200 reasons to improve the system and not the behavior of people

I just heard this anecdote on the radio.

Today cars are 200 times safer (injuries per mile) than they were.

We did not try to teach Boston drivers to be better drivers. We changed the systems. The roads, the lights, the seat belts and air bags were all added and improved upon.

Sandro Galea spoke on WBH radio.

I am a big fan of the sailing metaphor when it comes to picking a point on the horizon, tacking towards it and then adjusting as you get closer and realize it is a rocky cliff and not a sandy beach.

What I want to do is to get orgs to agree to design the right thing. And that is a solution that we get from observing customers, knowing the business, understanding the technology.

With this information we can identify the destination on the horizon. With the destination as the guide we can tack back and forth with the agile execution. While executing we keep gathering user observations, business knowledge and technology insights.

On the other side is a product people will pay for and use… Guaranteed.

IxDA Boston event June 13th. The energy is back. People are psyched. Do not miss out. Featuring health centered design talk.


My job… Embedding customer obsession

The firm I work for, LeapFrog Systems, enables organizations to execute. We have teams that are embedded within customer organizations delivering at the product and executive levels.

My expertise is getting organizations to embed design into their way of working. How do you get an organization to change to adapt to a more external driven process?

How in this case do I get teams of people across different clients to obsess over their client? How do we turn this obsession about our clients into opportunities for us to meet their needs?

Amazon has a distributed model that expects teams to know their customer. They expect that their planning incorporates the customer. Then they expect the organization to make their plans from the teams who know their customer.

This resonates with me and I am go to explore this idea more within our firm.

If you have a better idea or have been practicing something that I can learn from, please share.

First big mistake when starting a new project… Lack of understanding and context

Many people want to start a new company or a new project because they have the next best idea, the next best technology, or a burning issue for themselves.

What every entrepreneur and intrapreneur needs is an understanding of the paying customer. They need to understand the context of their problems. With this context they can solve the thorniest of problems.

See this Forbes article: Five Mistakes Intrapreneurs Make When Trying To Change Their Companies

Endurance … A commitment to keep going

It is hard to keep the drum beat going. Sometimes the analogy is the drip drip of water. At least with water the drip drip is persistent because the source is still on.

I am trying to use writing as a practice for endurance. It is a practice I am using to force myself to learn a little bit everyday.

This week while counting the omer the focus is on endurance. Add a little endurance to your activities and you will benefit… Drip drip.

I learned something today. Earthworms are not native to New England.

Earthworms in New England are from Europe and Asia. Hmmm…
Earthworms invade New England

That was surprising to me. Not that earthworms come from other places but that I did not know.

Time bank, Local traded exchange, Volunteer hours, Barter coins all recorded on block chain. What do you use?

I am curious about the tools to run a block chain barter economy.

It needs to be natural.

Barrier to entry has to be so low it’s almost non existent.

It has to be overly convenient.

It requires freaky simplicity.

Have you used any?

Compassion in endurance

Endurance is that drive that keeps you going. It’s grit. It helps you in the long haul.

Success requires endurance. It requires hustle and persistence.

However we need to be careful and not run others over with our persistence. We need to be aware of others and their needs.

Our endurance need to be compassionate. Compassionate to others and to ourselves.

Inspired by the Meaningful Life Center

What should user experience design be?

UX design is the attempt by a business to craft how a customer encounters every touch point with the organization. User experience design should occur from beginning to end not just within some app.

User experience may start with the first encounter of the organization. How do they learn that your business exists?

Next the person may explore more about the company and what it does and who work for it. They start to do a little research.

Maybe they make the decision to do business so they call. A sales rep speaks with the person and they decide to work with your business.

At this point they are onboarded and begin using the company’s products and services. Some of these are done in person, some talking to a person, some use technology, some are old school and some are a combination of all of the above.

User experience is definitely not about a pretty user interface or some new sexy app.

User experience is about creating something for your customer that they will enjoy enough to share with others… To make remarkable.