Last night the design saved my life

6 months before celebrating 10 years in New Media, it all makes sense to me. Writing this book is not only an important step in my professional career (a book really helps in reaching the next level as a consultant), but it’s also an interesting process for digesting all that i’ve seen, experienced, learned during these years and present, in a story that makes sense, the very essence of it.

Now I realize why I’ve always been attracted to product and industrial design and how i felt it could connect somehow to my path in digital. And living with 3 students of La Cambre (including Elric Petit from Big Game) being a student in Communication, having tried and failed Cinema lessons at INRACI, being attracted and inspired by art… were dots to be connected later.

I felt it heavily late 2008 on a trip to Bilbao, and it all started to make sense in 2009 during the coaching I’ve followed, which was more a personal development journey, making me realize we are not schizophrenic: personal and professional personalities are connected and must be aligned. Alex helped me digest this process and move onward. Now I realize why I have, since my favorite music band used it as a key point of their album Lateralus, always been fascinated by spirals. Alex taught me Spiral Dynamics, and now DiCoDE, the model I created, is transcended through a spiral logic into DIRT. Connecting it to companies harsh reality through Business Models. Alex and Joëlle (my coach) taught me to Let Go, which several experiences and friends (and more notably Pierre-Gilles) reinforced as being the right thing to do.

I’ve always been fascinated by media, brands, products, experiences… And all these concepts are gathering in the book, finding their own place. I’ve always needed space (temporal, spatial, mental…) in order to work correctly, I’ve never succeeded being a regular consultant, allowing just purchased time (or less) to a mission and recycling material from previous ones, treating it as another industrial business. Doing so many different tasks to so many different projects for so many different clients. And Alexander Osterwalder, quoting people like Jim Glymph, Roger Martin, Damien Newman’s Squiggle (below) and more specifically Fred Collopy and Richard Boland from their book “Managing as Designing” tells me why: “The decision attitude assumes that it is easy to come up with alternatives but difficult to choose between them. The design attitude, in contrast, assumes that it is difficult to design an outstanding alternative, but once you have, the decision about which alternative to select becomes trivial“. And that’s the way I function forever. Good to know about it =o)

This also reminds me this talk from Daniel Pink at PopTech 2007 where he says (from his book “A whole new mind“): “today, we need creators, people who use the right brain, people who are empathic, people who have storytelling capabilities, people who have design sensibility, people doing tasks that are hard to outsource, hard to automate… these abilities are the most important today. Those abilities are part of being human. The more we deploy these capabilities (which are the more valued on the market), the greater human impact we’re going to have“. I really believe I belong to this group, even if I need to strenghten my empathy, storytelling and presentation skills.

So it all makes sense to me now: this Let Go attitude – losing control on what is already the past and embracing the future, this idea that we’re climbing our own spiral – even if we feel things are running in circle, this energy that others and space give us – opening infinite possibilities outside the box, this systems vision and the design approach to things: having a fresh (a beginner’s) mind, focussing on solutions and not on processes, analysis/synthesis switch capability, curiosity and creativity in a no non-sense perspective.

I love this feeling of having found how to proceed. Now let’s use it in a conscient way, starting with the book!

[Update] I forgot to mention Carole (@caroberry), my manager during a year at Sanoma. She teached me a lot and inspired me in innovation, partner management and openness… Priceless!

[Update 2] Of course, all entries on this blog, especially the ones under DiCoDE inspiration category, also played a very important role in this process! The most important moment of 2010 being the keynote, then chat with Georg Petschnigg!

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1 Response to Last night the design saved my life

  1. Pingback: Prototyping for the Webmission |

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