Weeknote #027

— 15 minute read

So many thoughts and ideas to share, but I can’t be writing for hours. Too hot. One of the best outcomes of the weeknotes habit is in the editing process. Take smart notes, but be selective with what you publish.

The blog post of this week is an old Lifehacker article. Something that Jane told me once and I am always trying to remember: Assuming positive intent.

Good things permalink

XD Operations lemonade permalink

An exciting challenge in regards to research operations appeared this week. Emma Boulton, our specialist, is enjoying a few days off. I had the opportunity to work with Anja Maerz and Dr Rosie Webster in the case. All fixed, but what stood out for me was the bold approach by Anja and Rosie. They not only solved the issue with speed and rigour. They created a moment for deep reflection deeply about the matter, and created the relational space and knowledge to propose a long term change. In operations, process change is the lemon. Shared understanding and envisioning change in behaviours and values is the lemonade. A new and interesting initiative is growing up in a smart group of people.

Sweet goodbye to lovely people permalink

Friday was Elliot’s last day with us. In the morning, me and Fred listened to his last handover session about our release process. CRP's, CI, release cuts. My mind was blown in 30 minutes. I have learned so much with him and I am so grateful for his attention to details and willingness to teach us how to code again and do complex stuff.

I also met Mingxi, who will be leaving us next Wednesday. We had a heartwarming conversation about expectations, confidence and writing as a tool to clarify your thoughts.

It's a privilege to spend time reflecting about how they felt about their contributions and being part of our team. I am grateful for their openness, sincerity and all learnings. Onwards.

Ruminating about Design Operations permalink

Since the talk about design operations a few weeks ago I can't stop thinking about the things that make the discipline important or fun. Two critical aspects of Design Operations that have the potential to create long-lasting impact:

  1. Constant effort to make information open, accessible and clear;
  2. Purposefully nurturing learning networks.

Design best legacy is organisational memory, this goes way beyond shipping. it's the people and their creative narratives. Memories and stories are resilient when they are sparkled and mantained by networks.

On hierarchies versus networks, Julian Stood's new book Socially Dynamic Organisation inspired me this week. After reading it, I suggested a warm-up in our weekly XD Leads meeting. We designed a network map with the Experience Design team. Put your network goggles on, you will find so much novelty and opportunities.

A chaotic network map

Learned things permalink

Big IA and org design permalink

My IXDA brother Jason Mesut is co-chairing the EuroIA conference this year. The line-up is hot! Great workshops and a spectacular talk by Peter Merholz. He proposes to use Information Architecture for organisational design practices.

He makes an interesting statement about the nature of Organisations. They are complex systems of people and information: Org charts, policies, roles and responsibilities, status reports, journey maps.

The obvious conclusion I am making is that information spaces can make or break the experiences and services we create. Peter Morville, in Intertwingled, talks about the choices and cognitive costs of dealing with new information.

“Many people may not want information, and they will avoid using a system precisely because it gives them information. Having information is painful and troublesome. We have all experienced this. If you have information, you must first read it, which is not always easy. You must then try to understand it. Understanding the information may show that your work was wrong, or may show that your work was needless. Thus not having and not using information can often lead to less trouble and pain.”

Information is hard. Context switching and reframing can be painful. The Wardley maps fella might disagree, but there is no playbook or doctrine to tackle this. We are all overwhelmed with information. Attention scarcity is a bigger challenge - collective interpretation of maps isn't easy et all.

I just bought my tickets and I can't wait to spend time with the IA nerds.

Things that bring me joy permalink

Green juice permalink

This week we tried to get back to an old habit: green juices in the morning. Leili created this recipe that I try to replicate every day with little success. You need to mix one lemon, a bit of ginger, one carrot, half apple and kale. It doesn’t taste good, but it helps to reduce the sugar cravings.

Weekend and movies permalink

Fridays and Saturdays we watch movies. The highlight for this week is Official Secrets. It's a drama based on Katharine Gun's real story. She was a British whistleblower who made a very brave move trying to expose some shady government tactics. In one scene, there was a zip-drive and I had that technology nostalgic feeling.

Healthcheck permalink

With the heatwave, I had a few migraine episodes, but all is well now. Still struggling to get exams with the GP, but hopefully will make it next week.

Weight: 97.6 kg
Blood pressure: 13/8
Food: Plenty of healthy food this week.
Drinks: One beer and one gin
Smoking: 6 Juul pods