August 1, 2013 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / Mariposa Articles

Leader as Designer

Learn how to utilize Design Thinking in your role as a leader.  This essay, Leader as Designer, by Mariposa Leadership CEO Sue Bethanis, opens up Design Thinking to different applications and audiences that goes beyond product development. She offers a clear 4 step process to easily move from idea-to-innovation. The results: successful services,  new experiences, and novel solutions to old problems.




October 25, 2012 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / Wise Talk

Wise Talk Recap with Dave Gray on Gamestorming

Mariposa was very pleased to have author and visual thinker Dave Gray on Wise Talk this past Tuesday, discussing Gamestorming with Sue Bethanis, CEO. It was a very fun conversation!

So you might be wondering, what exactly is Gamestorming?

More than just a book or a website, Gamestorming is a set of practices for facilitating innovation in the business world. A facilitator leads a group towards some goal by way of a game, a structured activity that provides scope for thinking freely, even playfully.

A game may be thought of as an alternative to the standard business meeting, one that suspends some of the usual protocols and replaces them with a new set of rules for interaction. On the call with Sue, Dave said, “Playful structure actually helps orchestrate the process of creativity and how you structure group interaction matters a lot.”

During Wise Talk, Dave shared that the book he co-authored with Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, Gamestorming, was originally the internal handbook he used for training consultants. On the call, he also stated, “At the rate which things are changing we must take more of an iteration driven process as opposed to having the perfect plan.”

And we couldn’t agree more.

Peep this short video on Gamestorming and the innovation it can bring to your business:

Ready to play?

For more info and to sign up for future Wise Talks, please visit our website.

We welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.

October 12, 2012 / Book Reviews / Coaching Skills / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / HR / Talent Management / Wise Talk

Gamestorming Game: Design Thinking Through Empathy Mapping

In his book, Gamestorming, Dave Gray along with co-authors Sunni Brown and James Macanufo share more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. They have identified tools and techniques from some of the world’s most innovative professionals, whose teams collaborate and make great things happen. This book is the result: a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace.

One of the very quick (20 minutes or less) and incredibly helpful games included in the book is creating an Empathy Map as a tool for Design Thinking.

The goal of the game is to gain a deeper level of understanding of a stakeholder in your business ecosystem, which may be a client, prospect, partner, etc., within a given context, such as a buying decision or an experience using a product or service.

Here’s how it can go:

1. Start by drawing a circle to represent the person and give the circle a name and some identifying information such as a job title. It helps if you can think of a real person who roughly fits the profile, so you can keep them in mind as you proceed. In keeping with the idea of a “profile” think of the circle as the profile of a person’s head and fill in some details. You might want to add eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and maybe glasses if appropriate or a hairstyle to differentiate the person from other profiles you might want to create. These simple details are not a frivolous addition — they will help you project yourself into the experience of that person, which is the point of the exercise.

2. Determine a question you have for that stakeholder. If you had a question you would want to ask them, or a situation in their life you want to understand, what would that be? You might want to understand a certain kind of buying decision, for example, in which case your question might be “Why should I buy X?”

3. Divide the circle into sections that represent aspects of that person’s sensory experience. What are they thinking, feeling, saying, doing, hearing? Label the appropriate sections on the image.

4. Now it’s time for you to practice the “empathy” portion of the exercise. As best you can, try to project yourself into that person’s experience and understand the context you want to explore. Then start to fill in the diagram with real, tangible, sensory experiences. If you are filling in the “hearing” section, for example, try to think of what the person might hear, and how they would hear it. In the “saying” section, try to write their thoughts as they would express them. Don’t put your words into their mouth — the point is to truly understand and empathize with their situation so you can design a better product, service or whatever.

5. Check yourself: Ask others to review your map, make suggestions, and add details or context. The more the person can identify with the actual stakeholder the better. Over time you will hone your ability to understand and empathize with others in your business ecosystem, which will help you improve your relationships and your results.

Mariposa Leadership is very excited to welcome Gamestorming author Dave Gray to this month’s Wise Talk where he and Sue Bethanis will discuss the innovative alternative to brainstorming – gamestorming! They will also have a chance to discuss Dave’s new book about how to keep your business on the leading edge, The Connected Company.

Sign up for Wise Talk and join the conversation on Tuesday, October 23rd from 2-3pm PT!