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XPLANE

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Voices From VTS

I’ve known about XPLANE for several years, and long been interested in the models they work with in their consulting practice. Attending VTS was a great way to learn more about them, and to gain some exposure to new techniques for creative idea generation. What impressed me most about the workshop was the hands-on approach XPLANE uses, and the way their models can lead to productive collaboration and surprising outcomes – even working with partners I’d just met.

I have a PhD in marketing and use several techniques similar to those introduced at VTS, primarily when conducting workshops and seminars. The process of sensemaking among consumers and organizations is a topic I’ve researched extensively over the past decade, and I was curious to see how XPLANE applies the sensemaking construct in their client work.

The most valuable component of the VTS workshop for me was the discussion led by Matt Morasky at the session’s conclusion. We began by examining the projects each small team had created over the previous 30 minutes, discussing how each project’s material affected the viewer’s sensemaking experience, then moved on to higher-level constructs that helped clarify the creative outcome. Connecting abstract meaning to strategy creation is one of the most difficult tasks in any collaborative creative process, and this discussion made the connection vivid and clear.
 
Melea Press, PhD is a Visiting Research Scholar/Professor of Marketing at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. She lives in Portland, OR where she consults on market research, strategy, and academic-practitioner collaboration.

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I Had a Dream

01-09-2015 | XPLANE | News
No, I am not channeling Martin Luther King. Rather, I started the New Year awakened from a very vivid dream, which I hope will provide some inspiration for
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Envisioning Future Greatness

Articulating personal or organizational aspirations can run the gamut from exhilarating to overwhelming. But there are ways to quickly give it structure, incorporate new perspectives, and walk away with an actionable plan, while also keeping it creative and energetic.



XPLANE’s latest Visual Thinking School (VTS) session focused on ways to envision the future, or what we like to call “futurecasting.” 34 participants worked in small groups at XPLANE’s headquarters to imagine the future of commuting in Portland in the year 2025. Three exercises guided the conversation:

  1. “Ideation Post-up”
    Participants rapidly developed ideas on their own and as a group, filtering to the top three ideas.
  2. “What if we were…”
    They then stepped out of what they knew and adopted perspectives of different companies, experimenting with new lenses and ideas.
  3. “Cover Story”
    Highlights from both exercises were drawn as magazine cover mock-ups to illustrate what success would look like. From the covers of
    Imbibe to The New York Times, groups reported their stories of future states that included bike limos, ziplines, driverless cars, and ferries. Lastly, public presentations allowed them to identify common themes across these covers.


Across these exercises, groups created visual artifacts that captured main ideas and set them up for the next steps of determining how to get there. Participants left VTS with the ability to take these exercises and apply them to their personal goals and their jobs. We look forward to hearing back about more successful examples!

Interested in getting a spot at our next VTS? Check out more information here.

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Change to Thrive

05-12-2014 | XPLANE | News

Technology and behavior are radically reshaping business—on a global scale.Did You Know? 6.0: Change to Thrive advances the conversation about how organizations can adapt and prosper by changing the way they work.

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The fifth in the five-part Did You Know? Series. Goodbye hierarchy. Hello organic organization.

05-12-2014 | XPLANE | Test 1
In our last post, we explored how to adapt to the Business 3.0 era with Success Skill #3: “Execution and Process: Innovate and Respond.” Here w
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The fourth in the five-part Did You Know? Series. Good culture is good business.

05-05-2014 | XPLANE | Test 1
In our last post, we explored how to adapt to the Business 3.0 era with Success Skill #2: “Execution and Process: Innovate and Respond.” Here w
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The third in the five-part Did You Know? Series. Innovation. Once optional, now the rule.

04-28-2014 | XPLANE | Test 1
By Parker Lee President, XPLANE In our last post, we explored how to adapt to the Business 3.0 era with Success Skill #1: “Deliver A Straightforwar
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Partnering for Social Good

04-21-2014 | XPLANE | Test 1
As part of its culture and commitment to “giving back,” XPLANE identifies an organization to support each year. We use design filters to select
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The second in the five-part Did You Know? Series. Four success skills point the way to tackling the challenge of change.

04-21-2014 | XPLANE | Test 1
In our first Did You Know? Series post, we introduced how companies need to embrace a new way of connecting with employees and customers. Its what we call
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The first in the five-part Did You Know? Series. Thrive in the 21st century: introducing Business 3.0.

04-13-2014 | XPLANE | Test 1
This first post of our blog Series introduces how companies need to embrace a new way of connecting with employees and customers. Its what we call “B
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