How to avoid collectively creating results nobody wants

While this article starts a little pessimistically, you’ll find it ends on a more optimistic proposition. Hang on in there and keep reading because you’ll find the article introduces you to very innovative methodology you can use to solve complex and undefined problems, including those that are social and economic in nature. This is Theory U as conceived by Otto Scharmer, the co-founder of the Presencing Institute and a Senior Lecturer at MIT.
What I’ve written here affects my own work profoundly in that it increasingly conditions the way in which BigName applies the principles of Design Thinking to professional innovation.

First of all, here are the pessimistic considerations.

Collectively, we create results that nobody wants.

I learned this from Otto and the words affected me profoundly.
We live in an age characterized by a massive institutional failure: stratospheric levels of public debt, uncertainly over globalization, rising unemployment, falling standards of education, a seemingly endless financial crisis, global warming, a rising tide of refugees, war in Syria, ever increasing levels of poverty, and, last but not least, the constant threat of terrorism. The news has spread: A mere 8 people in the world are as rich as 50% of the world’s overall population.
We are destroying communities, nature, life, and the foundations of health, social, economic and spiritual welfare.

Social field

According to Otto, underlying these phenomena is a lack of awareness of the mechanisms generating them.
Moreover, major media and the most prominent experts clearly failed to predict the crises of 2001 and 2008. Then there’s the “strongman” trend. Predominantly male personalities who are taking ever more power globally.

[Read more…]

The Personal Branding Canvas back to Wired Next Fest

After the huge energy of last year edition, Wired wanted to propose again the format with the Personal Branding Canvas this Sunday, May 24 from 17:30 at the Museum of Natural History.

Canvas Job Edition

This year, however, I decided to dedicate the event to all those who in these difficult times are looking for a job or want to change it. I’m going to present, in fact, a version of the Personal Branding Canvas I created specifically for job search.

I designed this edition starting from the needs of hundreds of students I met at IULM University, Politecnico di Milano, Università Cattolica of Milan, Ca ‘Foscari University and IED. But also students of the Bocconi MBA, the brilliant innovators of Digital Academia and students of many Master of Business School of Il Sole 24 Ore.
[Read more…]

A poster for your SWOT Analysis

I’ve been invited as a judge for the project #SheFactor by my friend Francesca Parviero, a free initiative that leverages Personal Branding and Networking to enhance the online presence of women, in order to facilitate a better access to opportunities.

In the private group on Facebook #SheFactor tied to the project, I made the participants a question that is close to my heart: what does it mean for you to enhance your value? Well, 99% of the responses concerned the themes of knowing how to identify your strengths and weaknesses and opportunities.
That’s why, after testing it in my workshop with the Personal Branding Canvas, I thought to distribute a free PDF of Personal SWOT Matrix.

Personal SWOT Matrix PDF poster

Why using it

The Personal SWOT Matrix is used to do a SWOT Analysis of yourself, considering your career as a real business.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, it is a tool that has dozens of years, but do not make the mistake of those who snub it only for this reason: it is still used by organizations to make some important assessments of assumptions and scenarios.
Looking at yourself using the structure of the SWOT helps to start the process to identify what distinguishes you, and to discover or develop further opportunities that otherwise you would not have thought to and that, above all, do not depend only on you but also on external factors.

Look Out!

The SWOT Analysis is not a thing to be taken lightly! You’d better to do it with someone else.
Everyone thinks that the difficulty lies in having to list the points of weakness, but I personally noticed that many people are struggling more to become aware of the strengths!
To enjoy the benefits of visual thinking, you must print the PDF minimum as A3, fill it with Post-it and use a marker to write the answers to the questions. So you can re-use it for multiple scenarios and maybe take a negative factor and move it in a positive quadrant simply by detaching and attaching the sticky note.
After all, sometimes we are convinced to have a deficiency when, with the right perspective, it is something that makes us interesting and memorable. We need to use all that nature has given us!
Go to the reserved page on the site for more instructions.

Where is the download?

Where is the download? On this page on the site …
The Personal SWOT Matrix is a prototype in continuous development, developed graphically with the valuable contribution of the designer Roberto Iadanza.
In short time it will come a version for Companies.
Have any suggestions on the text or any questions? Write to and I shall be grateful!
Have a good SWOT analysis.

An interview to Tim Clark, author of Business Model You

Con Tim Clark al Politecnico

Last October 2014 we had the pleasure to invite Tim Clark in Italy for a series of events. The opportunity came after the great success of the Italian translation of the book Business Model You (published by HOEPLI), of which I am the curator. The idea of translating the book into Italian was actually born during a course with him (the very same nice day I had the idea of developing the Personal Branding Canvas). I immediately contacted my (enlightened) publisher Hoepli, who showed great interest and courage, deciding everything in a few hours.

While Tim was here in Italy, we took advantage of his presence to ask him some questions and hear from his words some explanations about his model and his book, that has already helped thousands of people to reinvent their careers.

You may find Tim online on his website or his gorgeous  and inspiring new LinkedIn Blog.


Where did the idea of your studies came from?

I was a consultant to starting in 1997. We built their first foreign-language Web site (Japanese). Starting in 1995 we served many other US and European clients who were seeking to enter Asian markets, particularly Japan. In some cases we even replicated their entire business models in Japanese. That’s when I became interested in the idea of international business model portability — why some business models work in foreign markets, and others don’t.

Could you explain us what Business Model You® is?

Business Model You® is a methodology for designing and managing your career based on what I call “personal business models.” A personal business model is the logic by which an individual creates and delivers something valuable to customers.

Many people are disengaged at work because they do not understand their employer’s business model, nor do they understand their own business model — let alone how the two are interrelated.  Business Model You® is my attempt to help boost satisfaction at work for both individuals and enterprises.

What is the episode (or reason) that prompted you to embark on your career as a trainer out of Universities?

Pains and gains. [Read more…]

La sala giochi di Caine, la confidenza creativa e la Makers Faire Roma

Caine Monroy è un bimbo di 9 anni (al tempo) che deve spendere l’estate nel negozio del papà, che vende ricambi per auto e, tra le altre cose, non se la passa molto bene.
Caine vorrebbe dei giochi elettronici, come tutti i bambini, ma non è possibile.
Caine ama vedere come sono fatte le cose dentro, i giochi, i premi, le sfide. Ha moltissima fantasia e una certa manualità, pochissime risorse ma tante scatole di cartone…
E decide di costruirsi una sala giochi da solo, anzi di venderne i biglietti. Un dollaro 4 turni, 2 dollari, 500 turni: il FUNPASS!
Il primo gioco è il classico basket:
Caine's Arcade Basket

Per poi occupare gran parte del negozio del padre:

Nulla accade fino a quando tal Nirvan Mullick, che di professione fa il videomaker/creativo, non deve comprare un pezzo di ricambio.
Nirvan, oltre a fare i video, usa bene YouTube, Facebook e soprattutto
Il risultato te lo lascio vedere in questo video:

Cardboard Challenge

Ma non è finita qui: nasce un movimento attorno al successo avuto da Caine. Questo sabato 5 Ottobre 2013, proprio l’anniversario del flashmob del video, si terrà la seconda sfida mondiale di creatività per bambini.
Si stimano 1M di bambini coinvolti!
Ovviamente in Italia zero…
Che ne dici di organizzarne uno?

Creative confidence

Ho conosciuto Caine grazie ad una segnalazione di Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, docente del favoloso MOOC in Design Thinking organizzato da Standford, che ho seguito quest’estate.
L’obiettivo era stimolarci a trovare quella confidenza, quella sicurezza nelle potenzialità creative di ciascuno di noi.
Doti che ogni bambino ha, ma che spesso la scuola e il contesto del lavoro ci fanno perdere.
La creatività è uno stato fondamentale per la fase di ideazione del Design Thinking, soprattutto quando fa seguito ad un corretto approccio empatico, che pone l’uomo al centro delle soluzioni generate.
A tal proposito segnalo questo fantastico video giapponese.

Makers, Arduino e un figlio curioso

Ammetto di essermi commosso durante il film.
Anzi molto commosso: io facevo spesso questo tipo di cose da bambino… e poi?
Però non è mai troppo tardi e, già che ci sono, vorrei stimolare i miei figli.
Per questo sto creando uno spazio significativo in casa, con strumenti di visual design al muro, attrezzi, cartone e tanto materiale preso al Leroy Merlin…
Ma non solo. Spinto dal mio tipico entusiasmo, ecco il primo sketch Arduino Uno fatto da me e mio figlio (4,5 anni), con la collaborazione curiosa della piccola Agata (20M):
Agata Arduino Uno

UPDATE: proprio oggi la grande notizia di una board INTEL con su Arduino!

Maker Faire 2013, destinazione Roma

Ecco perché questa domenica 6 Ottobre, tre generazioni di Centenaro (io, Nicolò e il nonno Gustavo), saranno su Italo Treno, destinazione Roma, alla Makers Fair!

Ti trovo lì?