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Posts Tagged ‘Lessons Learned’

Season’s Change – Time to Reflect and Plan

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

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Today is the first day of Fall.   It is a new beginning, a changing of the season, and a perfect time to cozy up in the cool evening air and look ahead.  Have you ever turned around and realized that another season (or worse, YEAR) has passed and you haven’t really made the progress you thought you would? Changing of seasons is one of nature’s reminders to reflect on progress during the previous season and make plans for the next.

Following are some reflection questions I’m considering today as I embrace this opportunity to reflect on summer and plan for fall:

  1. What did I accomplish last season?
    • How do these successes contribute to my long-term goals / plans?
  2. What did I want to do, but didn’t?
  3. What behavior might I need to examine and choose a different behavior for the fall?
    • What one or two things can I do in the next week to begin this new behavior?
  4. What did the summer reveal or validate about how I am wired?
    • How does this knowledge inform my plans for work and life?
    • What one or two things can I do in the next week to apply this knowledge?
  5. Pause to visualize long term goals / plan – envision what it looks like to accomplish each one.
  6. What do I need to add to or change about my long-term goals? (Make sure they are written down.) 
  7. What 1, 2, or 3 things can I do in the fall to make progress towards the vision / each goal?
    • Reality check – Is it realistic that I can do these things?  If not, how can I change them to be realistic or what can I change to remove barriers?
  8. Review everything – What two or three things am I going to do in the next week to kick start this season?

Colors change, revealing true inner beauty.

Evening air chills, a forthright reminder.

Nature prepares, with purpose and urgency.

Time charges forward …

… are you ready?

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Social Entrepreneurship hand-in-hand with Design

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A recent FastCompany article (8 Lessons for Creating Social Impact by Robert Fabricant – Tue May 4, 2010) highlights the question:

Have “design thinking” and “social innovation” become permanently intertwined?

Fabricant thinks so, according to the book Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation by Tim Brown (which is now on my reading list).

Following are (in brief) Fabricant’s lessons learned for creating social impact:

1. Undervalue Your Own Ideas.

2. Don’t Pursue Perfection.

3. You Are Not the Only Creative in the Room.

4. Your Perspective Is Not Automatically Unique.

5. Learn From Your Elders.

6. The Web Will Not Save You.

7. You Better Be In It for the Long Haul.

8. Don’t Celebrate Too Early.

One of my favorite statements from this article is:

Ideation is just the beginning. Ideas are cheap. The determination and stubbornness to see them through is critical.

At one point, Fabricant states: “Unfortunately, designers tend to fall prey to ideas that are too attractive and we don’t generally have the patience for the lengthy process to see initiatives through to the point of meaningful results (particularly if those results run counter to our attractive ideas).”

That’s their skill, that’s their strength, it’s how they are wired.  Isn’t the better answer for the designer to partner so that they can continue to pursue the innovative next thing?  If they aren’t able to do that, they become unengaged, dis-satisfied, and no longer productive!  It may not be the designer that has the determination and stubbornness, but they must partner to find it in order to have the impact they desire.