The Conversation: Wayfinder Basics

Wayfinders are front line problem solvers and visionaries who take general principles or Wayfinder Basics and work with them in the field. See What's A Wayfinder for more. 

#LiveDesigning this list: meaning it is incomplete & not yet ordered.

1. What's hidden in Plain Sight?

Trying to observe the world in more basic components vs. the ideas we have about things. Harvard vid explains well>>

2. Seeking path of least resistance: 

Designing along the contours of a people group or experience speeds project adoption & deepens skin-in-the-game emotional commitment through personal & community engagement. Ask yourself: What's in the trite, tried & true? Online, we live in a bit of a “been there done/seen that" mentality, always looking for the next thrill. In terms of social governance though, making choices that lots of people recognize serves as a ready human experience design interface. Putting a personal or #LocalFlavor spin on something that's familiar can get fast results: think about how rebranded Old Spice went viral a while back, sexing up a dusty pharmacy shelf staple. Same dealio with the #PinupsPresidential gangster theme: we're not trying to win awards for originality here, we're trying to gain adoption for social change in governance. Crime dramas & gangster tales exist in every people group, in tons of physical locations, in every era. So the creativity is in styling it up your way. 

3. People are hard-wired to seek pleasure: 

Don't rely upon endless emotional appeals to negative emotions like revulsion (at injustices and abuse of every kind) unless those are the seeds you want to plant. We need to curate critical thinking skills and design studio/ laboratory communication exchange formats so we're able to clearly define problem statements (preferably in memorable, entertaining, tiered #MemesThatMatter) along with design/problem-solving process & social reporting back mechanisms to keep constituents informed about their financial/emotional/cultural and other involvements. 

4. Owning the Solution

A well known professional & parenting go to: if people are involved in the process, they're less likely to flame out with premature or unfounded criticism. By developing & promoting #DesignThinking education using Ava's governance redesign and pods ecosystem standards, individual hoods can develop #SocialLab experiments & projects for social change using a common language. This will facilitate communications, streamline processes & assist with conflict management and even conflict avoidance. Developing standard pods and pods ecosystems with unique #LocalFlavor will ensure that cultural nuances, residents' concerns & fears (like gentrification, hipster-ification, or the impact of short term rentals) and business interests are considered. 

5. There's always a “Get" to human behavior. 

Even at our most destructive, there's always something positive being obtained within every human behavior, design or interaction. If we want change, we have to observe what people are getting out of doing things a certain way in order to compete with an improved offering. And we have to realize that there's “pain" involved in getting folks to change behavior: so our offering has to be not only better than what we were doing before, it has to be so much better + be worth the pain to change to get people to act. This requires kick ass design, consistency and a whole lot of patience & perseverance. We're not going to rock the vote unless we compete, plain and simple, making “doing governance" together the hottest thing since________. 

That's why the #AVA2016 offering is so much more compelling than doing governance as usual, because it hits us where we literally live: in our homes, hearts & passions. With #DigitalCitizenship, this is *totally* possible since we're leaving the digital footprints of what we “like" everywhere. Actually getting what we want most out of life, in exciting and sustainable ways, is what governance can and should be. 

6. We have tons of teachers.

From business development coaches, to media to self help experts, psychology and faith-based resources, we have lots of folks who can help us become the people we want to be, both as individuals and in groups. What we want to do on a social scale is develop #SocialLab experiments in change and connect our findings in order to identify what programs in governance are working and which ones are not & have hard data to justify proposed modifications. 

7. A controlled burn. 

Designing with seasonality in mind allows us to not have to be perfect all the time. Giving people scheduled times to be playful, lazy or not to the disciplined thing just enough for a short period of time (think: recess for kids) allows us to blow off steam, count our blessings & return to task refreshed. Controlled burns in forests prevent huge blazes from becoming destructive. If we only give lip service to down time, but quietly reward 7 day a week email checking, we'll not get the results we want. Happily, with #BeliefID, there won't be the kind of politicking in any of our organizations that we once had: aggregated sentiment & performance data will simply reveal how productive or destructive our behaviors or programs & policies are to our overall profitability, well-being and collective health & satisfaction. 

8. Focus on what we share vs. on what we don't.

A lot of political conversation focuses on where we disagree vs. using common ground as the conversation starter and centering point. Developing standards for governance based on the basic necessities of life we share will allow for solutions to spread globally the same way standards like the desktop, homepage and start menu allowed for personal computing to do so. Standards will provide increased abilities for personalization, not fewer. Implementing these with #LocalFlavor will be as customized as our digital devices. Your apps, wallpaper & contacts are completely different than mine, but we have a common language to describe how we're using tech to manage similar processes & information.

9. Remember the primary meaning

Many times, we've memorized adages like Cruel to be Kind" or No Pain, No Gain" which are intended to be exceptions that prove the rule, not the primary lesson from direct experience. Pain is intended to be a wayfinding mechanism: we are supposed to move away from it and towards pleasure. When we repeatedly & even systematically ignore pain for too long, we blunt some of our highest tech wayfinding instrumentation. That is not to say that people of character don't make choices about which challenges to face: temporary sacrifice (pain) in one area often results in a greater desired outcome in another. This is just a reminder to pay attention to and protect our primary pain/pleasure wayfinding gifts. Too many environments, whether consciously or not, embrace some variety of hazing as a rite of passage, admonishing us not to be overly sensitive or to take things personally. But if we are people, the everything is personal: we fool ourselves and commit unwitting crimes against our own humanity when we pretend this isn't so. I encourage you to plant this intention in your awareness: how many beliefs do you have that juxtapose contrary ideas in such a way that you're actually embracing what you *don't* want, making your beliefs obstacles to getting what you actually do. e.g.

  • “You've got to face your demons." What if I didn't have demons or could work on systems so I had fewer of them/head them off at the pass?
  • “Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." How many abused rescue animals or crops destroyed by a tornado look stronger to you?
  • You've got to pay your dues before _____ " Why? In a dynamic, tech driven world, it is likely that the specific from the lessons of yesterday aren't relevant today. If an elder is teaching principles (which is wayfinding), then it's unlikely he or she uses terminology like paying dues (to whom, exactly?) Wise people are often humble co-journeypersons before the mystery of the unknown. Experience in how to face the unknown is hugely valuable, but never changes the fact that the unknown is still the unknown. This is not to be confused with chaos: servant leaders making use of hierarchical structures of command do so because certain structures are designed, like ships are to travel across water, to face certain bodies of experience better than others. But the captains of those vessels still rely upon every crew member to be the eyes and ears reporting on direct experience: no number of sea-faring years can outnumber the variations of what the vast waters can do. The wayfinding principle is respect, not dues. Paying dues is an ego-feed for old people: old being a state of mind, not any particular age. Mentoring and teaching beginner's minds is a replenishing activity for experienced leadership, offering new insight to the elder and wisdom to the younger.