Creativity & Innovation

Why brainstorming is important for great design thinking

I found a Stanford University article, ‘How Design Thinking Improves Creative Process.’ Maybe it’s interesting to you to see this snippet?

Here’s the excerpt.

Why is brainstorming a good way to generate new ideas?

‘Great ideas — those that solve a problem in a unique way — usually happen when two old ideas meet together for the first time. Great ideas are not new ideas. They are usually a combination of existing ideas. And that’s where brainstorming is powerful because it brings together people with different experiences so they can all merge their ideas together… Design thinking becomes effective because it promotes that collaborative approach. It brings people from different parts of the organization together for their different knowledge, expertise, and input on how to solve a problem. By combining those ingredients together, you can come up with new and creative ways to solve a problem.

Here’s a link.


Creativity & Innovation

‘Let’s play’

Sure, I’ll spell it out. What we do, here.

  • Innovation consulting, for businesses and NGOs. (What does that mean? It’s a way to say let’s find the new, next thing. Together. The way we lead the conversations is more about discovering your way towards an insight you don’t even know yet, what it is. Because you don’t know what you don’t know, right? So this is where we can help. Design Kompany gives you a way to look within, and our 15+ years of experience in journalism to ask good questions, plus design for dozens of clients, helped us build the toolkit of how to do that well, for you. Use this service for consulting with DK to organically and naturally hit on your Next Big Idea. Save time!, and get to a new thing by talking over what is even possible.) [$$]
  • Graphic design + brand identity, for business owners who have been operating for 5+ years. This is pretty straightforward if you are interested in re-designing what it is you are saying to the world about your ‘why’.’ It’s important to know that, and so we dig deep to get to the ‘unique value proposition.’ And then, we get to designing what it might look like, for you. Six sessions. [$$$]
  • Design thinking workshops, designed for team-building, company groups or educators. It was a natural progression after we worked with a few people on identity design to be asked to deliver short workshops over several hours or several days, on how to think in creative ways. Zoom out. Get clear after you brainstorm and consider myriad angles. There is more to blog about this topic, for sure. Will do that. [$]
  • I write Kismuth. My eWorshops in reflection, designed for individuals who are ready to start new things. Most of the people that I talk to on email these days are part of the ongoing conversations since 2014, to weekly prompts, that are designed to help you find your way to insight by journaling it out. Together. Kismuth is my writing site. [$]

Above are examples are the kinds of commissions DK are working on, currently.

New things ahead for the fall.

Naturally. Changing and growing, all the time. Agile is like that. I found something today that reminded me of how DK started anyway and why people said they liked being part of my studio’s programs, workshops, conversation parties, and even becoming clients. ‘You’re having fun.’

Fun is the point of it.


Innovation starts with play

According to A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change‘s authors, play is key. Douglas Thomas co-authored it with John Seely Brown.

Wikipedia says Thomas’ research was funded by several foundations and focuses on the relationship between virtual worlds and civic engagement and digital media and learning. Here is an excerpt:

‘What happens to learning when we move from the stable infrastructure of the twentieth century to the fluid infrastructure of the twenty-first century, where technology is constantly creating and responding to change? The answer is surprisingly simple.

‘Ironically, the relentless pace of change that is responsible for our disequilibrium is also our greatest hope. A growing digital, networked infrastructure is amplifying our ability to access and use nearly unlimited resources and incredible instruments while connecting with one another at the same time. However, the type of learning that is going on as a result looks so different from the kinds of learning described by most educational theorists that it is essentially invisible.’

Let’s discover more. Let’s connect. Let’s start talking. And let’s play.

Anyone in Phnom Penh who is curious about this, can register for The Third Place, here.


'S' is for Sincerity · Creativity & Innovation · Found in the Field

What CEOs can learn from bad reviews on Glassdoor

For a new project here at DK in Saigon, I am researching the web. I am learning about what potential employees at creative company would be interested in having, at an ideal job.

And I found this.

It is a review. It was posted a few years ago, on a website called Glassdoor. Glassdoor exists to help people who are considering working somewhere read what past employees have said about their honest, firsthand experiences. In other words, CEOs can be ‘reviewed.’

Sometimes your gut knows when to say, ‘No.’

Some people are ‘manipulative’ as is stated on that person’s company’s page along with the word ‘narcissistic.’ I think it’s scary to work for people like that and you lose yourself ?

Yet there are some who like abuse. Who want to ‘be creative’ as a way to work out their personal anxieties and tough pasts, especially in Vietnam. We have to work on that here. Be careful who you work for, Atelier S P A C E Director Dipika Kohli had told us. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

This is the review.


Work/Life Balance
Culture & Values
Career Opportunities
Compensation and Benefits
Senior Management
Former Employee

High Turnover Due to Poor Management

Apr 26, 2018 – Anonymous Employee


Vietcetera is a good website for culture in the city. It’s highly regarded and trusted by expats in Saigon. Vietnam needs english cultural publications to spread the country to the world. There was a good amount of creative freedom given to the creatives at the company, mostly due to a severe lack of structure and direction. This allows people to work on what they want to an extent, however without the structure it is almost impossible to know what kind of content the editors are looking for. The company has good connections in the city and can introduce you to big players in the creative world of Saigon.


Almost none of the owners or upper management of Vietcetera have any professional experience in journalism. This leads to a lack of direction in the company and their editorial standards. Most of the time it felt like the content was simply a business favor for the owners rather than something that our audience would like to read. Very little reflection on content or performance or growth of the company. One individual in upper management would make crude sexual jokes and advances towards the female employees regularly. At times yelling through the office when an attractive woman was walking on the street outside. The comments made to me about other employees and myself made me very uncomfortable. I couldn’t recommend women work here for this reason. Pay is extremely low for the work expected. There are alarming pay discrepancies between western employees and Vietnamese employees with similar qualifications and responsibilities. Turn over rate is astronomically high. Only one employee stayed at the company during the time I was working there. Employees are treated as disposable. It felt like the management would rather fire a person and hire another unpaid intern rather than invest in an employee and help them to fit in the position. Firings are always without notice and immediate, no two weeks notice, no pay till the end of the month. Very little regard or investment in the personal desires or goals of the employees.

Advice to Management

I’d like to see more of a responsibility taken for your employees. Hire somebody that you genuinely believe in and intend on training and working with for an extended period of time. Investing in a good employee and making them feel valued and secure at the company will help the company grow. Temporary workers and short turn overs cause a lack of identity and an uneasy foundation for new employees to build on. Establish a code of conduct within the office. The sexual comments and derogatory talk are inexcusable in a modern company. I was extremely uncomfortable working in that environment because of these comments and actions.


Question for CEOs: If you were in charge, what would you want them to say about you ?


'S' is for Sincerity · Creativity & Innovation · Strange Geometries

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