Better By Design CEO summit notes – Day 1 note 2

Next up at the BBD summit was a panel giving feedback from the CEO tour of the SF Bay area, lead by Stefan Preston. 25 people got to see all the awesome companies including Google, Facebook, Mozilla and IDEO. (Yes – I am jealous as heck)
Stephen Tindall first had a cameo talking about the YikeBike, which is an investment. It sells for $4000 NZD.  Internet only sales. (The bike is right in front of me and Stephen has invited anyone to have a go. Last time I did I got told off for speeding by the founder. Stephen is a cofounder and director of Pacific Fibre)
Jeremy acknowledged Stephen’s investment vehicle K one W one which has invested is a host of New Zealand companies. (Including Pacific Fibre)

Grant Webster from THL
The team was thrown into the thick of things – asked to design a gift, going through the process starting with interviews and so forth. Process was 1: Start by gaining empathy, 2: Generate alternatives to test, 3: Reframe the problem, 4: Iterate based on feedback and 5: Build and test

You can prototype with anything. Prototype room at Ideo was a kindergarten playground. Team started generate gift ideas, prototyed a number of ideas in a very short amount of time. Deliberately not investing ownership in the prototypes, which opens up the ability to make change as it goes. Easier to criticise when it isn’t someone’s ride and joy.

Prototype like you are right, listen like you are wrong

US Customs wanted to change from being experienced as a rotweiller to a pointer.

Damian Camp from Pacific Aerospace
While they have had a product (light airplane) on a stamp, they were performing poorly and then bought out. New owners bought in lean manufacturing, which felt like a stretch at the time, but they have done it. They see design transformation as similarly scary but that they have to do it.
Intuitive Surgical
Damian noticed that the plant used lean and asked question. They saw it as a price to play – and had moved on to design thinking.
Damian talked about the waterfall design process and how it fails – cited an example of a six month design process that had a vital input wrong, and resulted in wasted work. He has now moved the company to a more iterative design process, with early benefits.
(I was a bit lean on notes for Damian and Grant while I tidied up the last post)

Vaughan Schwass from Les Mills
(@Toxaq does their internal website)
Sees that the businesses were saying that people were the greatest risk and greatest opportunity to the businesses. Adam Lowry said the biggest threat to method was the next 100 people we employ.
Les Mills is in 75 countries, 14,000 clubs, tribe of 70,000 highly motivated instructors, millions of workouts per week. They license IP around the world. They pioneered the group workout and see that it keeps people coming back for more. People doing the workouts visit three times more often. On a mission to create a fitter planet. It’s a two way commitment between Les Mills and end users.
Summed up what they saw in the trip.

It’s hard – making the experience they design here same as the one delivered.

Get the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus. Typical Google employee goes through three months process. 50-100 interviews per role hired. Weed out people who tread on others to achieve success. No bullies. At method – 10-15 people involved in nterviewing a new employee. We’d rather have a hold than an asshole. Recruit to culture.

Look for T shaped people. World class skills in one area, empathy and understanding in other areas.
Focus on team speed – not individual speed. Performance reviews team played biger rolw than the person’s own manager.

The had a go at being a Nascar pit crew – changing tires. Teams that do eat teams that talk. They had 4 minutes between goes to improve, reducing at a minute each time. The limited time meant idea ownership didn’t exist, forced action.

To fail is not shameful – Type 1: Fearful of making and error is not desired – they want Type 2: Fearful of losing out on opportunity.

Employee as an entrepreneur
– Google 1 day a week

Nodal organisation versus formal structure – Mozilla balance need for chaos and order to get ‘chaordic’. They are willing to let go of control to get better outcomes.

Invest in culture – its the only thing you truly own. At Google you get everything.


Peter Chrisp – new NZTE CEO.

Background in commodity manufacturing
(NZTE is supporting Pacific Fibre, and has supported Texmate and Valuecruncher in the past)

US hosts found them to be intense, asking too many questions and bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement. (Sign me up)
Peter toured NZ as he started the job recently. He saw it is still pretty tough going in NZ from GFC, the platform is burning, market is tough, but a lot of innovation happening and a lot of people hard wired for innovation.
We are blessed in NZ with courageous cause driven energetic leadership in NZ. Another shout out to Stephen Tindall helping companies.

Henry Ford – “If I asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse”

It’s about being ahead of your customers, solving problems that customers didn’t know they had.

Klutz Books.
It’s a toy. Its a car. It’s solar powered. It needs assembly. They launch a product a month. Cause driven, beleif that kids should be constructing, playing with their hands, and not sitting in front of TV all day.
IDEO – insight is an art and a science. Empathy, observation, science (same as earlier)
Impact on NZTE

What does this mean for NZTE? Who are the customers of NZTE? What are their latent needs?

There is a revolution going on Commodity economy is important but insufficient.

Are the 250 people in 38 NZTE offices there to push NZ products into market or to reflect back insights, intelligence, demographic trends and latent demand to NZ companies?

The tour group saw much wider potential for NZTE to expand their role and approach.

So Peter Chrisp and senior NZTE team have decided to do a BBD Design 360 assessment and plan on themselves – Ray Labone (Equip), and Matt McKendry (Deloitte – who we will likely work with at Pacific Fibre) are leading the charge.
Peter believes NZ needs both public and private sector leaders reaching out and taking risks. It looks like NZTE are up for it and it will be and interesting few years.

Stefan Preston
Summed it us as seeing that companies had something to believe in (a cause), something to belong to (culture), something to contribute to (which I would put as the end user experience)

Hears a lot of ‘yes but’ but says it’s just a matter of giving it a go – ‘try something’. (I agree)

Visit the BBD Website soon for tools to help. (currently shocking, as so many designer websites are <ducks>)

Published by Lance Wiggs