MTPcon 17 — theme 3: rejecting or embracing the past

Some of the speakers touched on how we deal with the ideas and ways of the past. Jake Knapp’s design sprint methodology is framed as a rupture from the past, from the ‘default’. Don’t just do design the way you’ve always done it, break from it. Using the ‘design sprint’, a one-week exercise for a cross-functional team to tackle a very specific problem. According to his method, you spend each day on a different activity, focussed on quick decisions and quick testing and learning.

In terms of breaking with the past, Barrie O’Reilly quoted management consultant Gary Hamel:

‘Right now, your company has 21st century internet-enabled business processes, mid-20th century management processes, all built atop 19th century management principles.’

And this is where we need to be breaking with the past and old ways of working. However, we shouldn’t necessarily be breaking with what we were thinking about in the past.

Scott Berkun, who was the more ‘out of the box’ speaker of the day, suggested that when searching to solve problems, we shouldn’t assume we are working with a new problem. For Berkun, all ideas are made of other ideas. And we should study the history of a problem to find new ideas for solving it. Seeing if any ideas were abandoned or transformed, and adapt them to today’s thinking.

More MTPcon themes:

(1) the contribution of leadership

(2) creating space and opportunity for teams to perform

(4) designing for the future



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