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This is a basic and fundamental tenet in Design Thinking

By Karla Schlaepfer
design thinking, innovation, creativeconfidenc

“Creative thinking is not a talent”

It is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.” Well said Ed. That’s Edward de Bono (author, inventor and consultant and more. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book Six Thinking Hats).

I’m a stubborn and passionate believer that anyone and everyone can re-activate their creative confidence. Maybe this is part of the reason that Design Thinking principles and mindset works so well for me as a Design Thinking coach and how I communicate this to the teams I work with.

“Focus on the user and all else will follow…another quote”

<footer>Larry Page</footer>

This is a basic and fundamental tenet in Design Thinking.
So simple yet such a challenge to carry out effectively!

Here is a short break-down of these user- focused mindsets or approaches that are part and parcel of today’s Design Thinking practices. Kind of the “best of” list:

  • Think empathetically
  • Be curious
  • Be open and without judgement
  • Develop interest for people

Coupled to each principle (User-Focus, Problem Understanding, Teams, Visualization (or Prototyping, Experimentation) are a number of specific mindset preferences, ways of acting and doing as well as a large number of tools.

Design Thinking is a structured approach to solving problems that digs in deep to first actually understand what the problem is. We devote lots of time in the beginning of the process to achieve an emphatic perspective shift; to get our heads and hearts around what the user or customer really needs. What pushes his or her buttons and why? What surprises and motivates? Can we anticipate what will delight and change the emotional experience in the future and then test it out?

In teams we iterate, test and build the feedback into an optimized version of the service, product or business model. It is a good way to build with and for the customer.

I’ve written a new e-book called, “Design Thinking? Frag mich was!”. It is published with BookBoon Premium and available from their platform. It can be read in a few hours. There are pictures, a few graphs and an excellent literature and video list.

The 70 pages (in German), tackle many aspects of the DT innovation process in a way that spells out clearly and with examples what it is about. And what you need to do to leverage sustainable long-terms results. Plus in the different branches or areas - like with Legal Design Thinking - that are beginning to make inroads in Germany.

It is kind of cool to write an e-book. I could embed LOTS of links.

I wrote this book for people who are curious to learn about more about the functions and potential of Design Thinking. I But also, for those who glibly say, “Design Thinking? Done it. What’s next?” Yes, there is more. Much more than a flash in the pan….

Design Thinking is method not magic. And like any change process, it takes people moving out of their comfort zones. It takes those who dare to forge ahead in order to change the company or organization. People who willing to stretch, grow and live their creative optimism.

Karla Schlaepfer

<small>Version of LinkedIN Post 14.09.18</small>