JAY HASBROUCK

Contributed Articles

Building an Innovation Strategy from Cultural Insights

by JAY HASBROUCK, Founder, Filament Insight & Innovation “Innovate or die"—this dictum is driving companies to build their innovation capacity, and fast. Most are turning to now-familiar practices such as Design Thinking, Lean, or Agile. But as they grow, many organizations find that they don’t see expected increases in innovation after deploying these practices. Why? Although they’re originally meant to drive creative thinking and strategic risk taking, innovation methods can quickly become rote in large organizations, especially when teams are expected to deploy them without context, or simply to check off a box on their performance reviews. Worse yet, some companies struggle to manage a combination of different innovation practices between teams, leading to a breakdown in collaboration and disjointed project pacing. What these organizations lack is an overall innovation strategy that drives their efforts to build innovation capacity, engages their teams with a purposeful vision, and ensures their efforts can evolve...

Tutorial: Ethnographic Thinking for Wicked Problems – Framing Systemic Challenges and Catalyzing Change

Tutorial Instructors: JAY HASBROUCK Hasbrouck Research Group CHARLEY SCULL Practica Group Contributor: LISA DICARLO, Brown University SUMMARY In this interactive tutorial, participants explored ways in which ethnographers can have an expanded role in addressing social issues and other wicked problems. In particular, it explored how ethnographic thinking can frame problems and catalyze change. Participants were first provided with a grounding in ways to approach systemic challenges and social entrepreneurship, including discussion of some successful roles ethnographers have played as part of inter-disciplinary teams. Then, instructors introduced three case studies (and frameworks of systems within them) that participants later used as material for exploring how broader applications of ethnographic thinking might work in real world settings. Those included: labor practices in the seafood industry, encouraging energy conservation, and managing the refugee crises. In the second part of the tutorial, participants divided into groups...

Beyond the Toolbox: What Ethnographic Thinking Can Offer in a Shifting Marketplace

by JAY HASBROUCK, Hasbrouck Research Group Lufthansa flight 490, Seattle to Frankfurt Dinner just served, everyone was settling in, each in various stages of preparing their coping mechanisms for the painfully long flight. Laptops, eye masks, charge cords, earphones, earplugs, slippers, hand cream…they were very busy. The woman next to me popped a sleeping pill and was situating her blankets. I began my own ritual of scanning the entertainment channels to plan my movie lineup. As I was flipping through documentaries, I unexpectedly ran across an educational featurette titled “Design Thinking in 30 Minutes.” Yes, 30 minutes! The more I thought about this featurette as an offering aimed at a mass audience, the more it seemed like an indicator of sorts to me. At face value, it’s a sign that interest in design thinking has become so widespread that a 30-minute short on the subject warranted inclusion in a carefully curated inflight entertainment lineup. But did it also suggest that the practice to which many have dedicated...

“Why Are You Taking My Picture?”: Navigating the Cultural Contexts of Visual Procurement

JAY HASBROUCK and SUSAN FAULKNER This paper explores how methods used to procure ethnographic visuals transition between different cultural histories and varying visual vocabularies. We use an instance during which we were detained (and the police summoned) after taking photos of an apartment building in Cairo to illustrate how these transitions can lead to unexpected and serious consequences with which ethnographers must grapple. We argue that considering factors such as geo-political context, notions of giving and receiving, boundaries between private and public, as well as a culture’s historical relationship with photographic and documentary processes, are all essential to developing a critical position on visual procurement in the field....