Applied Poetics

Brand, culture, design, voice–Applied Poetics is about finding clarity and meaning in our organizations.

Tag Archives: idea

Where design thinking and open source community collaboration meet

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I’m currently reading the new book on design thinking from IDEO’s Tim Brown called Change By Design. (Full review coming soon.) The design thinking philosophy was first introduced to me, and to Red Hat throughout the company, by David Burney.

In comparing traits associated with design thinking collaboration and collaboration in the open source community, there are many parallels: open exchange, broad participation, rapid prototyping.

There’s also one really interesting contrast: The mindset you tend to see when generating and choosing ideas. But what I’ll suggest here is that when you apply the best elements of these two mindsets at just the right time in their respective processes, the results can be pretty amazing.
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My rule of thumb for delivering a message? Less prose, more poetry

We all know how fast the world is moving. Attention spans are short. Our mission is to get our ideas read, remembered, and retold. It doesn’t matter whether you’re crafting company strategy or writing marketing copy. When you need to inspire change, you need to make your message stick.

Which means the communicator has to do the hard work of organizing, curating, and designing the message–so the reader doesn’t have to.

In other words: less prose, more poetry.

Case in point: Last weekend I picked up the book 52 Rules of Thumb a smart, well-written book that compiles and curates some of the best business advice the author, Alan M. Webber, has collected in his career.

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How to sell an idea: Seek informed simplicity

“We must strive to reach that simplicity that lies beyond sophistication.” -John Gardner

Too often we think simplicity means simplistic. Lacking in intelligence. Stupid. And when we’re trying to convince people of our way of thinking, the best way to do this is to prove what we know by showing complexity in agonizing detail and then beating you over the head with it until you’re convinced. I’ve found spreadsheets and slide decks work well for this purpose.

We complicate. We use big words when small ones would do. And along the way we forget why we’re here: To communicate to an audience and compel them to act.

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