Archive for April, 2019

How did this even get past the first round?

Monday, April 29th, 2019

screenshotOnce in a while, we wonder in astonishment how something is included in a released product. Despite internal checks, marketing management and advertising massaging, something that must have flown by a channel of yes (or distracted) people somehow got out. Granted, and thanks largely to Microsoft, we do now have a product development culture of releasing products with imperfections/bugs, but in those situations, the easy problems are usually taken care of quickly.

Recently, I have been getting views of an ad by Shipt when I am watching online drama videos. That brand name is so bad and wrong. The other odd thing is that the video ad itself has many bad ideas…like tossing a light bulb to someone..and then the guy screws the light bulb into an electrically live socket. Creating these negative emotions will affect the OOBE impression. And to add to the surprise, Shipt was acquired in 2018 by Target…Target! Some of the best marketing has come from Target. And they somehow let this one slip out. Traction…not a chance.

So, how does this fit with YCISL? The YCISL workshops are designed as bootcamps. The team project presentations are meant to be very early rehearsals to experiment with our core skills of fast-thinking, intrinsic motivation and emotional intelligence. Iteration is key. Closed-loop corrective action is another term I am fond of. We also spend Day 4 of the workshops working on the testing and closing phase of the projects. This is the opportunity in our innovation framework to scrub bugs, fix the important and easy problems, and have a plan to ameliorate outstanding issues (or cloak them…).

Lesson here: Create positive images and emotions. Work on the OOBE.

The Straits Times: 6 in 10 S’porean households recycle weekly, though misconceptions about the process remain: Surveys

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Slide1Household recycling is still an immature process – meaning plenty of confusion, indifference and emotional un-intelligence. This The Straits Times article by Ng Huiwen published on April 29, 2019 titled “6 in 10 S’porean households recycle weekly, though misconceptions about the process remain: Surveys” reminds me of my own household’s behavior with respect to recycling as well as how government policies keep getting in the way of creating sustainable recycling behavior (eg, the plastic bag ban). Thus with the condition of wanting so much more out of a good cause, we can possibly take on this problem scope for the YCISL workshop team projects.


Purpose: To design solutions utilizing YCISL strengths that enable optimizable recycling behavior in homes.

How: For this pilot-level project, team projects will be required to include fast-thinking conditioning, instrinsic motivation leveraging, and emotional intelligence smart-ness.

Methodology: Team products could be service-oriented, educational (various media or channels), interfacial (eg, using HCI), interactive (eg, with feedback), gadget (something to install or carry) or programmatic (crowd-sourced or information campaign). To optimize, make it simple AND easy.

Rules (who needs rules?): No financial aspect will be considered.

Teams and the Universal Issue of Sustainability

Monday, April 1st, 2019

In the YCISL framework, I position Sustainability as a universal issue meaning that it affects everyone, should be on everyone’s mind, and requires everyone’s active input and feedback. In modern times, environmental sustainability fits this “universal” theme but we could think of sustainable human health, agricultural sustainability and sustainable education as universal causes that should engage everyone. The “SL” in our acronym stands for sustainable leadership – based on the idea that everyone is in a leadership position and there is a general need to train and strengthen EQ to garner higher quality leadership.

I am writing this entry in thought to my reading of Stanford’s latest Vision Initiatives in Research. My worldview on this includes the Sustainable Urban Systems program that I helped put together in a proposal several years ago as well as the YCISL idea of sustainability as a universal issue. From this, I have few thoughts on how to put together teams and what to list as the principal tasks. For our YCISL project teams to be successful in product realization with sustainability as a feature, these team strategies may be useful.

  1. Form multidisciplinary teams with cross-functional competencies. I learned this at Handspring. The team should represent the various functions that move the product forward. Participation by representatives may vary at each development stage or even within a stage – which is where cross-functionality comes in. Representation from each function is also critical to ask questions from diverse perspectives (eg, from the testing part of our YCISL workshop) as well as to share insight and ideas (eg, from our PostIt brainstorming part of our YCISL workshop). And in most situations, an experienced project manager is needed to keep everything upright and progressing.
  2. Strive for team emotional intelligence (an extension of individual EQ). Our EQ framework comprises self and social components. In the YCISL, we start with the self by defining our Personal Story in order to build our identity, and understanding EQ life lessons that we can apply to continuously training ourselves. Teams should communicate a collective Personal Story and develop a singular image of their identity (eg, purpose, energy, direction, shape and function). We also work on the social by energetically activating ourselves to connect new experiences, skills and ideas using a growth mindset (teams need to maintain positivity and productivity).
  3. Using the Gamestorming format, teams should engage in the OPEN then move on to the EXPLORE with the known parameters of when and how to CLOSE. Iteration is key to the team process as is fail early, fail fast (the virtual reset button), and the divergent-convergent thinking loop.