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9 2 5 D E S I G N P R O U D L Y P R E S E N T S : 
Time of experimentation 
has begun 
9 2 5 D E S I G N
In 2011 we started a project called 
Redesigning the work week, in which we explored 
how design thinking could be utilized to build a better 
working life. Our goal was to help people 
accomplish more and get less tired. 
R E D E S I G N I N G T H E W O R K W E E K
The issues were similar everywhere: 
People are busy, work is scattered 
and energy levels are low. 
W O R K I N G L I F E I S S U E S
Based on the project results we created a model for a good working 
culture, which we call the 925 Diamond. 
I understand, how my work 
supports company goals 
Meaning 
Ways of 
Working 
Roles Joy 
I know what is expected of me We have fun at work 
Life 
9 2 5 D I A M O N D 
We work smartly 
I feel well
Having worked with tens of different-sized companies 
to increase energy and productivity, we noticed that 
sustainable competitiveness requires also a third element - 
creativity, the will to do things differently, better. 
And many organizations were wondering how to increase it. 
C R E A T I V I T Y A N D C O M P E T I T I V E N E S S
This is why in spring 2014 we decided to do a new study. We wanted to find 
out, how a creative and productive organizational culture is built. 
Over a 1000 people from different-sized companies participated. 
C R E A T I V E O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L C U L T U R E R E S E A R C H
What did we find out?
View on creativity 
Creativity is seen as everyday activities that 
belong to everyone. Almost every single person 
sees themselves as creative. 
Most of the people feel that creativity should 
play a central role in their company. 
V I E W O N C R E A T I V I T Y 
13% 
87% 
I consider myself creative.
“Creativity means the ability to look things in many different ways 
- to not stay put.” 
V I E W O N C R E A T I V I T Y
But… 
Ideas are almost always said aloud, but 
unfortunately often nothing happens to them. 
People feel that they are left alone with their 
ideas and that’s where the implementation 
stops. 
Brave ideas are still taken with caution. 
Ambitiousness is still a foreign concept to most. 
P R O C E S S I N G I D E A S 
60% 
40% 
Brave ideas are welcomed 
without prejudice.
”The advancement of ideas is hindered by stiff processes as well as 
”none of my business" and ”it’s never going to work out anyway" - 
attitudes.” 
P R O C E S S I N G I D E A S
T H E L I F E O F A N I D E A 
The life of an idea 
If I have an idea, I 
usually tell it to 
others 
I get fast 
feedback 
to my ideas 
If I say my idea 
out loud, I know 
what is going to 
happen with it 
We implement 
ideas 
quickly 
Brave experiments 
are received 
without prejudice 
91% 
60% 
51% 
46% 
40%
Biggest obstacles 
It seems that instead of lack of money 
experimentation of new things seems to be 
hindered above all by fear of failure and 
busyness. 
Organizations need a more curious attitude 
towards new things and a permission to use 
time to experiment new things. 
O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L C U L T U R E 
52% 48% 
Failure is not a 
problem for us.
”It would help build a creative organizational culture if we could forget 
the fear of failure and the eternal ”have to get it right the first time”- 
thinking” 
O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L C U L T U R E
What is the central issue?
The central issue seems to be, that people consider 
themselves creative but ideas don’t progress. 
Problems are dwelled upon, 
but nobody takes action. 
C E N T R A L I S S U E
What could be done about it?
We believe that the solution is a culture of experimentation. 
T H E S O L U T I O N
We have developed the #creativity–model, 
which explains briefly, what creativity is about, 
what are its biggest obstacles 
and how they can be solved. 
# C R E A T I V I T Y
# C R E A T I V I T Y
Creativity consists of four areas. 
# C R E A T I V I T Y
A B I L I T Y T O S E E
Ability to see 
It is impossible to do things 
differently, if nobody recognizes the 
problems or opportunities and finds 
solutions to them. This is challenging 
for the human mind because we 
easily get in a rut and start to repeat 
ourselves. 
Are issues identified regularly in 
# C R E A T I V I T Y 
your company and 
do you say them aloud?
W I L L I N G N E S S T O D O
Willingness to do 
However seeing is useless if it doesn’t 
lead to doing. But doing differently is 
scary and arduous. That’s why 
repeating yourself is such a tempting 
option. 
# C R E A T I V I T Y 
If somebody figures out 
a new better way 
of doing things, 
do you try it out?
A L I T T L E B E T T E R
A little better 
When you want to do things 
differently, a little better is a tempting 
option. This is called incremental 
improvement. There are several 
approaches in the world for this 
(lean, agile, hacking, etc.). 
# C R E A T I V I T Y 
Does your company have 
a culture of 
continuous improvement?
A L O T B E T T E R
A lot better 
Sometimes it’s worth trying to do 
things a lot better. This refers to 
disruptive or out of the bow thinking. 
But the more differently we think, the 
scarier it gets. 
# C R E A T I V I T Y 
Do people in your company 
have the courage to 
think really boldly?
T W O G A P S
Based on our observations and research there seem to be 
two central issues in creativity: we are not very good 
at moving from ideas to actions and we use a huge amount 
of time to figure out, what is a small and what is a big idea. 
T W O G A P S
C U L T U R E O F 
E X P E R I M E N T A T I O N
So what is a culture of experimentation about? 
It’s about moving more quickly from seeing to doing and 
instead of deciding beforehand whether an idea is big or small, 
we start testing it through experimentation and observe 
its development along the way. 
C U L T U R E O F E X P E R I M E N T A T I O N
The core of creativity is the will to do things differently, better. 
Creativity is not a characteristic, it’s a way of acting. 
D E F I N I T I O N O F C R E A T I V I T Y
How could we promote a culture of 
experimentation in practice?
Give everyone the 
permission to be 
creative
Building a genuinely creative organizational culture requires deep 
changes in the ways of thinking and acting that encompass all 
levels of the organization. 
Creativity is not a privilege of ”creative departments” or 
management. The will to do things differently, better should be 
visibly in all actions: how the cleaning lady comes up with a new 
way to mop the floors faster, how accounting develops a smarter 
way to reimburse traveling expenses or how the board innovates a 
more effective way to carry out their meetings. 
P E R M I S S I O N T O B E C R E A T I V E
Let’s remove 
obstacles to 
creativity
Nothing is more frustrating then having a lot of great ideas that are 
impossible to implement because it requires such a complicated 
and multi-phased process within the organization. 
The key to increasing creativity is removing its obstacles. 
This means reducing bureaucracy and making it easier 
to test ideas. 
R E M O V I N G O B S T A C L E S T O C R E A T I V I T Y
Let’s create 
a fruitful 
environment 
to creativity
A culture of experimentation requires that people have the 
courage to try out new things. 
A leader’s task is to create an environment where it’s safe 
to take risks and where failure is not punished. 
The leader encourages people to experiment and 
gives positive feedback about trying - 
regardless of the results. 
L E A D I N G C R E A T I V I T Y
Let’s increase 
autonomy 
on every level 
of the organization
Experimenting calls for the freedom to progress your idea 
in the best suitable way. 
People should have the possibility to decide how to implement 
their idea - within certain time and budget frames. 
Strict controlling and steering groups are forbidden. 
I N C R E A S I N G A U T O N O M Y
Let’s give people 
the permission 
not to know
None of us can actually predict, which ideas will work in practice 
and which will become a huge innovation. 
Instead of trying to present fancy, made-up arguments to support 
our ideas, let’s give people the permission to say: 
”I don’t know yet whether this idea will work.” 
And then send them to test it in practice. 
P E R M I S S I O N N O T T O K N O W
Let’s question 
things 
in a healthy way
Let’s relate to things with an attitude of a three-year-old 
but grown-up’s resources. Questioning things in a healthy way. 
F O R E X A M P L E : 
Why do we have to have meetings? 
Who decided that we should call them meetings? 
Why do we have to sit in them? 
Why do they always last an hour? 
Q U E S T I O N I N G
Let’s encourage 
people 
to think 
ambitiously
Many companies are using the so-called 10x thinking which has 
a simple core idea: Always when you have an idea, take another 
moment and multiply it by ten. 
If you multiply by two, it’s a minor change. 
If you multiply by 100, it’s a joke. 
But if you multiply by ten instead, you automatically have to think 
outside the box, but in a way that’s natural for the mind. 
A M B I T I O U S T H I N K I N G
2 0 M O D E L
The 20 model that we have developed offers a concrete way of testing 
new ideas, regardless of whether they are big or small. 
Instead of evaluating ideas on a theoretical level, the 20 model 
helps us to grasp things in practice. 
2 0 M O D E L
2 0 S E C O N D S 
The inventor of the idea needs 20 seconds of 
courage to say the idea out loud 
2 0 S E C O N D S
2 0 M I N U T E S 
The receiver of the idea should give feedback 
within 20 minutes. 
2 0 M I N U T E S
2 0 H O U R S 
The inventor of the idea makes a simple action plan 
on how the idea could be tested in practice. 
2 0 H O U R S
2 0 D A Y S 
If the action plan is accepted, a 20-day project is 
created to test the idea in practice. 
2 0 D A Y S
2 0 W E E K S 
If the idea still seems to work after the 20-day 
project, a more ambitious action plan is done and 
the project is continued for another 20 weeks. 
2 0 W E E K S
An experiment is always successful 
If an idea works on some level, it gives everyone more energy 
and courage to do new experiments. 
And if it doesn’t work, the knowledge is still useful and it’s easier 
for the inventor of the idea to accept that the idea is buried. 
That’s why an experiment is always successful. Even when it 
doesn’t work. 
2 0 M O D E L
Are you ready 
to experiment?
Want to experiment together? 
Contact us. 
Pekka Pohjakallio 
pekka@925design.fi

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925 Design - Time of experimentation has begun

  • 1. 9 2 5 D E S I G N P R O U D L Y P R E S E N T S : Time of experimentation has begun 9 2 5 D E S I G N
  • 2. In 2011 we started a project called Redesigning the work week, in which we explored how design thinking could be utilized to build a better working life. Our goal was to help people accomplish more and get less tired. R E D E S I G N I N G T H E W O R K W E E K
  • 3. The issues were similar everywhere: People are busy, work is scattered and energy levels are low. W O R K I N G L I F E I S S U E S
  • 4. Based on the project results we created a model for a good working culture, which we call the 925 Diamond. I understand, how my work supports company goals Meaning Ways of Working Roles Joy I know what is expected of me We have fun at work Life 9 2 5 D I A M O N D We work smartly I feel well
  • 5. Having worked with tens of different-sized companies to increase energy and productivity, we noticed that sustainable competitiveness requires also a third element - creativity, the will to do things differently, better. And many organizations were wondering how to increase it. C R E A T I V I T Y A N D C O M P E T I T I V E N E S S
  • 6. This is why in spring 2014 we decided to do a new study. We wanted to find out, how a creative and productive organizational culture is built. Over a 1000 people from different-sized companies participated. C R E A T I V E O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L C U L T U R E R E S E A R C H
  • 7. What did we find out?
  • 8. View on creativity Creativity is seen as everyday activities that belong to everyone. Almost every single person sees themselves as creative. Most of the people feel that creativity should play a central role in their company. V I E W O N C R E A T I V I T Y 13% 87% I consider myself creative.
  • 9. “Creativity means the ability to look things in many different ways - to not stay put.” V I E W O N C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 10. But… Ideas are almost always said aloud, but unfortunately often nothing happens to them. People feel that they are left alone with their ideas and that’s where the implementation stops. Brave ideas are still taken with caution. Ambitiousness is still a foreign concept to most. P R O C E S S I N G I D E A S 60% 40% Brave ideas are welcomed without prejudice.
  • 11. ”The advancement of ideas is hindered by stiff processes as well as ”none of my business" and ”it’s never going to work out anyway" - attitudes.” P R O C E S S I N G I D E A S
  • 12. T H E L I F E O F A N I D E A The life of an idea If I have an idea, I usually tell it to others I get fast feedback to my ideas If I say my idea out loud, I know what is going to happen with it We implement ideas quickly Brave experiments are received without prejudice 91% 60% 51% 46% 40%
  • 13. Biggest obstacles It seems that instead of lack of money experimentation of new things seems to be hindered above all by fear of failure and busyness. Organizations need a more curious attitude towards new things and a permission to use time to experiment new things. O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L C U L T U R E 52% 48% Failure is not a problem for us.
  • 14. ”It would help build a creative organizational culture if we could forget the fear of failure and the eternal ”have to get it right the first time”- thinking” O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L C U L T U R E
  • 15. What is the central issue?
  • 16. The central issue seems to be, that people consider themselves creative but ideas don’t progress. Problems are dwelled upon, but nobody takes action. C E N T R A L I S S U E
  • 17. What could be done about it?
  • 18. We believe that the solution is a culture of experimentation. T H E S O L U T I O N
  • 19. We have developed the #creativity–model, which explains briefly, what creativity is about, what are its biggest obstacles and how they can be solved. # C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 20. # C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 21. Creativity consists of four areas. # C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 22. A B I L I T Y T O S E E
  • 23. Ability to see It is impossible to do things differently, if nobody recognizes the problems or opportunities and finds solutions to them. This is challenging for the human mind because we easily get in a rut and start to repeat ourselves. Are issues identified regularly in # C R E A T I V I T Y your company and do you say them aloud?
  • 24. W I L L I N G N E S S T O D O
  • 25. Willingness to do However seeing is useless if it doesn’t lead to doing. But doing differently is scary and arduous. That’s why repeating yourself is such a tempting option. # C R E A T I V I T Y If somebody figures out a new better way of doing things, do you try it out?
  • 26. A L I T T L E B E T T E R
  • 27. A little better When you want to do things differently, a little better is a tempting option. This is called incremental improvement. There are several approaches in the world for this (lean, agile, hacking, etc.). # C R E A T I V I T Y Does your company have a culture of continuous improvement?
  • 28. A L O T B E T T E R
  • 29. A lot better Sometimes it’s worth trying to do things a lot better. This refers to disruptive or out of the bow thinking. But the more differently we think, the scarier it gets. # C R E A T I V I T Y Do people in your company have the courage to think really boldly?
  • 30. T W O G A P S
  • 31. Based on our observations and research there seem to be two central issues in creativity: we are not very good at moving from ideas to actions and we use a huge amount of time to figure out, what is a small and what is a big idea. T W O G A P S
  • 32. C U L T U R E O F E X P E R I M E N T A T I O N
  • 33. So what is a culture of experimentation about? It’s about moving more quickly from seeing to doing and instead of deciding beforehand whether an idea is big or small, we start testing it through experimentation and observe its development along the way. C U L T U R E O F E X P E R I M E N T A T I O N
  • 34. The core of creativity is the will to do things differently, better. Creativity is not a characteristic, it’s a way of acting. D E F I N I T I O N O F C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 35. How could we promote a culture of experimentation in practice?
  • 36. Give everyone the permission to be creative
  • 37. Building a genuinely creative organizational culture requires deep changes in the ways of thinking and acting that encompass all levels of the organization. Creativity is not a privilege of ”creative departments” or management. The will to do things differently, better should be visibly in all actions: how the cleaning lady comes up with a new way to mop the floors faster, how accounting develops a smarter way to reimburse traveling expenses or how the board innovates a more effective way to carry out their meetings. P E R M I S S I O N T O B E C R E A T I V E
  • 38. Let’s remove obstacles to creativity
  • 39. Nothing is more frustrating then having a lot of great ideas that are impossible to implement because it requires such a complicated and multi-phased process within the organization. The key to increasing creativity is removing its obstacles. This means reducing bureaucracy and making it easier to test ideas. R E M O V I N G O B S T A C L E S T O C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 40. Let’s create a fruitful environment to creativity
  • 41. A culture of experimentation requires that people have the courage to try out new things. A leader’s task is to create an environment where it’s safe to take risks and where failure is not punished. The leader encourages people to experiment and gives positive feedback about trying - regardless of the results. L E A D I N G C R E A T I V I T Y
  • 42. Let’s increase autonomy on every level of the organization
  • 43. Experimenting calls for the freedom to progress your idea in the best suitable way. People should have the possibility to decide how to implement their idea - within certain time and budget frames. Strict controlling and steering groups are forbidden. I N C R E A S I N G A U T O N O M Y
  • 44. Let’s give people the permission not to know
  • 45. None of us can actually predict, which ideas will work in practice and which will become a huge innovation. Instead of trying to present fancy, made-up arguments to support our ideas, let’s give people the permission to say: ”I don’t know yet whether this idea will work.” And then send them to test it in practice. P E R M I S S I O N N O T T O K N O W
  • 46. Let’s question things in a healthy way
  • 47. Let’s relate to things with an attitude of a three-year-old but grown-up’s resources. Questioning things in a healthy way. F O R E X A M P L E : Why do we have to have meetings? Who decided that we should call them meetings? Why do we have to sit in them? Why do they always last an hour? Q U E S T I O N I N G
  • 48. Let’s encourage people to think ambitiously
  • 49. Many companies are using the so-called 10x thinking which has a simple core idea: Always when you have an idea, take another moment and multiply it by ten. If you multiply by two, it’s a minor change. If you multiply by 100, it’s a joke. But if you multiply by ten instead, you automatically have to think outside the box, but in a way that’s natural for the mind. A M B I T I O U S T H I N K I N G
  • 50. 2 0 M O D E L
  • 51. The 20 model that we have developed offers a concrete way of testing new ideas, regardless of whether they are big or small. Instead of evaluating ideas on a theoretical level, the 20 model helps us to grasp things in practice. 2 0 M O D E L
  • 52. 2 0 S E C O N D S The inventor of the idea needs 20 seconds of courage to say the idea out loud 2 0 S E C O N D S
  • 53. 2 0 M I N U T E S The receiver of the idea should give feedback within 20 minutes. 2 0 M I N U T E S
  • 54. 2 0 H O U R S The inventor of the idea makes a simple action plan on how the idea could be tested in practice. 2 0 H O U R S
  • 55. 2 0 D A Y S If the action plan is accepted, a 20-day project is created to test the idea in practice. 2 0 D A Y S
  • 56. 2 0 W E E K S If the idea still seems to work after the 20-day project, a more ambitious action plan is done and the project is continued for another 20 weeks. 2 0 W E E K S
  • 57. An experiment is always successful If an idea works on some level, it gives everyone more energy and courage to do new experiments. And if it doesn’t work, the knowledge is still useful and it’s easier for the inventor of the idea to accept that the idea is buried. That’s why an experiment is always successful. Even when it doesn’t work. 2 0 M O D E L
  • 58. Are you ready to experiment?
  • 59. Want to experiment together? Contact us. Pekka Pohjakallio pekka@925design.fi