A Month of Learning: Design Thinking

A few weeks ago I set an intention to explore various topics I was interested in over the next several months.  This month was all about design thinking.

Here is what I explored:

I took this intro course:

  • https://hellodesignthinking.ideou.com
    • What I loved about this course is that it actually makes you practice the design thinking steps, which can be quite uncomfortable.  It’s also relatively inexpensive.  If you want a little practice before trying this stuff out with real humans, it’s a good way to go.

A Key Learning: Definitions

IDEOU defines design thinking as a:

“A process for creative problem solving. It starts with people and their needs. Anyone can use it to tap into their creative potential and grow in-demand skills for today’s competitive market.”

This definition made me starting to think of design thinking as a way to unlock creativity and really a way to kick-off any project – even if you don’t go through all the steps – as it puts the human at the center of the project, not the business.

When you start with people first, the rest will follow.

The Design Thinkers Group defined design thinking in this way:

“A mindset to develop and deliver innovative ideas, change and solutions to complicated problems. It is an activity-based process with a strong emphasis on teamwork and co-creation.”

I really liked this definition becasue of the words teamwork and co-creation.  Things that I believe are we all need to focus on to solve problems.  The world doesn’t operate in a vacuum and neither should we.

How I now think of design thinking:

A mindset & process for problem solving that unlocks creativity and utilizes team work to co-create a solution that keeps humanity front and center.

Instant love.

How can I not want to learn more about something that does that ; )

What’s next?

Obviously, I just scratched the service of design thinking but I learned enough to know I want to learn more.  So here is how I plan on doing that:
  • Incorporating a few design thinking principles into a brainstorming session on how to update and expand a current program I am working on at work.
  • Attend a design thinking boot camp to help build my network around design thinking and put knowledge to practice.
  • Try to clumsily run a design thinking session to start solving for how a team can work in a more open and connected way despite our technology challenges.
  • Update the instructional design process I use to include design thinking principles.
Amazing how much you can learn in a month with just a minimal amount of effort and time.  Looking forward to the lessons next month brings.

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