11 ways to build your own d.school innovation space
(via Fast Company)
1. Start with what you have. „We started in a trailer,“ Kembel points out, „with the ‚d.school‘ as a sign on the table.“ Kembel’s advice: Claim a space and label it.
2. Go to the people who are interested first. Form a crack team of true believers to spearhead your campaign. Revolutions start from the bottom up.
3. Empower your team to change their space. Somebody high enough up the food chain needs to defend this activity against facilities managers who may not be amused. Then, be willing to keep changing things. Try out different ways to configure space to see what works best.
4. Watch the behavior of the group and take notes. Have somebody in your band of innovators own this task. What’s working, what isn’t? „Try, reflect, modify,“ says Kembel.
5. Develop group-sized artifacts. Whaa? In short, forget the spreadsheets with the tiny type. „Get your ideas up in big enough form so that others can see and add to them.“
6. Keep any prototypes, sketches, or idea-jam artifacts low-rez and not precious. „Don’t get too formal too fast,“ says Kembel. Making things precious locks them in too soon, short-circuiting potential improvements.
7. Show your work in progress. „Put your underwear up on the line and let people comment. But keep it safe,“ Kembel says. No rude comments allowed.
8. Do something simple to surprise people. At the d.school, they painted the women’s restroom lipstick pink, and hung disco balls. „That makes people realize that somebody cares about your experience,“ Kembel says.
9. Invest more in „we“ spaces than in „I“ spaces. Cozy nooks for teams, not plush corner offices for the alpha dogs.
10. Mix up seating options. Take the table out of the room and sit on the floor. Vary seat heights. Change customary positions at meetings. For example, put the group leader in the middle, instead of at the head of the table. Try holding a meeting where only standing is allowed. In general, work to lower status markers.
11. Make idea generation and capture easy. Any non-porous surface can be a whiteboard, says Kembel. Buy a sheet of sheer acrylic at Home Depot and mount it on a wall as a writing space. Keep markers handy. Put prototyping tools out where people can grab them when an idea strikes.
Hungry for more, Read another Fast Company article about the d.school:
The Idea Lab: A Look at Stanford’s d.school