Loving, compassionate, caring thoughts, when harnessed and shared through inspiring and empowering words, can move to a positive transformation. Words can sometimes betray thoughts, too. However, I have often found that it does not occur at random, it happens by choice - by design. The problems I (and I am sure many others) have been experiencing with TypePad for the past two plus weeks, are also occurring as a result of design decisions.
The teams at Technorati, Twitter, and now LinkedIn have all made design decisions that are impacting the function of those sites/services now. There is a reason why we all so like the quote: "if you build it, they will come" in Field of Dreams - it was a design decision that provided the theater for the events that followed. Design permeates everything: design of work, design of team, design of community - design of life.
How do we approach the design of conversations, actions, experiences? Do we let our need to leave an imprint rule the specs? Do we test, fail, learn, implement with others? As you think of that, let me build on a couple of Tom's thoughts:
- "It" works only if it is "a way of life." (Apple. BMW. Cirque du Soleil. Starbucks.)
- "Design-mindfulness." (Design-mindfulness is a universally shared attitude.) The tone, the pitch, the non verbals, the experience, all contribute.
- "It" does not work if it is a "program"! It most definitely is not going to be a campaign. However, if you need to start somewhere, do start by willing to make it an aspirational goal. Be serious about it.
- Don't try to "engineer it"—there is an essential "spontaneity" dimension. (Southwest Airlines.) It starts with that soft stuff called culture. That is not only your company's environment, it is also your personality, what comes across. You can help it change.
- "It" starts with the vendors and the vendors' vendors—and especially includes packaging and delivery folks. (And parking lot attendants. Think Disney and the gum-free Orlando airport.) Obsess about the details. Every single thing is a clue.
- IT IS NOT ABOUT "MARKETING"! (Though marketing is a piece of it—like everything else.) It most definitely is everyone's job.
- Capturing "best practice" only goes so far. Design is a decision made at every level, every moment, in everything you do - and are.