Designing Culture Workshop


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[Deck from the Interaction 13 Conference in Toronto, Canada. Synopsis below.]

“We’re way off schedule. Everyone is disengaged. We can't get everyone on board with the vision. I’m not proud of the work we’re producing.”

Sound familiar?

Design doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. It happens inside teams, inside the context of relationships, inside physical spaces, inside organizations with very particular cultures. Ignore that intricate ecosystem, and you might as well give your project a death sentence.

In this workshop, you'll learn about tools and techniques you can use to shape projects that are not only successful, but enjoyable. You'll learn the benefits of proactively designing team culture, walk you through the process of creating a healthy foundation, empower you with methods to improve unhealthy culture mid-stream, and show you ways to keep everyone engaged throughout the design process. Then, you’ll try it out for yourself: with feedback and mentorship, you’ll craft new methods and approaches that are appropriate to take back and try out in your team or company…no matter what your job title.

By the end of this hands-on workshop, you'll know how to get projects started on the right foot, co-create without compromising output, and inspire teams, clients, and stakeholders. More importantly, you'll find that you can work towards dramatically improved project outcomes…without all the drama along the way.

This workshop & deck were created by Cooper & Teresa Brazen, @cooper, @TeresaBrazen

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Designing Culture Workshop

  1. 1. Welcome! Designing Culture ©2013 1
  2. 2. Look inside Look around Look outside Define vision Create practices Designing Culture ©2013 2
  3. 3. Values + practices Designing Culture ©2013 3
  4. 4. “ Culture is generated from ongoing contributions and discoveries from both studio owners and employees. David Sherwin ” Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers Designing Culture ©2013 Designing Culture ©2013 4 4
  5. 5. Culture is a key driver ofinnovation & creativity. Designing Culture ©2013 5
  6. 6. What if there was as muchintentionality around cultureas design? Designing Culture ©2013 6
  7. 7. Look inside.Own your impact Designing Culture ©2013 7
  8. 8. What do you bring to yourculture? Designing Culture ©2013 8
  9. 9. EXERCISE 6 MINUTES Speed date1 Pair up. Each of you has 1 minute to answer the question that comes up on the screen.2 When I yell, “Switch!”, rotate to a new person and answer the next question that comes up on the screen. Note: Answer all questions in relation to your work life, not your personal life. Designing Culture ©2013 9
  10. 10. What makes you different? (at  work)     Designing Culture ©2013 10
  11. 11. What do you fight for? (at  work)     Designing Culture ©2013 11
  12. 12. How do you supportthe success of others? (at  work)     Designing Culture ©2013 12
  13. 13. Did anything interesting come up? Designing Culture ©2013 13
  14. 14. What kind of impact do youwant to have? Designing Culture ©2013 14
  15. 15. EXERCISE 10 MINUTES Start. Stop. Continue. 1 Think about an upcoming milestone that is important to you. Write down the ideal end state (outcome). 2 Brainstorm one thing you could start, stop, and continue doing to influence the outcome. 3 Mad Lib it: I will (action) _________ in order to (outcome) _________ so that (why) _________.exercise  from  Gamestorming     Designing Culture ©2013 15
  16. 16. Anyone want to share? Designing Culture ©2013 16
  17. 17. Look around.Assess your culture Designing Culture ©2013 17
  18. 18. exercise  from  Tina  Seelig,  What  I  Wish  I  Knew  When  I  was  20    image  from  Tiliza31337,  Flickr       Designing Culture ©2013 18
  19. 19. Vu ja de Designing Culture ©2013 19
  20. 20. image  from  danielfoster437,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 20
  21. 21. What do you do to see things anew? (vu ja de!) Designing Culture ©2013 21
  22. 22. Be a flipologist. Designing Culture ©2013 22
  23. 23. Designing Culture ©2013 23
  24. 24. EXERCISE 15 MINUTESBe an ethnographer of your organization1 Imagine you’re visiting your company for the first time.2 What do you notice about communication, socializing, reward systems, conflict, inspiration?3 Write your observations in the columns on your worksheet. Designing Culture ©2013 24
  25. 25. EXERCISE 15 MINUTES Questions to ask yourself: Communication:1 How are news, information, directives, and plans shared between individuals, within teams, and throughout the organization? Are they formal or informal? Ad hoc or planned? How effective are they?2 Socializing: In what ways do organic and structured socializing unfold? Who initiates it? Where does it happen? How often? Does it feel authentic to participants?3 Reward systems: How are staff and management acknowledged and incentivized? How were these systems created? How visible are they? How effective?4 Conflict: What does conflict look like, and how is it typically handled? Are conflicts typically resolved? How do people know, if so? Inspiration:5 Does brainstorming happen organically, in a structured way, or both? Privately or publicly? Where? With what frequency? Who instigates it? Who feels entitled to contribute? Designing Culture ©2013 25
  26. 26. EXERCISE 5 MINUTESBe an ethnographer of your organization1 ID themes. What stands out? Designing Culture ©2013 26
  27. 27. What did you discover? Designing Culture ©2013 27
  28. 28. Take a break. Designing Culture ©2013 28
  29. 29. Look outside.Seek Inspiration Designing Culture ©2013 29
  30. 30. Image  from  Olgierd  Pstrykotworca,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 30
  31. 31. Image  from  Olgierd  Pstrykotworca,  Flickr   Reinforce staff value. Inspire from within. Designing Culture ©2013 31
  32. 32. “Were looking for crazy ideas. We use kids to findthose ideas, because they know how to talkwithout their thinking getting in the way.” Founder, Markus Mettler Designing Culture ©2013 32
  33. 33. Interject variance into your process.“Were looking for crazy ideas. We use kids to findthose ideas, because they know how to talkwithout their thinking getting in the way.” Founder, Markus Mettler Designing Culture ©2013 33
  34. 34. The Real Whirled image  from  Erik  Holladay,  Detroit  Free  Press   Designing Culture ©2013 34
  35. 35. The Real Whirled Integrate new team members. image  from  Erik  Holladay,  Detroit  Free  Press   Designing Culture ©2013 35
  36. 36. What are the ten thingswe should be doing next? Designing Culture ©2013 36
  37. 37. Focus.What are the ten thingswe should be doing next? Designing Culture ©2013 37
  38. 38. Designing Culture ©2013 38
  39. 39. Push your practice. Designing Culture ©2013 39
  40. 40. Image  from  Odonata98,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 40
  41. 41. Acknowledge peers.Image  from  Odonata98,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 41
  42. 42. image  from  Tom  Soderlund,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 42
  43. 43. Empower + include.image  from  Tom  Soderlund,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 43
  44. 44. image  from  Kelly  Bone,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 44
  45. 45. Create community.image  from  Kelly  Bone,  Flickr   Designing Culture ©2013 45
  46. 46. Define your vision.Have an ideal dynamic in mind Designing Culture ©2013 46
  47. 47. Principles for this workshop1 It’s about them, not us.2 Make, don’t tell.3 Inspire creative confidence. Designing Culture ©2013 47
  48. 48. EXERCISE 10 MINUTES Pyramid of Principles1 Look at your culture assessment and notes about the practices of other organizations.2 Using those as fodder, come up with three principles to guide the kind of culture you want to create.3 Write one principle on each side of your pyramid template. Cut out and assemble. Designing Culture ©2013 48
  49. 49. Would anyone like to share? Designing Culture ©2013 49
  50. 50. Turn vision into action.Design Practices Designing Culture ©2013 50
  51. 51. EXERCISE 3 MINUTES The idea that would get you fired1 Pick one principle and come up with a new practice that would get you fired. Designing Culture ©2013 51
  52. 52. EXERCISE 3 MINUTES The idea that would get you fired2 Now, bring that idea down to earth. Iterate and come up with a version you can do…and still keep your job. A stretch, but not impossible. Designing Culture ©2013 52
  53. 53. EXERCISE 5 MINUTES The idea that would get you fired3 Trade with someone at your table (Principle + idea that would get you fired + down-to-earth version). Now come up with one new practice for your culture, inspired by their principle and practices. Designing Culture ©2013 53
  54. 54. What did you think up? Designing Culture ©2013 54
  55. 55. If you really want toup the ante… Designing Culture ©2013 55
  56. 56. Create  the  culture  of  crea1ng  culture   Designing Culture ©2013 56
  57. 57. (Insert image of Cover Story example) exercise  from  Gamestorming   Designing Culture ©2013 57
  58. 58. EXERCISE 15 MINUTES Cover Story of the Future 1 Imagine your ideal future culture at work. 2 Brainstorm the elements that would make up a Fast Company cover story about your team or organization. Brainstorm: Where you document initial ideas for this exercise. Cover: A phrase that captures the BIG story of your success. Headline: The substance of the story. Sidebar: Interesting facts. Quotes: From someone you’d love to get accolades from. Images: Sketches to support the content.exercise  from  Gamestorming   Designing Culture ©2013 58
  59. 59. Inspiration•  David Sherwin, Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers•  Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo. Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers•  Nicholas Graham, One Hundred Questions: Building a long-term brand in a short-attention span world•  Peter Sims, Little Bets•  Robert Sutton, Weird Ideas that Work: How to Build a Creative Company•  Tina Seelig, What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20•  Walter Isaacson, Steve Designing Culture ©2013 59
  60. 60. Next Steps1.  Practice vu ja de2.  Use your Pyramid of Principles3.  Implement your practiceExtra Credit: Run a Designing Culture Workshop Designing Culture ©2013 60
  61. 61. Design LeadershipNext Steps training at Cooper:  Practice vu ja de training2.  Use your Pyramid of Principles Teresa Brazen @TeresaBrazen3.  Implement your practice TeresaBrazen.comExtra Credit: Run a Designing Culture Workshop Designing Culture ©2013 61