Oxytocin Organisation

Black and white mapping

A social manifesto

Think about the following questions:

  • Aside from the elevator pitch of the brand strategy, what is your organisation’s social manifesto?
  • Do you even have one or know what it is?
  • Are you on the side of the customer?
  • What are you doing that’s worthwhile and meaningful or out to prove a point?
  • How does it enable participation, co-operation, a network that builds a community where customers are fans that have an affiliation, and identify with the organisation and have a sense of ownership?

That’s a lot of questions. Ones I’ve attempted to start a conversation with, but they’re awkward because for the most part, organisations do not know how to answer them. They’re not on the side of the customer, they don’t enable participation or provide any type of ownership. There are, of course, some well documented successful companies such as Rapha that built their organisation on these principles, but they are the few and far between. When asked, leaders will say it’s something others do, specialists, or it’s such an alien concept they don’t know how to approach thinking about it. They want to but it is the process that is alluding them.


Being honest

With so much of the organisation’s manifesto being implied, resulting in plenty of greyness for interpretation, I sought to create a connection between the organisation’s attitudes, principles of operation and design patterns. This enables both idea generation and critiques where the organisation is clear about what it will and won’t do. Showing this as a map creates alignment between teams and provides clarity. This assessment was derived from the pattern categories in the UI book Evil by Design:

  • Pride. Use social proof to position your product in line with your visitors’ values
  • Sloth. Build a path of least resistance that leads users where you want them to go
  • Gluttony. Escalate customers’ commitment and use loss aversion to keep them there
  • Anger. Understand the power of metaphysical arguments and anonymity
  • Envy. Create a culture of status around your product and feed aspirational desires
  • Lust. Turn desire into commitment by using emotion to defeat rational behaviour
  • Greed. Keep customers engaged by reinforcing the behaviours you desire

By individually completing the answers to 57 questions in each category, an aggregated score of attitudes can be created. I had the fortune to work with a new ethics focused bank, creating truly category leading products. The results were surprising and showed how much of the ‘dark side’ they were prepared to dive into. It process highlighted some core differences between leadership members. It drove a good discussion, honesty and what was needed to make the organisation successful without being overly fluffy or stating they were out to save the world.

black and white mapping

Tool  – Black and white mapping

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