Review: Behavior Design Bootcamp w/ BJ Fogg

When was the last time you invested in yourself in a way that created lasting, meaningful change? So many workshops and conferences seem to be of similar ilk: People talking about what they know and other people listening—some discussion in between... then everyone goes home. A few weeks ago I participated in a two-day 'bootcamp' that was markedly different. Dr. BJ Fogg is a researcher and professor at Stanford University who runs the Behavior Design lab. For two days BJ and his team taught us everything they possibly could in a 48-hour training at a beautiful venue in

Review: Design Sprint Bootcamp w/ AJ & Smart + Jake Knapp

In June I had the pleasure of attending a 2-day bootcamp run by AJ & Smart with Jake Knapp on the 'Design Sprint' process described in Jake's book Sprint. It was the kind of training that deserves a review, so I thought I would invest some time in sharing my experience in Berlin. I'll start off with a high-level overview and then go into deeper detail for each of the two days for those who want to learn more. This is not a sponsored post, just something I wanted to do to say 'thank you' and reflect upon what I

Designing My Life | Part V: Alternative Life Plans Odyssey

The purpose of the fifth activity in Designing Your Life is to go on a journey to create three alternative life plans so you can evaluate how you might address the issues in your current life situation. Each plan contains four key elements: Title Five-year Roadmap Questions this surfaces An affinity dashboard to measure: Resoures required (time, skill, money, contacts) Desireability (how much you like it) Confidence (how you feel about your ability to execute) Coherence (consistence with your Workview and Lifeview) An Aside on The Importance of Divergent Thinking The activity highlights the importance of not settling on your

Designing My Life | Part IV: Getting Unstuck via Mind Maps

The fourth activity in the process described in Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is called 'Getting Unstuck'. It depends on the activity logs I shared in my previous post and uses a technique called mind mapping. The purpose of the exercise is to gain insights and develop self-awareness about what engages you, gives you energy and cultivates flow. Mind Maps If you haven't tried mind mapping before, I highly recommend it. It's a simple technique that is great for visual thinkers like myself. The idea is to think visually by connecting related ideas in a map

Designing My Life | Part III: Wayfinding via Activity Logs

I've been logging my activities for the past two weeks as a part of a life design process described in Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, two Stanford professors who teach design thinking. This particular exercise is intended to help life designers understand what activities engage them and provide them with energy. The aim is to gain self-awareness about the activities, environments, interactions, objects and people that give us life. We can then reduce the life-draining activities and increase the life-giving activities, making our experience more enjoyable and worthwhile. It seems pretty simple, but it's a powerful

Designing My Life | Part II b: Building a Lifeview Compass

Following my post on creating a Workview Compass, in the process of Designing Your Life, I've outlined below my Lifeview for the purpose of reflection and collaboration. The purpose of creating a Workview and Lifeview Compass is to help people calibrate their life design efforts towards what they find meaningful and important. Design thinking values 'thinking visually', which basically means getting your thoughts out of your head and onto something tangible (often through making something). That way you can discuss your thoughts with other people and improve through iteration. Designing a successful product isn't all that different from designing a

Designing My Life | Part II a: Building a Workview Compass

The second section of Designing Your Life is directed towards creating a compass in work and in life so that people can calibrate their efforts towards what they find meaningful and important. The focus of this post is on my process of creating a Workview Compass. Lifeview will follow... Wisdom from the authors The authors provide some great questions to help people answer the question of why and so I've provided my answers here as an exercise in reflection and collaboration. Before we dive in, I just want to prime my responses with an excerpt from the book: We realize

Designing My Life | Part I: Developing a Dashboard

On Monday I embarked on a journey to design my life and share the journey on my blog. You can read the preface here if you like. The first part of life design is to develop a dashboard that helps you answer the questions: Where am I in my life right now? How are things going? The Activity It's a simple yet powerful exercise. The authors of Designing Your Life create four categories and ask participants to self-assess the quality of their life in each: Health Work Love Play These are great categories, but as a designer I could also

Designing My Life: A Preface

I have a problem. It never seems to go away. The question of 'What do you want to do with your life?' never seems to fully resolve. All throughout my life, I've persistently tried to find trustworthy answers to the following questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What's wrong with the world and how can I help fix it? Historically, I've chiseled away at these answers through various activities: From 2009-2014 I wrote a thousand words a day every day (inspired by Ray Bradbury's approach described in Zen and The Art of Writing). In 2014, I hired