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the toolkit

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FOUND IN DESIGN

1. VIPER - a way to explore & make sense of complex issues.

2. Designing Documents that Communicate -

present like a consultant.

Summary of Samples

'Found In Design' a book about Adaptive Change Design

'Found In Design' focuses on how to ensure the business is firmly in the driving seat of all aspects of change - People, Process and Technology.

This viewpoint is based on four fundamental beliefs:

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  • The most challenging aspect of change is cultural not technological.

  • Communication and inclusivity are vital watch-words.

  • A leader of change needs a set of tools & models that are rooted in pragmatism and that delivery of business outcomes: tools that don’t require translation before presenting to an Executive Board.

  • Striving for simplicity is critical to achieving the above.

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This book focuses on Business Information Systems, rather than Information Technology.  It covers the tools and techniques useful to a Digital Transformation Lead, a Project Manager,  a Business/ Information Systems Architect, and an Organisational Change Designer. 

We tell stories that bring-to-life the tools & techniques as a cover-to-cover story. However, it’s also designed to be a 'dip-in-able', off-the-shelf, reference book. The primary audience is anyone with responsibility for medium to large-scale change. These are often the folk that sell ideas to  an Executive Board - and the toolset helps with that.

 

VPEC-T is based on a profoundly radical philosophy of plurality:

One of the first Adaptive Change Design Tools.

Why do we need simple & inclusive tools?

 

Change Leaders need  to make sense of  a chaotic world where VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) rules the day. Yet so-called ‘best-practice' frameworks & methodologies are often the only tools they have. These tools  are prescriptive in nature; this driven by a training industry that requires ‘Certification’ which feeds unnecessary complexity and arcane language.This perhaps unintentionally moves Change Leaders towards follow-the-menu algorithmic thinking. 

 

For the Change Leader, this is akin to attempting open heart surgery, with an axe, whilst wearing boxing gloves. How can she  be expected to deliver, often ground-breaking, or otherwise transformational, change without the right tools? This  can  stall a change journey before it starts.  

 

Without the right tools, the organisation  often becomes  infected  with 'decision-making block'. This is characterised by a rabbit-in-the-headlights moment which starts in the boardroom, and then spreads throughout the company.  A vacuum is created, where anything that feels like any kind of movement is welcome.  This creates a space for technical  experts (with best intention) to offer their favoured solutions. This techie-tail-wagging-the-business-dog situation fuels a rush to the 'answer'. Any discussion of the full impact of the change, and how to deal with the inherent uncertainty, doesn’t get air time. Discussions of relative merits of various technical solutions speak with the loudest voice.

 

This situation is not helped by the language adopted by the world at large. Terms like  'Digital Transformation' or 'Cloud-Native' pepper  mainstream media. Such terms are bandied about without consistent meaning, let alone explanations of how they will make the change. This makes the Change Leader's job all the more challenging. Unpicking ill-defined buzz-terms is always a challenge, and  questioning the meaning is often interpreted as a lack of understanding of the ‘new and sexy’. 

 

Sadly, the conversation about what and why may never take place. Yet, it’s important understand the whats, and whys before the hows. Simply,  the requirements must be known before solutions are selected. This applies across  all aspects of change; culture, values, structure,  skill-sets, processes, information, and technology. In particular, a change initiative that overuses the word ‘Digital’ should raise a red flag. It’s quite likely that the other change dimensions  are taking a backseat, or worse, not being  considered at all.

 

Adaptive Change Design is a mindset focussed on the impact of change; comprehending, communicating, measuring, and monitoring. This mindset also recognises that the environment will evolve over time. Adaptive Change Design is  also a set of tools, techniques, and patterns for understanding and dealing with continuous change. 

 

Glossary

Arcane

adjective

known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric: She knew a lot about Sanskrit grammar, TOGAF, Six Sigma, and other arcane matters.