Old – meet new
De Bono meet theatre tools. Maslow meet The Business Model Canvas.
Old models are old for a reason. They have stood the test of time. They made sense at the time and they continue to make sense. Much of this is due to their simplicity. Six hats, each representing a human mode of thinking. Five hierarchies, each representing a human need. Such simplicity means they still have life and value in them, you just have to look to apply them in new ways. More recently I threw De Bono's hats into the theatre ring.
I was introduced to the power of theatre by Adam St John Lawrence (@adamstjohn) of WorkPlayExperience in his workshop at the Service Design Global Conference 2011. The mantra, Doing Not Talking, means you have to get up and try stuff out. Learning comes from the doing and the experiencing. It's a process you have to lean into. The leaning does get easier.
Facilitating a spatial co-create session, I invited stakeholders, staff and customers to lean into the theatre process with me. First off, we broke open the usually hidden dusty dark corners of the Black Hat (the Devil's advocate who judges why something won't work). Creating a new technique now named 'Chuck A Chicken', everyone got to throw a squeaky rubber chicken at the wall while asserting their issues of the project. Rubber chickens are a ubiquitous theatre tool. Check out #rubberchicken on Twitter.
An essential theatre technique in service design is playing out a likely service scenario and progressively iterating it. In the space to be designed, staff played out customers, stakeholders played out staff and the rest of the group played the crowd. Playing out different roles enables participants to put on the Red Hat (emotion) and truely feel what its like to be that person in that situation. Empathy is a powerful emotion.
Being in the crowd enables participants to absorb the macro view of the service scenario. Putting on the Green Hat (creativity), they can yell "cut" at any point, interjecting with an idea to improve the experience. In the spirit of Doing Not Talking, you show your idea by moving the props, adding props, introducing a new role, taking over an existing role. Moving people about means everyone gets to wear different hats.
De Bono's hats are a way of organising thinking. Theatre is a way of experiencing our thinking. A perfect meeting I will be repeating.
As for Maslow and The Business Model Canvas, that's another post.
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