Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights from watching thousands of people draw toast.
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When the caveman came back after searching for game, he took a stick and made a map on the ground, then they made some verbal discussion. The most basic communication is pictures, then connections to different pictures. It’s hard to see the big picture using just verbiage, we lose the overall concept, and get hung up on minutiae or even emotions and personality. A picture is worth a thousand words but two pictures and you get a narrative toward a goal or finished product. I aways knew this was true, but as a dyslexic, it was always the picture first, then the connection, (the process). Even if I didn’t draw it, I made the picture in my brain, as visualization, then proceeded. Thank you, Tom Wujec, I get it, completely.
I had been in printing for 20 years (or more) and the exercise of putting jelly down before you put down the peanut butter really teaches a bunch. There is actually a reason for putting one thing before another!
I like how Wujec incorporated design into wicked problems because it is a different approach then the ordinary style. This exercise keeps people physically and mentally active. He demonstrates an excellent example by taking a simple design and helping us understand the process better. It was interesting when Wujec distinguished the differences between how Americans and Europeans make toast. It showed the difference between the two, but in the end having the same result.
If i had to point out a negative aspect of the video it would be towards the end of the video when he states that "conversations that are the important aspects, not just the models themselves" but earlier on in the video he explains that "if they do it in complete silence they do it much better and much more quickly..." These two contradict themselves. I believe having conversations is a key component because you get everyone's point of view and you can build off of other's ideas.
What rwally catches my attention is this laugh from one of the audience. Sounds like a man who's really just giving it all in his laugh. You hear him most during the first minutes of this TED Talk. Quite interesting to know how he can laugh that way. ;D
Making toast isn't a wicked problem. A wicked problem is defined by unclear objectives or requirements and the possibility of unforeseen consequences. The problem area is weakly defined and can possibly never be fully known. This is a good example of the design process but lacks any acknowledgement of the characteristics that separate a conventional problem from a wicked problem. That's not even bringing in design by committee which is being proposed here.
I have been a whiteboard person for much of my life, ever since I graduated from chalk on blackboards. My design process - for hardware projects or website interfaces or policy documents or legal challenges - requires detailed and complete and precise visualization - and I still find this to go fastest using the whiteboard + post-it notes approach.
I had really hoped that integrating Project with Visio was going to make my life better, and my work easier, but it didn't. The whiteboard still rules. I keep a stack of them cut to 3' X 4' leaned against the wall.
The most compelling example I have ever seen of another person revealing his whiteboard-based process is on the extras disc DVD of a movie called "Taking Woodstock" by Ang Lee. The walls of their production tent are paved with a series of 4 X 8 marlite sheets (same stuff I use) that are each butted end-to-end to form a belt around the room. Most panels have been gridded into a huge 4' X 32' (?) spreadsheet. The cells are about 2"X 2" and accept post-it notes, The first sheet has the row headings and in these headings are the main project assets (actors, objects, etc.)
the column headings are individual camera shots. What the camera sees in that shot is listed in that column Post-it notes can denote details, nuances, etc. In the "extra" movie, you get to watch the Director and his assistants realize how inserting an actress and an object into the opening long shot and reappear in front of the camera in several of the early scenes - far earlier than the script had called for - create a deep and important thread of meaning that the viewer is not even aware of as it is being developed.
After the whiteboard comes the light table and pencil on paper. Everything is developed on 8.5 X 11 first at small scale and then at plan scale using overlapping pages that tile together to create a larger drawing. I use the eraser constantly and work both sides of the paper to move components around as their 'optimal' relationships emerge.
Back in the 80's I started developing multidimensional CAD software to try to simplify and speed this process, but I am fully convinced that it just gets in the way, for me.
And FWIW, I work in silence. Talking and listening to talking or listening to music distract and that DEFINITELY gets in the way of my visualization.
HT/t +Richard Harlos whose post on G+ this AM turned me on to this video, on the TED site
+mhtinla When you think about it, the second version is already a nonlinear version cause the drawings are separate and can be connected whatever way we choose
Or would the nonlinear version be a picture of a kitchen that shows the toast in a toaster where the cutting board has bread on it and some butter ready to be used with a knife and a person waiting for the toast to pop up. A drawing with a implied story
Man, I read the title wrong...I thought this was about how one makes A toast reveals their problem solving ability/disability!
I wish to make a toast: "A toast to thank you, Sir, for your talk. May the process you spoke on be of great aid to many! Blessings to you!"
It does not result from the talk if he took into account the size of the work space when calculating the average number of nodes. I think the size of the work space influences the number of notes somewhat. More than five nodes look crowded on a A4 sheet but simplistic on a white board. Overall the talk is interesting, and someone definitely worked a lot on the slides. :)
I take your point +Heavyboxes , but imagine you are inside the model, zooming around in virtual reality. This is why they use VR for modelling proteins etc, because the view in 3D affords a much clearer perspective.
Normally, I would agree that 3D is better. However, the point of 2D and nodes and links is to take a complex process and simplify it and make it practical to visualize and analyze. A 3D model requires additional review to see which perspectives and angles would be best for viewing and whether rotating the model would be an option. This moves the diagram toward complexity and away from practicality.
+Joey G All group speakers are selling something. Sometimes it is to sell themselves, their ideas, or their work. Some give profound talks and at the end they have a product to sell. Some sell for money and others just want to get reimbursed for expenses and sell for free. This is a short clip so I don't know if there is a product at the end. Regardless, TED talks took something that is usually an hour long, and snipped out part of the talk, which allows anyone to view it and avoid any of the negative stuff (the actually selling part). But the original talk itself, was designed to sell something, in exchange for money. Those who have the eyes to see it, can see it without actually seeing it.
Lol, I just imagined what would the comment section look like if a woman gave this talk:
"Conquer the world by drawing! Another simple and silly idea to solve all our problems.."
"so much pseudo-intellectual gibberish and so little content"
"that's like the oldest idea ever. how do these ppl even get invited to these things?!"
"Ok, you promoted your groundbreaking drawing site, you can go home now"
EDIT: I hope I'm not being misunderstood here. What I meant is that women tend to be judged more harshly
by YT community when they give a TED talk that's not ''straight to the point" (.. or maybe just a TED talk).
But hey, I could be wrong. The claim is still to be proven.
This is meta science and its not everyone's cup of tea. Thinking of a problem is one thing, and thinking about how we think about a problem is a totally different area. If you do not get this, you are not meant to get it at all. It's like one of those cliches' - "Shrinks are parasites...", most agree, others find it rhetorical.
It's called Affinity Diagramming. It incorporates the elements of a Flow-chart, but it's more than a flow chart. The major difference is it is a collaborative tool, to problem-solve across departments instead of operating in silos. Biases and blind-spots are minimised, and closeness or distance of relationship elements are identified, as well as the strengths of those relationships.
Yeah confused me but I think he meant collaboration was important, as opposed to conversation. This ties in with other studies that claim (roughly speaking) that the brain activity associated with verbal communication inhibits other creative/intuitive aspects of brain activity.
this reminds me of those beginning programming assignments where they tell you write down the instructions of how to make a sandwich and then demonstrate what happens if someone follows those instructions at face value.
Yeah but these flowcharts are too simplistic, commonly you would include conditional and branching statements. Here the logic of why and when one node flows into another is never captured. Unless someone has pre-existing knowledge regarding the toasting process they'd be unable to make sense of this.