In a SPRINT workshop I facilitated, there was a group that had participants with in the same domain but coming from different organisations. So the group had to select a real problem of only one organisation and design solutions for it. So there was just one problem owner and I requested others to work like consultants, consultants with fresh pair of eyes.
That did go well.
I saw the problem owner struggle with his emotions, judgments, attitude and trying to defend old ways of work patterns. The heaviness of him ‘owning’ the problem was a burden to move forward.
Others, with their consultant hats on, were doing really well coming up with creative solutions and persuading those ideas with the team.
Those fresh perspectives were very helpful for the problem owner. I was glad to see he was able to make good use of the team effort.
This is why it is easy for us to give someone else a life advise, but we cannot do what we told them when the exact same thing is required of us in our lives. The difference is the ownership of the problem.
“It is easy for you to say”
is actually true. :). It is indeed easy to solve someone else’s problem, but painfully hard when it’s our problem.
A simple way to solve my problem is to remove my self from it. Approach the situation as if I am solving someone else’s problem. Sounds ridiculous. I have practiced this approach nevertheless and happy to say it works most of the time.
In the morning I have done 2 hours of undisturbed work, Then took a break and followed up with another 3 hours of undisturbed work. I got so many things done. With in the process I have created my own framework for the GV-SPRINT which can be used in any number of days up to 5. That is something. Which means I am all good to facilitate a SPRINT workshop in any time frame, even with multiple groups. I even had the time to revamp the slide deck. All feel refreshed and reinvented. Guess I found my flow.
Seems easy, but had to do many things. 1) All the to-do lists were pushed for the next day to clear up the mind to focus on this one thing, with out any guilt. 2) Kept the phone on silent mode for the entire time. 3) Did not pick up the phone even in the break 4) All 5 hours were spent on one area of work. So mind was free to work deep. 5) Though I used the laptop, I used it with wifi off. When I wanted few resources to refer, I connected to internet and switched off again. 6) No social media, no emails.
Room with a view is what we hope for when we book hotels for vacation. A balcony makes that view a lot more attractive. Yet a balcony that makes you comfortable is a very very rare thing.
There are balconies with views of roof tops, construction sites or in some cases blind walls :). Let’s remove them from this discussion.
The ones with good views, have balconies that are mostly useless. What you will find: – dilapidated chairs. Birds made it their toilet. Cannot sit on them. – Small space. You don’t feel good to be there. – No roof or the blacony is covered partially. It gets wet in rain and burn in sun. – Next room people can see you directly, it is awkward to relax. So you go back in the room.
Then I experienced a balcony that can be best described as almost perfect. No, let me not be mean, it was ‘the perfect’. Here goes.
-Let’s get the ‘view’ part away. It was wonderful, though this picture does not justify the real thing.
-Very comfortable chairs. Spotless clean. A round table: not large, not small either . A compact towel rack ( if you can see on the wall) for wet swim clothes to dry in the sun.
-A bed recliner with a cushion. Once again clean. That designer sensed what a person coming on a vacation needs from a balcony. Absolute privacy and loads of comfort. As you can see, people next door has absolutely no view of me. I loved this recliner. I have never enjoyed a hotel stay like this one. I slept, meditated, read, and repeated.
-The roof ! Protects you from heavy rain. Sun cannot scorch you. A bit of sun trickles through, yes, but you can stay the whole day with no issues.
Most of digital transformation projects in organisations are like most of the balconies. People spend lot of time in defining the project, yet forget the ultimate users: the business user ( employee who will use the solution daily), and the customer. We tend to think we have both of them in our best interest. Unfortunately it is not, most of the time.
In my work at aucterra, building AI solutions for organisations and as a business consultant on digital transformation, I meet a lot of business users. Some of their experiences are horror stories. So much money and effort spent on mega projects that business users find hard to use. Sometimes the new technology have complicated their processes. A frustrated business user will hardly make a customer happy.
That’s why we at aucterra use SPRINT framework developed by Google Ventures, before starting any project. It is a process that has customer at the heart of innovation. It starts with customer and ends with customer. The process : Map the problem, Generate a lot of solutions, Select the best 3-4 solutions, Then select one critical part of the solution and build a prototype with in a quick time. Then finally test the prototype with 5 actual customers. Yes, all these with in just 5 days.