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Syinc Blog

Here we muse about creativity & innovation, and document (some of) the work we're doing about it in Singapore.


Bernise Ang

Iteration is powerful.

The simple act of doing, learning, and baking learnings into a new product/service works wonders. Especially when you keep doing it, and people keep thinking it's getting better!

That's why we ran yet another DT 101 session last Friday, and it was for SMU's Lien Centre for Social Innovation as part of their Social Conversations series. It was our second collaboration with LCSI (the first was as part of something called iLeap, details here).

Things were a little different to most of our workshops: not only was this the largest group we facilitated (45!), but the majority of our audience were senior non-profit folks – who we assumed prefer comprehensively detailed theory presentations, be mildly cynical of an "innovation method", and distrust trainers who look young enough to be their kids. Boy did we bust that assumption!

The workshop turned out to be extremely interactive and "experiential"; people seemed to like that we kept "lecturing" to a minimum. But we knew that senior executives wouldn't be satisfied without at least some theory, so whilst we kept them pretty busy with talking and prototyping, we added a bunch of slides during our debrief. We felt that theory sinks in better (and deeper) if participants have the emotional experience of having gone through the exercise. 

In principle, that was right.

Reflecting: How might we improve?

  • We forgot to account for the awkwardness of presenting slides to people who had just huddled around a table for debrief – most of whom were still standing!  (Read: Being more directive as to little moments in between, and during, segments so they can focus fully on the experience itself.)
  • Rather than just uploading DT theory/process to participants, we're gonna work harder to tease it out of the participants through their own insights and observations. (Read: Show, not tell.) (And yes, we're gonna have to beef our facilitation skills big-time - an exciting challenge.

Enough talk. Pictures!

Nothing quite personifies "show, don't tell" like role-playing does

We did encourage participants to be visual in sharing their ideas ;)

In the thick of it: Sasa Vucinic, founder of MDLF and TED speaker, who came along

Prototype galoreShow & Tell: Usha Menon of Management Centre Asia (or =mc Asia) showing how her prototype works

(full set on FB here)