Inside the head of a designer


I am Snook
December 14, 2009, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

snook: transforming people

For 30 days and 30 nights, myself and Lauren took sometime out of the world of social media to house our umbrella company snook.  Our focus remains on mypolice, but we think it fits under Snook perfectly.  Over the course of the ‘detox’ we wrote letters to each other, helping us to define what it is we want to be doing in Scotland, and what our various influences are.  The time out also gave me a fantastic insight into what is productive for me when it comes to social media..since doing it, I’ve found myself away from the laptop more and more.  I did however miss my blog and will never underestimate it’s power, on a personal level for both documentation and reflection.

So back to Snook.

We are part of a new movement; a shift in ways of seeing and ways of being.  We’re all about transforming people and changing the world.  You might as well start big and as you mean to go on.

Visiting as an outsider

Coming in as an outsider

The launch of Snook follows a short publication I just wrote for the Glasgow School of Art recently.  Hopefully, I’ll be getting it up online soon (I’ve got to check if I can make it public).  It details the work I’m doing with Skills Development Scotland and how we can hand over design thinking tools to frontline staff to allow them to put customers at the heart of their service output and innovate at a grassroots level.  (Here’s a wee snippet)

“If you are too good at adjusting to the current system you may never realise the system needs changing.” (De Bono, Simplicity)

It is imperative the staff are taught to question the way they offer services. A new way of seeing and being must be instilled to make people want to ask more questions and be more empathetic.

As John Berger discusses: ‘A large part of seeing depends on habit and convention’  This would suggest that the environment must allow this attitude and mindset to prosper. In essence, it can be assumed that design can show a new way of seeing and being. Whether frontline staff can become independent designers is questionable, and is not the definitive goal of the SDS Service Innovation team. In the coming year it will be interesting to see the change design thinking can make if not so much in the development of new services but in the empowerment and motivation of staff to change the way they operate and make small incremental changes at a grassroots level.

I’m on a journey to discover how this can be done and if we can ‘turn everyone into a designer’.  My instinct tell me know, but we can hand over certain skills and tools which will allow people to perhaps think differently, or take a second look at something.  My thinking is, that we are in danger of tokenising design tools and methodologies, and for me, being a designer is more about the mindset, ways of seeing and being, rather than the toolkit.

So here’s to Snook and a bright 2010.

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