Conversations, Experience Economy, UX, metaphors, & LSP

[Thoughts after Mex15, Slides at the end]

Markets are conversations

Markets are conversations

It was back in March 1999 when a group of forward thinking people published a revolutionary book based on 95 thesis that explained that the old business models were disrupted by internet and technologies. They said that markets were conversations,they explained that it was time to start listening to the consumers and to engage in conversations.

The book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, was a revolutionary and visionary text that clearly saw the direction technologies were taking society and the business.  Internet and technologies dramatically changed in these 16 years, but every change reinforced the thesis of the Cluetrain Manifesto, proving how old business models were obsolete and could lead companies and business into a quick obsolescence.

It’s not a case that the year before the ClueTrain Manifesto was published, Joe Pine published another key book: The Experience Economy highlighting that the real product or service is the memory of it, it’s the experience consumers and users have with it. This totally changed the perspective of the company centric approach to value creation: Value was not created anymore by the organisation or producer of the product, but it was determined by customers’ direct experience and conversations.

Something happened, it was a revolution, that someone clearly saw coming 16 years ago and we are all living today.

We live in an Experience Economy, where the value of a product or service is determined by users’ experience with the product and the service.
The value is not created by the organisation anymore, and the value of a product and experience has little to do with the economic value of the object: the value is created by the interaction of the user with the product and service. 

Not engaging with the users and not taking into consideration the user as key element that influences and determines the value of a product or a service is a risk none can afford in today conversation based and hyper-connected society. Understanding and engaging with the users is today’s the key differentiator – insights and observations from the users are today a valuable asset for any organisation.

There are countless ways to engage with customers and users, but in a truly experience economy style, experiencing the value creation in a collaborative and conversation based approach may lead to meaningful and interesting insights.

LEGO Serious Play is a method that creates the experience of generating value and improve understanding. LSP engages all actors involved in the value creation process, from the management of the company, to the designers and the users in a goal oriented, yet fun and engaging experience where all participants literally build ideas and share points of views, generating ideas and value.

The power of LSP is that it is a tool that allows participants to negotiate meanings and values through metaphors and storytelling.

Language and mind have no enough means to express abstract concepts without the aid of metaphors that refer to some physical experiences: referring to physical experiences to explain concepts and abstract ideas has the power to engage and involve everyone, as everyone is able to relate and transfer the key concept of the physical ideas into a more abstract domain.

By playing and creating new tridimensional objects, participants into an LSP workshop are able to show new visions and new opportunities emerging from the Lego models and translate the physical object into stories and concepts.

But we need to be brave enough to play, to engage in conversations, to listen to the others, and accept the differences. And by realising the different points of view, take unexpected roads that lead to change and innovation.

LSP capitalises and shows different points of view, different interpretations and values, and by making difference tangible and visible, it let participants to experience idea generation and negotiation and create innovation together. Because Legos become just a new common language to make values and meanings visible and simplify the process of generating ideas through metaphors, through stories, through a playful experience that can create future meaningful and valuable experiences.

Because in an Experience economy, all it counts, are the memories of objects, products and services. And LSP is a memorable experience that fits into the new paradigma.

For this reason, on March 25th 2015 I have presented the following deck at MEX15:

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