[ Applause ]
>>Baty: Hello. This is my one and only slide, just for people
who have got their phones out and cameras out, if you want to take a picture of this
one. [ Laughter ]
We can get that out of the way. There’s actually a slide deck, so it will
be distributed later, but you don’t have to worry about it, and you don’t have to be distracted
by it and you won’t be missing anything when I talk.
So one of the things that Richard didn’t mention about me is that I’m a cyclist.
I sort of started identifying as a cyclist a couple of years ago.
It comes with special outfits. [ Chuckling ]
It also comes with some hazards if you live in a place like Sidney, and just two weeks
ago, I got knocked off my bike by a car. General rule, we lose those fights as a cyclist,
and I dislocated this shoulder when I fell. So if I seem a little one‑sided in my actions
today, that will be why. And if I’m not one‑sided, and understand
I’m grimacing a little bit, that also will be why.
Anyway, that also makes you feel sorry for me along with the jet lag and the flying,
without any further ado let’s get started. So when we think about innovation, we think
about new ways of thinking and fresh ideas and the word “innovation” used to mean revolution,
it used to mean an insurrection. It’s not particularly surprising that people
are a little bit fearful of it, as Richard indicated, and a little bit hesitant to fully
embrace that kind of change, when we think of it in quite a radical way, and that notion
of an insurrection is quite clearly a radical departure from whatever the established ways
of working are. One of the things I want to focus on today
is how both people and individuals, as individuals, but also in our interpersonal relationships,
and in the way organizations are structured and how they operate, we get into these channels,
or these ruts that are very hard to break out of, and I want to talk a little bit how
we can actively try and help and encourage people to break out of those ruts using the
tools and methods of design, as both a philosophy and a practice and a way of engaging with
others in a way that actively contributes to helping people think differently, but more
importantly, helping us get ideas out into the world.
Can I just, the AV folks at the back, I’m relying on this timer for my timing, and it’s
not changing. I’m happy to keep talking.
[ Chuckling ] … but I think at some point somebody is
going to have to pull me off stage, that’s not working at all.
I just lost ten minutes so that’s interesting. [ Laughter ]
All right. Thank you. There we go.
Not entirely what I was after, but okay, there we go.
As individuals we are motivated in ourselves by a desire to be good at things, to have
a sense of purpose, to get better at things over time, to be able to determine our own
future and control what we do. There are those three elements of intrinsic
motivation, purpose, mastery, self determination or autonomy.
When we think about a radical change to the way in which things are done and what gets
done and how things get done, when we think about ideas like innovation, effectively what
we’re doing is calling into question each of those things.
Innovation programs, that idea of we’re going to do something new is quite often a directive.
It’s quite often something that’s pushed down on people, and the end result of which will
be they’re no longer going to be doing that same thing in the same way that they used
to be doing it. But that can be challenging, because it cuts
directly at their sense of control. They no longer have a control over their own
destiny. They’re also going to be asked to do something
completely new. And they don’t even know what that thing is
yet, so in the face of that uncertainty, we can also expect that they’re going to feel
a certain amount of hesitancy and fear. We also know that they’re not going to be
any good at it initially. None of us are.
If you think in a large organization, someone who has been in a role ‑‑ I’m sure the
people in this audience, if I ask who has been doing their work for 20 or 30 years,
I’m not going to be the only one. We get into habits and routines that allow
us to be more productive, that allow us to be more efficient, that allow us to be more
effective. If we called those into question every single
time we did things, we wouldn’t be any of those things, we wouldn’t be paid, we wouldn’t
be employees. We need to get into routines, we need techniques
that allow us to work more effectively and efficiently.
Then a program comes along and the thing that I was good at before is no longer valued,
and the thing that I was good at before may no longer be part of my job.
And again, I respond with a sense of fear. I did a program of work recently with a government
agency that was looking at combining all of their service centers.
They were bringing together the low courts and how people were served in courtrooms.
And in the local magistrate’s court and they were combining transport service, motor registry,
license renewals, boats and trailers and Caravans and whatever.
And people from the transport side of government were being co‑located with people who were
traditionally looking after courtrooms and court matters.
Now, what they were looking for as a government department was efficiency and giving people
in that particular part of the world one place to go for all government services.
They were trying to simplify the way in which government operated so that you didn’t need
to understand how government operated in order to know where to go.
The way a court operates, it operates at the behest of the judge.
It’s not a customer‑centered or people oriented workplace.
And so the people who are employed in the courtroom didn’t really have much in the way
of people skills. It wasn’t value thing, they were hired on
the basis of value, they’re getting prisoners through, and they’re getting court cases heard
and that’s not what they were trained to do. The people on the transport side of things,
though, were hired on the basis of a service mentality.
They were a customer service group. They dealt with individuals all the time and
they needed to be friendly and they needed to be helpful.
Suddenly these two groups were being put together as part of a pilot and at the end of that
pilot it would be determined who ended up with control of all of those government services.
Would transportation end up with control over it or would the magistrate and the Department
of Justice end up in control of it? Both people therefore, half of them, would
effectively have to reapply for their jobs. Now, if courts ended up in control, then they
would continue to hire on the basis of people who had the sorts of skills that the justice
department favors which is around process efficiency and not people skills, and if transport
took over, then they would be looking at hiring people with people skills and not people who
had necessarily the process efficiency side of things, but all of them would have to reapply.
Now, can you imagine the hesitancy with which they embraced this change program knowing
that 50% of them would potentially lose their jobs.
Now, sure, the reality is that they would reapply for their job, most of them would
get hired again, and they would be retrained and that kind of stuff, but none of them actually
had any guaranties. This pilot was meant to run for three months
and then they would be given an outcome, they would move on from there, extended to six
months and extended another 12 months, it’s now been running two and a half years as a
pilot program. And this entire time these people had had
to deal with the uncertainty of nothing whether they were going to keep their jobs.
Now, when we think about how those people are reacting in that moment, they’re not being
stubborn, they’re not being difficult. They have mortgages to pay and kids to feed
and clothe and send through school, and they need certainty in their life so that they
can plan whether they can take a holiday or not.
They’re not trying to be a barrier to what the organization’s trying to do.
They’re not trying to be difficult, but they’re coming back with a very, very natural response
to the uncertainty within which they’ve been put and that uncertainty puts their financial
future in jeopardy. Very, very natural for them.
There’s another sort of broad group of issues. So that one speaks more to that issue of what
motivates us. There’s another group of issues that we sort
of come across which is that in the process of coming up with new ideas, I naturally have
a way of looking at the world. Over the course of my life and my study and
my, you know, my career, I see the world in a particular way.
I can’t help it. It’s the way I am, for better or worse, it’s
how I see the world, and that notion of getting more efficient at things and not questioning
things and taking some things for granted allows me to be more effective in my day‑to‑day
work, but it also creates these blinkers. And I don’t worry about other things.
And so when posed with a question about, well, how might we do something differently, I keep
those blinkers on. And the way in which I frame that problem
and the subsequent way in which I generate those ideas will be that narrow frame.
One of the things that we need to do to overcome that barrier is provide other perspectives
in the room. This is why we bring together multi‑disciplinary
teams. This is why we bring people in the room with
different perspectives on same data set. It’s why you want disagreement in the room.
Because if you’ve got a whole bunch of pretty homogenous people in the room, they’re going
to be blinking the same way, what you end up seeing is a whole bunch of people with
the same idea. In order to get out of that, you need to come
up with fresh evidence, ask fresh questions, get different perspectives in the room, people
who will look at the same set of data and say, “That’s not what I see there.
I see this other thing entirely. I see something else.
I see an opportunity for us to do things in a completely different way.”
When we put forward an idea, there’s a moment of vulnerability whenever sort of someone
raises hair hand and says I think we can do this.
I shouldn’t actually do that. [ Chuckling ]
I had to go through this scanner at the airport, and those guys have no sense of humor, right,
so I’m going there going, I’ll just be a moment. If you could just ‑‑ not really.
When we sort of go through this process of generating ideas, you will notice in the design
process we get people to generate multiple ideas and there’s a reason for that.
If I have one idea, I’m going to defend it. It’s the only one I got.
It may not be a great idea, but that’s all I have.
When I’m faced with your one idea, I need to sort of make a decision about is it a better
idea than my idea, and we go through this ‑‑ well, of course my idea is better than your
idea, because it’s my idea and it’s the only one I’ve got.
The other thing that we sort of run into then is we blanket out any evidence to the contrary,
and we sort of get caught up in defending that one thing.
We’re less likely to merge ideas in that moment. We’re less likely to sort of combine and deconstruct
and really pull apart. We’re less likely to critically assess and
determine whether or not that idea could be pushed further, because it all feels like
a criticism, because I had that moment of vulnerability in the first place, we retreat
from that very quickly. So one of the tools of the design process
to generate quickly is to give me multiple ideas.
So it doesn’t matter if one gets thrown away. It doesn’t matter whether two or three get
thrown away. I’ve still got some in there.
And you don’t have one yourself, you’ve got four or five.
And when we only have one idea, it’s very easy to get caught up in that notion of just
defending it. You see it in the academic community all the
time. One of my favorite stories from sort of 2007,
the group of Australian archeologists went to Indonesia, and they found evidence of a
new species of human from about 250,000 years ago, and they published this in a journal
to much acclaim. It was known as a hobbit species, you may
have heard of it, and the Indonesian government requested the remains be given over to their
chief scientist. It turns out that their chief scientist had
a competing theory of human evolution that these bones flew in the face of, so he was
not only embarrassed but upset and saw a life’s work as an anthropologist going up in smoke,
so he asked the government to request the bones, and then he locked them away.
And wouldn’t let the Australian archeologist touch them.
For six years they fought over whether or not ‑‑ and he basically didn’t want the
evidence to exist. Now, that is an extreme example of what we
see in organizations all the time. The other thing that we get caught up this
is we just don’t like the other person. I don’t like that guy from sales, he’s smarmy
and arrogant, I don’t care what he comes up with, I’m just going to shoot it down if we
can. And we combine, we sort of conflate the issue
of personality with idea, and the value with the idea gets lost.
We just forget about it. So it’s important as we go through that design
process where we go through the individual exercise of generating multiple ideas, we
subsequently go through these group ideas, these group exercises where multiple people
will combine elements of their idea to build up a competent idea instead and it’s deliberately
designed to overcome that combination of ego with idea.
As soon as we can break that connection, we open up our sales and the group to think much
more freely about the quality of the idea in and of itself.
But while my ego and my sense of identity are tied up in my idea, it’s very, very difficult
for us to do that. So it’s an important step.
Another thing that happens in organizations is that I’m kind of busy.
And I have a day job. And you want me to set aside that day job
and do this other thing, and I’ve done this before.
We’ve had innovation programs in the past but we called it something else.
It was business process reengineering, or maybe it was a sales drive or something else,
or maybe business service transformation or digital disruption or something that’s going
on, but we keep having these things, and now you want me to do this one.
We need to provide the space for innovation to take place within an organization, and
I’m not going to talk too much about organizational issues, because Maria is going to touch on
it in depth, but where we have that environment, where I’m kind of tied ‑‑ you’ve heard
of the notion of change fatigue, where I’m caught up in this sort of constantly‑shifting
landscape where I don’t seem to be able to gain that sense of traction and that sense
of capability where I’m not sure whether I have a job, whether I’m not sure whether I’m
valued, you need to find a source of energy that allows you to push through that and actually
find significance in the effort of coming up with new ideas, and one of the key ways
that we do that is to try and generate empathy for our customer.
That whole process of understanding that’s at the core of the design process is there
so that we better understand the problem, right?
That’s its primary purpose, but it has a very, very important secondary purpose, which is
worth remembering. And that is I start to care.
And as soon as I start to care about somebody else, I start to get a little bit fired up
on their behalf. I start to find the energy to push through
the stupid workshop or push through the stupid meeting and find the budget and work through
the details and get the thing shipped. One of the things about our idea, no matter
how good they are, is that they’re kind of worthless until they get out into the world.
We see, that’s where change happens. Change really happens when a great idea is
in the hands of that customer and it’s making a difference to them.
But that moment where we start to care about them in here, not just intellectually understand
them, but actually care about them is that moment when we can actually do something concrete
for them. It allows us to push through all the barrier,
the personal and interpersonal and the politics and the rest of it to find the money to actually
ship that product and get it out into the open.
Harry is going to talk in more detail about how we prioritize that effort.
Maria is going to talk in more detail, to where the barriers have been removed in a
quite concrete way, and I’m going to shut up and leave them to it.
Thank you very much.