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The Relational Enterprise Tool (RET)

Developed by JW

Tetrad Components New Tetrad Carpet Tetrad Mapping Tool

THE TOOL'S PURPOSE - this tool helps entrepreneurs to locate (and invent) more opportunities than they might otherwise find using standard creativity tools. It is also designed as a series of steps that gradually reveal that everyone is 'creative', despite the common misconceptions about 'genius' as a very rare gift that comes with eccentricity, weird lifestyle or madness. This tool raises awareness and builds team confidence. It therefore helps in the long process of breaking down silos of thinking or practice within an organisation.
THE TOOL'S METHODOLOGY - this is a practical tool that is self-inclusive, comprehensive and integrative. It works by getting the user to identify relations within the her situation, then mapping them in an explicit way. The mapping process asks the entrepreneur to include her role, proposition, client, and context, in the map. The process may seem strange to some. It may also lead to sensitive outcomes at the personal level. For these reasons, the tool needs a 'safe professional space' within which to be practised. In some professional situations this may mean that users choose to work privately, before deciding what to share.
WHO IS IT FOR? - although it is intended to improve the creative output of teams, this tool is designed for use by individuals working within those teams.

The Steps

  • N.B. Although these steps are numbered, the order in which you follow them is not important.
  • Start with the easiest and work up to to the hardest.
  • You may either choose a 'live' project, or a fictional exercise
  • Imagine each participant in as much detail as possible.
  • Make it as specific and real as possible, rather than general or abstract.
  • If necessary, invent actual people without naming them, so that you can imagine them more clearly.
ACTIONS IN PHASE 1

square-50cm-spacer.jpg Client Enterprise Context Entrepreneur

  • Describe / write down / sketch out your ENTERPRISE as an IDEA
  • Describe your CLIENT'S ROLE (e.g. stakeholder / recipient / customer, etc.)
  • Describe the WIDER CONTEXT (e.g. environmental impact, ethics, etc.).
  • As ENTREPRENEUR describe your personal beliefs, interests and ambitions


square-50cm-spacer.jpg Relations Only Tetrad.png

  • Describe the relationship (1) between YOU, PERSONALLY and YOUR IDEA
    • OR describe how YOUR feelings about YOUR IDEA - i.e. (1)
    • THEN describe how YOUR IDEA would be likely to feel about YOU - i.e. (1)

  • Describe the relationship (2) between YOU and THE CONTEXT YOU HAVE DEFINED
    • OR describe the feelings YOU have, regarding WHAT YOU SEE AS YOUR CONTEXT - i.e. (2)
    • THEN describe the feelings YOUR CONTEXT might have about YOU - i.e. (2)

  • Describe the relationship (3) between YOUR IDEA and ITS WIDER CONTEXT
    • OR Describe how YOUR IDEA might feel about THE CONTEXT YOU DEFINED - (3)
    • THEN Describe how THAT CONTEXT might regard YOUR IDEA - (3)

  • Describe the relationship (4) between YOU and YOUR CLIENT'S ROLE
    • OR Describe how YOU feel about YOUR CLIENT'S ROLE - (4)
    • THEN Describe how you think YOUR CLIENT might feel about YOU - (4)

  • Describe the relationship (5) between YOUR CLIENT and HER PERCEIVED CONTEXT
    • OR Describe how CLIENT might understand HER CONTEXT - (5)
    • THEN describe what you think THE CONTEXT might feel about CLIENT - (5)

  • Describe the relationship (6) between YOUR IDEA and YOUR NOMINATED CLIENT
    • OR Describe what YOUR IDEA might think of YOUR CLIENT - (6)
    • THEN Describe what you think YOUR CLIENT would think of YOUR IDEA - (6)

ACTIONS IN PHASE 2

square-50cm-spacer.jpg Client Enterprise Context Entrepreneur

  • 1. Clarify / formulate your ENTERPRISE as a proposal or pitch
  • 2. Describe your CLIENT'S CHARACTER (e.g. their personality and expectations)
  • 3. Describe the IMMEDIATE CONTEXT (e.g. immediate problems, financial / HR / environmental, etc.).
  • 4. As ENTREPRENEUR describe your professional credentials, status, job title or role


square-50cm-spacer.jpg Relations Only Tetrad.png

  • Describe the relationship (1) between YOUR ROLE and THE PROPOSAL
    • OR summarise YOUR professional opinion about THIS PROPOSAL - i.e. (1)
    • THEN describe how THIS PROPOSAL might regard YOU - i.e. (1)

  • Describe the relationship (2) between YOU and THE CONTEXT YOU HAVE DEFINED
    • OR describe the feelings YOU have, regarding WHAT YOU SEE AS YOUR CONTEXT - i.e. (2)
    • THEN describe the feelings YOUR CONTEXT might have about YOU - i.e. (2)

  • Describe the relationship (3) between YOUR IDEA and ITS WIDER CONTEXT
    • OR Describe how YOUR IDEA might feel about THE CONTEXT YOU DEFINED - (3)
    • THEN Describe how THAT CONTEXT might regard YOUR IDEA - (3)

  • Describe the relationship (4) between YOU and YOUR CLIENT'S ROLE
    • OR Describe how YOU feel about YOUR CLIENT'S ROLE - (4)
    • THEN Describe how you think YOUR CLIENT might feel about YOU - (4)

  • Describe the relationship (5) between YOUR CLIENT and HER PERCEIVED CONTEXT
    • OR Describe how CLIENT might understand HER CONTEXT - (5)
    • THEN describe what you think THE CONTEXT might feel about CLIENT - (5)

  • Describe the relationship (6) between YOUR IDEA and YOUR NOMINATED CLIENT
    • OR Describe what YOUR IDEA might think of YOUR CLIENT - (6)
    • THEN Describe what you think YOUR CLIENT would think of YOUR IDEA - (6)

Self-knowledgeClient-empathy
Personal curiosity managementCreative (re)search
Co-operative learningCommunication
Professional developmentEthical co-sustainment

  • Self-knowledge - acquired for managing one’s own capabilities in a declared context
  • Personal curiosity management cultivating a deep sense of curiosity and understanding that facilitates engagement
  • Co-operative learning - integrating personal benefits within a broader agenda of shared learning
  • Professional development - integrating learning agenda with realistic employment aspirations and prospects
  • Reader-sympathy - re-mapping of personal knowledge from the perspective of a nominated reader
  • Creative (re)search - resourcing and clarifying issues / information well enough to be able to offer pertinent advice
  • Communication - organising and presenting information in a way that can be understood by a nominated recipient
  • Ethical co-sustainment - responsible self-embedding within the whole ecological and economic system

  • It includes the following:
    • 1. It encourages the entrepreneur to be self-inclusive by mapping her own role.
    • 2. it
  • Most inventions are SINGLE gadgets, assets or products that have a SINGLE purpose or outcome. (i.e. 1:1)
  • This tool aims to produce more outcomes than resources.
  • We are interested in systems that offer more connectedness than one finds in fixed hierarchies.
  • There are practical reasons why we use four-fold logic.
  • These include organisational and cognitive benefits.
  • Our system works by inviting the learner to register her situation within an inclusive, four-fold map.



square-50cm-spacer.jpg A Tetrahedron

WHAT WE MEAN BY 'THE ENTERPRISE':

  • A broader notion of 'the work' is what we call the learner's 'proposition'.
  • What we mean by The Enterprise is scaleable
    • The Enterprise may be a facial expression
    • The Enterprise may be a sign or gesture
    • The Enterprise may be an assertion
    • The Enterprise may be a belief
    • The Enterprise may be an artefact made by the learner
    • The Enterprise may be a song, essay or poem by the learner
  • It always calls for the learner to define the context for any proposition or assertion.

WHAT WE MEAN BY 'CONTEXT':

  • What we refer to as Context is scaleable:
    • The Context may be a particular issues under discussion
    • The Context may be designated underlying aims (e.g. money, targets)
    • The Context may be a given plight/situation at hand
    • The Context may be a general concern (social/environmental)
    • The Context may be the Earth and its well-being
    • The Context may be everything that is NOT the proposition discussed
    • The Context may be the Universe as a Whole
  • It can be used as a framework for comparing belief systems (e.g. religions).
  • It encourages the learner to reflect upon her own value and role.
  • It therefore helps the learner to cultivate stronger self identity, self-respect and responsibility.

WHAT WE MEAN BY 'THE ENTREPRENEUR':

  • From the Entrepreneur's perspective, this is herself (or himself).
  • Here, the Self is scaleable:
    • What we refer to as the self may emerge from a vague, internalised moment or feeling
      • - it might start when the learner becomes aware of a moment of excitement or twinge of conscience
    • The Self may be oneself as private individual
    • The Self may be onseself as family member
    • The Self may be oneself as local neighbour
    • The Self may be oneself as professional persona
    • The Self may be oneself as global citizen
    • The Self may be oneself as a tiny part of the Whole Universe

WHAT WE MEAN BY 'THE CLIENT':

  • The term 'Client' could be applied to any Other person.
  • This is scaleable:
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'colleague'
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'mentor'
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'client'
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'customer'
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'boss'
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'government'
    • e.g. The Other person may be a 'Whole World/Universe'

4 ELEMENTS IMPLY 6 RELATIONS
  • The four silver ball (at each of the coloured 'nodes') depict 'players'.
  • The 'sticks' that connect them depict the 'relations' between them.

square-50cm-spacer.jpg Tetrad 1.png square-50cm-spacer.jpg Relations Only Tetrad.png
square-50cm-spacer.jpg
square-50cm-spacer.jpg The 4 key 'players' square-50cm-spacer.jpg Their 6 relations

THE FOUR KEY 'PLAYERS'
  • The 4 key 'players' can be imagined as:

square-50cm-spacer.jpg A = My self-knowing & self-ownership
square-50cm-spacer.jpg B =The integrity of my idea
square-50cm-spacer.jpg C = The bigger context (everything that is NOT A, B or D)
square-50cm-spacer.jpg D = My 'mate'/boss/client/customer
square-50cm-spacer.jpg 1 to 6 = square-50cm-spacer.jpg Each of the relations between A to D

ASSESSMENT-DRIVEN LEARNING
  • In the 21st century, a high proportion of (degree-based) learners seem to find grades very important.
  • This means that the mode and quality of assessment has a strong influence over the learner's behaviour.
  • Our approach incorporates several unusual strategies:
    • It requires students to formulate outcome-seeking (rather than answer-seeking) questions
    • 2. It assesses a larger proportion of the learning process
  • Assessment is normally based on how well the learner 'players' (i.e. A, B, C and D) and how well s/he has managed the relations between them (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6). The student's presentation of his, or her, creation of, and understanding of, the 10 elements (A, B, C and D and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6) becomes the main basis upon which grades are awarded. (N.B. Programme teams may choose to give more weighting to some criteria than others, according to the specific educational needs and aims of the institution).
square-50cm-spacer.jpg square-50cm-spacer.jpg square-50cm-spacer.jpg
A = THE LEARNER as private citizen / masters student / future professional designer square-50cm-spacer.jpg Number 1.png = THE ENTREPRENEUR'S ENGAGEMENT WITH HIS/HER ENTERPRISE (A relating to B) - including finding his/her purpose / element / studentship / style / approach etc.
B = THE SUBMITTED ENTERPRISE as portfolio / texts / reports that clearly include reference to A / C / D square-50cm-spacer.jpg Number 2.png = THE ENTREPRENEUR'S ENGAGEMENT WITH THE WORLD (A relating to C) - including curiosity management / ethics / self-identity / resourcefulness
C = THE WORLD including what we owe to it & what it can offer us as a resource square-50cm-spacer.jpg Number 3.png = THE ENTERPRISE'S DEPTH & RELEVANCE (B relating to C) - including its possible environmental, social, cultural effects and impact, within/beyond the brief
D = INTENDED CLIENT e.g. mentor / collaborator / nominated 'reader' / 'client' / 'end user' square-50cm-spacer.jpg Number 4.png = THE ENTREPRENEUR'S DEALINGS WITH THE CLIENT (A relating to D) - including level of empathy shown / communication skills / diplomacy / ingenuity
square-50cm-spacer.jpg square-50cm-spacer.jpg Number 5.png = EMPATHY WITH THE CLIENT (C relating to D) - including creative opportunism / ability to show new perspectives or opportunities to another
square-50cm-spacer.jpg square-50cm-spacer.jpg Number 6.png = ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS (B relating to D) - including creative opportunism / ability to interest another in a new worldview, perspective or opportunity

Another way to represent the system

How the system is mapped may change the way it is used. By using an X-Y grid that repeats the 4 criteria along vertical and horizontal axes it is possible to show how each criterion has its own integrity (e.g. 'me-to-me'). In the example shown below, only the ten criteria are mapped. This leaves 6 empty boxes. If required, the X and Y-axes might be differentiated as 'active' and 'passive' versions of the criteria. The whole system works slightly differently. For example, it adds an additional 6 criteria for assessment.

Iceland Assessment Matrix.png
A 2D map of the assessment criteria


References

  • Wood, J., (2013), Relational Innovation, Paper presented at the Sustainable Innovation Conference Centre for Sustainable design - 4th-5th November 2013.
  • Wood, J., (2013), Heraclitus and the Tetrahedron, notes from a paper commissioned by Pernilla Glasser. It was performed at Stockholm's NobelMuseum in June 2013.
  • Wood, J., (2012), In the cultivation of research excellence - is rigour a no-brainer?, article in the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice; Mar 2012, Vol. 5 Issue 1, 11-26
  • Wood, J., (2005) “The Tetrahedron Can Encourage Designers To Formalise More Responsible Strategies”, for the "Journal of Art, Design & Communication", Volume 3 Issue 3, Editor, Linda Drew, UK, ISSN: 1474-273X, pp. 175-192 - download paper
  • Taylor, P., & Wood, J., (1997), Mapping the Mapper, a chapter in "Computers, Communications, and Mental Models", eds. Donald Day & Diane Kovacs, Taylor & Francis, London, ISBN 0-7484-0543-7, pp. 37-44, January 1997.
  • Wood, J., (1992), "The Notion of Relational Design"; a paper given at the 17th ICSID Conference - Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1992 May.

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