Shawn Parr: Learning From The Edges – Say Less And Listen More

Shawn Parr: Learning From The Edges – Say Less And Listen More
Design

Bulldog Drummond's founder describes his learnings from an inspirational talk by IDEO's chief creative office Paul Bennett.

Shawn Parr, Bulldog Drummond
  • 2 september 2011

I recently heard an amazing story from Paul Bennett, IDEO‘s Chief Creative Officer, that illustrated the power of quiet observation, saying less and listening more.

In 2009, Paul traveled to Grameen Bank an hour outside of Dhaka in Bangladesh as part of a corporate tour party, “Inside Grameen”. It was sweltering hot in the small stuffy branch office as various officials spoke about the glowing wonders of Grameen, its local workers, and Grameen Bank’s founder, the much-lauded Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. The small, sugary tea biscuits and strangely incongruous mini-bananas he was given to eat were melting and swarming with flies. He was surrounded by curious, gentle-eyed locals with gazes fixated on the guest speakers. The tea itself, made with local water, sat there; they were all too afraid to drink it. Paul tried to maintain the impression of being interested, trying to stay engaged, to act respectfully ceremonious, but the phrase “Poverty Tourism” kept ringing in the back of his mind.

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