Today in Intro to Design, we were lucky to have Chris Bernard (from Microsoft), also an ID alum talk to us about teaming. If you’re reading this Chris, thanks! So, I’ve worked on several teams in the past. I don’t think its physically possible to graduate from a 4 yr program anymore without doing some teamwork. I had the fortune of working with several student groups– and even being responsible for one with a huge staff and ambitious goals, Model United Nations @ Michigan.
I consider myself a veteran to teamwork and feel like I’ve learned a lot about working with different "types" of people. Of course, there are a couple things wrong with my confidence here. There are of course no "types" of people. Every individual has unique qualities and delightful nuances they bring to the table that can help (and sometimes hinder) a team’s progress. A simple exercise we did today was share a little about our life story with another person– who then shared it with the entire class. Almost immediately, we gain a deeper understanding of the people we work with, and we are attuned to each others’ goals and passions. If each of us shared our own stories to the class, we’d be a little hesitant to share as much information. I thought this was kind of an interesting dynamic.
There’s a good quote that I always have to hunt for but now I found that there are several versions of it, which are attributed to several notable leaders. The one I like the best goes like this:
There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.
General George C. Marshall
In the field of cross-disciplinary design, you work with others. A lot. So much so, that there have been 2 teamwork lecturettes and a whole 3 hr class dedicated to teaming. The takeaway that struck me is how helpful it can be to create a common vocabulary– and a mutual understanding around certain phrases. For instance, David, in his teamwork lecturette pointed out, if someone says "I’m just not feeling it.." or "I’m not sure if I’m aligned with this, guys…", there is tacit understanding about the meaning of this phrase. A flag goes off in everyone’s head and this prevents a situation where negative conflict can arise. Conflict can be positive, because it can lead to insight and ultimately a better decision, but negative conflict can injure the team dynamic and prevent future results.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if *every* manager– and every corporate culture embraced the notion of a common phrasebook, we’d have more productive teams.
This advertisement was on a billboard on a street in downtown Chicago. I found it interesting that HIV/AIDS ads in our country are prevalent– moreover, they may even include a celebrity sports model, like Magic Johnson.
And yet, in the developing nations like India and China, STDs like AIDS/HIV are surrounded by a horrible stigma.. So much so, that it took a long time for the Chinese government to even admit that AIDS was a problem! If recognizing that a problem exists is the first step to solving it, China already put themselves behind the ball from the very start.
I wonder how long it will be until we see Indian/Chinese celebrities on HIV drug advertisements…
I must be just the worst blogger ever or something.. I think I need to find some routine time where I just spend writing. I thought I was busy when I was working full time.. but I realize I filled a lot of my free time then by reading blogs. Now I’m going to grad school, and I thought I’d have tons of free time.. but it inevitably goes towards homework. Blah. My whole intent of going back to grad school was to have more free time to incubate business ideas… and blog. I’m coming to the realization that I’m going to have to sleep less (for the umpteenth time).. Anyway, a quick update on me for those who care: I’m in Foundation at ID. Its a graduate level introduction to the world of design– Next year we’ll be taking the more interesting classes that specifically correspond to our tracks. Right now, I’m taking a Photography workshop, Communication Design, Product Design, and general Intro to Design class. So far I like the Intro to design class the best (naturally, I guess, because its most closely related to design planning). My topic of research for Intro to Design is air travel/commuting. Being a consultant for the last year, I’ve encountered numerous hassles and annoying problems on my short trips. I couldn’t imagine doing it every week, but luckily I didn’t have to. It must be extraordinarliy tough to travel without liquids with the new policies enforced after the bomb scare on August 10.
I’m trying to explore now different ways to solve problems associated with travel (like luggage shipping). Let’s see how long they’ll let me sit in the airport taking pictures of people carrying bags until I get in trouble with the TSA…
My intro to design class starts in 7 minutes, so I have to get going, but I will post some of my research shortly if its at all pertinent or interesting.
So I know this happened a while ago, but I’ve been lax on blogging about BoP lately, since I moved. India decided not to fund Negroponte’s mission to bridge the digital divide. I think this just might put the nail in the coffin for One Laptop per Child.
The Indian Ministry of Education dismissed the laptop as “pedagogically suspect”. I think that this is the best move for India– I wonder how much of the response was attributed to the appeasement of Bill Gates, who has a strong philanthropic presence in India, but disagrees with the OLPC vision.
Having Nigeria as a strategic partner is great, but a $1M order is a drop in the bucket to what is needed to bridge the Digital Divide. Moreover, there is a lot needed in Africa in the short term to improve the lives of its inhabitants– eradicating the disease trifecta (AIDS/TB/Malaria) and preventing famines. You need access to safe drinking water before you need a crank laptop.