MEREDITH Strategy + Design

We design the places and spaces where people come together to do great work

Wow! More than a month has gone by...

I've had the delight of becoming immersed in a new project and the pursuit of others, and have had little time to get back to reflection and posting. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and, as in past times, warm up a bit with a posting of things of recent interest.

Although Drucker defined the "knowledge worker" for us more than a half century ago, it seems that we'd only recently been refining and implementing sophisticated concepts for the physical places where knowledge work takes place.

This video from the Boston Consulting Group moves us now into a new domain of consideration –"Knowledge workers, who manipulate information, will be replaced by "insight workers," who bring a new set of skills to the table: judgment, critical thinking, empathy. Where the knowledge worker knows how to manage an office, an insight worker understands how and why the business works. While a knowledge worker networks, an insight worker builds authentic relationships with his or her coworkers and clients."

The death of Steve Jobs brought a lot of reflection on him and Apple.

I found this insight from Gadi Amit to be especially meaningful:“They think it’s about design. It’s beyond design. It’s completely holistic, and it’s dogmatic. Things need to be high quality; they have to have poetry and culture in each step. Steve was cut from completely different cloth from most business leaders. He was not a number-crunching guy; he was not a technologist. He was a cultural leader, and he drove Apple from that perspective. He started with culture; then followed with technology and design. No one seems to get that.”

I also liked Gary Hamel's take on What Makes Apple Apple.

Be passionate; Lead, don’t follow; Aim to surprise; Be unreasonable; Innovate incessantly; Sweat the details; Think like an engineer and feel like an artist.

And this post on making a "minimally awesome product" brought this Apple insight: Every time you present the user with a non-essential decision to make, you have failed as a designer.
Finally, Supreme Court Justice Breyer was selected to serve on the jury of the Pritzker Prize, one of the leading awards in architecture.

Justice Breyer said he hopes to advocate for high-quality design in government buildings. “The point of all these projects is to say to people — through the architecture of the building and the construction of the building and the use of the building — that the government is you,” he said. “There isn’t a wall of separation. It’s very important to break the idea of the wall down because otherwise people think this is a foreign entity. But this is a democracy, and the government is the community.”

“The wonderful thing about a building is, it can’t do that by itself, but it can help,” Justice Breyer added. “Architecture can help.”