Session Three of the Service Minor

Adi reflects on the 3rd session, which featured the episode on “Diversity”.

If there was one word to describe this session, I'd say it is "Impressed". Right from the start, it was impressive how the participants had already taken the initiative to read through some of the additional materials from the learning workspace and had questions around it. They had started building on Session 2's work on high performing teams, and it was fascinating to observe how the episode and subsequent discussions on diversity were adding a whole new layer of perspectives to their thinking. They had already started to reflect on the content in the episode by the designers from IDEO and over the course of the discussion it was impressive how quickly they were able to connect it with their current work which currently involves setting up their teams.

It was also great to see how, despite it being a relatively short discussion (roughly an hour), there was significant depth to it, whether it was touching on topics like "extreme users" or a reflection on what goes into building diversity into their own teams. The conversation navigated through everyone's experiences from around the world, whether it's India, Japan, Finland or South Africa and that really enriched what everyone gained from the conversation and added more food for thought around diversity, even for those of us who were facilitating the session. This continued with some of the ideas in the mind mapping session, like the CV without identifiers or ways to break out of tunnel vison.

Over the course of the session, I was also impressed by some of the questions being raised. Questions like "do all businesses need design thinking" or "what's the difference between research and testing?", these are fundamental questions that need more discussion in the world of design as they require a greater level of nuance than what we normally encounter. It further highlighted how the message from the episode and what we're trying to facilitate learning around, both had come through nicely.

Lastly, as a reflection and learning for us as a team, it was also cool that we were stretching the "Save the last word for me" method to its limits. There were multiple occasions where the discussion drifted from the pattern it's intended to follow and "broke" the method but with very enriching discussion. We've also seen how the method works great when there's a fairly equal level of expertise in a topic among people in the group, but in this case, there were times where it drifted into an active Q and A with those who have a bit more expertise. It will be interesting to find other ways of generating discussion where it allows for the same level of engagement but in a refreshing new pattern as well. That's about it for session 3, can't wait for the next session and for next week which sees the start of the Challenge!