Tweak It, Use It, Share It: Volume 2
June 2018 Email Newsletter
This week I've been reflecting on the idea that "Everything You Make Is An Engine," a sentiment I share completely. The majority of my career has taken place in a small office or cube (or in my car). The audience for my contributions has always been very, very small--often n of 1. I share my observations via platforms like social media and this newsletter in an effort to amplify, hoping that what I say and do affects those with whom I interact meaningfully.
A majority of my paid work over the last 13 years has involved sourcing secondary research. There's not much I can't find with long-tail search on the Internet. And, I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to stop paying attention to topics even after I've rolled off the project. However, most of my work is proprietary, which inhibits my ability to showcase it. Several years ago, I began to accrue secondary source material on list.ly. I have also embedded these lists on my website under subject matter expertise. This way, I can demonstrate specific thought leadership and I can revisit these links when new speaking opportunities arise.
Several months ago, I attended a class on tarot card reading just for fun. As the other beginners and I were taking turns evaluating everyone's past/present/future cards, I was struck by two things:
- All six people at my table shared common observations.
- Each beginner also shared unique observations.
The experience inspired me to begin developing a set of activities designed to elicit desired attributes for employee/community engagement and brand development (and gave me an excuse to purchase this beautiful set of cards). I thought I was pretty clever until I discovered this brilliant work from IDEO. I'm chalking that up to great minds and also using this story to exemplify what I mean when I tell, students especially, that if you are open to it, connections and innovative ideas are everywhere.
"[A] shared vocabulary [helps] designers move beyond binary sentiments of what is 'working' and 'not working,' to a more honest and nuanced discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the work."
- Encourage the truth by phrasing your question so that it is easy for people to respond in the affirmative. This is useful if you're anticipating the person might lie. For example, if you think a supplier is going to miss a delivery date, you'd ask, "So, it looks like you're going to miss the deadline?" versus "You're going to be on time, right?"
- Your line of questioning depends upon your objective. If your goal is to establish a relationship, then a gradually-deepening discussion format makes sense. However, if you're looking to elicit information, opening with an evocative inquiry can prove more efficient.
- Consider and prepare for the questions you hope no one asks. And, since we can't always be prepared for every eventuality, consider using deflecting questions, humor, or admitting you don't know, which creates a potentially valuable follow-up opportunity.
A final note on questioning, lately I've been developing and collaborating on more quantitative research, so I am appreciating this resource for my team's use.
On June 14th, I have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with both Susannah Fox and Dr. Joyce Lee on a TechTown Detroit event. As part of our pre-event promotion, we're experimenting by seeding Twitter with #MedHealthInnovation case studies that exemplify cross-sector collaboration. Dr. Joyce Lee is curating a related Twitter moment. Please feel free to join in or follow along--especially if you have any interest in industry disruption, product/service design and development, or building innovation pipelines. Use the hashtags: #MedHealthInnovation and #CaseStudy to be included.
As always, thank you for reading. Please share your thoughts and any suggestions for improvement. If you implement one of the ideas you found here, I'd be thrilled if you reported back your outcomes!