Join Turi McKinley for an in-depth discussion in this video Active alignment: Check your goal, part of Learning Design Thinking: Lead Change in Your Organization.
- One of the methods we use to drive active alignment is Check Your Goal. It helps you and your team manage the complexity of continually integrating new insights and concept iterations into the pursuit of your shared goals. This 45-minute activity takes the team through an efficient, time-boxed process of reflection, goal realignment, and planning. At the end, your team will have refreshed alignment towards the big goals you're working for. You'll have identified how the ideas have evolved, and set a near-term plan of action to address that thinking.
Let's walk through leading the Check Your Goal activity. You'll need a large piece of paper and some pens, or a whiteboard. First, at the top, make a space for the goal you started the week with, but don't write it in yet. Then make three larger spaces side-by-side and label them: "What We Did," "What We Learned," and "What We'll Do Next." Finally, at the bottom, make a space for goal refinement, or you can just snag the frog worksheet from the exercise files. Then gather your team.
In the first box, list out what we did this week, with the main activities in the order which you did them. Keep this to about five minutes, and resist the temptation to talk about them, because in the next box, you'll discuss the key learnings and the decisions that were made from those activities. That list in the first box helps guide your team through the discussion, so you want to capture those top learnings and the decisions made in the middle box.
You keep this to about 20 minutes. While this is focused on recollection and capture, listen for debates raised about the learnings or the decisions made. These debates highlight areas the team needs to investigate, but rather than trying to resolve these debates in this 20 minutes, capture them on post-it notes in the "What We Will Do Next" box. In the next ten minutes, as a group, decide what steps you will take to answer the new questions and the debates that came up.
Try to keep those next steps pretty small and achievable. In the last five to ten minutes, compare what you learned with the previous goal or mission. If the goal still holds true, reaffirm it. But if the goal has shifted, capture why on the worksheet. I like to stack these worksheets one atop the other in my team room. They provide traceability back to when and where certain decisions were made, and it's often surprisingly useful when communicating the work and the changes that have happened to your stakeholders.
Now you've aligned your team to both the long-term goal and how the ongoing experimentation has evolved that goal, as well as set some near-term steps with the team that everybody understands. This activity supports design thinking by encouraging a mindset that's flexible and open to change. It keeps everybody on the team aware of the progress that's been made, even though the final product may still be ambiguous.
And, you've engaged the full team in shaping that collaboration. This act of actively reframing what will be addressed in the next iteration of exploration is really important to good design thinking collaboration.
The course opens with a definition of design thinking, including the roles and spaces required for success. You will then learn how to be a good design thinking leader, with specific advice on topics from setting goals to engaging the different skill sets and personalities in the room (introverts and extroverts alike). Next, Turi dives into creative collaboration: the heart of design thinking. She covers planning, research, and concept creation, and explains how to create a "service blueprint" that will help make the design a reality. Chapter 4 introduces prototyping techniques to advance the design.
Design thinking is all about collaboration so we've integrated a LinkedIn Group called "Design Thinking: frog + Lynda.com course." Throughout the course, the author will suggest opportunities for you to share what you're learning. You'll be able to participate in course-related discussions through your web browser at https://linkedin.com/groups/7022790 or via the LinkedIn Groups app, which is available for most smartphones. This is a great way to expand your learning and get additional insights from other members taking the course.
- Defining design thinking
- Implementing a design thinking mindset and approach
- Leading design thinking
- Aligning the design team
- Managing creative flow
- Guiding collaboration
- Generating hypothesis
- Prototyping fast and often
- Making a culture change