Category Archives: Inspiration

Improvisation in Business

improvisation in business

On the Music Thinking website there is a new post about Improvisation in Business:

Many people say that our times are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – some people call it the VUCA times. When making plans they try to execute them until reality comes into play. As a result, they try to quick fix everything as long as possible. Some people call this improvisation. But improvisation is much more than just a repair mode. Improvisation can also be the start of the creative or change process to design for the VUCA times.

The blog post describes different improvisation practices, the improvisation in business course of the University In Krems and how Improvisation is connected with the Music Thinking Framework and how to use it in business.

read further on http://improvisation.business

Poetry Exchange

End of the year I got an e-mail with the following text:

Dear friends,
We’re starting a collective, constructive, and hopefully uplifting
exchange.
It’s a one-time thing and we hope you will participate. We have picked
those we think would be willing and make it fun.
Please send a poem to the person whose name is in position 1 below (even
if you don’t know them).
It should be a favorite text/verse/meditation that has affected you in
difficult times. Don’t agonize over it.

I am really not a fan of mails like this and some people reminded me that this is just a chain letter. However I did not agonize over it 🙂

Here are the poems, quotes, text, or whatever I could collect so far. They are in four different languages sent by people I know and some total strangers. In any case an interesting read!

Our Deepest Fear (by Marianne Williamson)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

‘True Belonging’ a quote by Brene Brown

(from the book: Braving the Wilderness)

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing
in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can
share your most authentic self with the world and
find sacredness in both being a part of something
and standing alone in the wilderness.

True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you
are. It requires you to be who you are”.

Please Come Home (by Jane Hooper)

Please come home. Please come home.
Find the place where your feet know to walk
And follow your own trail home.

Please come home. Please come into your own body,
Your own vessel, your own earth.
Please come home into each and every cell
And fully into the space that surrounds you.

Please come home. Please come home to trusting yourself,
and your instincts and your ways and your knowings,
And even the particular quirks of your personality.

Please come home.
Please come home and once you are firmly there,
please stay home awhile and come to deep rest within.
Please treasure your home. Please love and embrace your home.
Please get a deep, deep sense of what it’s like to be truly home.

Please come home.
Please come home and when you’re really, really ready,
And there’s a detectable urge on the outbreath, then please come out.
Please come home and please come forward.
Please express who you are to us, and please trust us
To see you and hear you and touch you
and recognize you as best we can.

Please come home. Please come home and let us know
all the nooks and crannies that are calling to be seen.
Please come home, and let us know the More
that is there that wants to come out.

Please come home. Please come home,
and when you feel yourself home, please welcome us too.
for we too forget that we belong and are welcome,
and that we are called to express and fully and be who we are.

Please come home. Please come home,
you and you and you and me.

Thank you Earth for welcoming us,
and thank you touch of eyes and ears and skin,
touch of love for welcoming us.

May we wake up and remember who we truly are.

Please come home. Please come home. Please come home.

Das verlorene Paradies (by John Milton)

Doch wen, zunächst, wen senden wir dorthin,
Um diese neue Welt zu suchen, wer
Soll würdig unter uns befunden werden?
Wer soll den bodenlosen, unermess’nen
Und finstern Abgrund zu bewandern wagen
Und einen unbekannten Weg sich bahnen
Durch das massive Dunkel, oder wer,
Auf luftigen Schwingen durch die leeren Schründe
Im Fluge unermüdlich fort sich tragend,
Auf der glückseligen Insel schließlich landen?

Demain dès l’aube (by Victor Hugo)

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l’or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et, quand j’arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

‘Style’ (by Charles Bukowski)

“Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art

Bullfighting can be an art
Boxing can be an art
Loving can be an art
Opening a can of sardines can be an art

Not many have style
Not many can keep style
I have seen dogs with more style than men,
although not many dogs have style.
Cats have it with abundance.

When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun,
that was style.
Or sometimes people give you style
Joan of Arc had style
John the Baptist
Jesus
Socrates
Caesar
García Lorca.

I have met men in jail with style.
I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail.
Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.
Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,
or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.”

Music Thinking Blog

Today we launched the Music Thinking blog on Musicthinking.com 

Now is the time for a blog about music thinking.  Since the new music thinking website went online, there is a lot to share, and so we decided to start a blog about everything music thinking. We will share updates about workshops, programmes, new templates, tips and tricks and you can read all the 38 stories from ‘Behind the Cards’ – the background thoughts about every inspiration card of the Music Thinking Jam Cards.

musicthinking-blog

Visit the Music Thinking Blog

This is Service Design Doing – best book for service design – design thinking

After 1 1/2 years of waiting for the sequel to the This is Service Design Thinking, the new book is here: This is Service Design Doing, endorsed by Philip Kotler, Birgit Mager, B. Joseph Pine II, wow!

4 editors, 12 chapters, 33 cases, 96 co-authors, 105 expert tips, 205 contributors and now 54 free method descriptions online. This must be the best book of Service Design Thinking available. Disclaimer: I am a co-author 🙂

TiSDD

 

And here are my “15 square centimeters” of fame …

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This is the Music Thinking Quote!

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My original quote is: “Scoping your project is essential, scoping your thinking is fatal” Christof Zürn

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Nice people!

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Four pictures of the Design Thinking Center.

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It comes with a massive free download of methods.

 

 

Design in Technology

Design in Technology is the ‘leitmotiv’ of John Maeda. Here are the slideshares of the last Design in Tech reports and a few books he has published. A great read for designers, business people and the curious digital mind.

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2006

Here to the website of The Laws of simplicity

John Maeda

For people who have absolutely no time to read a book (also if it is only 100 pages), here is a Mindmap with the essence of the book:
LawsofSimplicityJohnMaeda

 

2004

Creative Code was the first book I have read about generative design. This was even before processing.org was invented/developed.

John Maeda code

 

Serendipity & Strategy – Epiphany 2018

Also this holiday season I did not send any Christmas cards or new years wishes. As my friends know this is not about being impolite, but a tradition to do a mailing on the 6th of January and not earlier. 

Today is Epiphany day – the 12th and last day of Christmas. For me it is also the day of changing perspective – a magic pivot. The holiday season is over and we can focus on the coming year.  A good moment to wish you many Epiphanies in 2018!

Epiphany-2018_card_blog

Epiphany is not only the last day of Christmas, but also stands for an experience of sudden and striking realisation. The word epiphany originally referred to insight through the divine. Nowadays this concept is used much more often also without such connotations, but a popular implication remains that the epiphany is supernatural, as the discovery seems to come suddenly from the outside. More on this see below.

Serendipity & Strategy

The last year was full of epiphanies for me – some good, some bad. Some came ‘all of a sudden’ and some were a logical change that ‘step by step’ approached without noticing in the first place (or wanting to notice ;-). In any case at the beginning of this year I got my freedom back to work again independently as Creative Companion.
And this also gave a boost to finish an idea that too long was postponed: to create an Inspirational Card Set based on Music Thinking principles (as presented in October last year) and the Music Thinking Framework.

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First prototype of the Music Thinking Inspiration Cards for Serendipity & Strategy.

In december we started prototyping the Music Thinking Inspiration Cards and this January we will iterate to a set that can be tested in workshops. The idea is to use the cards in very different ways ranging from Serendipity to Strategy in direct connection with the Six Music Thinking Cues from Empathy to Remix of the Music Thinking Framework. The intention is to have the set ready for purchase after the summer vacation.

have a great year
Christof Zürn

PS: an extra project will be the relaunch of both sites:
www.creative-companion.com and  www.musicthinking.com


For all of you who hear the Epiphany story for the first time, below is  a copy from the last years with some explanation and examples about Epiphanies:

A collection of different meanings of Epiphany:

  • EPIPHANY is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.
  • PHILOSOPHICAL meaning: having found the last piece of the puzzle and suddenly seeing the whole picture.
  • ARCHIMEDES Eureka! I found it!
  • EINSTEIN was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move.
  • DARWIN An example of a flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was Charles Darwin’s “hunch” (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle.
  • JAMES JOYCE Referring to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization, he would then attempt to write this epiphanic realization in a fragment. Joyce also used epiphany as a literary device within each short story of his collection Dubliners (1914) as his protagonists came to sudden recognitions that changed their view of themselves or their social condition and often sparking a reversal or change of heart.
  • In RELIGION it is used when a person realizes their faith or when they are convinced that an event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of their faith.
  • WESTERN CHRISTIAN Religion: The adoration of the magi, represented as kings, having found Jesus by following a star 12 days after christmas.
  • HINDUISM epiphany might refer to the realization of Arjuna that Krishna (a God serving as his charioteer in the “Bhagavad Gita”) is indeed representing the universe.
  • In ZEN kensho describes the moment, referring to the feeling attendant on realizing the answer to a koan.
  • BUDDHISM Buddha finally realizing the nature of the universe, and thus attaining nirvana.
  • WILLIAM BURROUGHS is talking about a drug-influenced state, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork (naked lunch).
  • EPIPHANIES is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series.
  • EPIPHANY is a web browser for the GNOME graphical computing desktop.
  • HIERONYMUS BOSCH painted the adoration of the magi around 1495.
  • HOMER SIMPSON has an epiphany, after visiting a strange Inuit shaman, and realizes he has to save the town from Russ Cargill’s plans to destroy Springfield.
  • The last page of THE WIRE magazine with surprising sonic stories about music is called EPIPHANIES.
  • Interesting: if you search for Epiphanies or Epiphany on TWITTER many people talk about that they (just) had an epiphany, but don’t exactly say what it was.

Augmented Reality Magazine

Nice to play with the cover of the Wire Magazine January 2018 edition. If you can’t find the magazine and want to experience the augmented reality feature, you can download the app and a PDF. Have fun.

 

 

 

 

Design Thinking meets Music Thinking

What a pleasure to watch this video of Nigel Stanford. It is a nice way to show music and technology, but also for me a personal connection (one of the many) of Music Thinking and Design Thinking.

Why? The video is supported by two companies. Sennheiser the (high end) headphone company and KUKA the company that has the most versatile robots. This year I facilitated for both companies design thinking workshops; for Sennheiser a 3 day design jam about young sound lovers in the Design Thinking Center and for Kuka a 4 day design sprint in their headquarter in Augsburg. Great to see them connected.

 

BTW: as we speak I am planning for both companies follow up activities 😉

Mmm, I did not yet collaborate with Nigel Stanford, anyone an idea how to connect? 😉

Let me know @ChristofZuern