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Can seven cards change how you communicate about a project? IDEO says theirs can and they’re free.

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"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." "The adage has been used in countless ways since the early 1900s, and it’s still the best way I know to describe the challenge of critiquing creative work. What it means to me is, we’re using the wrong language, but it’s all we have."

Source: www.ideo.com

IDEO went in search of a common language to describe and critique creative excellence. After much deliberation they settled on:

  • Heart
  • Beauty
  • Brains
  • Bravery
  • Magic
  • Mastery
  • Destiny

They then created a card with questions to provoke thought about each. For example, the Bravery card poses the questions:

– Does the work, and the team, embody risk taking?

– Did the work introduce a new perspective, or inspire an organization to change?

– Will the world remember this decades from now?

So instead of stumbling around for words to describe why a design doesn’t quite feel right, you might say "it’s not brave enough." 

It took me several re-reads to buy into their concept, but now I find myself seeing all kinds of kinds of business applications for this deck of cards from strategic planning, to product development, to workplace design, and beyond.

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