Tom Wujec: Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast
Tom Wujec - Designer
Tom Wujec studies how we share and absorb information. He's an innovative practitioner of business visualization -- using design and technology to help groups solve problems and understand ideas. He is a Fellow at Autodesk. Full bio
and solve complex problems,
it kind of seems trivial at first,
and make sense of things.
that we all know how to do,
a felt marker,
you begin to draw how to make toast.
which is sliced, then put into a toaster.
After two minutes, toast and happiness.
many hundreds of drawings of these toasts,
the toast-making process quite clearly.
well, not so good.
you don't know what they're trying to say.
while hiding others.
that are all about the toast,
that are all about the toaster,
the mechanics of this.
that are about people.
the experience that people have.
the supply chain of making toast
networks of teleportation
to the field and wheat,
all the way back to the Big Bang.
are really wildly different,
and I'm wondering if you can see it.
like the toaster and people,
the connections between the nodes.
of links and nodes
mental models visible
these systems models
our various points of view.
make toast with a toaster.
make toast with a frying pan, of course,
A lot of MBA students do this.
by counting the number of nodes,
has between four and eight nodes.
produces a feeling of map shock.
in your diagram.
be skilled at drawing,
how to break down complex things
bring them back together again.
or with cards.
tend to draw clear, more detailed,
analysis that takes place,
they move their nodes around,
it's actually really important.
and then reflecting and analyzing
in which we get clarity.
we can change a representation
to improve the model.
are not only more fluid,
way more nodes than static drawings.
to our third part of the exercise,
but this time in a group.
and then it gets really messy,
the model becomes clearer
on top of each other's ideas.
of everyone's individual points of view,
in meetings, isn't it?
20 or more nodes,
of their models themselves.
that the groups spontaneously mix
of organization to it.
and parallel patterns.
if they do it in complete silence,
and much more quickly.
talking gets in the way.
that can emerge from this.
understand the situations
and their relationships.
better systems models,
the most comprehensive models
several points of view.
under the right circumstances,
than individual models.
for drawing how to make toast,
something more relevant or pressing,
or customer experience,
that's taking place
are addressing their wicked problems
their world as movable nodes and links
you collect the nodes,
you do it over again,
and the patterns emerge,
and you answer the question.
and doing over and over again
that are the important aspects,
or even thousands of nodes.
an organization called Rodale.
visualized their entire practice.
after visualizing the entire business,
50 million dollars of revenue,
to an A rating from their customers.
alignment from the executive team.
to help organizations
by using collaborative visualization,
how to run a workshop here,
the visual language
you can apply to general problem-solving,
that we all face in our organizations.
design exercise of drawing toast
with an interesting challenge,
tangible, and consequential.
About the speaker:Tom Wujec - Designer
Tom Wujec studies how we share and absorb information. He's an innovative practitioner of business visualization -- using design and technology to help groups solve problems and understand ideas. He is a Fellow at Autodesk.
Why you should listen
Tom Wujec is a Fellow at Autodesk, the makers of design software for engineers, filmmakers, designers. At Autodesk, he has worked on software including SketchBook Pro, PortfolioWall and Maya (which won an Academy Award for its contribution to the film industry). As a Fellow, he helps companies work in the emerging field of business visualization, the art of using images, sketches and infographics to help teams solve complex problems as a group.
He's the author of several books, including Five-Star Mind: Games and Puzzles to Stimulate Your Creativity and Imagination.
Tom Wujec | Speaker | TED.com