Hopes and Fears


As humans, we have a tendency to get really focused at a very granular level about a problem or service. We might think in terms of interface, interactions, information design, or other deep topics. Sometimes we need to abstract ourselves outward a little bit and think more generally about a circumstance or way of working. This is why we created the hopes and fears template.

The hopes and fears template helps us explore the power of vulnerability. It works to expose different challenges, opportunities, and feelings early on. There is significant power in determining and exposing what people are anxious about, why they're nervous, why we’re talking about these things etc. Being able to expose these complications well ahead of designing or organizing information around a product or service gives people an opportunity to get their internal fears out of the way early on.

This exercise is one of our more straightforward templates as it only allows you to take inventory via digital post notes about hopes and fears. To use the hopes and fears template, you’re going to start out by writing down your hopes and fears on the sticky notes provided. Once you’ve captured these, you’ll want to place one hope and one fear on each side. Continue to build out hopes and fears by placing each sticky note on their respective sides of the board. It’s okay to see the mirrored versions of hopes and fears on each side, but remember to try and build some divergence between the two. Be sure to look at things from different perspectives and consider other possibilities. The goal here is to help align focus on your hopes and build organization to prevent your fears from becoming reality.

Power tip:

change the colors of the sticky notes for each given team. For example, engineering can have red, product can use blue sticky notes, and marketing can be green. You can also flavor the sticky notes based on the persona or type of persona by changing the note colors. Use this template as both an internal and external tool to clearly map and outline different perspectives.

While this template is not as multi-stepped or complex as some of the others, it is equally as important. Oftentimes, unleashing someone's purpose and passion in a safe space can be transformative. the anxiety or anxiousness you have can actually be a bigger accelerator, so don’t let this be your ending point. You can use this template in both your personal and professional life to help express vulnerability and manifest new ideas. Hopes and fears is crucial when considering blockers and building a healthy team culture. Remember, there are certainly no right or wrong answers with this template, so be honest and use your own vulnerability to your advantage!

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maad labs
Distributing the future more evenly@maadlabs.io
maad labs is a do tank, not a think tank, that performs digital experiments, provides executive training, builds our own (largely AI/ML/Data) products, and consults with both venture-backed and large, multi-national companies bringing bold, audacious, and complex ideas, experiences, and technologies to market. We help organizations get future-proofed by leveraging impending technological disruptions.
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