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A Design State of Mind

Ben Holliday
October 24, 2019

A Design State of Mind

"A mindset is how we respond to the world around us. It acts as a center of gravity. It goes with you. It shapes who you are and what you do, wherever you are."

In this talk from Create Leicester 2019, Ben Holliday (Chief Design Officer at FutureGov) introduced how to think differently about how we use design as a way of responding and shaping the change happening all around us, exploring how creativity needs to be a capability and the foundation for how 21st Century organisations work.

Ben Holliday

October 24, 2019

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  1. Ben Holliday Twitter: @benholliday Website/blog: benholliday.com medium.com/@BenHolliday Zoe Stanton Twitter:

    @stantonzoe Blog: medium.com/ @zoe_43818 Zoe is an experienced design leader and FutureGov’s Experience Director, leading our work around client and staff experience. Alessandra Canella Twitter: @hello_lale Website: medium.com/ @alessandracanella Ale is a Lead Service Designer at FutureGov and is leading work around service patterns for local government. (patterns.wearefuturegov.com)
  2. “Don't forget how fast things change, how quickly people change

    what they do as they conform and shape themselves from all that's around them.” Tony Benn
  3. A design mindset is how we respond to our immediate

    surroundings and work. This means asking different types of questions, and requires a different set of responses to the challenges we face.
  4. FROM Business/technical perspective “It works like this to maintain BAU”

    Complexity “We’re dealing with great complexity” We can’t change that “Absolutely not…” Needing certainty “We need certainty” Fixed assumptions “How can we prove we’re right” Closed “There’s no need to share/make work visible” TO User-focussed “It could work like this for people in the future” Simplicity “Let’s go back to first principles” We can change that “Why not…” Not knowing “Ambiguity is okay, we can learn more by doing” Changing our minds “How might we be wrong about this” Open “Collaboration connects and creates new ideas”
  5. “…mapping backwards, instead of relying solely on mapping forwards, concentrates

    the mind …it focuses [you] to think through operations from the beginning to the very end.” The Blunders of Our Governments – Anthony King A useful and usable vision
  6. More focus on outcomes than process (as a way of

    navigating complexity). Simplicity
  7. An outcomes based approach to complexity: - Creating simple models

    to communicate component parts of a bigger picture/system. - Framing challenges and priorities without being drawn into detail too early or in the wrong places. - Having a clear goal (vision/proposition) to work towards that helps us stay focussed on user-based and/or policy outcomes.
  8. First principles is breaking something down to its most fundamental

    component parts, or what you believe is true. Then you work from there.
  9. “…[a framework or model] is purposefully reductive. It takes things

    away, emphasising only a small part of a large whole, so that we can focus only on what remains. A world map is a model of earth that removes nearly everything about the planet, leaving only relative masses, names of countries and cities, and overall proximity.” Jon Kolko
  10. A big idea is better than having a big plan.

    People get behind ideas, and are inspired, engaged and take action because of ideas.
  11. Starting Taking intuitive leaps Strong opinions (loosely held) Ideas in

    tension Confidence to let go of detail Doing the hard work (creatively)
  12. How can we prove we’re right? How might we be

    wrong about this? Changing our minds
  13. …giving ourselves a way to see the world outside, as

    well as letting the world see us.
  14. Open Are the result of new perspectives. They open new

    doors. Bad ideas restrict or close doors. Combine They’re combinations and connections between smaller ideas. Question They challenge accepted truths, principles, and the ways things currently work. Good ideas (the process of exploring & connecting) Adapt They’re able to adapt to future changes and new circumstances. Active They invite further exploration, and can be a call to action e.g. for testing and learning. Grow They generate more ideas which can improve on one another.
  15. Creativity should not be thought of as a specialist or

    localised resource, but as a competence that needs to be part of the fabric of 21st century organisations.