The Asset Handler [Step #2 Define]

THE MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, IS TO DEFINE A CRITERIA THAT WILL GUIDE OUR TEAM TO HELP BOTH THE ASSET AND THEIR HANDLER TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION METHODS.

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The Asset Handler: A series of articles to explore and improve the methods used for meetings between people striving to be an expert and their mentor.

Articles in The Asset Handler Series:
EmpathizeDefineIdeatePrototype • Test

The Design Thinking team has stared into the deep shadows of the project task in the Empathize post, where they gathered intelligence to support a clear direction forward. They are all familliar with a self destructing mission recording, which is exactly the result they want for the Define post.

The Define message clearly  states the expected result along with guidance boundaries.

The Prober

Codename: “Test Drive” Francis Mills, “Rusty Nail” Eric Hosier

I was nominated to be the project’s Prober, an operative sent to test the border crossing prior to the team’s infiltration of the next Ideate phase. Taking out my passport and dossier containing the team’s project work, I offered them over to Test Drive, the Ideate phase Border Guard. He is the team’s expert for the Design Thinking process, supporting preparedness by facilitating checkpoint interviews at the end of each project phase.

He also has the right to send the team back to the previous phase to complete additional objectives identified during his interview. Everyone wants to move forward and complete the mission efficiently, but it should not be done at the expense of skipping valuable steps in the process.

You are also a trusted team member! Be a Border Guard like Test Drive by providing your valuable experiences to support your team’s success!

Test Drive stared at the passport, and noted the many stamps from past project border crossings. Shuffling through the dossier, he smirked and said “this is not worthy of you. I would have expected more knowledge experiences.”

“I agree, but this is the first project where we are attempting to educate and include our audience as full blown Design Thinking team members.”

“Quite a lofty goal, wouldn’t you say?”

“Yes, but I know the end results will be worth the effort.”

Who, What, Where, When, How and Why Method

“Ok, let’s breakdown the mission,” Test Drive said.  “We need to iterate through compass point directions. Who are the users in our project?”

“Both the Asset and their Handler.”

What is the focus?”

“Their meetings.”

When do the meetings take place?”

“Anytime when Handler is needed to develop the Asset.”

Where do the meetings take place?”

“One-on-One, clandestine, or secretive meetings.”

How are the meetings run?”

“We are Culture Spies after all, so the expectation is to build this around expert spy type methods.”

Why one-on-one meetings?”

“To focus on a smaller goal than having to deal with team dynamics.”

“Does the framework provide enough focus for the team to accomplish the task?”

“It has both focus and enough room for creativity.”

Convince Me Method

“Convince me,” said Test Drive.

“There are too many meetings that fail, amounting to nothing more than wasted time. People unable to empathize, holding viemently to their positions, kill any chance for productivity. People are numb to meeting invites because they already have a preconceived mindset that nothing will be accomplished.  What do you say to that?”

“That’s the spirit,” said Test Drive. “The best methods must be explored for the very reasons you just stated. Methods will help people recognize good behavior that produces results, and you have a good start.”

Test Drive finally finished with his interview and said, “make sure you include a clear takeaway from the meeting, so they know what they are responsible to do, and put some thought into what can be realistically be accomplished.  I know that accomplishments spur people to keep pushing forward, and failure does just the opposite.”

“Good tip, and I fully agree.”

“Do you have enough gas to get there?”  This is spy terminology to ask if the team has enough enthusiasm to bring this project to its conclusion.  I responded with “absolutley!”

Crafting the Define Statement

“Let’s see what you have,” said Test Drive.

How might we use Design Thinking to create a one-on-one meeting atmosphere that improves the effectiveness for both the Asset and their Handler, while providing clear and realistic takeaway goals.

“I find it interesting that a large amount of effort can go into creating a very simple definition used to create great solutions,” said Test Drive. “Never underestimate the power of simple methods that are practiced to make things happen. Your team is free to pass.”

The click of that passport stamp is an accomplishment that inspires me to keep supporting the mission.

Design Thinking Step #3 [Ideate] is up in our next issue. You are on the team, so please comment on this issue to add additional experiences that can be drawn from.

AS ALWAYS, SHOULD YOU OR ANY OF YOUR TEAM BE CAUGHT, THE CULTURE SPY WILL WRITE ABOUT YOUR HUMANIZING ACTIONS TO HELP OTHERS.  THIS SITE WILL NOT SELF DESTRUCT, BUT OUR EFFORTS HERE WILL GROW A GROUP OF FUTURE CULTURE SPIES, SO GOOD LUCK ON YOUR MISSION!

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