Session Six of the Service Minor

Problem Spaces, Framing and Benchmarking

Nordic Rebels IDBM Challenge - September 12, 2018 - Jia.jpg

Hello, hello! Jellyfish reporting.

A bit of context before we jump into this: Adi and I weren’t around for the previous week coz we were at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference 2018, so this week was primarily about getting us up to speed with things.

First and foremost, I have to say that I really enjoy these cozy sessions we hold with the Slush team because it feels a lot more intimate and I like that I have the headspace to listen to everyone and give suggestions or contribute to the conversation. I was a bit bummed about missing Session 5, but I think I also got to apply some of the tips/ learnings from the conference to the session this week (knowledge sharing y’know), so I guess it wasn’t too bad after all!

This week, we went with the flow instead of a structured session. Everyone took turns to share where they are at with their projects: the problem spaces they’ve identified and are looking at, their interests within their roles (and why it is important), why they chose to frame (or reframe) their challenges in a certain way, as well as some early benchmarking that they had done to get a sense of what others have done in other organisations.

To me, this is always a really exciting part of the design process because it requires a certain level of skill to craft a good design brief. As they say, a good footing at the starting point is already half the race won (ok, I don’t know who says that, I made that up).

Listening to the students present, I thought that all their ideas were very inspiring and they didn’t seem like novices to this at all. On the other hand, I also think that they had put what they learnt during IDBM Challenge to good use. & as a facilitator from that course, it was very rewarding to recognize/ acknowledge this and I was/ am very proud of them.

As each of them took turns to present, I really enjoyed the dynamics within the team because everyone was listening attentively to the others, readily chipping in and giving suggestions. Some had clear intent and specific goals for their problem spaces, others had reframed to a broader scope (which we encouraged) for them to find the root causes of certain problems they had identified.

Some of them also found synergies and overlaps in their duties/ roles (& agreed to work together), so that was interesting to see as well. It reminded me of the systems map that we got them to do in the very first session (when they were still very new to their roles), they were quite confused then and did not really know who else they had to connect with or list on the map but it seems like that’s all coming to light now! I love seeing how this unfolds, it is such a wonderful feeling when there are moments like these when they finally realise the purpose of tasks that they might not have understood back when they were actually doing it.

All in all, they are a very motivated bunch with a strong sense of belonging and “Slush Identity” that I truly admire. The community spirit, passion, curiosity and willingness to learn always spurs me to become more engaged and to do better. Indeed, we are all learning from one another.   

I guess everyone seems to be in a good place now, especially after some minor tweaking and inputs from Adi and myself. I really look forward to what the students will bring to the table next week after they do some preliminary research and mapping now that there is more clarity with their directions. I’m sure they’ll dazzle us as they do each and every week.

This is so exciting!