About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

Talking about lazy thinking

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, September 26, 2016   

Talking about lazy thinkingLater this week I am giving a talk to a bunch of clever women working in the supply chain industry. I have been thinking about what I can talk about that will be interesting and either refreshing or a inspiration top up.   Read More . . .

Your boring forms are a major cause of stupid work and brand damage

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, June 06, 2016   

Boring forms – Stupid workStupid work is what we used to call poor productivity. Brand damage is caused by anything that annoys your customers, users or staff. Stupid work that causes brand damage would therefore seem to be a good place to make changes – and quickly! The source will be easy to find in any organisation – go and take a look at your forms.   Read More . . .

What exploding mice have to do with executing a plan

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, May 25, 2016   

Execute a planWe have had a bit of a mouse plague. It feels like a plague because I have mice everywhere I am – in the office and at home. The mice in the office left their 'calling cards' all over the kitchen bench but the mice at home exploded behind the fridge creating an unholy smell.   Read More . . .

How using schematics facilitates better decision making

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, April 12, 2016   

Everyone has experienced the destructive nature of 'decisions made in isolation'. It is usually abundantly clear to those affected by these terrible decisions that there was an absence of facts, information and understanding in the decision making process. When the decisions are about a system, there is an easy way to make that decision making process much better. Schematics are the type of diagrams that provide information about how a system works. They are an invaluable tool for turning information about how a system works into understanding because they put information in context.

We love putting information in context. It is at the core of what we do. We even have a diagram to explain where it fits into the wisdom getting process. For example, we recently created some schematics showing options for changing existing roads - changes that were designed to move traffic from a residential area to an industrial area. Whilst the diagrams looked like maps they were actually schematics because they were not geographically correct. Instead they showed the planned traffic routes in each of the options and the relationship between the residential areas and the industrial areas. They showed the system of roads and facilities.

   Read More . . .

Being patient - adding experience to information

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, April 05, 2016   

At Hothouse Design we have a diagram that describes the process of turning data into wisdom. We didn't invent this process but it resonates for us because it mimics our experience and it explains the process of turning data into wisdom is a very succinct way. In this process, information turns into knowledge once you add experience to the mix.    Read More . . .

Filling systems are dead, tagging rules!

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 22, 2016   

If enough people do stuff the same inefficient way for long enough someone else will solve the problem that those people are are avoiding. We all know someone who has one folder on their computer called My Files and everything is dumped into that folder. Ghastly way to store and try to find anything.   Read More . . .

Disruption is dangerous language

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 22, 2016   

Business jargon is a dangerous thing. People grab hold of new jargonistic terms as if they have found the only life raft in a sea boiling with sharks. Problem is, most jargon is an illusion. It is a smoke screen. The life raft is an illusion, only the sharks are real.    Read More . . .

Email overload and the madness of digital hoarding

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 15, 2016   

The inventor of email has died. I wonder if he ever thought that email would bring out the hoarder in most of us. Email has been around for over 40 years. I remember how wondrous and clunky it seemed when I first came across it when working in a research role at a Uni back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It was the stuff of the future. There was no hint at the time that this weird, clunky communication system would become the most seductive form of fools' gold.    Read More . . .

How we are improving access to our collective knowledge

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, March 07, 2016   

Take a moment to think what would happen if every question that is asked and answered in your organisation could be stored and searched later on. How much knowledge could you collect?    Read More . . .

How to manage interruptions in an open plan office

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 01, 2016   

I jumped out of my seat to go and ask a colleague for help but stopped as soon as I stood up to check the time. Five before the hour - not an appropriate time for an interruption. So I made a note for myself, did something else for a few minutes then sorted out my problem with my colleague - on the hour.    Read More . . .


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About being sensible.

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