Goal: Understand What Your Stakeholders Want From Your Business In an ideal world, you could perfectly understand what the stakeholders in your company want from your product or service. Unfortunately, this is difficult to fully accomplish, as the expectations of those integral to your business are often not apparent until a change has already been made — for better or for worse. You can collaborate with your stakeholders or your own internal team — taking the perspective of your customers or business partners — to strategically analyze the desires and needs of those important to your company, and to uncover ways to improve your product or service.
Begin the game by creating an empathy map on a large white board or poster. Draw the profile of a head with physical features such as eyes, ears, a mouth, and a nose; this will help players identify with the character and project themselves into it to form more accurate ideas.
Divide the map into five sections, portraying what the targeted persona sees, thinks/feels, hears, gains, and is challenged by. Throughout the game, have your players write their ideas about the character’s experiences on sticky notes, which they will then stick onto the respective section of the empathy map. Ask them to look into the mind of the targeted persona and think about the sensory experiences of the character. Consider what the figure is observing from your company. Is it hearing good things from external sources? What does it want to gain from your services?
This game works best when players genuinely work to uncover the impactful sensory information your stakeholders process. Project yourself into the persona and empathize with it to understand how you can improve your product or service. Once the chart is complete, work as a team to analyze your empathy map and to think of how to apply the results to your product.
Why it Works
The Empathy Map is applicable to any business, as it provides insight into key players who are necessary for your company’s success. Learn how to provide a better user experience by viewing the perspective of your stakeholders and identifying how to improve what they see, hear, think, gain, and are challenged by. Through the extensive collaboration and visual organization involved in this game, players are able to form a deeper understanding about what customers and business partners truly want from your company.
…if your goal is to build a remarkable life, then busyness and exhaustion should be your enemy.
If you’re chronically stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong. You’ve built a life around hard to do work, not hard work.
Hard work is deliberate practice. It’s not fun while you’re doing it, but you don’t have to do too much of it in any one day (the elite players spent, on average, 3.5 hours per day engaged in deliberate practice, broken into two sessions). It also provides you measurable progress in a skill, which generates a strong sense of contentment and motivation. Therefore, although hard work is hard, it’s not draining and it can fit nicely into a relaxed and enjoyable day.
Hard to do work, by contrast, is draining. It has you running around all day in a state of false busyness that leaves you, like the average players from the Berlin study, feeling tired and stressed. It also, as we just learned, has very little to do with real accomplishment.
What makes the kids market so lucrative is it’s not just a TV show. It’s not just a movie. It’s the whole ecosystem of entertainment. Kids want the action figure, the backpack, the Happy Meal, and the theme-park ride. There are dozens of little touch points, where parents pay for a brand experience and the brand experience is highly emotional. It gets back to kids’ hunger to interact with something they love. What Angry Birds and Cut the Rope are both trying to do is take control of and democratize that part of the equation too.
This is where apps like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope have a stranglehold on anyone who markets to children: If brands are being created in the App Store, they have a direct line to kids. Do they really need Mattel, Hasbro, Disney, and Dreamworks? They don’t trust them. “Why enter into a marriage, if you know it’ll only end in divorce?” says Lyalin. (There were a lot more reasons for his mistrust, but that all falls into the off-the-record bucket unfortunately.)
These companies are creating original content. But make no mistake — if they succeed, they disrupt a lot more than just Hollywood.
It’s a dramatically new way of doing business that most toy makers don’t get.
“What’s the future of design?” he asked rhetorically. “There is no future. When the product becomes bionic, in the end there is no product.”
The digital age, Mr. Starck said, has created a process of “dematerialization,” in which products like the Zik headphones are simultaneously shrinking and becoming smarter. “It’s the elegance of the minimum,” he said.
The end result? Eventually, he announced, we’ll all be implanted with microchips, and we’ll be the product.
”Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.
Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing. We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.
Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around. How many were/are there ? Why did you bounce from one to another ? Why were you not able to make a career or business out of any of those passions ? Or if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success.? Was it the passion or the effort you put in to your job or company ?
If you really want to know where you destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.
Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you .
Let me make this as clear as possible
1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.
2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.
3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it
4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.
Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.
There’s a feeling of thinness that I believe many of us grapple with working digitally.
It’s a product of the ethereality inherent to computer work. The more the entirety of the creation process lives in bits, the less solid the things we’re creating feel in our minds.
Put in more concrete terms: a folder with one item looks just like a folder with a billion items. Feels just like a folder with a billion items. And even then, when open, with most of our current interfaces, we see at best only a screenful of information, a handful of items at a time.
@craigmod on building Flipboard for iPhone and finding the edges of our digital narratives
“The reason I don’t have a plan is because if I have a plan I’m limited to today’s options.”— Sheryl Sandberg on pivoting to new professional tracks without ever losing sight of what really mattered to her.
…moments of insight are a very-well studied psychological phenomenon.
There really are two defining features. The first defining feature is the answer comes out of the blue. So it comes when we least expect it. It comes when we’ve quit the music business, and we’re trying to paint a canvas in Woodstock, New York. It comes when we’ve given up, when we feel like we have nothing left to say.
It comes in the shower. It comes in the bathtub. It comes under the apple tree. So it comes in the least expected moments. That’s the first defining feature.
The second defining feature is that as soon as the answer arrives, we know this is the answer we’ve been looking for. We don’t have to double-check the math or carefully edit the lyrics: We know this is it. So, you know, the answer comes attached with this feeling of certainty - it feels like a revelation. So these are the two defining features of these moments of insight, and they do seem to play a big role in creativity, especially when people are looking for really radical solutions to very, very hard problems.
- Jonah Lehrer NPR/Fresh Air Interview promoting his book
The virtue of youth, after all, is that the young don’t know enough to be insiders, cynical with expertise…
We can continue to be innovate if we maintain the perspective of the outsider… If you are bored, start again.
Outsider creativity isn’t a phase of life. It’s a state of mind… We need to be willing to risk embarrassment, ask silly questions, surround ourselves with people who don’t know what we’re talking about.
We need to leave behind the safety of our expertise.
“I’m not a foodie, I just like what I like,” she says. “Yes, I know, it’s just like hipsters saying, ‘I’m not a hipster.’ ” (The cliché cracks her up.) “But it’s like when my boss says, ‘Oh, you’re such a foodie.’ I’m like, Oh God. When I hear the word foodie, I think of Yelp. I don’t want to be lumped in with Yelp.”—The Young Foodie Culture — New York Magazine
That’s because these brands provide a not-so-little-thing called meaning, which translates into value. And more than ever it’s about value: the interaction between price and what we get in return. In truth, that’s what the economy has impacted most—a closer examination of what’s behind the brand curtain as consumers have searched for more value, not just lower prices.
Yet brand managers, staring down the barrel of a lingering recession, often blame high prices for lost sales. It’s reactionary, in order to move product. But we know that people don’t choose a product in a purely logical way. Brand Keys proprietary research points to a split: rational factors make up only about 30% of why we choose what we choose. Emotional factors account for the rest.
And that’s the luxury advantage. Luxury brands know how to create and foster emotional value. It’s this distinction that enables them to continue to live so large, even in a time of constricted budgets. What luxury brands do well is exhibit clear brand values that lead to a meaningful emotional differentiation in the mind of the consumer.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The report of [brand] death is greatly exaggerated.”
”—Emotional factors account for 70% of what we buy.
Style And Substance: What Luxury Fashion Can Teach Us About Branding
“The right-brained will rule the earth. And the Earth will like it, too. The abilities that matter now and in the future include empathy, visionary-big picture thinking, artistry and creativity, the ability to intuit, absorb, predict and anticipate.”—
What people want is “community,” engagement and highly effective opportunities to work with highly effective people who can get things done. And if those highly effective people are kind of cool and kind of smart they will become your “work friends.”
Then they will become your Facebook friends and you will have Thanksgiving Dinner with them because it’s way more fun and much less stressful than hanging with your own family. And you will be happier at work, and therefore stay longer and then that big nameless, faceless, well-branded corporate entity that signs your paycheck will continue to prosper and thrive, making bazillions of dollars, and then it can hire a phenomenal design firm to build a “campus” for its happy workers, who will stay longer and work more but won’t mind as much because they have a dry cleaner, fitness center and their best friends all within 10 feet of their desk. See how this works?
Who, Where, How We Work: The Intersection of Culture, Workplace, and Social Media
First, let’s just get clear on the terminology here: “Curation” is an act performed by people with PhDs in art history; the business in which we’re all engaged when we’re tossing links around on the internet is simple “sharing.”…
The waning of psychotherapy has clear roots in the rise of psychopharmacology. Drug companies have been hard at work over the past three decades, marketing meds to troubleshoot our faulty brain chemistry. As managed care has compelled more and more psychiatrists to trade their notebooks for prescription pads, the classic image of the patient on the couch has been replaced by a man with a pill in his palm.
The ascent of creative-writing, particularly in an age dominated by the impatient pursuit of visual stimulation, might seem harder to explain. But my sense is that people remain desperate for the emotional communion provided by literature.
But the Internet, while it might excite the desire for creative self-expression and sudden acclaim, does little to slake our deeper yearnings. What we want in our heart of hearts is not distraction but just the opposite, the chance to experience what Saul Bellow called “the arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” We want to be heard and acknowledged. It’s the difference between someone “liking” our latest Facebook update versus agreeing to listen to our story, the whole bloody thing, even and especially when it runs up against bruising revelations.
For those with the means, therapy used to serve this function. But it did so in a covert and stigmatized fashion. Creative-writing programs represent a return to the ancient pleasures and virtues of storytelling, a chance to break the frantic cycle of screen addiction. Students join a flesh-and-blood community of writers, readers and critics, all of whom have chosen the rigors of narrative over the emotional fragmentation of the digital age. They receive professional guidance, and the possibility exists, however gossamer, that they will mature into genuine artists. Try finding that online.
“Your brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life. In the end, what we pay the most attention to defines us. How you choose to spend the irreplaceable hours of your life literally transforms you.”—