IDEO Top Blog Posts of 2021

  1. 2021 career growth guide
  2. What is systems design? 
  3. Strategic planning
  4. The future of work is hybrid
  5. 3 frameworks for managing organizational change
  6. 11 products & services made using design thinking
  7. Experience design
  8. 4 steps to define your purpose
  9. Storytelling techniques for entrepreneurs
  10. How to choose a story arc for your presentation

Slowing Growth

The U.S. GDP Growth was 5.6 percent year-over-year while Global GDP Growth surged to 5.5 percent in 2021. The most robust post-recession pace in 80 years.

Source: World Bank Global Economic Prospects
SCE Median Household Spending

For 2022 the World bank forecast year-over-year GDP growth for the U.S. at 3.7 percent. While The Conference Board, a research group comprising more than 1,000 public and private corporations, forecasts that the U.S. economy will grow only 3.5%. All signs led to an expected slowdown. The outlook is also clouded by a growing number of downside risks, including new virus variants, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and Federal Reserve policies. Climate change will also increase commodity price volatility as social tensions heighten due to an increase in inequality, and heightened partisan politics during an election year.

Top External Risks

Top Priorities

HR Challenges for 2022

Source: HR Challenges for 2022: XpertHR Survey Report

More than 40% of all employees thought about leaving their jobs at the beginning of 2021. Between April and September 2021 more than 24 million American employees did. As the Pandemic rolls on, business leaders struggle to make sense of the factors driving the mass exodus.

Further reading

2021 Labor Market

Older workers are leaving the workforce, mothers of young children are facing challenges with childcare and school interruptions, while a mismatch between the higher quality jobs available and those that people want are driving a downward trend in labor force participation.

17,358,000 (11.1%) still working from home due to pandemic reasons

Whats New in Debian 11?

This new release comes with a lot more software than its predecessor Buster; the distribution includes over 11,294 new packages, for a total of over 59,551 packages. 72% or 42,821 been updated and 9,519 or 16% of the previous packages have been removed for security and various other reasons.

Naturalistic Decision Making

NDM researchers are not just interested in decision making. They study other cognitive processes such as situation awareness, sensemaking, problem detection, and anticipatory thinking. They use naturalistic inquiry methods to explore a range of macrocognitive phenomena (as opposed to microcognitive phenomena studied under controlled laboratory conditions).

  • We used to believe that the only way to make good decisions was to generate several options and pick the best one. NDM studies found that experienced decision makers recognize patterns and don’t compare options. They evaluate an option by imagining how it would play out.
  • We used to believe that expertise depends on learning rules and procedures. NDM research demonstrated that expertise primarily depends on tacit knowledge.
  • We used to believe that projects had to start with a clear description of the goal. NDM researchers saw that challenging projects involve wicked problems and ill-defined goals that cannot be specified in advance. The goals become clarified while they are being pursued.
  • We used to believe that people make sense of events by building up from the data to information to knowledge and finally to understanding. NDM studies showed that experienced decision makers use their mental models to define what counts as data in the first place. And as discoveries are made about the nature of a situation, different aspects of the data are revealed.
  • We used to believe that insights arise by overcoming mental sets. NDM research discovered that insights also arise by detecting contradictions and anomalies and by noticing connections.
  • We used to believe that we could reduce uncertainty by gathering more information. NDM researchers found that performance seems to suffer when too much information is gathered, and that uncertainty can result from inadequate framing of data, not just the absence of data.
  • We used to believe that we could improve performance by fostering critical thinking practices such as listing assumptions. NDM researchers noted that the flawed assumptions are often unconscious, and thus could never get listed.


Pattern Analysis

I once spent over two years convincing a C-suite to invest in a vital consumer product at a large corporation. Every stakeholder new this transformation was inevitable. We had compelling ROI metrics, Market Research, and cohesive Risk Mitigation tactics for the project. Unfortunately, the consequence of indecision did not outweigh the cost of other business priorities.

A recent survey of Signal AI interviewed 1,000 C-suite executives in the U.S. for the study. The report found 85% of respondents estimate upwards of $4.26 trillion in revenue is being lost because organizations lack the ability to make the best decisions in a timely manner.

Deep learning is extremely valuable. Algorithms are fast, tunable, and mathematically agile to help with overwhelming data. The first challenge for most organizations is the bureaucracy of siloed data. Deep learning may not likely provide you with the nuanced reasoning or contextual awareness you need. Additionally, bad problem/data sets can mispredict patterns.

Mixed methods combining qualitative research and quantitative analysis may provide you with the best results, but will also take the most time. Start by dimensioning your pattern with a simple sanity check.

  • What is the cost of not making or delaying a decision?
  • Is the decision we are about to make nonreversible?
  • What is the worst possible outcome of a wrong decision?