Chapter 7: Part 3 – Sailing on the winds: How to running a company impractically

Similarly, imagination isn’t just a way of thinking for senior managers of The Right-Brained Organization – it can also be applied at every level of work in the company. For example, many innovative companies use the “user persona” tool to depict their users. This method was first proposed by interaction designer Alan Cooper in 1998. The term is also often translated as “user model,” “character portrait,” “character role,” “character biography,” etc.

The so-called “user persona” is a representative of an imagined user group. It’s a virtual image built on real data. But a good “user persona” will have a real photo – this virtual character will have their own name and clear personal information such as gender, age, occupation, income, and even personality traits and brand preferences. But it’s actually a prototype and not a real person. By creating these characters and writing stories about their experiences using new products, developers can become familiar with users and empathize with them. As designer Kim Goodwin puts it: “A user persona is a user prototype that can be used to help guide decisions about product functionality, navigation, interaction, and even visual design.”

Running a company with imagination is a subversion of management philosophy for many people familiar with Left-Brained Organization management. But the next way of thinking we’re going to discuss will make them feel even more “heretical.” This way of thinking is to rely on intuition to manage the company.

Jack Ma’s management philosophy includes one called “smelling.” In Ali’s early years he recruited a group of good seedlings who were willing to endure hardship and fight hard battles with a sense of mission through “smelling.” Recruiting the right people made Ali’s early team later become an industry-acclaimed “Ali Iron Army” with high aspirations, a sense of mission, willingness to endure hardship and able to “bend down to do revolution.” Jack Ma often emphasizes that senior managers should walk around in the office more – whether or not a team has morale can be known by walking around in the office and looking and smelling – this is relying on intuition to do management. This is correct.

Relying on intuition is easy but relying on intuition professionally isn’t easy. However you can start with something relatively simple – don’t judge right or wrong. We were taught from childhood to distinguish between “good people” and “bad people.” Although we know things aren’t that simple when we grow up our intuitive judgment of right or wrong is still our most common way of thinking. Obviously distinguishing right from wrong is logical thinking – left-brain thinking.

You can try to feel your own feelings. Feelings aren’t right or wrong – feelings are happy or unhappy. Then respond accordingly instead of judging right or wrong at first. If you as Party B want to develop a system for Party A’s service. “User research” isn’t about interviewing the “right” Party A boss (customer) or chatting with the “wrong” Party A worker (user). Instead feel the boss’s anxiety and the worker’s unhappiness then see where the problem lies. We will interview Party A’s boss and workers. This is responding after feeling but not judging who is right or wrong first.

In fact, when you’re engaged in unconventional innovation, you’re already in “Murphy’s World.” Here, experience tells us that everything follows the great “Murphy’s Law,” which is simply that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” The greatness of “Murphy’s Law” is that it’s the only 100% correct law in our universe. That’s just how it is – it draws a circle with a straight line. If it’s wrong it proves it’s right. So in “Murphy’s World” debating right or wrong isn’t very valuable. And as we mentioned earlier, unconventional innovation is counter-traditional and counter-intuitive – in “right” thinking it’s “wrong.” However at least the good news is that if unconventional innovation is essentially a kind of “mistake,” then according to “Murphy’s Law,” innovation will definitely succeed. Obviously according to “Murphy’s Law,” making right or wrong judgments at the beginning isn’t only unhelpful but even harmful. It makes us first “eliminate” the most likely place to succeed.

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