Learn how Hexcal Studio helps a Deloitte visual strategist refine his flow state.
"It's a brave and innovative move, pushing the envelope on how humans can enter and stay in the flow state with the assistance of hardware technology."
Phil Guo is a professional visual strategist, who uses visual storytelling to energize group contribution and rapid comprehension in live events with senior executives and key stakeholders. He is the practice leader of the global management consultancy Deloitte, and serves on the global Board of Directors for the IFVP(International Forum of Visual Practitioners), a non-profit committed to developing creative education worldwide.
"As a consultant, it is inevitable to work long hours, especially when focusing on innovation consulting. Regularly, I must shift my focus between analytical and creative projects, and both of them require undivided attention on precise details," says Phil. "It is critical to organize my working space, where I do research with productivity tools, draw & design with creativity accessories, and collaborate with people in different time zones using video calls and a whiteboard canvas. I have been trying to design the optimal workflow layout for my desk to support the nature of my work. However, because my role is so dynamic, I spend a lot of time adjusting devices and cables into the proper arrangement when I shift from one role to another, only to shift back and forth again. For me, the question becomes: 'Why must I be interrupted by these logistics instead of focusing on the actual job itself?'"
Real-time graphic recording at Singularity University (https://www.su.org) Global Summit in San Francisco 2019
Since COVID-19, Phil has become a typical hybrid professional, who spends nearly half his time working at home. As visual strategist, a profession requiring a balance of analytics and creativity, he must employ a multitude of digital devices - PC laptop, Mac mini, MacBook, iPad, two drawing Tablets, and accessories like headphones, keyboard, mouse, touchpad, chargers, and cameras with multiple lenses. Pro-devices enable Phil to deliver professional and quality results quickly & efficiently. But when fluctuating between tasks, changing out multiple devices can be tedious and clustered, causing frustration for an efficiency-conscious consultant, who requires a lean working style. The notion that "technology enables convenience" may be true, but it can also lead to unexpected impacts of being controlled, if not enslaved, by the very same technology.
Visual facilitation requires simultaneous interpretation in real-time, requires strong concentration.
"Studio is the elegant solution I have sought for a long time," reflects Phil. "The most salient feeling is that the messy cables are gone. More precisely, they are hidden from the places they are not supposed to be. It is like a container, supporting all equipment changes during my constant role-switching. I always believed that working from home is irreversible, and we will spend more time at our home office, so it should be carefully designed. Studio reveals the possibilities, turning a simple working desktop into a versatile workstation, while maintaining aesthetics in appearance and merging seamlessly into different furniture styles."
Phil's personal desktop setup with Studio for performance and creative works.
In his profession, Phil advocates the "future of work" subject to his Deloitte clients, inviting organizations to consider how humans work best and designing work to align with those discoveries and re-imagining environments to foster creativity, flexibility, and insight for the human experience. He believes that those who are devoted to creative endeavors can learn a lot from experts in their area, whether they are artists and athletes. These experts bring the best out of themselves by mastering the flow state and distorting the perceived time they spend on their craft. With support from Studio, Phil practices and refines his own "flow exercises," perfecting his ability to maximize efficiency and enjoyment at work.
One of Phil's "flow moments" in front of Studio.
"In today's environment, and for years to come, we will regard work in a much more holistic way. Everything around around the task itself matters as well and could involve a wide range of multi-disciplinary studies including environmental psychology, human-computer interaction, neuroscience, physiology etc. Studying how top players reach high performance while enjoying the process is a critical field of study," notes Phil. "it's a brave and innovative move, pushing the envelope on how humans can enter and stay in the flow state with the assistance of hardware technology. Furthermore, the lighting system can prolong this state. Now, I must set an alarm clock because it is too easy to forget about time while at my desk."
Phil's visual facilitation work for "Exponential Equity" in Singularity University (https://www.su.org) Global Summit. San Francisco, 2019. (Copyright reserved)