About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

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 . . .

Running a creative business - tenure vs job-hoppers

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, February 17, 2016   

When did it become a 'thing' that you are expected to change jobs every two years? Recently I have had clients move on to new jobs because they have been in their current role for two years - that was the explanation that was offered up which just made me feel as if I had been on another planet for the past few years. My niece told me that a recruiter was concerned for her job prospects because she had spent four years in one role. Apparently this meant she would now be pigeon-holed. What utter bunkum - if you get pigeon-holed as a result of four years of employment then doing a university degree becomes a huge risk.    Read More . . .

Running a creative business - finding my tribe

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, January 13, 2016   

This is the first of a series of occasional posts about what happens in creative businesses - small creative businesses. But, I have to clarify already, small is a whole different definition when it comes to creative businesses. There are four and a half people and one kelpie in our business which makes us bigger than small in our industry but teeny, tiny in other industries.   Read More . . .

Who said: A different language is a different vision of life?

Deirdre Wilson – Friday, December 11, 2015   

Where do you live? Here's any easy test to find out if you are either from Melbourne or are a visitor with local knowledge: does 'Jeff's Shed' mean anything to you? No? Then I know that you aren't a local. I can now also guess that the picture you conjure in your mind is not of a very large exhibition hall on the bank of a river with a tall ship moored out the front - because that is what Jeff's Shed in Melbourne looks like.    Read More . . .


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About being sensible.

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