3 Easy Sunday Ways to Master the 3 Principles of Design

It is Sunday today, and I want you to do three things for me.

1    Watch Dan Pink’s TED lecture on Motivation

2    Flick through Jane McGonigal’s slides for SXSW 2008 or  fixing reality.

If you have seen them before, remind yourself of slides 22 through 24.

3    Login in to Facebook and play FarmVille.

Why?

First, today is Sunday. I know you want to catch up with your reading but you should also be having fun.

Dan Pink, former speech writer, speaks good too.  Jane McGonigal’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is to win a Nobel prize for games design and she designs games that ‘give a damn’.  And FarmVille, though childish looking, is actually fun, and will probably get you chatting with a couple of old friends over your farmyard gate.

Learn about the Ryan and Deci (2000) 3 principles of design (ARC) in an enjoyable way

But mainly, because if your goal today was to keep up-to-date with what the gurus are saying, you should know that leading gurus are popularizing the research results of Ryan & Deci (2000).

Ryan & Deci boiled down the principles for designing for work, games and events that are compelling, engaging and ‘moreish’ to

Autonomy.     Can we make our decisions in this place?

Competence. Does the game, work, or event help us learn, and do the conditions keep pace with our growing ability?

Relatedness.  Can we play with others? Is this event socially-rewarding?

Dan Pink and Jane McGonigal may use slightly different terms, but these are the 3 attributes that are being described.

9m people are playing FarmVille (for free) on Facebook

As you play FarmVille, you can admire the ‘assets’ the games have deployed for our leisure and imagination and marvel that 9 million people will seriously attend to their farmyard online and nip over to their neighbours to chase the cows out of the strawberries.

You can also admire the way FarmVille draws you into the game by appealing to your autonomy.   This is your farm and your avatar.   They gently guide you through the possibilities and in a short time, you are as keen as mustard to develop some competence.

FarmVille has levels. I mysteriously found myself at level 3 – possibly it starts at three.   There is clear feedback that tells you how well you are doing and lets you work out the best strategies.   There are rewards that entice you to make an effort.   And there are levels that are both badges of honour and opportunities to try new things.  FarmVille even throws in some random rewards which, of course, are massively reinforcing.

And it is social.  You can see at a glance whom of your friends are playing.  You can send them free gifts.  And they can reciprocate.  You can visit their yards and admire their work (and aspire to catch up.)  You can ask them to be your neighbour.  You can rush over to help on their farm when you they are out and something urgent needs doing.

So a Sunday well spent?

Master the Deci & Ryan model.  When the gurus start propagating a model, you know it will become common knowledge very fast. Everyone will be quoting Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness soon (ARC).

And when we are all talking about the psychology of design and trying and learning to use ARC in our own work, Jane McGonigal will achieve her dream of seeing our ‘broken reality’ fixed and become a lot more like a game.

Will you fix reality with the 3 principles of design?

Will you be up there with the games designers, event managers and entrepreneurs who can design work and play worth living?

Or at least understand why some tasks are tedious beyond belief and others bring a light to your eyes, a bounce to your step, and a gentle smile, if not the singing of your soul?

Have a good Sunday, and if you are in the UK, a good Bank Holiday weekend.

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Appreciative inquiry: a mini-case study

Applying positive organizational scholarship . . . with difficulty

Last week, I was lucky to attend Amplifed08 in London which I described here under BHAG for Britain! The post mortem of the meeting has illustrated, with quite delicious irony, how difficult it is to implement the ideas of positive organizational scholarship.

The day-after, the organizers, humble as they are, went on to the wiki, which is open as is the way of new organizations, and asked “What went wrong?”

A day or so later, I posted the appreciative alternative “What went right and what should we do more of?”

The two approaches

The “What went wrong?” question attracted at lot more traffic: it got in first, it was posed by the organizers, and we are used to that question.  People have lots to get off their chests!

The “What went right?” question has generated a third of the edits and at a rough glance, a tenth of volume.

Both questions have attracted information about props and stage directions (right down to the pips in the olives).

Under the appreciative question, we got a comment about something new happening and some information about social structures (A lister and B listers).

Better questions

I did a quick Google for better questions (appreciative inquiry questions). There are plenty of help sites on the web.

I also reflected on the event and the post mortem chatter.  I think people liked the clean white space of NESTA in the middle of London’s financial district.  It felt modern yet solid.

Did we feel that we crossed a Rubicon?  Have we taken the battle to Rome?  Have we gone from fringe to establishment?

And if so, what is next?

What other deep processes accounted for what is ‘true and good, better and possible‘?  I have a few ideas but I would prefer to stop and listen now.

BHAG for Britain!

Do you still dream?

What is your BHAG for the UK? What is the Big Hairy Audacious Goal for your industry?

What is the one thing that could take your industry from stagnation to contributing to the 2.5 million new jobs or the equivalent that we need here in the UK?

Big Hairy Audacious Goal

Last night, my heart soared when Roland Harwood welcomed the ‘Network of Networks’ at Amplified08 with this BHAG:

to be the most networked nation in the world.

Getting down and dirty

Toby Moores, founder of Sleepy Dog and Visiting Professor at De Montfort University brought this goal alive.archive-since-nz-0571

Leicester, cotton city of the English Midlands has been transformed from 5% design:95% manufacturing . . . to . . . 50% design:50% import/export.

Networking via Creative Coffee Club and other social media configurations, using technologies like blogs, Twitter and Facebook, provides designers with the hyper-competitive domestic environment, or space, that an industry needs to be competitive in the international world.

Breaking the British reserve?

One of the epiphany moments in my life was visiting Roman ruins at Coimbra in Portugal and imagining running water several centuries before Christ. Superimposed on the ruins I was looking at were mental images of the dams that Italians have built all around the world. Civil engineers, then; civil engineers now.

Leicester is also taking their core competencies and the best of their past into the future.

Something tells me the British may be very good at networking. Something verbal, something witty, . . . .?

A highly networked country also offers advantage that is not here now. Youngsters can find mentoring more easily. New ideas transfuse in that mysterious way they do between two people who have never met yet share a common acquaintance.

As a goal, to be the most networked country in the world, is sufficiently concrete for us to monitor it. It is sufficiently open for us all to agree. It is sufficiently enjoyable for us all to get started.

It is inclusive. It is generative.

Some of the new 2.5 million jobs will be directly in the networking industry.  Most will be because our knowledge workers are finding it easy to access to information, make decisions, and provide services that are valued throughout the world.

Good input NESTA.  Thankyou.  And thanks to @DT, @sleepdog, @loudmouthman and @joannejacobs who did much of the organizing.

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P.S.  2.5 million jobs are Obama’s target for America.  About 30m people work in the UK and 3-4 people may be unemployed before the economic downturn is done.  What is our target?

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