Tag Archives: Strategic Planning

Innovate or Dinosaur! Serious Play for Innovation.

Written by . Filed under Learn, Play. Tagged , , . No comments.

September’s DwD explored the new board game (launched this week) by Traction Strategy, cheekily called Innovate or Dinosaur!  A truly collaborative innovation game, the playful approach helps teams generate and test new ideas, create a path to assess and implement them, and builds the capacity for organizations to “innovate everyday”.

Played by teams of 4 or more per table, the game is staged into two board and movements, Exploration and Evolution.   The  Explore board uses a standard die and chance to move players through a number of event and process cards that promote lateral thinking and exploration of your innovation ideas in novel, playful ways. gameboard

Players start by generating a set of proposed innovation proposals for their organization or projects that they choose to present in exploration with team members. Competition can be set up between groups and within teams in playful ways to drive the game process forward. We played with a time deadline model, where the first round of game play ended after 20 minutes and teams were credited with the number of innovation proposals explored within the period. Chance also played into some teams tackling fewer proposals, depending on board position and card actions.

Tamara and Shawna’s experience in innovation engagements with organizations led to creating a large catalog of provocations and lateral thinking concepts in the various process cards. Many of these are quite unexpected and fun, lending a real experience of surprise to the game proceedings.

The Innovate or Dinosaur game design is based on some of  the key ingredients for innovation identified in a study done on the innovation processes of  Nobel Prize Winners – some of  the most highly recognized innovators in the world. These key ingredients include: collaboration, competence, communication, vision, playfulness, and work (effort).

franktable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A roomful of participants played through both boards of the game over a 2 hour + session, which was found to be insufficient time to explore more than one innovation proposal from each player. The game approach requires multiple rounds of ideation, and participants found real value in some of the idea development. By the end of the session, there was convincing evidence of the unique value of the gameboard approach and the value of the specific tools and processes built into the game.

Traction Strategy has since launched the game publicly, and the game is available and promoted at innovateordinosaur.com

evolvetable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Hosts

Tamara Eberle, CPF, CTF, Founder and Director of Facilitation & Learning, Traction Strategy  and Shawna Eberle, Toronto-based Director of Traction Studio

tamTamara is an award-winning professional facilitator with over two decades of group leadership and process design experience. She is a Certified Professional Facilitator (IAF), Certified ToP Facilitator (ICA), has a degree in Sociology, and has specialized training in Public Participation (IAP2), Change Management, Design Charrettes (NCI), and organizational game design.

Traction Strategy is a multi-award winning, boutique consulting company providing Certified Professional Facilitation as well as leadership and organizational development training.  As experts with diverse, cross-functional teams and stakeholder groups, they use participatory methods and techniques to support teams and organizations while providing a meaningful experience.

Sustainable Design for Flourishing Fashion

Written by . Filed under Act, Think. Tagged , , . No comments.

How do we build trust in a complex multi-stakeholder relationship where the product is based on price?

Apparel matters.  We wear clothes throughout our life, yet little thought is given to modern garment making except for the cost. Despite well-meant laws, international trade policies, and CSR audit reporting, a mistrust gap exists between makers and end users on whether garments are sweatshop-free, endorse fair trade, or are relatively more or less sustainable. The session explored the systems of production and disposal of Catholic school uniforms, which bear a unique responsibility to their buyers to ensure equity and sustainability. Uniforms are mandated and bought by individual families have little say in ensuring that the people who made their clothes have worker equity and safety.

Kelly Okamura organized this design inquiry into sustainable product design held at Nuvango Gallery for the April 2016 DwD.  With a group of 25 particpants and industry stakeholders, we took a deep dive into what she calls Flourishing Fashion. The group explored the problem of how to build product trust and ensure that mandated school uniforms  – first purchased through a tendered bid process that includes CSR policy – are made with worker equity.

Kelly-uniform

Contemporary ethical garment making is difficult and the garment industry is extremely competitive. It’s very hard to make a profit if you do it right – made with worker equity and respect for the planet throughout the entire process. Buying garments in a transparent global market is equally tough when mistrust has been built based on evidence that is hearsay. And for mandated Catholic school uniforms, this make-take relationship compounds when a wearer doesn’t have a choice to vote with their purchasing dollars or mindlessly buy fast fashion.

Don Officer followed up with Kelly with a brief interview following the event.  Kelly describes in her own words what “flourishing fashion” represents:

“Flourishing Fashion addresses the desire to make sell and buy in a modern world where our purchasing choices impact living beings and planet. It addresses a major systemic equilibrium shift that impacts all of us as consumers of goods. In this broad sense, the reference to fashion is not just about clothing but fashion is a reflection of our times. It requires a new systemic understanding for the need to support more 3P (Profit with respect for People and Planet) goods for a finite planet if we want humanity to flourish.”

Q: As far as you know, who accepts and values that notion?

They identify as the fastest growing consumer group – the Aspirationals – who still want to buy ‘fashion’ but want to know their product’s origin and are willing to pay more for products that better align with their ethical values.

Q: Why should we care? 

We all wear clothes and make purchasing choices.  If we all keep buying stuff, consumers responsibility begins with purchasing goods, and we all have to better understand our roles as consumers in the purchasing system.

Q: Did you find the DwD group curious about flourishing fashion?

Since we all consume the immediate understanding is we are all active participants, not observers so the dialogues were engaging even if the wicked problem focused on mandated school uniforms. It was challenging to contain the dialogue and even bring the session to a timely close. The discussion continued after the event with both participants and later with others who expressed interest in future dialogues on the subject but did not attend.

Q: How did they engage on the topic? 

I showed a short film clip to create a personal awareness that most consumers don’t think beyond the price tag about of their purchases. So the attendee engagement was both on a conceptual level with the wicked problem focused on mandated school uniforms as well as on more personal relationships with their clothing.  For example, pointing out other required information on all textile products prompted some attendees to look up information on the clothes they wore to the session.  Stephen, my session collaborator, gained insight on information beyond the price tag, and began looking at clothing in a more informed way even before the DwD session took place.

Q: Did you detect any consensus or streams of thought?

There wasn’t consensus on a solution for the wicked problem presented.  But that’s understandable since our small group dialogues focused on segments of the apparel loop. On reflection, comments noted when we reconvened in full circle, could be encapsulated as a need for transparency. And generally, the take-away was a greater understanding there are no easy answers to establishing trust in global supply chains.  As individuals, attendees recognized more clearly how we are all active consumers in the modern apparel system.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway? 

My biggest take-away was a confirmation that consumers are interested in being more informed about their purchasing choices beyond the price tag. Apparel is a useful metaphor for our consuming habits and validating the high ratio of consumers who are not indifferent to the impact that their purchasing makes once they are informed, matters. I also immediately gained great content for my gooderGoods podcast #14 – Mis-Trust. You can hear it on rabble.ca or on soundcloud.  Note the visual for Mis-Trust was not a piece of clothing but the case of water purchased for the event.

Q: How might FF relate to design thinking? 

Fashion is an applied art. Design thinking is outcome driven vs. purely creative thought.  Often fashion is considered frivolous or on an esthetical level but for most of us, the retail price is a constraint to sell through or textile waste.  And combined with a respect for people and planet make it a wicked problem that is solvable but requires an equilibrium system shift.  Solutions to parts can contribute to the problem but to scale it needs greater accountability throughout the system that includes with consumers. Educating consumers on both their power and how they contribute to keeping the status quo is an important part of creating the shift.  That’s why I’m chasing Flourishing vs. Sustainable Fashion.  We want to continue to make sell and buy desirable products with holistic growth NOT sustain the purchasing process we have now.

Q: Where might the FF transformation come from? 

I love Frances Westley’s insight that change is hard but can also happen in the blink of an eye.  With clothing, it is something that literally touches us daily, and we are generally in control of what we choose to purchase, or not.

 

ko1

 

See the recent event on Fair Labour and the Living Wage with Kelly Okamura and Auret van Heerden at The Fashion Institute of Technology, March 2016.

 

 

 

Idea Convener – Kelly Okamura 

ko

Kelly is a product designer and design strategist who is exploring the opportunities for flourishing business thinking in the fast-moving world of fashion and textiles. She is currently investigating the complexity of the purchasing system to provide solutions for transformative change. You can check out her gooderGoods podcasts on conscious consumption at rabble.ca or Soundcloud.

 

DWD – The Evolution of a Learning Community

Written by . Filed under Retreat. Tagged , . No comments.

The seventh year of Design with Dialogue has led to the recognition of our opportunity to convene a series that uniquely mobilizes dialogue as a dynamic community process for social purpose and transformative learning. Several overarching themes evolved from our year-end discussions:

  • To connect the main DwD series with issues and themes to increase their impact and reach
  • To integrate across the 4 DwD communities, to hold events in DwD, Unify and Systems and Visual Thinkers that reinforce and continue common themes via the different practices of each
  • To promote DwD as a learning and development opportunity for grad student leadership
  • Co-produce DwD events with single-sponsor or civic community leaders
  • To explore new venues and partnerships that might connect the DwD learning model to other communities of practice in the GTA and elsewhere

CONTRIBUTIONS from the Retreat  

  • Beginner’s Workshops – Learn convening skills with mentors and develop community of practice in training
  • Integration of Practices – Connect learning and methods from across the four communities
  • Issue-based Dialogues – Civic and global issues, e.g. terrorism, sustainable economy, foreign policy, finance capitalism, educational reform
  • Indigenous movements, Decolonization and post-globalization (JRS or other special guests)
  • Stakeholder driven sessions – Formation of DwD “innovation circles” for specific stakeholder groups
  • Citizen engagement within communities – Affirmative outreach to engaged citizens and groups for specific sessions
  • Connected series of sessions – Connecting sessions across themes & DwD communities of practice.
  • More Community in CoP – Convene spaces for real conviviality
  • Methods and Themes “matrixed” together
  • Action-oriented – Actionable outcomes and follow-up from DwD engagements
  • DwD + OCADU, MaRS, Ontario, Interchange,
  • Spinoff practices from DwD sessions
  • Experimentation – Taking previous sessions and going deeper
  • Connecting communities within each month
  • Partner on community based projects with partners

DwD and Strategic Foresight and Innovation

  • Engage SFI Students directly as session leaders and co-creators
  • Student workshops – Convene training-oriented sessions for SFI students within DwD platform
  • Develop an OCADU SFI “ladder” of facilitation training
  • Engage Foresight program – Hold “Future of” workshops
  • A “Methods taster” – What could this prepare people for?
  • Invite more leading practitioners
  • Policy design and civic innovation
  • New entrepreneurial and business-oriented sessions

We would love to hear from the DwD community, online (remember the DwD LinkedIn group) and in person.

What is the True Nature of Partnership?

Written by . Filed under Think. Tagged , , , . 1 Comment.

March’s DwD session was hosted by Mary Pickering of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund.

What is the true nature of “partnership”?

 Funders want it, social innovation demands it and professionals now “broker” it. With the rising clamor to establish partnerships within and across organizations to get people working together more effectively, the time has come to reflect on what a partnership really means in the social change context.
 
At this dialogue session we explored these questions:
  • What defines a true partnership?
  • Is there partnership potential in every working relationship?
  • When should – and shouldn’t – we create partnerships to advance our causes?
  • How might a partnership impact an initiative?
  • What are the key principles for making, managing – and breaking up – working partnerships?
Mary Pickering Mary Pickering has been with Toronto Atmospheric Fund since 2004, serving as VP Programs and Partnerships. Previously she worked for six years for World Wildlife Fund Canada as a major gift fundraiser. Her work with TAF focuses on incubating collaborations focused on local greenhouse gas reduction strategies. Mary has led TAF’s work on Solar Neighbourhoods, ClimateSpark, MOVE the GTHA, and the Collaboration on Home Energy Efficiency in Ontario (CHEERIO). She is currently undertaking Level 2 accreditation with the Partnership Brokers Association and is very interested in your experiences and views on creating effective partnerships.

Long-term Thinking

Written by . Filed under Think. Tagged , . 1 Comment.

LENGTH MATTERS:
How might we bring a long-term perspective to near-term decisions?

Consumers, organizational leaders and politicians make daily decisions that will affect our families, communities, prosperity and habitat for decades into the future. How would our culture and world be different if we made decisions in consideration of the well-being of our children’s children, rather than only looking at the next tweet, fiscal quarter or electoral cycle?

February’s DwD explored approaches to over-coming “short-termism” with a long-term view to make our resources and systems more sustainable.

  • Unpack the assumptions that keep us locked into a short time frame
  • See what our decisions might look like if framed in a long view
  • Explore how a values shift might reframe our perspective
  • Jam ideas on new incentive structures that could influence our behaviour

References:

 Images from the session

How do our values drive our decisions? How might that skew us towards a short-term view?

 

 

What incentive structures might shift values such that our decisions will consider a long-term view?