What is design thinking and why should I care?
Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving. By thinking like a designer, and utilizing elements from the designer’s toolkit (like empathy and experimentation), you make decisions based on what future customers really want instead of relying only on historical data or on instinct instead of evidence.
Build a movement for change
Suzanne encourages inclusive, process-oriented movements, rather than top-down mandates, as the best way to foster collaboration and make changes in your company. And you have to start small, she says.
A group of passionate individuals who see things differently and are driven to take action can make bold moves and get the quick wins that have positive impact, attracting more people to the movement. Eventually, what was the edge becomes the core, the outlier becomes the norm, and over time structures and processes evolve into new ways of working.
IDEO U’s step-by-step guide for catalyzing change
Think about a challenge facing your organization, team or community that could benefit from a wide range of diverse perspectives.
- Identify a challenge to tackle by focusing on:
- Where tension and conflict exist, and…
- Where there is no productive conflict, dialogue or discourse
- Introduce a diversity of perspectives by asking:
- Who are the key players?
- Who is the change in service of?
- What difference could this change make?
- Refine your challenge by filling in the blanks in this sentence
How might we apply a greater diversity of perspectives in ______________
in order to ______________.
(Such as: How might we apply a greater diversity of perspectives in team brainstorms
in order to elevate the voices of introverts.)
- Now brainstorm 5 ways to start small:
- Plan it in less than a day
- Have it cost less than $100
- Make it with 1-3 other people
- Pick an action to start with by asking what generates the most:
- Energy (people are passionate about it)
- Excitement (it generates buzz)
- Engagement (participation will grow from it)
- Ease (it doesn’t take many resources to start right away)
- Choose your coalition of conspirators
When you think about engagement, it’s not only about employees but about your “coalition of co-conspirators,” says Suzanne. It takes three kinds of collaborators to mobilize forces, get ideas off the ground and make your movement stronger:
- Enthusiasts: People with passion for the idea, often the easiest to brainstorm and work with
- Sponsors: People with power who will relinquish resources to let you scale your change — the process has to be as much theirs as it is yours
- Naysayers: The skeptics who push you to tackle unintended consequences before they happen and who think differently and inclusively
Read more from the “Back to business” special:
The C2 Montréal Minutes: Actionable insights for creative business leaders
This article is excerpted from the upcoming Transformative Collisions: The C2 Montréal 2018 Minutes, available for your reading pleasure this fall at c2m.tl/minutes2018.
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