Blog Recap 2021

SOPHIE: Okay, [Bob] Dylan walks up to you and he says, “you are a horrible songwriter.” How do you react?

ALEX: I would be horribly depressed. Yes I would. I would. But then, after, you know, months of brooding, I would find a lyricist and write a song about how horribly depressed I was. And it would be a big hit, everyone would love me, and I’d make lots of money. Suddenly I’d be less depressed
than if I just sat around being a little bit self-indulgent, letting my misery eat away at me until I’d become an emotional wreck and creatively completely moribund. Yes, moribund.

Source: Music and Lyrics (2007)

That’s the spirit of writing, sans the imaginary success part.

I started 2021 with two tiny impulsive pieces, Leadership or Org Culture, and Design, Acting and the Fourth Wall.

Weekly Learning

I started a weekly learning series in response to the ritual established in my team, covering a wide range of topics, most of which came from my internet digest.

I was surprised that it lasted 23 weeks:

Power and Organization

During the time, I also started my investigation into power and organization with You Know the Next Item on My Bucket List, followed by a series of articulation and learning:


Early in the year, my co-author Andre and I also published our second collaborative work, The Transformable Enterprise, and I posted The Road to Transformable Enterprise: Reflective Conversations on Writing and More, to talk about the book and behind-the-scene thoughts.


The Endgame of Design System is probably a rather dated rant piece from the year before.

The draft of the three-part Becoming a Designer sat in my notebook (the brilliant Bear) for at least two years. Miraculously, I managed to pull it out and posted it in two parts:

Design as a Craft for Solving Problems originated from an unlikely place of trying to teach design to others.

UX Design, Theatre, and Fakes is a rant on our use and abuse of the word “theatre”.

Facilitation, Moderation, and Hosting is a direct response to a tweet.

A Common Problem in Promoting HCD in Organizations is another rant on the challenge of design in business.

Design, Acting and the Fourth Wall is a tiny piece inspired by a great leader from my organization.

Culture and Organization

Besides Leadership or Org Culture, I also wrote two other pieces on culture and organization:


I also took the time to design a few ambigrams for various purposes:

Book Reviews

Writing book reviews is such a thing that you actually need to learn to write it well. I only managed to write one this year:

That’s a great book, by the way.

That’s all for 2021.

2022 awaits.


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