imagine you’re in a review meeting presenting concepts for a new hand-held consumer device experience. You’ve pursued your work with the utmost fidelity to the principles of Integrative Thinking. You’ve guided your design team through the ambiguity of the diverge/converge cycle, helped them remain curious and empathetic towards their research subjects, and now you’ve pulled together your concepts and scenarios into a pitch. Around the table your colleagues from marketing and finance sit, including a few in possession of hybrid design/MBA degrees. You notice a few behaviors in the room that drive up your anxiety. One colleague has their head in their laptop triaging email. Another flips quickly through your artifacts quickly before quizzing you on basic principles. A third wants to jump to the question, “how much will it cost?” Your stomach flutters, your heart-beat races. You never get to present the customer personas on which your team iterated so hard. You feel yourself losing traction in the room. What’s happening here, and how do you handle it? More importantly, have you been trained to handle an experience like this? Do you and your colleagues around the table have a common language and skillset for pausing and parsing this experience in the moment? Are you able to detect, differentiate, and articulate the thoughts in your mind from the feelings in your body? Can you sense the reptilian urge within yourself to fight or flee while at the same time, feel sufficient empathy for and curiosity about your colleagues? In short, do you have what it takes to direct this potential conflict into an opportunity for collaboration and learning? And, to raise the stakes even higher, could you do so if these colleagues were not internal colleagues, but clients instead?

2. Causality This scenario strikes at the heart of the challenge many design groups face when shepherding their ideas to market. It may not be our designs, or the method by which we develop them, that fails. It may be our behaviors, because we’re under-equipped to navigate the group dynamics that emerge when diverse mindsets meet. We don’t own this challenge exclusively, but as designers, I believe we experience it acutely because our work, our role, our very way of being, is often that of the change agent. In the decade it took for the influence of “think different” to grow from an inspiring Apple ad campaign into a multitude of mainstream MBA programs and BusinessWeek articles, three parallel developments emerged in science and society. Let’s diverge for a moment to explore them. First, brain research has revealed that our limbic brains, the middle portion of the brain that regulates our internal state, also regulates and is regulated by other limbic brains. Like computers, we are more powerful when connected, and less so when that connection is weak or breaks. Research by Daniel Siegel has demonstrated the impact of early childhood on our ability to connect. The very organ we expect to perform design and integrative thinking grows from birth in response to the forces of feelings and connections with those around us. Children raised in unconditionally loving and supportive environments are more likely to grow up into adults with healthy limbic brains capable of curiosity, emotional resilience, empathy, and adaptability; traits necessary to manifest the behaviors of integrative thinking. Second, our awareness and acceptance of diversity, not just of thinking different but of being different, has evolved in the last decade. What we once defined as a list of demographic descriptors that influence human resources and hiring practices (what I call ‘little d’) has grown to include our rich variations in perceptual, cognitive, learning, communication, behavioral, and conflict management styles. Taken together, it’s these diversity factors (what I call ‘big D’) that likely have a more significant impact than ‘little d’ on the experiences we have with others, on the effectiveness of our teams, and on the level of innovation we can deliver for our customers. Third, the dynamic that has emerged since the late 1990’s is the acceptance that emotional intelligence (EQ) becomes a more significant factor in leadership effectiveness and career success the higher one advances. Cary Cherniss’ paper “The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence” (Rutgers University) offers numerous case examples from industry and the military in which positive organizational improvements occurred after hiring and promotion practices began filtering for the various competencies of EQ. The technical skills that once differentiated us as a field have become, like many other fields, common. And what we previously dismissed as ‘soft skills’ we now understand to be the harder, and more necessary, skills to practice. I believe these developments hold important information for us as a field. How can we hope to create emotionally resonant products, services, and experiences for customers if we struggle to connect with each other? It’s not enough to adopt or promote a different way of thinking, whether design, integrative, critical, contemplative, or otherwise. We must leverage our role as change agents by bringing our full self, both our thoughts and our feelings, into the room in service of connecting with our colleague’s limbic brain to limbic brain. This requires that we apply the behaviors of compassion, empathy, curiosity, iterative learning, and unconditional positive regard to ourselves, our colleagues, and our experience of each other in the moment. If you were the design manager in the pitch meeting scenario above, you might feel drawn down the easier path of caving in to cost questions and crunching another spreadsheet. The harder path would require marking the behaviors you observe in the room, sharing their impact on you, and inquiring positively into whether that impact is what your colleagues intended.

3. Sequencing So where to begin? How do we equip ourselves to take the harder path in the pitch meeting scenario? What does it take? In a conversation with John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, he suggested we must discard the archetype of the designer-as-supplicant in favor of the designer-as-leader. But how? I’ve been exploring leadership behaviors in the design field since joining Microsoft in 2002. Back then, the corporate environment was aggressively left-brained, and the whole community of designers fit into a single large meeting hall. Our collective narrative about life in the company often touched on themes of feeling “undervalued,” “lacking a seat at the table,” and “only called in at the last minute to make the product pretty.” I observed myself and my peers becoming risk-averse when conflict emerged, and we probably missed a few creative opportunities along the way as a result. In truth, I failed the pitch meeting scenario myself a few times before recognizing I had to develop my leadership skills in order to succeed. And after several years advocating we do so as a community, I was offered the chance to give it a try. In 2007 I began creating Microsoft’s first leadership development program for user-experience designers and researchers (UXLP). I condensed topics and techniques from my own graduate studies in applied behavioral science (a form of organizational development) into an eight-month long experiential learning program. I asked managers to sponsor participants they perceived to have emerging leadership qualities. We launched the program in January of 2008 with 18 attendees at an intensive three-day off-site based on Kurt Lewin’s T-Group method. We taught them the core skills of differentiating, articulating, and inquiring into their thoughts, assumptions, wants, feelings, and intentions. We taught them how to observe the unfolding group process from a systems perspective, how to track their own reaction patterns, and how to broaden their range of response flexibility. In our subsequent one- and two-day sessions each month we returned to the T-Group format and layered in additional core concepts from the field of organizational development. We reinforced the core concepts via project-based learning, with attendees working in sub-teams on ways to strengthen Microsoft’s design community. And we encouraged participants’ managers to attend key sessions so they too could practice skills like giving and receiving behaviorally-specific feedback in the safety of our “learning lab.” At the graduation ceremony, several managers shared their experience of participants’ increased leadership effectiveness over the course of the program. And several participants reported the impact the program had on their effectiveness in their wider lives outside work. We’re now ramping up our third class of UXLP participants, and the response continues to be very positive. Recent attendee feedback includes: “I learned a lot about how I react to certain behaviors, and how others react to mine.” “I believe in the value of open communication. But in this program I really learned how conflict can signal an opportunity for learning, and how the specific behavioral choices I make can either close down communication, or open it up for that learning to emerge.” “My experience in this program has taught me that we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their behaviors. This paradox of team life makes it incumbent upon me, when I’m confused or activated by their behavior, to check my assumptions about their intentions.” Many UXLP participants have also expressed frustration about “why wasn’t I taught these skills in school?” As I’ve begun sharing the UXLP story with academic design programs, I’ve heard similar reactions among the students. While addressing a recent class at the University of Washington, one graduate student made the connection between leadership development and his career prospects. “An employer is going to expect me to lead like this,” he said. “If I walk in with just my Masters-level technical design skills, I feel underequipped.” 4. Resolution Tim Brown, President of IDEO, describes Design Thinking as “not only-human centered” but as “deeply human in and of itself.” In this light, the true gift that Design Thinking and Integrative Thinking have brought us is not some innovative thinking methods, but in the shared vocabulary and causal wisdom we now have to use with each other. Similarly, the “way of being” I’m suggesting we adopt here, bringing our thoughts and feelings into the work of design, is not new. Carl Rogers first described it in his 1961 book On Becoming a Person, and his student Roger Carkhuff expanded on several of the practicable skills required to manifest it. Peter Block, during his keynote address at the annual OD Network Conference 2009 in Seattle, defined the work of organizational development as “restoring humanity to the places that have so de-humanized us in pursuit of process, performance, and profit.” As a designer, this resonates for me as well. And I believe it’s in this direction that we, as individual designers and as a field, must grow in the future.

Biography: Tonya M. Peck has, for over 20 years, focused on building and leading effective product design and development teams in the US, Europe, and Asia. Last year she shifted her professional focus to the organizational development of product teams, and recently delivered the largest learning program in the history of Microsoft’s Windows division. She is eager to hear from other members of the DMI community exploring similar ideas, and can be reached via tonyap@microsoft.com.

This article appeared in the September 2010 edition of the DMI News & Views.

Copyright © 2010 Design Management Institute All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the copyright holder.

Feedback on DMI Viewpoints and article proposals are always welcome! Please email jtobin(at)dmi.org

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Shared ’cause I do care 4
Federico Hernandez-Ruiz

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
  •  
    1. Allow events to change you.
      You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them. 
    2. Forget about good.
      Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth. 
    3. Process is more important than outcome.
      When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there. 
    4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
      Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day. 
    5. Go deep.
      The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value. 
    6. Capture accidents.
      The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions. 
    7. Study.
      A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit. 
    8. Drift.
      Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism. 
    9. Begin anywhere.
      John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere. 
    10. Everyone is a leader.
      Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead. 
    11. Harvest ideas.
      Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications. 
    12. Keep moving.
      The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice. 
    13. Slow down.
      Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves. 
    14. Don’t be cool.
      Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort. 
    15. Ask stupid questions.
      Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant. 
    16. Collaborate.
      The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential. 
    17. ____________________.
      Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others. 
    18. Stay up late.
      Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world. 
    19. Work the metaphor.
      Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for. 
    20. Be careful to take risks.
      Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future. 
    21. Repeat yourself.
      If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again. 
    22. Make your own tools.
      Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference. 
    23. Stand on someone’s shoulders.
      You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better. 
    24. Avoid software.
      The problem with software is that everyone has it. 
    25. Don’t clean your desk.
      You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight. 
    26. Don’t enter awards competitions.
      Just don’t. It’s not good for you. 
    27. Read only left-hand pages.
      Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.” 
    28. Make new words.
      Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions. 
    29. Think with your mind.
      Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent. 
    30. Organization = Liberty.
      Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artifact of the past.’ 
    31. Don’t borrow money.
      Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed. 
    32. Listen carefully.
      Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same. 
    33. Take field trips.
      The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment. 
    34. Make mistakes faster.
      This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove. 
    35. Imitate.
      Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique. 
    36. Scat.
      When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words. 
    37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.
    38. Explore the other edge.
      Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential. 
    39. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.
      Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations. 
    40. Avoid fields.
      Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields. 
    41. Laugh.
      People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves. 
    42. Remember.
      Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself. 
    43. Power to the people.
      Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.

I share it, because I do care 4.

Federico

Self crafted fonts

Best, Federico