See Think Solve: A Simple Way to Tackle Tough Problems

Brainstorming and design thinking are great. But you, your team or your students need a more targeted way to solve complex problems. Social science holds the key.

We just released a new book.

Written by our friends and long-time collaborators Jeff Leitner and Andrew Benedict-Nelson, and designed by me and the Foossa team, See Think Solve is a simple guide to difficult problems.

Originally developed for a social work PhD program at the University of Southern California, it is written in an easy-to-read, jargon-free style for anyone interested in better understanding human behavior and how to design products, services, and programs that shift collective norms and culture. The ideas in the book have really shaped our consulting and teaching practice.

From the Introduction to See Think Solve:

The main reason problems are hard to solve is that they involve people. People are funny. They don’t always believe the things they say they believe or do the things they say they are going to do. They can act one way in one situation and act completely differently in another situation. No one has ever completely figured this out. We call this the ‘mystery of human behavior.’
The mystery of human behavior shapes almost every problem worth solving.
That’s the bad news. But there’s good news too. The mystery of human behavior also helps us see problems in new ways. By paying attention to people, we can discover new aspects of problems that help us solve them more effectively.
The nine steps in See Think Solve are designed to do just that. They will help you make sense of the mystery of human behavior that surrounds all tough problems.
– The first six steps are about seeing — each of them shows you a new thing to look for in human behavior.
– The next two steps are about thinking — each one is a tool you can use to better understand the human behaviors you have observed.
– The last step is about solving — it describes what you can accomplish with your newfound knowledge.”
See Think Solve Color Palette
See Think Solve Color Palette

About the Design

When planning the design for the book, we wanted to communicate both “simplicity” and “humanity.” The book is meant to be a simple guide to difficult social problems. To reflect this intention, we created an iconography that references both the periodic table of elements and the New York City Subway signage system by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda. The icons serve as a kind of way-finding for readers of the book and help them remember each of the steps in the See Think Solve process. To add a rich, humanistic feel to the visuals, we chose a color palette derived from traditional Japanese art and design. The book cover also features subtle curves on a dark grey background, which are meant to evoke a topographical map or electromagnetic waves.

New Power: A Key to Leadership in the 21st Century

Do want to understand how networks are changing business, culture, and politics? Do you want to unleash the power of crowd leadership?

Then you should read New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World — and How to Make It Work for You, the new book by our friends Jeremy Heimans (Purpose) and Henry Timms (92Y and #GivingTuesday).

New power is a way of harnessing the power of crowds. A diverse range of leaders from Lady Gaga to Pope Francis, from Black Lives Matter to the National Rifle Association (NRA), from GE’s Beth Comstock to T-Mobile’s John Legere have successfully deployed new power strategies.

New power leaders signal to the crowd, showing people that they are powerful and inviting them to participate. They know how to structure that participation, driving increased engagement and commitment over time. New power leaders also have the ability to shape the values and the agenda of the crowd in ways that go beyond the boundaries of their formal or institutional authority.

In the “New Power” book, Jeremy and Henry build on the ideas, arguments, and stories that they first introduced in their 2014 Harvard Business Review article and TED Talk.

 

 

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

Join Beth Comstock and “New Power” authors Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans on Facebook Live, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 1 PM — 1:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time). Post your questions on the Facebook event or submit them during the live feed. Beth, Henry & Jeremy will answer as many questions as possible.

 

Learn Design Thinking, Facilitation, and Futurecasting Online, On Your Own Time

I recently returned from the CreativeLive studios in Seattle, where we produced three online classes on Design Thinking for innovation, facilitationfor Design Thinking, and Futurecasting.

The three classes are rebroadcasting for FREE on CreativeLive this week, and are also currently available for purchase to view on-demand or download. Check out the course descriptions below or on my CreativeLive profile.

1. Design Thinking for Business Innovation

 How To Use Design Thinking To Transform Your Business

You know that one of the top trends in business innovation these days is design thinking. Only problem is, you’re not quite sure what it is. You’ve heard it described in a bunch of different ways, and you’re starting to wonder if no one else understands it either.

But the truth is, design thinking is one of the most effective new methods and mindsets for framing and solving problems. Top businesses, organizations, consultancies, schools and governments are adopting it as a way to innovate their processes and service offerings, using human empathy, design principles, action-oriented solutions, imagination, intuition and systematic reasoning.

Learn more about Design Thinking for Business Innovation>>

2. Become a Design Thinking Facilitator

 Take Design Thinking To The Next Level By Leading Your Team

So you’ve done your homework and you now understand what design thinking is and the power it has to revolutionize the way you do business. But the only way it can really have an impact is if key players throughout your organization embrace design thinking principles and are willing to put them into practice.

Basically, you need to become a design thinking evangelist, coach and trainer. This course will instruct you on how to explain the method and mindset for creative problem framing and solving and show others how to implement this innovative process.

Learn more about Become a Design Thinking Facilitator>>

3. Futurecasting for Product Innovation

Ensure Your Organization’s Relevance And Sustainability

We live in a rapidly changing world, and that includes the world of business. To be successful, companies have to develop products and services that not only address the needs of today, but anticipate the needs of tomorrow. That’s why futurecasting is so important.

While no one can see the future, we can model and rehearse potential futures, which is what futurecasting is all about. This essential tool for design innovation and business strategy helps us imagine what the future might be so we can create a long-term vision and make it a reality.

Using techniques adapted from the military, global corporations and top design schools, this course will help you map out the best- and worst-case scenarios of the future and prepare for them.

Learn more about Futurecasting for Product Innovation>>

Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, & Coming to America

The Six-Word Memoir project and ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” team up to capture hundreds of moving stories of immigration, coming to America and family history. This video features Six-Word Memoirs by Academy-Award winners and politicians, small biz owners and military personnel, parents, students, and everyone in between. Read more unforgettable stories from Aziz Ansari, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Neil Gaiman, and many more people of all ages and descriptions in “Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, & Coming to America.”

Recognize anyone? 😉