Today we talk with Voltage Control president Douglas Ferguson and we're taking you beyond the prototype. If you ever run a design sprint, or even if you simply sat down at your desk to think through a really cool idea for a product or a new podcast or how do we improve something in your neighborhood. You started the design process. The question is, how do you go from a good idea to putting something out into the world? Douglas helps us find out.
"You gotta slow down to go fast" - Douglas Ferguson
Voltage Control president, design thinking facilitator and innovation coach Douglas Ferguson recently published a book called Beyond the Prototype that aims to help teams and organizations (and individuals!) go from generating awesome ideas to implementing them. Over the course of our conversation we cover:
Links and Resources mentioned in today's episode
--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thisanthrolife/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thisanthrolife/support
139 Beyond The Prototype Douglas Ferguson
Adam Gamwell: [00:00:00] Hey guys, Adam here from This Anthro Life, I want to let you know that today's episode is brought to us by Anchor. It is the easiest way to make a podcast. Let me explain, it's free and they offer creation tools that allow you to record and edit your podcast right from your phone or your computer. So you don't have to use a bunch of complicated editing software and plugins and such.
Anchor’s got it all built in which is great. They can add music. You can add sound effects. You can add multiple voices. You can add different segments of episodes. It's really easy and fun to use. I've been using it for a while now. On top of that, Anchor will distribute your podcast for you so it can be heard on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and any of the other great platforms where people like to download and listen to voices. What’s super cool is that you can make money from your podcast with no required minimum listenership. Now think about that. That's a very important thing for democratizing podcasting and helping the little guy and little gal, make a little money on the side and find some extra support for their podcast.
So it's everything you need to make a podcast in one place. So download the free anchor app or go to anchor to FM to get started.
Adam Gamwell: [00:01:11] Welcome to Experience by Design the podcast where we explore the human side of people, products and services that shape our everyday lives from airlines to atomic habits, to design thinking to digital psychiatry, we aim to cover it all. So if you dear listeners have any suggestions for guests, topics or experiences that you think need to be explored let us know you can message email@example.com.
Now today we're taking you beyond the prototype. If you ever run a design sprint, or even if you simply sat down at your desk to think through a really cool idea for a product or a new podcast, or how to improve something in your neighborhood. You started the design process. Now what's cool is there is a whole varied set of practices centered around design thinking, or a structured way to approach and understand problems that a group of people face and then work to come up with and test solutions.
Now, this method has been modified countless times over the past 20 years. And one of the most popular versions is called the design sprint, which compresses the design thinking process into a five day marathon. Now, the idea behind at the sprint is rapid definition coming up with many solutions. Many possible solutions selecting the best one and then testing it with real people it's quick and dirty and designed to help teams or individuals find momentum.
So today we're talking with Douglas Ferguson, he's the president of Voltage Control, a design sprint and innovation firm. Now Douglas is a workshop facilitator and a coach. And one of the major questions our guests helps us think about today is what do you do after you finish your design sprint? In other words, how do you strategically move beyond the prototype?
So just so happens to Douglas, put together a ton of wisdom over his storied career and wrote a book about it. His book is called beyond the prototype and it's designed to help companies and teams get from the discovery phase of their sprint. into launching something Because this is experienced by design and both your hosts are ethnographers.
We of course want to get to know the stories of the people who helped shape our world. That's the magic of experiences we set about to design them. But there's always a good mix of serendipity that comes out of just being there and building on the experiences of others around you. So let's take the time to get to know the stories that the makers and designers of our favorite products and services and tools are kind of like watching the behind the scenes of your favorite movie. So we're super excited. See that Douglas is also a music producer. And a musician himself, which actually ended up inspiring the name of his current company.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:03:45] And the name of the company was based off of, I have a pretty large modular synthesizer in my studio and whenever I patched the synthesizer up voting and I got lost for in hours of exploration and really curious about the ripple effects of, you know, you make one little change here and then the module is all connected and it's resembles in a lot of ways how teams work just systems theory kind of stuff. And, you know, it was really interesting to find out that Brian Eno had discovered cybernetics before he really got into music. And his theories around music were developed completely around his readings around cybernetics. He is like, how can I apply this to music?
And whereas I came out about it the other direction I started realizing these patterns when I was working with teams and complexity kind of informed things, and then drew the connection back. And then I was watching a documentary about Brian Eno and they were talking about him. That was the direction, which I was, man that's pretty profound. I don't know if I would have made that leap, just reading that and going, Oh, of course.
Gary David: [00:04:57] That’s nice when you find out you're like in company with Brian Eno
Douglas Ferguson: [00:05:01] Well, except he was much more genius about how he got there.
Gary David: [00:05:05] Well, I mean there's always someone much more genius, right? But I think we gotta take what we can get. It's like, well, so, and so was much more genius than I am, so I'm not worth anything. My therapist tells me I should, I should reframe that. I should tell a different story in my head. I actually just started playing guitar recently because middle age,and when I'm listening to records or whatever and trying to play along, I'm like, why don't I sound as good as they do then I'm like, Oh, that's right, because you're not. And you just started. And so maybe you should give yourself a little bit of credit.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:05:38] Well, the funniest thing is like I would in the recordings too, I would always have musicians, drummers, especially come in and play some Led Zeppelin and say, I want to sound like that. That's like, Okay, well it's going to take some time machine action and then, you know.
Gary David: [00:06:00] Right. I know it's like, I want to dunk a basketball. Well, that's nice, but this is the hand you've been dealt and this is what you have to do. And this is what you got. Shoot two, three pointers don't dunk.
But, I think your point about systems thinking and systems integration. Yeah, and I've been teaching usability classes for a while now, even though I'm not a usability expert or trained in usability, it's just how I ended up there because I do ethnography but it seems that this idea of moving from the individual to the system, I won't say it's brand new in design, but it seems to be picking up speed where people are kind of going less from a individual orientation or, you know, we only need to talk to five people. And into, Oh my God, we got to tie all this stuff together. I mean, has this been your experience in the work that you've been doing? That there's been more people asking for this integrative approach to design?
Douglas Ferguson: [00:06:55] You know I personally haven't run into that as much because the work we do, the kind of the systems work we do, if you will, is more related to the humans and how they interact and how they make decisions. And then hopefully my, my mission is to get the, get the organizational health kind of aligned and humming. And then they are a good functioning system. It's sort of like leaning on Conway's law. You know, the organizational, any software or any system you build is destined to be a mirror image of the organizational structure. So if we attack the way the communication structure, the decision making practices and how they communicate and how they generally work together then everything else will be an emergent quality.
And cause I don't refer to myself as a consultant because I don't want to come in and tell them how to build their software or how to design that. I just want to equip them to be better teammates and to make better decisions. And we do that through workshops and meeting culture exploration.
Adam Gamwell: [00:8:06] So that's interesting. So even this idea then, I'd love to kind of get a bit about your history and your story of how you got into this. Right? Cause then I working in a CTO space and then working with Voltage Control thinking across design sprints with Jake Knapp and stuff. And so walk us a bit through that, that kind of journey. Because I think this is a really great place to think about. I love this idea of Conway's law. I think we should return to this later too, of how we think about this for organizational structure and have the software mirror that but Hey, how'd you get there?
Douglas Ferguson: [00:08:32] Yes. So it's been a fun journey. I started off writing software and I was working for a company called Coremetrics and we were building analytics. So if you're familiar with Google analytics we were essentially one of the first to do that one by one pixel kind of data collection.
Prior to that, it was all server server file analysis, which was fraught for many reasons. And so this was the first way to accurately measure and try and track user behavior. And the thing that I realized was, well, it wasn't just me realizing it, but we basically had a competitor come in and kind of eat us for lunch and steal all our customers away because we were so infatuated with the technology and these brilliant things that we had created and these advanced tools for understanding shopping cart behavior.
And when you list it out, the functionality and the capabilities hands down, anyone in the industry would say Coremetrics was the best, but along came Omniture that created a user experience, we didn't even call it a user experience back then, but delivered a better UI. And essentially, in some regards it was just prettier and it made more sense. It was easier to understand that the first time user experience was much more pleasant and also they were undercutting us because a lot of times people will talk about the first mover advantage, but man, it can be helpful if someone files away for you.
Right, right. You come in without all the debt and without all the extra mass and especially back in those days, because we had servers. In the back room we had special AC piped into, and the storage devices were very intelligent and had their own operating systems.
Nowadays with clustering of hardware and using Google's blaze the pathway for using commodity storage versus this programmable stuff. The ability to slice up servers and things really drove down costs. So you have the confluence of those things. And anyway, I'm getting off track, but the point is early on I got taught that lesson that the technology for technology's sake is going to take us is no good for anyone and, and started to develop this understanding that there's this three legged stool of technology, market, and design.
And so if you look at it, generally when you're hiring product managers there's an imbalance in the team and that's because nobody is equally excellent at all three, generally each person is going to have one sweet spot. And so when you're balancing a team's good to balance across all three
And the examples are Google, Apple, maybe P&G, right? Whereas PNG and these kinds of consumer packaged goods companies are really market focused. They're really just kind of getting into these deep, the needs and trends and who knew we needed a razor or a shaving razor with like 10 lanes in it or whatever.
And so, as I started to formulate some of these ideas, I was also really fascinated with process and how we bring teams together to function more efficiently, whether that be extreme programming, agile, lean, there's always a new flavor and new ideas developing every five or so years. Tracking those things and experimenting a ton I was moving from individual contributor on the software development side to act two to leader within the company. And I typically held a title of CTO where I was managing engineers, QA, product, etc. So the entire product organization, and through that work found the design sprint, had my team running them. I was corresponding with Jake over the internet, just kind of pen pal style and he won once Google ventures invested he actually came and ran one with us. It was something like sprint number eight for us or something, depending on how you count them.
Cause we had experimented with little tiny versions, full versions, et cetera. And it was really fascinating to me watching some of the things he did, the way he worked with the room. And I just kind of clicked for me that there was maybe more to this facilitation stuff than I once realized, and that led me on a journey to start looking at all these other different modalities, especially once I started to go out on my own as a quote unquote fractional CTO.
And you got a lot of requests for the design sprint stuff, because A people now in their heads knew I was right available, cause I was now a free agent and just based on the popularity of those requests and people being curious about my experiences with Jake, I started doing a few of them. And then that led to, other facilitators saying, Oh well that's interesting stuff.
This is what I do. And, I realize that there are all these silos. Right. Started to want to stich them together cause the architecture people weren't talking to the design thinking people and then the design sprint community is almost like a separate pocket from the design thinking people, although there's a little bit more cross-pollination there.
And then you've got the liberators structures people and the thinking wrong people. And I realized that it's really crazy because like a lot of these concepts are either they're informed by some of the earlier groundbreaking work or are they're just smart practitioners that arrived at the same conclusions.
And that's really fascinating to me because if you start to stitch together this community and allow them to talk about what works and what doesn't work and some of the nuances, then we can all level up together. And so that's kinda the whole arc of the journey. I know it was a long winded story, but
Gary David: [00:14:55] Nah, I mean, I think that there needs to be the detail because people often wonder, like we're here without necessarily knowing how we got here.
One of the, one of the things I always enjoyed was reading information systems journals, and they'll reference a concept like culture and then provide a citation from like 1998. Like, well, you know, the concept of it actually goes back further than that. Maybe we should know about what happened back then and how we got here, because I think often that that gap of knowledge makes people feel like they're reinventing something that actually has a lineage that needs to be understood because there's a richness in that movement to where we are. Like you said, smart people figured out where we were before wasn’t complete in terms of its approach and we needed something else to more fully infor what we're trying to do. So I think we need that kind of background to really understand design as a movement, not as a moment.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:15:53] Absolutely. And you know, talking about moments. I was just speaking with someone the other day and really fascinated by the situation we're in right now and how it might pose a unique opportunity for researchers. And so I haven't specifically spoken with an anthropologist on this, and now I'm curious.
I was just told that well, and it makes total sense, but I'm thinking about it completely different things at this point. They told me that school shootings or this was the first month of no school shootings for I don’t know, it was something staggering like over 10 years.
And they got me to thinking, wow, does this pose an opportunity for researchers to look at like, has the violence stopped or has it morphed, is it happening in the different places now? And how are those places similar to schools and does it give us a glimpse into new understanding that we can maybe adapt further studies?
Gary David: [00:17:01] I actually just recorded a video on this cause I'm teaching a class in criminology. So I know you asked for anthropologists opinion, but I'll jump at him here for a second. I think part of it is a simple, a simple explanation that schools aren't in session.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:17:15] Sure. Yes.
Gary David: [00:17:16] And, you know, while I think that's both simple and depressing at the same time, because then I ask the next question. Well, once school is back in session does that mean there'll be school shootings again? And to what extent are we really fundamentally changing the culture or are we just pausing it? Because the structural conditions are such that it inhibits us from doing what we normally would do anyway.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:17:41] Sure that part makes sense to me. The part I'm curious about is like, so in this kind of forced reduction or this artificial reduction, does that give us an ability to, to understand why it happens? Because we can look at where the behavior moved to or when it resumes will there be more of them because that thing pent up? Or is there less because they had a break from it? It's like, it'd be interesting to see because there was no way that I guess my point is there's no way a researcher could have said, okay, everyone, you're going to have to stop.
What are you doing? And pause button for a while. Cause I needed to have a reset for my study. I mean could researchers use this to their advantage to somehow look at, look at how the behavior shifting I'm fascinated by that.
Adam Gamwell: [00:18:32] I mean certainly looking at behavior change over time we could certainly do that, but I think it's interesting too, because like to your question. Can we predict that a school shooting is kind of the question there too, right. And, does any research indicate towards that? And a lot of times it's also sciences, sociology, and anthropology. We don't tend to predict the future as it were, but we can identify trajectories. And see if there's like certain conditions that we can think about. That's why this systems perspective is so interesting. Because it's like we might see structural inequalities and social inequality and access to guns, access to schools, movements of people and stuff. And so right when we restrict one of those variables in this case, going to school, do we see like the violence move elsewhere? Do we see it go away? Right. It is a really interesting set of questions of what trajectories are changing because school is out right now.
Gary David: [00:19:24] And I would add to that point, this is where I think that schools should do more teaching of causal modeling, quite frankly, because if you think about all the variables, this goes back to the systems thinking in organizations and implementation and how to get things going and what factors inhibit that.
You know right now there's been a huge surge in gun purchases. Right? I mean, so that's not good. There’s going to be a huge surge in unemployment, and probably an economic crash. Well, that definitely isn't good for crime. People are not in school. Well, that's both good for school shootings cause you're in school to shoot, but also kids aren't in school with regulated time, but they do have access possibly the guns at home. Okay. Well that's a problem. And so then thinking about how all these things linked together. Right. And what are the strongest relationships? And the weakest relationships really does become like this larger question of what are the variables in this design ecosystem?
How do we then interrupt those pathways that lead to school shootings or any kind of shootings. So that they don't happen. I'm not optimistic by nature, which is redundant, cause I'm a sociologist and then it kind of comes with the territory. But I do think that as we're seeing right now with this larger pendulum swing with these astro turf protests where people are protesting being in quarantine. Well in hindsight that's pretty predictable cause that's what has been happening. Right? But I think that's also part of this like zeitgeist, where people feel like expertise is no longer relevant in their lives, that anybody's opinion equals anybody else. Oh, by the way, there's a deep state conspiracy that's actually operating underneath which is making all of this an illusion anyway, perception is stronger than reality. So therefore. Unfortunately, you're going to have these outbreaks of nonsense because humans are predictably unpredicted
Adam Gamwell: [00:21:20] And are predictably irrational. Right? So I think Douglas, one question I had for you, this is actually a really fascinating line of questioning. And tacking on to what Gary said to this idea that there is kind of this sort of pushing down of expertise of certain kinds of expertise in terms of people leading the charge as it were, in like helping share public information or best practices that we might say of maybe even being human. But you know in the design world where we're obviously working mostly with an organization, so there's a different hierarchy and governance structure obviously. And in a smaller, it's not as big as quote society. However, the idea of like the facilitator has really kind of come out as one of these models of thinkers and in a form of expertise in itself right.
How do we help organizations align their thinking and how do we get teams to work together? And I'm just kind of wondering, is there some weird mix of bringing facilitation out into wider societal thinking, and what is it about the facilitator that you've found that works so well cause as you said this kind of a model that you found your way into through systems thinking and through the design lens, realizing, Oh, actually this is a skill that's super important to help people guide their thinking, right? That's even what Beyond the Prototype, your book is kind of framing all about it as like, how do we keep that going? Right. How do we facilitate forward as it were, beyond the sprint itself. And so, I'm thinking of two parallel questions here. One is, how does the idea of facilitator resonate with you in this bigger conversation about society we're talking about?
But then also you can dig into organizational levels too. Are organization's just microcosms of society, or are they much more specific, much more regimented and facilitator wouldn't work the same way out in the wider world.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:22:59] You know, I think that there's a lot to unpack there. This notion of facilitators in broader society absolutely resonates with me. And when you look at the framework for what, there's some frameworks that fit in those domains, Maybe more so, because that's where they evolved. You. Don't see, I'm thinking applied so much in the outside world, although there are buckets of or I would say there are examples out there.
For instance, I'm seeing lots of HR professionals starting to attend design thinking conferences, which means that the lens is being pointed outward as opposed to it being pointed inward, which I think is really fantastic. And I've been referring to it as employee experience. And then you've got, then you've got stuff like liberating structures, which is typically found in healthcare and social justice type of work.
So this kind of societal change work is definitely done in those frameworks, in that world. You find it, The Art of Gathering those communities, unconference.net, and an example of a more kind of open and free exploration of ideas you typically find the people that are in that work are typically using tools that are more loose in their control structures.
And, I titled my conference, Control The Room and I've gotten a little bit of backlash from some of those more loose folks because they hear it and they're like, well, it's not about control. Am I more like, if you're showing up. You're exhibiting some form of control.
Now, if you hear the word control and immediately think of tight control, then that's just a semantic conversation. But I think there's a difference between loose and tight and that demarks a difference between these frameworks that are used. And so when I look at or think about the broader societal stuff it's very fascinating.
I think that the one challenge for a facilitator to be the powerful or be effective, I would say that there has to be this notion of a relinquishing of control for the facilitator. So the facilitator has to be considered, there has to be some order, right? Where the group at large that has this shared goal, the shared value, this outcome they're seeking has said that I believe this facilitator can help us. And you think about a co-emergent or a complex adaptive system and how reactions happen, you have the initial conditions have to be set. And so that I believe that's one of the initial conditions.
And if that is true. If they have faith that they have belief that this person can bring them together and get them where they need to go, or maybe this group, maybe it's not just one person, maybe it's a constellation of facilitators and that we're going to be here. We're going to be here as your guides. And there has to be a lot of trust there and that's there. Then magical things can happen with really large groups, but you have to use the right tools and you have to come with the right intent. And the shared, the shared values have to be there. A good friend of mine. Greg Satell just released a new book within the last year called Cascades and this is the first book with mapping innovation. If you've never seen that.
Gary David: [00:26:25] Yeah, I have that book actually. I've read it.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:26:25] So Cascades is really cool because basically saying that, you know, social movements, sorry, have you read cascades or mapping innovations?
Gary David: [00:26:31] No, I've read mapping innovations.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:26:34] Cool. Yeah. So Cascades is the book he really wanted to write. And the publisher was like, well, that will never sell but, this innovation one will sell. Once they became a published offer, then we were able to do the book he really wanted to do. He was in the Ukraine during the Orange Revolution.
He watched his wife, who I think is his girlfriend at the time go from just being his like girlfriend to being an activist. And it was almost like a switch flipped. Like he, I didn't hear her complaining or like saying I'm thinking about doing this. It was just like, I'm going. And she was walking out the door and he was like how did that just happen?
So I got really fascinated by this. And as a journalist he was equipped to do the research. He looked into it and he said, Wow, there's some defining differences between social movements that work and ones that don’t and you can apply these concepts to change within companies.
And that deeply resonates with me. And as a practitioner everything he said, I knew to be true. And it was, you know, when you read these things and give you language, and stories for stuff that you noticed. That's pretty amazing so it echoes some of the stuff I was trying to say around these shared values, because if we're going to make some change we have to all be aligned on trying to achieve the same outcome or else there's little odds that we're going to get to where we need to go. In a way you can also look at negotiation science because, whether it's Chris Voss or whatever camp you believe in you have to think about these two parties that may have different views on the subject, but ultimately if we're going to make a road forward, we have to understand where we are, where we align and where we agree. And to me, that's really the job of a great facilitator. They ask really great questions. They keep their own opinions at bay, they stay neutral, and they help us get to the desired outcome.
Gary David: [00:28:57] I really do appreciate the, I teach a course on employee experience actually, and this element of social movements, creating a social movement and organization. I think you know what separates us, we talked about this on past shows and separates user experience per se, from customer experience, employee experience, patient experience.
I teach it, I work in a university. Student experience is this cultural change, right? It's not just about improving functionality and usability. It's we need to change your organization, have a different purpose, a different outlook, a different mission. And that's the trick, right? I mean, that's easier said than done, especially when you're waiting into, as an outsider, all of the politics, all of the history, you might be the third person they've brought in to try to do a thing. And everyone's burned out of coming to these sessions with posted notes and we're busy anyway. And who is this guy? And now we gotta sit here and do these, play these games and whatever.
And I'm, maybe I'm talking about this too much because I'm speaking from personal experience now of being in those rooms, sitting there. How do you then as a facilitator, get those people on board with this kind of level setting of why are we all here? And by the way, is it from a community organizing perspective you might not be here for the same exact reasons, but at a certain level, we can align the reasons you are here and what you do want. And finding that point of connection where we can all agree. We might disagree on some specifics, but the larger point is something we can all agree on.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:30:26] Yeah, I think there's a couple things there. One is you have to ask. And you have to reserve time and space for that conversation to happen. And so when we look at this kind of work, generally, I like to start there. That's a great way to open. To get deeply into purpose. There's an amazing liberating structure called Nine Whys.
Um, not to be confused with fyi wise. Yeah. I mean, it's, four more of these things, you know, you're drilling deeper and deeper into what really drives you and intrinsically. And if we start there and we give everyone a voice, we listen and we provide mechanisms for that voice to percolate up to the top and to find where to do some sifting and sorting in ways that are efficient.
And you can manage across large groups. In fact, Daniel Stillman and I did a workshop last week on large virtual meetings. And we've been developing this concept. We call it information trees. And when you're dealing with really large groups, you have to think about how you traverse the tree much like you would have from a computer science standpoint.
So do we randomly test leaf nodes? Do we do an exhaustive search through the tree. There's an interesting way to kind of manage the group in a way that everyone still feels heard and the ideas of all kind of bubbled up and moved around. And so I think one mistake, a lot of folks make, so I can give you the counterexample that people make the mistake of just assuming that we're all aligned.
Of course, we want to adopt agile. So then we come in with this big presentation about like the agile manifesto is dah, dah, dah. It's so awesome. And blah, blah, blah. But we never gave anyone the opportunity to talk about their hopes and their fears and why they think this thing won't work. Like you need to understand your opposition just as well as you understand, your advocates and the people that are already on board with you.
And the thing is not to get drunk on your own excitement and your own desires and just kind of bulldoze the stuff through. And we have to make sure that we understand what's in it for everyone. And if we can understand all those things and support everybody then we're going to have a much more resilient program, another mistake people.
So, you know, don't make that assumption and intentionally program in time to explore that and it's a great way to open because then if we really understand our goal and our shared vision, you're looking at the design sprint, it starts off the goal. And I think that that's an area as a facilitator that I've tweaked to the point where it's interesting, a lot of people will have had published variations on the design sprint. It's like, Oh, here's this four day version. And here's the three day version, or I don't do this. Or I do that. And I really focused on the nuance of each component. Because I felt like the cadence and the arc is really well designed. But within the HR activity, I think there's opportunities to optimize and specifically tailor for different industries and different types of groups.
And the goals specifically is one that I think in the book it's like have this discussion about the goal. And I've found that playing with some different techniques to really unlock those shared values can really set the stage for how the team works together for the rest of the week and that applies to any kind of gathering.
Adam Gamwell: [00:34:07] Do you find that in terms of setting up the idea of goals and visions, that it's kind of an initial step. Now you're thinking about this can happen in both the initial phrase of the design sprint itself. But then also it seems like this is, this is a great thing to kind of revisit it. Right, right. After you finished the sprint, as you're kind of going into the, beyond the prototype phase if we can call it that, I guess.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:34:27] Yeah. I think it's constantly double stitch on because the thing is we, so, I mean, think about acronyms, right? Or any, any words or anytime we shortened some concept down, we do it for efficiency so that we can quickly communicate bigger concepts but whenever we compress our meaning, there's opportunity for nuance to be lost. And when that there's two things that happened with that, right? We could be using the same word but meaning two different things or we're going to be using two different words to mean the same thing. And when that happens that's when teams are getting malaligned and they don't realize it because they're not having open arguments, but there's this like underbelly or fabric of disorder.
And that can be very dangerous because you don't even realize it's happening. I worked with a team back in November and they were on the surface performing well, hyper align. But when we got in there, they basically were repeating the project brief. And the thing that I noticed is they were using, there was a word and this word is a very cornerstone of the brand. And it became clear to me, what I was able to extract was that they did not understand. They had different thoughts around what that word meant for this project. And for instance, it wasn't GE, but let's say their slogan is we bring good things to life. Right? Well, what if, what if they all disagreed on what life meant? Right. That's problematic.
Gary David: [00:36:14] Or good things.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:36:15] Yeah, exactly, exactly. And so that's the kind of stuff that if a facilitator comes in. Starts to see some of these things without telling them what life or good things mean, just slows things down and gives everyone permission to have that conversation. That's where the real magic can happen.
Gary David: [00:36:36] I guess it's really no different than your production work, right? Cause looking at your LinkedIn bio, you worked as a producer, did music production work. And is it that different from hearing that nuance, seeing like what little changes might happen, bringing everyone together to orchestrate and then all the different tracks you have to meld them together to create a final thing that blends. Are the skills that distinct? Music production versus design sprint.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:37:06] You know, I think that a lot of the lessons I learned there are definitely applied. It's just like any experiences you have you bring things to bear. And I do think that there's a bit of a symphony that you're conducting. In fact, we wrote an article not that long ago, drawing parallels between a conductor and the facilitator and I personally loved the electrical metaphor.
Whether you're a conductor that’s driving a steam engine, in front of the orchestra, or the actual component within an electrical device that's conducting the electricity. It's the same core definition. They're the same roots of the word. If you will, that we are enabling and we're extracting the essence of what's happening.
Then I think that a good music producer and I learned this from Steve Albini, this notion that you should be documenting and not influencing what's happening, but taking an accurate portrait. Now if there are things that you might do to embellish and make it sound slightly different from what's live.
But I tried to be clear and transparent with my work so that I was there extracting what that band was intending to do and the sounds they wanted to create. And so I think it is very similar to going into teams. They have a goal, they have an objective, I'm not there to tell them what they should do or why they need to do it. I'm just there to help them achieve those things that they so deeply want.
Gary David: [00:38:56] So no more cow bell right?... And so I guess some artists are temperamental and some are going to be easy to work with, like organizations. I was listening to another podcast this weekend with an Austin native, Kathy Valentine from the Go-Go's and. She was talking about this element of it being in the studio, trying to arrive at a sound, working together, bringing the parts.
And sometimes it's just magical. And sometimes what worked in the past is out of step with the present. You need to either move and change with that moment and music or else you're going to be left behind. And also, if you're playing stuff that matters to you, it may not be about how many records you're selling or how many tour dates you have, but are you finding meaning in the work?
And I guess again, the connection would be the same that if all you're doing is being driven by profit and growth. Well, Is that really the purpose of what you're trying to do as an organization? Or is it, can you be a smaller organization and accomplish meaningful things without worrying about getting bigger for bigger sake?
Douglas Ferguson: [00:40:06] Yep. That's amazing. I've as a startup advisor and mentor, I run into that often. The founder has an amazing idea, but they're not pursuing the amazing idea because quote, “it doesn't scale”. I don't know what really is, I mean, I would assume it's ego, but just to me, that someone has stumbled upon something so amazing.
That they could potentially with a small team pocket a couple million or maybe a million a year or something. And that's not good enough if I can't ring the bell at the stock exchange then it’s not worth any of it. And it's like, wow, really?
And then the fascinating thing is if you do the passion project, you do the lifestyle business, which is like nothing to shake a stick at. I mean, gosh, so many people would be so grateful to be in that situation. Right. And if you did that and really pursued that, what surfaces that you're not even considering right now, because in that work, you exposed some new novel thing.
And so I'm a firm believer in following your passion and doubling down on what works, rather than trying to like, have some notion of what the future should be trying to force to happen.
Adam Gamwell: [00:41:38] How might we then think about the notion of control in this case to come back to your conference title Control The Room? Yeah. And cause I thought it was interesting how you said that certain people read that differently. Right? Like what does it mean by controls? I love this idea too, especially in the startup space. Right. You know, most startups fail, but again, what does failure mean in this case? And then also what does it mean to have a sense of like, you're trying to control the future, but also just come up with a passion project that may not scale. I don't know. So I'm really, I think because it's super compelling too. Cause then you can talk into a bunch of founders and folks with ideas, right. You do hear this notion of, they want to have some sense of like becoming the next Google and that maybe a little too big, but it's the idea of like, wanting to be able to scale is one of the key metrics of having a kind of success.
And so it does change the way of what it means. The notion of control. I think in this space too, what a founder is trying to control as I'm just in between the idea of both control and scale also, what are people trying to get at by scaling versus just following their passions. And is there a way to think about that with control to help us.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:42:42] Yeah. I mean, self control comes to mind but I don't know. I'd have to probably have to sit down and interview some folks around that intent. Because usually when I'm in that conversation I'm really focused on not necessarily what drove them to that conclusion, but helping unpack it a bit for them to make sure that they're thinking about alternatives and is that the right path forward?
So I can't really say with confidence exactly what the drivers are, but just thinking about the patterns I would hazard to guess that it's really about ego and about notoriety. Oh, I want to be famous, or I want to be known for this. There are some people that are driven by this notion of having something bigger and more complex because it's a challenge. Can I overcome that? And also I think that some disregard the lifestyle business because they think it's like they've achieved less or whatnot. For whatever reason they've set the goal and they tend to be very fixed on it, you know?
And, and I think that's a lot of times that tenacity, that grit, that, that laser focus is what is what's served them well. And allow them to succeed. But the thing is that, that can work in a simple domain in a complicated domain, but in a complex thing, you gotta be darn lucky to have set those sites exactly right. And so being able to twist and turn and adapt is really what it's about and this and this kind of world that we live in now.
Gary David: [00:44:27] There was a really nice book by David Epstein called Range. I don't know if you've seen it and it kind of speaks to this, right? It's like this 10,000 hours model of practice is really nice if all you're going to do is like play Tchaikovsky within a very controlled environment. But if you want to sit down with a bunch of people playing jazz, it's not going to help very much. And you have to kind of draw on an extensive range of experiences. And knowledge sets in order to adapt to how things are changing.
And it's on a different kind of side note, me venting and Adam and I’s conversation. One of the major drawbacks of academics is that we're taught to hyper focus in a very narrow range of work, which then really hurts in terms of taking foundational work and applying it more broadly.
And so I guess one of the things I wonder about with your work is, and in your role as a social broker, connecting pieces, of getting people in silos and organizations in very narrow ranges to connect and see how all those dots can be integrated in unique and unthought of ways.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:45:38] So have you ever seen this? The listeners can't see this, but there's a really incredible blog post out there that has these concentric circles and there's a little dot in the center and says, this is what you learn in kindergarten. And then the next ring is what you know coming out of high school and then college, and then a master's degree, it kind of fills shades in the part of the next layer, but you don't get all of that. And then the final thing is a little dent on the outer ring. And that says, once you get your PhD you made a dent in the available, knowable knowledge in the world, you added a little bit to it. And then into the next screen is a zoom in of that dent. It says, now this is your perception of the world.
Adam Gamwell: [00:46:22] Yeah.
Gary David: [00:46:23] That wasn't so true. It would hurt less.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:46:29] Well, that's good. You know, there's this beautiful flip side of that called onlyness. Onlyness is the study of this notion that, only you David, I'm sorry. Only you Gary have had the experiences you've had and only you, Adam had the experiences you've had and that's created a unique person with a set of unique experiences, and you're going to bring a totally different lens to a situation.
And that's exactly why diversity matters. Because they bring together lots of perspectives, then we can excel beyond what we would otherwise get or the outputs we would generate So, I think that's really beautiful and it led me to further think about this notion of observational diversity.
And often when we're doing ethnography or user research, we'll send one researcher in to do the research. And I've really been fascinated by this phenomenon out of the design sprint. Whereas you've got a cross functional team listening to the interviews, not just reading a report that someone else put together.
And so a lot of the retrospectives and debriefs that the things that different people pick up on that then trigger other stuff for other people in the room. And so that conversation is powerful. And I think we should see, I would love to see more of that even just outside of the design sprint. And that's the concept that I was putting forth in the kind of cultivate the culture chapter, which is like, can we do these things outside of the confines of the design sprint?
Adam Gamwell: [00:48:04] Yeah, actually, that was the chapter that jumped out to me as a cultural anthropologist at the most. Is this idea of not just because that was the word culture, but it was the idea of how do you cultivate something beyond the place where it is born as it were.
And I think that that is a really fascinating question too, because in this case, like the design sprint, and then even the Beyond The Prototype journey as it were work best at the end of the day, if they can be then adopted and brought into the, bring the mindset out further beyond just the actual practice through the week itself or whatever the time frame is for kind of charting the course afterwards.
Then I guess, have you found that? I mean, I'm guessing the answer is like when cross functional teams pick up on this and different kinds of people are helping promote in this case the design sprint, but have you found there's certain instances or scenarios in which that culture gets adopted more readily.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:48:56] Yeah, there's one kind of situation where it just takes off like wildfire. And that's the situation where the team's been reading all the blogs. They know all the things, they just haven't started a practice or maybe they've tried to and for whatever reason, it hasn't taken hold and along comes a design sprint, and now they've kind of gotten the training wheels. It's sort of like having that bicycle and like trying to get on it and just kind of falling off of it, getting a little discouraged and going well, I'm not sure. And then you get the training wheels and you get to experience the benefits and how much fun it is to have the wind in your face.
And you're like I'm gonna stick to this and figure this out. Right. And also there's this interesting element where the phenomenon around, once leadership devotes attention and resources to this. Cause you know, they might hire an outside agency, like Voltage Control to come in and they might be maybe just reserving internal resources that this will facilitate.
But they're certainly devoting five days of the entire team. That's five days of seven people that is a commitment. Right. And that that's a signal to the team that we care about this stuff and we want to do it. And so. Then also when you come out with this prototype and the story around what happened.
And that's why I believe the, the retrospective, the recap of the photo album that tells that narrative around what happened. That's so critical because then that starts to spread this message throughout the organization. And so basically it starts this little, this flywheel that begins to kind of spin up and there's momentum around that.
And so you really can see that the culture or kind of shift within a company, but it really helps if they're already kind of on that edge of that knowing/doing gap. They know all the things but they aren’t quite doing it. And once they experience it and then once they've got some stories to tell, cause having that internal case study, super, super powerful, because it's one thing to say, Oh yeah, Blue Bottle Coffee did this and that. And there's this awesome like thing that Slack did and it's in the book and blah, blah, blah. Well, once you tell them that our HR PR department reduces the cost of application in a review process by 50% and we're like 10 X faster or whatever it is, once you can talk about those internal wins, you can, kind of own it and then you can replicate it a lot more easily. And so those are the ones I see that are the easiest to adopt. Just not immediately go back to do business as usual. And then I'll say even if the conditions aren't perfect. I think the next best thing is to follow the steps in Beyond The Prototype.
Adam Gamwell: [00:52:00] That's a fair point. Right? So, actually to jump at that too, another chapter that I think resonates really well with that is the idea of sharing your story. What does it mean to tell the story of the sprint you did. And so for me I think the idea of stories and culture goes well together. And this is an anthropologist who has the wonderful name of Michael Jackson. Who's, older than the other Michael Jackson. And so as an anthropologist, Michael Jackson has this wonderful idea that stories are the blood vessels of culture.
Right. And that's what makes the cells move through. I mean, it's what makes you live. Right? And so I think having those stories and like, so the idea of the internal case studies, one of them is a great example. I know this for me personally, too. Once I was able to begin doing case study work in design, then I suddenly was like, Oh, I get now a little bit more how to talk about this.
Now I further can then think about anthropology and how I plug this into design and put these pieces together and it is through doing right? And so it's like, you get these pieces and then like you get some knowledge and then you start doing them. You get those stories and then suddenly there's what we might call a culture that starts to emerge where there's a certain way the blood flows. There's a certain way that we tell the stories, right? And that gives shape, right? As it were to the organizational body, I guess that'd be the culture, you know? So I think it's really interesting to think about that too. And like again, so double points for yes. Beyond The Prototype, in terms of linking together, these ideas of stories and culture. I, you know, they reinforce each other, I think.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:53:22] Absolutely. I was just recently speaking with a podcast host who has a new podcast called Untold Stories of Innovation. And we were having fun unpacking the story arc of the design sprint itself, because so much so that it was really a beautiful moment.
As, we kind of verged into a very collaborative exchange during the recording of the podcast. And so we're now working together to see what, see what that light turned into as far as like maybe a workshop on how narrative impacts your facilitation and how you can use the power of narrative to think about how you might design your workshop.
And we already taught a module in our advanced facilitation workshop around using different narrative structures to map out your agenda. And so that was in collaboration with a partner of ours, Daniel Stillman who is really fantastic. And so the power of narrative is pretty phenomenal and shouldn't be understated.
The one thing I will say is we see a massive difference in the resilience of this work, when teams think about the message that they're going to send to the broader organization. And if we don't do that, there's a few risks. One is if we run into someone who wasn't in the design sprint. So I first discovered this, when I was talking, I came with a CEO who had hired me, but wasn't part of the design sprint. He had delegated the decider role and had added a team that he was really interested in working on this work and a couple of weeks after the design sprint I was having a follow up call and coaching session and I asked him how things went and had you heard anything from the team? And he was telling me the story about how he ran it to the decider. And she said, yeah, it was a ton of fun. And I thought, wow, that’s what he got when he inquired at the water cooler.
And it's not surprising because you know, this work where we're relying on the power of the child's mind. We really want to tap into some of that kind of fearless curiosity and this playful energy that can be so productive. And so if you haven't prepared that you're going to go to an emotional spot. And so what we're really saying is just reserve some time to have that conversation. So we know that the outcomes are codified and we're kind of somewhat rehearsed, not to the point that we're trying to be deceitful, but we just want to make sure. You wouldn't get up in front of a group of 200, 500 people without being a little bit rehearsed in what you're going to say. Right? And if we treat this work the same it can be very powerful. The other reason is just when you're stopped in your tracks and don't quite know what to say. The other kind of fatal issue here is if we all leave the meeting and we all take slightly different observations with us. When we discuss with other people in the organization, they'll hear different things. If you can imagine if you hear different things from our group that probably doesn't make you very confident in their ability to execute.
And so it really will undermine the resilience of your efforts. And so just having some alignment around the content and the conclusions and the next steps is super critical. And I also, as the bonus credit, if you can not only think about the topics that are important to discuss and share out and talk about post workshop or post-meeting, but also think about the audiences cause your message might differ slightly based on what they're concerned about.
Gary David: [00:57:27] That last piece actually was something I wanted to ask you about because you have the wonder of the child's mind with the responsibility of an adult's life, kind of in these projects, because it does come down to, as your book talks about implementation and what that looks like might be different for different groups. And so this starts to get into the messaging and the branding and the marketing of the change, because different groups might look at this idea or this shift or this new thing differently, but at the end of the day, however they get there as long as they're arriving at the same spot does it Really matter? I was working on a project trying to get doctors to code their documentation in ways that would increase the hospital's reimbursement.
It wasn't fraud, but the doctors just didn't have time. They didn't think it was important to put down all the details of the procedure and the way that really good professionals would get them to do that. They would say something like, administration really doesn't appreciate how good of a doctor you are.
And they really don't understand the complexity of cases that you manage and handle and the way we can get them to really understand the value you bring is to make sure your documentation has everything in it as much as possible. And the doctors would be like, yeah, that's right. It wasn't, we need to increase the reimbursement for the hospital. That wasn't going to get them there. What was going to get them there was what mattered to them. So it was the same program, documentation improvement program, but a different message that allowed people to converge to the same space.
Douglas Ferguson: [00:59:03] I love that and I think that that story is pretty incredible because that to me is true design. We created conditions and we put in place criteria so that we got the desired outcome. Right? And, you talked about what matters to them. That's what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned the shared values you have to understand what we have in common or what about this thing that we're trying to do, I was really pulling the strings for you and how you can come in. Greg and this Cascades book talks about how for the movements to work you have to have loosely coupled disparate nodes united by a shared purpose. And sometimes that shared purpose is not always clear. And so that requires some hard work. And this is what I was talking about at the beginning of meetings and workshops to really spend some time getting to that. Doing that purpose work and finding out what motivates people. And so if you're doing that work and you know, you realize that, wow, they don't really care about this piece, but they really, care about this. Then you can design that interaction or that exchange with that kind of core principle in mind.
And there's this really interesting tool that we used when the coronavirus stuff started to first become a real concern in the U.S. and it was right before South by Southwest got canceled and South by and Capital Factory, a local accelerator. Had us come in and run a workshop to explore how we might change our behaviors to make South by more safe
Oddly enough, or I guess not that surprising at this point, the mayor announcement that South by would to be canceled happened right in the middle of the workshop. So you can imagine a room full of people that are kind of exploring this like really important conversation. And then the oxygen gets sucked out of the room it was like the most, like the strangest phenomenon for me as a facilitator. I had a highly energized room, there to figure it out. And then just totally inflated. I don't know, like, like a switch just got flipped, right. But the thing we were doing was something called improv prototyping.
This is where we present a challenge and in groups of three, kind of act out how we might behave based on that challenge. And so like, one of the prompts was someone's going to act out an unsafe sneeze. And then someone else is going to react to the unsafe sneeze. So they're going to be improv. One person's improving the bad behavior and someone else's is improving the good behavior. And then the third person is an observer. And so after the short session, it's only like maybe five minutes then we do a debrief.
And I would say we were talking about critical components of facilitation and I was talking about starting with the purpose and making sure that we understand where those shared values might exist and that we get really resilient on the goals and objectives. Well, the debriefs are equally important cause if the worst is improv or ice breakers and warm ups, if you do those things and you can't answer the question, well, why don't we just do that? And you need to ask yourself, in fact, I usually will say, if you can't ask that question to the room, they have a really pithy conversation then you need to ask yourself why don't we just do that?
So that the debrief is kind of baked into a lot of these liberating structures. Cause that's like one of their core principles, but then prior prototyping is really cool because you get to practice. You're basically designing on the fly, you're reacting to this thing and watching your behavior.
And then in the debrief, we can talk about what behavior we want to emulate and which ones we want to avoid in the future. And then we can try it again. So not only are we designing on the fly, but we're also rehearsing and giving people that motor memory of what it's like to feel like telling someone you should really cover that cough.
Cause it's not socially acceptable to like admonish people in public, but if you were out there doing those things it's not great for society and how can we shift those behaviors so that we can stand up and help and help shape things for the better.
Gary David: [01:03:49] Maybe you can do that next with a regional emphasis. Okay. Now you're a New Yorker observing this unsafe city. Now you are from Boston. Now you're from the South.
Douglas Ferguson: [01:03:58] We did. We talked about that, this notion of like, because especially with the South by being such an international conference. What are some of these social norms that people bring in that we need to think about and account for that was a very fascinating conversation.
And honestly, when people ask me what I liked the most about the work that I do. It's when the conversation goes there, right. When someone brings up something and that's like, wow, that is a bit of a wicked question and there's no right or wrong answer, and we're gonna, we're going to all have a real meaty conversation. And just in that moment I feel like the room lights up and it's an amazing place to be.
Adam Gamwell: [01:04:45] That's sounds. That sounds super fun. Actually. I want to go try this improv prototyping thing now too. And I think that's great too. I mean, that really does a great job of illustrating why debriefing is such an important piece that you don't often see enough I think. Certainly in like organizational meetings in general, or I think facilitation sessions lend themselves better to debrief.
And I think it's really powerful and great to hear, like that's such an important piece of your own practice and that you advocate for others and Gary and I would certainly agree with that but it's so interesting too. How oftentimes, we talk to a colleague or a friend that they're just in some random meeting.
even when they get together to brainstorm an idea there was like not a huge amount of emphasis on the debrief side. I think that's such an important piece. That's like on one level kind of simple. And, and part of it is, as you just said, can you answer the question of why did we do this? Right? And then if you can't answer that in two sentences, but it is an important piece to then make you kind of pause and say why can't we answer that question? In the broad sense it's about providing the space for these extra pieces of reflection. Right? And like being in a setting kind of intention, right. For the practice, both in terms of why are we here together? And, what do you bring? What do I bring? And then at the end of it kind of like, what did we do this for? What i've come out of this with. And so to me it's almost like we're kind of melding a bit of mindfulness throughout this process, too. Right. Instead of just having the idea of it's almost funny, it's kinda like, the ideas of a sprint feels like quick, fast and quite actions, but then it's like, you don't often think about then mindfulness around and through that, but that's kind of what I'm hearing that this process is. It's a mix of Zen meditation and running really fast.
Douglas Ferguson: [01:06:28] Yeah. Yeah. I always talk about how this front requires you to slow down so you can move fast and the results are really fast, but man, when you're in the the moment, it's like a lot of times we're. We're going to have a long conversation about something we usually don't, we don't reserve time for, but getting those things out of the way, sets of dominoes, where everything kind of can move a bit faster.
And it's funny. So it's like, I would say some of the things that people gloss over and never do, or spend very little time while we're doing this, we're going to spend a lot of time on and some of the things that people belabor. And I'm just like drag out and stall out. Those are the things we're going to move really fast on.
You know, we're going to do a prototype in one day. We're not going to hem and haw around what it could be, what it should be. We're just going to put it together, make it believable, and then go learn some stuff. And to Gary's comment earlier, if looking at the broader implications, I've seen people do, kind of have this kind of almost like a wagon wheel type of approach where it's like, let's do slices or spokes.
And kind of then zoom out and look at the findings and how they're all stitched together. So, because it's not about how you're doing this one tiny test is not going to give you the whole picture, but if you do enough core samples you can get an understanding of what's going on without cutting the whole tree down.
Adam Gamwell: [01:08:51] Sustainable that way too. I hope right?
Douglas Ferguson: [01:08:54] I don’t know if that part of the analogy works as well.
Adam Gamwell: [01:08:56] Why not?
Douglas Ferguson: [01:08:58] Why not?
Adam Gamwell: [01:09:00] The information tree I hope it can survive for a little longer. Cool. Yeah. I think that this has been an awesome conversation, you know, it's been a journey, right? This is our podcast user journey right?
Douglas Ferguson: [01:09:13] That's amazing. Yeah. You know, it's like, I think we started off and we were like, well, we're not recording. And then at some point I'm just like, I'm pretty sure we must be recording.
Gary David: [01:09:22] No we haven't started yet
Douglas Ferguson: [01:09:22] Haven’t started yet
Gary David: [01:09:27] Should I start recording?
Douglas Ferguson: [01:09:28] Yeah, that sounds good. Let's go. Okay.
Gary David: [01:09:31] This is Douglas Ferguson. Hi, welcome to Experience by Design. I actually have started recording, but I think that with most of what we do, right there is the idea of the effort behind the effortlessness, effortlessness of the work. Right. And facilitation should look easy because people who are trained professionals make it look easy and that the hard work actually is when you realize that now we got to do something with what we facilitated and actually bring it forward. But you know, hopefully the front door foundation and the groundwork laid in that print session are the building blocks for the sustainable movement like our core tree?
Douglas Ferguson: [01:10:15] Yes. I couldn't have said it better.
Adam Gamwell: [01:10:19] Yeah. Well, Douglas, thanks so much for joining us on the podcast today. This has been super exciting. And so just as a final wrap up we want to say your book is great Beyond The Prototype is an amazing book and it's great, chock full of like awesome ideas of facilitation techniques.
I'm now Inspired to go try out the RACI chart to kind of understand who's responsible and accountable and who's gonna get deliverables and who's who needs to be informed and such like that for project work.
Douglas Ferguson: [01:10:55] Yeah, well, all the social handles are linked to from voltagecontrol.com. So that's a great place to go and start. I'm very active on LinkedIn. If you are interested in connecting there, I love to connect to new people. And of course, Beyond the Prototype can be found on beyondtheprototype.com.
And so many URLs, but I got one more Start Within then my new book just came out, startwithin.com. Yeah, really excited about that. That's it startwithin.com and it was such a pleasure chatting with you all today. Both of you are really fun to talk to you and man, I had a blast.
Adam Gamwell: [01:11:31] Thanks so much. All right. Once again, many thanks to Douglas Ferguson for joining us on the podcast today, his new book is called Beyond the Prototype. And his newer book is called, Start Within. We’ll have links about those in the show notes, as well as all the other resources that we talked about in today's episode.
So it's been super fun to learn about the ideas of getting Beyond the Prototype itself and the power facilitation and systems thinking as well as bringing in that mix of the childlike wonder and playful energy to just sort of rethinking and approaching problems in new ways. So again, many thanks to Douglas once more.
And if you want to support this show, you can check us out at glow.fm/experienced by design, where you can give $1, $2, $3, $5 a month, whatever might be within your wheelhouse. And it really goes a long way to helping us for web costs as well as I'm working on production.
Experienced by Design is brought to you by Missing Link Studios, a participatory research and design collaborative and media house that uses design thinking and the social sciences to help change makers and social impact organizations define and tell their stories better. So whether you're an individual or an organization mastering your own story, style, and messaging is essential for everything from aligning business goals, to understanding your customers sharing needed information, or just making people feel something so Missing Link would love to partner with you. We offer design thinking, facilitation market research, media production, and content strategy, and more. Shoot me a message at Adam@missinglink.studio. And of course continue to listen to Experience by Design and This Anthro Life has been a pleasure as always, this is your host Adam Gamwell, and we will see you next time.