Stick This

Hi guys, what’s up? Do you sometimes feel like you have been tsunami’d by Post-It Notes, and haven’t seen a blank wall since back before your DTO was created? Nicholas Keilar down at their Sydney hub summed it up like this – “sticky notes, sticky notes and more sticky notes”, so Digital Koolaid has been discovering how this office decorating style evolved. Let’s check it out.


Back in the day office walls were, well, walls. They separated one part of the office from the next, maybe like the coffee room from the photo-copier room. They might hold up a white board if it was a meeting room, but there were loads of walls that were hanging about just being, you know, walls. So, when did all this change? When did walls become a new monopoly for your DTO and the Post-It Note Tsunami (PINT)? It has to be that suddenly everyone decided that electronic white-boards and personal computers were over. Our world runs on small pieces of coloured paper with a few cryptic words in handwriting, like a Zen Haiku that points at a discovery from a user journey through a citizen-centric service and maybe the answer to one of the Universe’s greatest questions.

In earlier geologic ages there were documents that captured requirements, plans and strategies. The cave-persons back there used Document Management Systems that ran on computers, and Project Management software that saved GANTT charts to hard disks, and Local Area Networks to let people see things from loads of different locations, and share information and ideas around in teams.


With the rise and rise of Agile Koolaid things have sure advanced a lot since, and all that old computer stuff is gone. We are at the cutting edge now, with Post-It Notes in up to 5 different colours sticking on walls down at the hub. And it’s great guys, like if I’m not stuck sitting there in the office I can’t even see my S.T.M. and my mind is totally free for Game of Thrones and Angry Birds. When I hit the front door in the afternoon it’s a clear road for me, and some serious Life-Work balance. That’s LIFE guys. The work thing is hanging on a wall back there, and I’m on the cycle and out of here …

But tone it down guys, there’s actually a serious problem here and we need to work together in agile teams to innovate some design thinking real soon. Ask yourself: like why isn’t there a Post-It note that will stick to every surface? Have you tried to stick it to a carpet? There are loads of carpets down at our Hub. Have you stuck it to the ceiling? Our whole place has ceilings and nobody is using them. Think of the possibilities. Sticking Post-It notes to furniture is another great innovation: maybe desks and chairs can be the Alpha and we can Beta with cupboards and drawers. For sure we need Post-It notes that stay where you put them as well, like permanent markers. Our guys have been super un-cool about notes that fall on the floor and maybe the cleaners got them overnight. Maybe we lost the top answer to that question of how users really feel when they see us hand-writing on little pieces of paper while we’re talking large about Digital.


So guys, our Digital Post-It Notes have to be a whole lot better than just any 3M notes you can get down in the stationery room. We need to transform Post-It Notes if we are going to really understand what users want and make them the centre of our thinking. We need user-centric, un-erasable, permanent-stick, multi-surface, super-adhesives that let us get on with our real jobs. Without them Discovery won’t capture the emerging needs of citizens and users, or get our Digital Revolution to where it needs to go. And guys, take my advice and polish up on the hand-writing as well.



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