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Letters to a Young Manager

Bottle-caps, #304
LTYM > Strategy

Dear Sophie,
I recently applied an old story and photo to a new situation for a talk I gave at a graduate school panel in Geneva. I think that's the richness of stories; they can continually be mined for meaning.

I took this photo in one of the poorest communities in Manila. A young girl wandered in from the street while I was taking photos in a day care center and she wanted to be a part of the action. 

It was not until I returned to the US and enlarged the photo that I noticed that she was holding a dozen bottle-caps in her left hand.  These were her toys for the day. 

This was a poignant lesson for me on three counts:
    1. Simple, basic toys are good enough
    2. She brought her toys with her to the center
    3. She had already adopted these toys as hers

Now change the word “toys” to “technologies.”  Connections with people, where they are, with what they use, is the most important thing. We would do well to remember this when designing technology for disaster response and preparedness. And perhaps it applies equally well for the headquarters worker of the future.



Connect with people where they are, with what they use

Discussion Questions:

1) What technologies do each of your audiences bring to the table?
2) What are the opportunities versus the perils of starting with what users already have in hand?
3) What are the risks of using consumer technologies? How would you mitigate these risks?

For Further Reading:

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