It's been very busy the last few months. Heck... it's been busy the last few years.

And even though I feel like we just started exploring service design & design thinking I also just recently realized that we have been at it for quite a few years now. Are we still pioneers... explorers? Or are we turning into the establishment. No. I don't think we are there yet. Thank god. I would hate to stop being an explorer.

We have been testing our hypothesis on the value of a design driven approach. We applied it in big projects for big businesses. I know what works and what doesn't. But we have to keep learning, stay on our toes and don't start believing in our own mumbo jumbo too much. Keep an open mind.

So anyway. It's been busy. I'm flying around the globe. Projects grow bigger, just like the brands we work for.

I can't complain.

But it effects the time I have for other things, like writing articles and blogs posts. I don't even Tweet half as much as I use to do... and Twitter has been crucial while building my company.

Although I think I am not the only one spending less time on Twitter and Facebook. Most of my peers have stopped sharing and discussing on social media. Why is that? It's not because we ran out of stuff to share. In fact... and paradoxically we finally have some really interesting things to share. Maybe the real work got in the way of talking about ideas?

But I still think sharing is the way forward.

So I'll write about some of the stuff I've been up to. I'll use this platform. I'll write in the hope it will inspire you or better yet, trigger a good discussion


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Comment by Arne van Oosterom on July 10, 2014 at 10:05

@Joel, yes I think that is the way forward :-)

This is the way we should and will evolve our business.

Comment by Joel Van Dyke on July 10, 2014 at 4:20

Arne, Maybe you need to be grooming someone to handle operations and implementation, so that you can continue to be the visionary! Is there a way to integrate the global team in a way to carry out much of the project work. We are excited to see interest growing in the USA, and we have barely scratched the surface. 

Comment by Arne van Oosterom on July 1, 2014 at 22:55

Yes you should :-)

Comment by Jan-Erik Baars on July 1, 2014 at 21:55

No, it sounded like a reflection, not like complaint ;-) I look forward to continue the discussion soon, but it needs a beer along side it, don't you think? Ha, maybe I should finally plan that trip to Amsterdam!

Comment by Arne van Oosterom on July 1, 2014 at 21:26

Hi Jan-Erik,

Thanks for your wise words :-) I wasn't complaining was I? I hope not... I shouldn't :-)

I know the stages, I when through them more than ones. Somehow I think that through my words you heard a conversation I had with a good fron who is leaving her company... not because it's going bad, bus simply because after a few year (5?) we need to re-new ourselves.

And yes, you are right. We are in the stage of diversification... or at least we should be. But I'm stubborn and try to resist this classic process. Even though it has its roots deep in human psychology...  At DesignThinkers we have been re-inventing ourselves every few years, enter new world previously unknown. This keeps us on our toes and exited about not knowing where we'll end up.

Anyway... I was writing a post about that :-) So let's discuss this more soon!

Comment by Jan-Erik Baars on July 1, 2014 at 19:06

Hi Arne,

I assume, it’s we call growth or maturing :-) Your countryman Bernhard Lievegoed described the way all organizations develop in three phases. And since you are talking about an organization, even though it’s virtual at large, I would say that these rules apply to the phenomena you describe: first is the pioneer phase, full with energy, actions and an almost intimate relationship (hence the twittering!). This phase is laying the foundation for the development of an ‚organizational‘ structure that will follow after the ‚storming‘ - due to lack of transparency there is a need for structuring (look at all the sub-groups popping up) and which is most likely what keeps you busy right now (organizing, scaling up etc.). Congratulations, you have entered the diversification phase! This natural step of organizational development is needed but also the doldrums for many, since you can loose your initial pioneering spirit and with that loose purpose and the intimate relationship. Guess this is what you complain about? 

I know this is all theory, but a strong one! So blame it all on growing up and make sure designthinkers can move on into the next phase, which Lievegoed calls the integration phase. In this we overcome our machine-like behavior and create a holistic organization which is finding back it’s pioneering roots! Having said, sometimes this can take more 30 year - look at Philips ;-) So I hope we can overcome this trap and grow through this in order to re-integrate and therefore be re-connected.

Greetings, Jan-Erik


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