Design for uncertain times

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Designing for uncertain times

Kevin McCullagh

Design Leaders Conference, Dublin, 18 November 2021

Photo by Slim Emcee on Unsplash


Product strategy

We bring clarity to the early stages of innovation

Strategic foresight

Opportunity discovery

Proposition design

Experience strategy

Capability building


‘ The future is part of every designer’s job description’ Marc Newson


‘ Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been’ Wayne Gretzky


... but pucks travel in straight lines!


The future is uncertain


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‘ There are decades where nothing happens


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‘ There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen’ Vladimir Lenin


‘ Never make forecasts – especially about the future’ Sam Goldwyn


The future can’t be predicted…


The future can’t be predicted… but foresight work helps you


The future can’t be predicted… but foresight work helps you make sense of change


The future can’t be predicted… but foresight work helps you make sense of change reduce shocks


The future can’t be predicted… but foresight work helps you make sense of change reduce shocks and shorten your odds on big bets


Anticipate to Initiate


The bigger the bet, the bigger the need


Make foresight your blindspot mirror


Build an assumption base on the future ‘ being prescient about the size and shape of tomorrow’s opportunities’ by building an ‘assumption base about the future’ based on ‘deep insights into the trends.’ Gary Hamel & C.K. Prahalad, ‘Competing for the Future’, 1994

Gary Hamel


Clarify what the foresight is for

EXPERIENCE STRATEGY

Design inspiration

Fuelling design ideas by analysing design and technology trends.


Clarify what the foresight is for PORTFOLIO STRATEGY

Opportunity identification Translating trends analysis into opportunities and propositions EXPERIENCE STRATEGY

Design inspiration

Fuelling design ideas by analysing design and technology trends.


Clarify what the foresight is for

CORPORATE STRATEGY

Future scoping

Painting a broad future context to identify future disruptions and stimulate discussion. PORTFOLIO STRATEGY

Opportunity identification Translating trends analysis into opportunities and propositions EXPERIENCE STRATEGY

Design inspiration

Fuelling design ideas by analysing design and technology trends.


Ground foresight in fact Global sea level is projected to rise Global mean sea level (m) 5

4

High emissions scenario (RCP 8.5)

3

2 Emissions stabilise by 2100 (RCP 4.5)

1

CO2 emissions reach zero by 2100 (RCP 2.6)

0 Historical observations

1900

1950

2000

2050

2100

2150

2200

2250

2300


Technology is not destiny


Jet engines?

Ford FX-Atmos concept, 1954


Nuclear powered cars?

Ford Nucleon concept, 1958


The Metaverse?


Sociology before technology


Fit the wide angle lens


Scan wide, scan often


Filter by focusing on key strategic questions


Work with worldly-wise experts


Seek viewpoint diversity


Form Credible Coherent Compelling points of view


‘ hold strong opinions weakly…


‘ hold strong opinions weakly… If you must forecast then forecast often


‘ hold strong opinions weakly… If you must forecast then forecast often – and be the first to prove yourself wrong.’ Paul Saffo


Tangibly translate


Do it again

Macro trends

Soft geometry Pure and softened geometry Muted colours Matt and satin finishes

Slide 33

Macro trends

Soft geometry

Slide

5

Pure and softened geometry | Muted colours | Matt and satin finishes


Keep on tracking!


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