Friday, October 24, 2008

Vu ja de

What is vu ja de?

The vu ja de mentality is seeing the same old thing in new ways. If deja vu is the feeling that you have had an experience before even though it is brand new then vu ja de is what happens when you feel and act as if an experience ( or an object ) is brand-new even if you have had it ( or seen it ) hundreds of times.

Weird ideas that work
Page 11
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 0743212126

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Toy Sharing

Yesterday, I meet up with 2 kids ( above 50 years old ). Kid JH was telling Kid R, I like to show off my toys. He boot up his notebook, show Kid R his blog, show web sites he goes to...

What I observed:
  1. We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. By George Bernard Shaw
  2. Toys that are build for sharing gets shared.
This leads me to thinking:
We should play to stop growing old.
Shift thinking from Jim Collin's build to last to build to share.
We should build toys that allow sharing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ideo cross-pollination practices

I am scanning through the book - ten faces of innovation. What interest me is how the author’s company - Ideo cultivates cross-pollination. I rephrase and reorganize their practices along the human resource process.

Ideo cross-pollination practices


  • Hire people with diverse backgrounds.
  • Hire people across cultures and geographies.

Work Assignment

  • Do diverse projects.


  • Share knowledge within the company.
  • Learn from people outside the company.
  • Learn from clients.
  • Design environments for people to meet accidental or impromptu.

Sense from:
Tom Kelly & Jonathan Littman
Page 72 to 74
Currency Doubleday
ISBN: 0385512074

1. Show and tell
Whenever Ideo groups get together, we enjoy a hearty show and tell. In the early days of the firm, that meant sharing fresh insights or new technologies during Monday morning meetings, when the entire company sat on the floor of my brother’s office. The firm has gotten a lot bigger since then ( and David’s office got a bit smaller ), so show and tell happens either face to face within smaller design groups or electronically across the firm via email or our intranet-based sharing systems. The Ideo Tech Box, a collection of hundreds of promising technologies for potential application to our work, is a systematic approach to collecting and sharing what we know. Show-and-tell is partly serendipity, often resulting from an accidental discovery or surprise, so it doesn’t always relate to projects the firm is actively working on right now. But it is always about something either new to the World or newly reinvented and is a source of continuous renewal built into the work practices of the organization.

2. Hire lots of people with diverse backgrounds
We’ve never looked at hiring as merely a process of addition or bringing in “more of the same.” If the recruiting task were to hire “another engineer just like Chris,” then the interview would be a simple matter of pattern recognition. We’re more likely to sift through the wide variety of applications looking for someone who will expand our talent pool or stretch the firm’s capabilities.

3. Stir the pot with space
As we’ll discuss in the Set Designer chapter, the company’s physical workspace can be a powerfull tool for advancing your strategic agenda. Grouping all your like-minded people into one floor or building makes sense if you want to emphasize solidarity in one discipline, but at Ideo, we believe there’s magic in cross-pollination and we support that belief with our use of space. We create lots of multi-disciplinary project rooms and leave ample space for “accidental” or impromptu meetings among people from disparate groups. We even make our staircases broad so that people can literally “meet halfway.”

4. Cross cultures and geographies
Ideo favours a cultural melting pot, seasoned with a steady mix of international flavours. No matter where you’re from or how patriotic you may be, I hope you’re willing to concede that there are more new ideas outside your country than inside. Importing new insights is always valuable. I’ve lost track of how many nationalities are represented in our firm, but a few years ago, our Boston office - just for fun - raised a flag for every country represented on their team. Last time I visited, there were eighteen flags hung, a pretty robust tally for an office of forty. And a well-bended international staff just seems to cross-pollinate naturally from other cultures.

5. Host a weekly “Know How” speakers’ series
Nearly every Thursday evening, a World-class thinker shows up to share their thoughts with us. Not only are their insights often fascinating ( Malcolm Gladwell on snap judgments, Howard Rheingold on smart mobs, Jeff Hawkins on the workings of the human brain ), but the shared buzz of many Ideo people seeing a speaker sets off a wave of discussions throughout the firm. Know How is a weekly burst of cross-pollination that keeps the thinking and the conversations continuously fresh.

6. Learn from visitors
My role at Ideo includes the chance to meet with a continuous stream of interesting people who travel long distances to visit us each year. Most are prospective clients who typically spend a couple of hours telling us about their industry, their company and their point of view. Over the years, I’ve participated in more than a thousand such meetings and I think of it as a form of postgraduate education. After each visit, I feel a little more up to date and attuned to current trends and dare I say it, just a little bit wiser for the experience.

7. Seek out diverse projects
There’s an old saying that a forty year career is sometimes the same year repeated forty times. Not at Ideo or at any other company with a culture of continuous learning. The broad range of our client work - spanning dozens of industries - means that we can cross-pollinate from one World to another.