A well designed canvas is a useful tool - but a tool needs a tradie*.
Designers regularly trot out new tools (sometimes called canvases) for use in Codesign workshops. These tools allow us to push our thinking outside of usual places, and give structure to conversations that happen. They also help to collect data and insights from a group which otherwise might be missed. The first group of tools that we have added to this site were purpose made for the One Day Policy Lab for Anti-Poverty Week.
But the tools wont do the work by themselves...
Using a tool in a one off meeting can be useful. But to have real power, the tools need to sit within a structured design process, and applied with a change in mindset. The structure allows us to move between exploration and analysis. In exploration its important to embrace ambiguity and think divergently. In analysis or thinking is convergent and we make careful choices about the direction with the likelihood of most impact. The mindset shifts help us to amplify curiosity and ask 'how might we' rather than 'that wont work'.
And lets be honest, its the people who really matter, rather than the tool.
Are you working with the right people? How do they feel in the room? What process will work best for them? Do you know what influence they have on your process and have you told them?
Finally, whats your role here? What will you need to bring to make sure that you are an effective guide through the process?
Add all those things together - toolkit, mindset, structure and people - and now we can talk making this stuff really fly.
*thanks to Maryanne Hazard from More than Ideas for that 'tool needs a tradie' gem