Tag Archives: Christof Zürn

Oh what a year – Thank you 2014!

thankYou2014!

This was a year with many faces and to summarize these 12 months in one sentence would be something like this: a Year of Empathy, Collaboration, Music Thinking and Brand Development from a Service Design point of view.

For the fashion brand Olsen in Hamburg (Germany) I developed and designed the reality persona’s, based on research in Canada and Germany. We also worked with my brand strategy framework The Company Real Score to map the most essential brand assets as input for the brand deck.

The Übersee-Museum in Bremen (Germany) asked me to do a persona workshop with information on a one year visitors research to make strategic decisions.

Together with Design Thinkers Academy I developed a one day course of Service Design Thinking Fundamentals, a crash course with the basic instruments like stakeholder mapping, value network mapping, persona and customer journey. The next course will be in march 2015.

A sonic branding project: Massive Music in Amsterdam (Netherlands) asked me to help the team with my expertise in musicology and brand strategy. A nice combination of skills.

But there were more music and brand related activities: this year I started in Nijmegen (Netherlands) with a 20×20 (pecha kucha) presentation about Music Thinking and the platform MusicThinking.com, followed by a presentation in Cologne (Germany) about the same subject.
Together with Lutz Hempel from ICG, I did a short Music Thinking exercise during the ICG Change Management Seminar in Düsseldorf (Germany) and a full Music Thinking / Jazz it! workshop presentation in Copenhagen (Denmark) during the Art of Management in Organization conference.

For Bovemij I did the keynote presentation on their connect event in Utrecht. I showed the development of the last 30 years in the music business and how this connects with the challenges of the world we are living in today. The event was organized by my network partner Gerard Scheenstra of Innovatie Vitamine.

With my friend and network partner from the Witten School of Management Stefan Günther I did a workshop based on agile project management for Heraeus in Hanau (Germany); we also advised the board in taking steps towards a scrum framework. For Simon Weber and Friends, Berlin (Germany) I facilitated the alumni meeting with 150 people in Berlin with 10 iPads for the workshop presentations and created the Systemiker-Map  to visualize the region they work and their expertise.

The Efteling – the Dutch love brand number one – asked me to help them translate their massive research activities in a decision making instrument for a better way of collaboration between marketing and design. We worked with reality personas based on a big amount of research data and also worked with the design team on aspirational personas to strengthen the brand perspective in daily decisions. I did the design of the reality personas and all workshops and work sessions with the creative team and strategic marketing.

For De Rechtspraak in Utrecht (the Dutch Judiciary / Council for the Judiciary) I worked as UX Lead on a quality and innovation project about digital accessibility with a user-centered design approach to let different parties work together in building a user interface with a great user experience. Here are some steps we took: defining ux principles, persona development, customer journey mapping, facilitating creatives and management, usability testing.

Thanks a lot to everyone who made this year a fantastic and pleasurable time. I enjoyed to work with you together and I am looking forward to a very nice next encounter.

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10 more Quotes from the Big World of Music for the Rest of the World – Music Thinking Quotes Vol. 2

This is volume 2 of Music Thinking Quotes.

For quite some time I am collecting quotes that have a connection with what I call Music Thinking (more about Music Thinking click here).
At the same time I am working on a more systematic way to collect and combine music thinking principles. I am working now with 6 principles of music thinking: agility, empathy, personality, jammin’, score and remix.
More about that in a later post. (still has to come 😉

Here are 10 more quotes of more or less famous people with a music thinking connection. Hope you like it.

You can also find the presentation on SlideShare (download enabled).

Empathy poster for focus group, interview and research

Inspired by the d.school’s empathy map I designed a poster that can be used in focus group meetings or any other research or interview situation.

While asking questions and observing behaviour like body language, tone of voice or choice of words it is important to note everything that  occurs in the session. In a second step, or during the session you will encounter contradictions (maybe already in saying), between what people say and what they do. Any contradiction or paradox can lead to a (latent) need or desire. If you ask yourself (or the participant) ‘why the things are as they are’ you may come to remarkable realizations or even an epiphany. This will be your most valuable insights.

Empathy Poster by CREATIVE COMPANION

Empathy Poster by CREATIVE COMPANION

Download the PDF version of the  Empathy-Poster by CREATIVE COMPANION.
You can print the poster in A4, A3 up to A2 and use it in different situations and workshop or research settings.

More posters:

The Persona Core Poster 

If you have collected a lot of insights you may want to go a step further an build personas for your company or project. There is another nice poster for this:

The Persona Core Poster by CREATIVE COMPANION

 

The Company Real Score Framework – Die Firmenpartitur

If you want to map your whole brand input and compare it with the reality persona you could also use The Company Real Score a strategic framework for brand innovation. You can also download the original poster.
Deutsch: Die Firmenpartitur (www.firmenpartitur.de)
English: The Company Real Score

Have fun!

PS: yes you can use the posters free of charge and yes I would be happy if you give me some feedback, credits or just spread the word!
Christof

www.creative-companion.com
www.creative-companion.com/deutsch/

 

A Music Thinking Week

Last week was a week full of Music Thinking for me.

A new microsite about Music Thinking was launched, I had the pleasure to do a 20×20 (formerly known as pecha kucha) presentation in Nijmegen (The Netherlands) about My Inspirations and Music Thinking and a presentation about the Company Real Score  / Die Firmenpartitur  the strategy-framework  for business innovation with a music thinking approach two days later in Cologne (Germany). Looks like there is some kind of momentum for strategic inspirations from the big world of music.

Christof Zürn talking about Music Thinking

Christof Zürn talking about Music Thinking at Nijmegen NOP 20×20

My intentions were:

  • to make people aware that there are many interesting findings behind the obvious side of music and that there are rich patterns of inspiration that can be used for business or private use
  • to encourage people to use the hashtag #musicthinking for tweets they find interesting in the context of music thinking
  • to find partners, clients, ‘co-thinkers’ and evangelists
  • to promote my framework for ‘brand minded & people centered strategy’ called The Company Real Score or in German Die Firmenpartitur

Here are the slides of the 20×20 to give you an impression of my ‘6 Minutes and 40 Seconds of fame’, unfortunately there is no footage.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you are interested in Music Thinking please go to the microsite and drop me a note. I would also be happy to talk about Music Thinking on a seminar, conference or to use it in a strategy session or project.

cheers
Christof

Epiphany through Empathy – wishing you many Epiphanies in 2014!

The sixth of January is epiphany day – the 12th and last day of Christmas. The holiday season is over and we can focus on the coming year. A good moment to wish you all the best for 2014!

What epiphanies would we get, if we could see through the eyes of another person? I made a presentation under the title ‘Epiphany through Empathy‘ and hope you will like it.

Good luck, health and I hope you will have many epiphanies in 2014!

Epiphany through Empathy

The link between music taste and personality

To learn from music is one of the aspects of Music Thinking. Here are some learnings that could be used as input for some methods I am using for Brand development and Service Design like Persona Creation, or working with The Company Real Score. So with your next persona creation or service design project you maybe would like to ask your audience what kind (or maybe a combination) of music they prefer. This could help to understand your target group better.

Knowing whether a person prefers John Coltrane to Madonna, Dolly Parton to DJ Avicii, or Wagner to Prince allows for remarkably accurate personality predictions. 
Music Genre and Personality

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

According to a study with 36.000 participants all over the world (conducted by Professor Adrin North of Heriot -Watt University, Edinburgh) there is a clear correlation between the musical taste of a person and their personality.

People could make accurate judgments about an individual’s levels of extraversion, creativity and open-mindedness after listening to ten of their favorite songs. Extraverts tend to seek out songs with heavy bass lines, while those who enjoy more complex styles such as jazz and classical music tend to be more creative and have higher IQ-scores.

Blues fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Jazz fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, and at ease

Classical music fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, introverts, and at ease

Rap fans
have high self-esteem and are outgoing

Opera fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, and gentle

Country and western fans
are hardworking and outgoing

Reggae fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Dance fans
are creative and outgoing but not gentle

Indie fans
have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle

Bollywood fans
are creative and outgoing

Rock/heavy metal fans
have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Chart pop fans
have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing, and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease

Soul fans
have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

 

References
North, A. C. and Hargreaves, D. J. (2008). The social and applied psychology of music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Collingwood, J. (2008). Preferred Music Style Is Tied to Personality. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2008/preferred-music-style-is-tied-to-personality/
North, A. C., Desborough, L., and Skarstein, L. (2005). Musical preference, deviance, and attitudes towards celebrities. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1903-1914. 

 

More of this:
see the comments or go to www.musicthinking.com

 

The Company Real Score a music thinking approach to business innovation

The Company Real Score – a music thinking approach to business innovation

I am working with many tools and methods. There are some I like more. Now I have compiled the, in my opinion, most important tools and instruments to start with for brand minded & people centered innovations, I call it ‘The Company Real Score’, have a look!

What is it?
The company real score is a collection of business tools and instruments to map and visualize your brand. It is a collection of core elements for orchestrating and conducting ‘brand minded & people centered’ innovations.

Why should you use it?
1. To visualize and communicate what is most important for your brand.
2. To identify strategic paradoxes that can be used in innovation projects.
3. To use it as a ‘brand minded & people centered’ starting point.

See a short presentation

 

You can download the original score – 2,50 meters – via this link: http://goo.gl/IkwkTM

Brand Patterns and Leitmotives – Music Thinking Inspirations for Branding and Design

When designing a brand it is necessary to have a shared understanding about the why, what and how of a brand. This can be written down and visualized in a manifesto together with the brand DNA, vision, mission, ambition and the brand values, personality, promis and expressions. But this is just like the musical score. To really ‘live the brand’ it has to be performed and adapted everyday together with  your audience.

Music Thinking:
Here are two musical concepts that could inspire and engage brand professionals to think about the brand consumer relation to add value to both sides: first to the consumer, then it will pay back to the brand.

Pattern

Marc Shillum is approaching the filed of branding from a pattern thinking perspective:  Brand as Patterns. He states the most important feature of a successful brand is not just consistency, but rather the ability to continually reinvent the brand image according to what is most relevant at the time. In short, a successful brand must have a long term goal, but the short term strategy of how to get there must be continually reworked to remain coherent and relevant in a contemporary context.

Besides patterns there are more concepts that can bring context and meaning. In the Wagner Year it is worth to have a look on the contextual building blocks Wagner is using in his compositions: ‘das Leitmotiv’.

Leitmotiv

Leitmotives are musical phrases like story elements that does not imitate the sound of – for example – ‘crackling logs’, but make you feel the heat, thread and magic of fire. If you want to enjoy the music you don’t have to necessarily know everything about it, but ‘the more you know, the more beautiful it gets’.

Watch a great ‘musical introduction’ to Wagner’s Götterdämmerung with Kurt Masur and Jessy Norman and learn everything about the coding and decoding with Leitmotivs in film music like star wars and Wagner’s music.

From a branding point of view many different elements should make a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ so that the consumer can enjoy, be engaged and get an emotional bond with the brand without knowing exactly every detail.

But to create a brand it takes a lot of listening skills and contextual vision. Maybe the most importing thing: the music is not ready when the score is written. It has to be performed with real people for real people – again and again.

‘There is joy in repetition’ Prince