At the very start of 2020, before we became aware of (and ultimately sucker-punched by) Covid-19, I went on record to state that a sense of Purpose was going to become a major focus for people the world over. And I was right.

It’s bittersweet that my prediction has been so overwhelming true, as it’s on the back of a series of unfortunate events for so many. Nevertheless, we remain optimistic as a species and thus it has taken a global pandemic to put Purpose equally into the hearts and minds of people everywhere. …

For the last couple of years I have been working on a personal project/venture called Lyfe Design — a very broad reaching framework that helps use the principles of design to help better understand, plan and run our lives. The Lyfe Design project is getting ever closer to being launched fully, but in this post, I wanted to share one of the newest and simplest canvas tools I have produced for the toolkit.

The Routine Canvas is a tool that I created to bridge the gap from a regular calendar/schedule and a task list. When trying to plan, I wanted…

This year I’ve decided to name a central theme for my prediction: PURPOSE.

Purpose, not porpoise ;)

In no small part due to the thought-leadership of Simon Sinek, the concept of being purpose-led has slowly but steadily resonated with brands, individuals and the consulting industry to name a few. But as the noise from digital transformation gained traction over the last decade, this ‘soft-and-fluffy’ idea fell somewhat into the background. Thankfully it was not totally forgotten and is now subject to a resurgence.

In recent years, both of the consulting giants I’ve worked at have put a large amount of stock on purpose. Big…

The colour palette of my professional life. Coincidence or by design?

Every time my energy is transferred from one place to the next, Entropy is increased — Hammad Khan.

It all started with the second law of thermodynamics

By the end of 2012, my company (Zabisco) had evolved away from digital agency services to being fully focused on experience & service design consulting. So it was time for a rebrand to reflect our specialism.

I loved the idea of chaos theory applied to information and experiences and how our work was all about controlling and influencing that disorder on behalf of our clients and their customers. I couldn’t secure…

My takeaways from the 2019 DesignOps Global Conference

First of all, this was a cracking conference. Considering it was the first one, the organisers have done a phenomenal job in putting on such a high calibre group of speakers, excellent workshops, fun entertainment and world-class sponsors. Work has already begun on the next one in 2020 and I would highly recommend attending if you can, as no doubt DesignOps will have moved on significantly by then and this is already set as a leading forum on the topic.

You can also read a summary of my talk at the event.

Hundreds of designers, product managers, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, design leaders and of course DesignOps practitioners all camped out in Manchester UK for the first DesignOps Global Conference in May 2019. It was an honor to be one of the keynote speakers to such a great audience.

Panel

Day one of the conference really got the…

A summary of my ‘Avengers’ themed keynote at the inaugural DesignOps Global Conference in Manchester, UK.

You can also read my takeaways from the rest of the event.

Thanks to the organisers David Iball and my old pal Peter Fossick for inviting me and putting on an absolutely brilliant event; packed full of wonderful speakers, workshops, entertainment and networking. Looking forward to the ongoing debate as a community and future meetups on this emerging discipline.

Why Design for Scale?

For my sins, I work in Tier 1 management consulting. This means I’m now hard-wired to think of things with an outcome-focus. And I see…

Happy New Year! My annual design industry observations are out — let me know what you agree or disagree with as we start to design 2019. You can also jump half-way down this post for a retrospective on my 2018 predictions.

2019 Predictions

Saturated design-thinking

Kind of obvious for many of you, but definitely this is the big one. Design-thinking is dead. Long live design.

These days, there are few organisations (be they big or small) that have either not heard of DT or embraced it in some form. Whereas previously I (and my cohort) created waves by introducing DT as a way to…

As I continue to monitor the design profession and the direction of its evolution, I’m using the opportunity of a new year to publicly introduce a term that I’ve been harbouring for a while now - Desultancy.

You’ll hear me using the term desultant/desultancy quite a bit more in the year ahead as I roll out some cool new projects, but more importantly, I offer it to all of you too — as a way to give identity and differentiation to design consulting work, which is increasingly fused with other types of consulting, but very much distinct from it too.

I’m often asked for my views on how to set up, run and even rescue digital/innovation/experience labs (aka or studios, incubators, centres of excellence etc).

Below are some of the common characteristics of corporate labs I’ve come across. You can use this as a guide when evaluating your own or considering establishing one.

What’s typically in a lab?

Gatekeepers

Gatekeepers control the planning, design and operations of labs in a secretive manner; opting for the big-reveal at the end, rather than taking a collaborative approach (which is counter-intuitive to lab ideology). The motivation of course is by limiting the involvement of ‘others’, it maintains the project…

I believe that a big part of World Mental Health Day (10th October) is all about lifting the lid on the stigma, raising awareness but also taking action. It’s this last part that is often the hardest. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s very accessible to make a start, so I shall attempt to offer a call to action at the end of today’s heartfelt musing…

Over the years, I’ve met with, worked with and helped a number of people with varying different mental health issues; including depression, anxiety, dyslexia, dementia and even more medically influenced ones…

Hammad Khan

Design Evangelist. Accenture Interactive (Dubai). Views are my own.

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