Effective, innovative design isn’t only defined by creating products that work for customers. It also requires time to share knowledge with others in our field and a willingness to educate the next generation of budding designers.
The Modernist Studio team does this a number of ways:
- By teaching a diversified course load at the Austin Center for Design (AC4D)
- Offering custom corporate education and corporate design training to teams across a variety of industries
- Offering low-cost online learning tools in Product Management and Service Design fundamentals
- Networking with design thought leaders at events throughout the year
Among these events was the 2019 DesignUp conference, held in Bangalore, India, November 12—16, 2019.
In the spirit of knowledge-sharing, Partner Jon Kolko was a featured speaker, leading discussions on innovation, design strategy and shaping a creative culture in the workplace.
Listed below is more information about each of Jon’s conference sessions:
Thursday, November 14 from 9:30am—1pm
In the early stages of innovation, there is often very little evidence to prove the potential success of an emerging product or service. Instead, we often rely on the loudest voice in the room—a shrewd political navigator—to build or force the internal momentum needed to get an idea to market.
“Selling-in” innovation is about creating and delivering persuasive arguments. It is about telling stories that win the hearts and minds of internal stakeholders and building artifacts that allow them to see, and then advocate for, the vision on your behalf.
In this masterclass, I’ll teach an approach to building persuasive arguments and artifacts that can applied to any product or service innovation. Participants will see examples of how this has been done in Fortune 500 companies.
The masterclass contains the following components:
- Introduction to Design Strategy: Design strategy is a way of exploring an organizational design problem through a customer and user-centric perspective, grounded in pillars of experience, emotional insight, and value-based narrative. Participants will learn about the fundamentals of design strategy, focused both on theory and practice, through a case study.
- Moving from Data to Themes to Insights: Customer and user-centric design begins with ethnographic research, but the research itself does not describe value. Through a process of synthesis, participants will learn to move from data to themes, and ultimately, to value-based insights that describe a new value proposition.
- Sketching Vignettes and Storyboards of Value: Narrative is one of the most effective ways to help someone see, understand, and believe in a new idea and a new future. Participants will learn to draw a specific style of visualization that brings a new idea to life and communicates the most essential parts of that idea – the human value it provides.
- Crafting a Persuasive Story of the Future: The most important part of selling-in innovation is helping other people believe in the value of a new strategy. Participants will learn how to leverage data, themes, insights, and sketches to convince people to follow them in a particular direction.
- Reflection: The process of selling-in innovation introduces several unique organizational challenges. The group will discuss some of the difficulties implicit in this process, and identify ways to address these challenges.
Additionally, Jon lead a discussion on instilling creativity in the workplace:
Instilling a Creative Culture
Friday, November 15 from 9:30—10am
Creativity is the key to addressing ill-formed business threats and putting shape around poorly defined market opportunities. But bringing creativity into your company feels like adding to the mess, not fixing it. Creative processes feel wild and unpredictable—and so do the people doing the creative work. We hire creative talent, but we don’t have a lot of frameworks for helping them succeed.
During this talk, I’ll share a playbook for achieving creative clarity: for managing creative teams, honing a creative process, and designing a strategic creative vision. Participants will learn how to inspire and manage a unique style of employee, how to structure a repeatable process for addressing an ill-defined problem, and for developing a north-star to guide a company towards creative success.
For more information about DesignUp 2019, visit the conference’s website here.was