Join Turi McKinley for an in-depth discussion in this video Design thinking mindset, part of Design Thinking: Lead Change in Your Organization.
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- The best design thinking teams and leaders tend to approach hard questions and ambiguity with a mind set of six characteristics. The first, asking "What if?" The first part of the mind set is this welcoming of big ideas and unusual perspectives. Listen for ideas that feed one another. Those classic "Yes, and" moments, where people are working together and their ideas just keep building on each other.
And listen for a tone of closing down the discussions. Statement like, "There's no business model for that." Or, "The CEO will never go for it!" The other thing to listen for here is, does your team actively seek outside perspectives? Or are they always going back to the usual suspects every time to gather information? The design thinking mind set really invites unusual perspectives and sees it as an opportunity and a chance to grow.
Optimism. Okay, this is a core belief that the team will come up with a great solution and a good attitude in that pursuit. But it's more than just bringing good energy or caffeine to the table. It's about seeing the problem before you and its constraints as opportunities for creating a better solution. The third is human empathy. You'll sometimes find organisations which think they do human centered design because they have a high net promoter score and they do a lot of useability testing with end users, but those metrics don't necessarily mean the team has a rich understanding of the people using the products.
And the skills or opportunities to deepen that understanding when they need it. So as you listen to your team, do they bias towards getting user input? Can they express how the product or service meets real people's needs? And don't forget to develop an understanding of those in your company who are delivering the user experience. A sales person or a call center rep is as complex and important a player in many of the experiences we create today.
The fourth characteristic is experimentation. So you can see if your team is making fast prototypes and iterating ideas through that making and learning, so that they can improve the next iteration. But also, listen for a bias towards failing fast as they talk. Is failure a word the team is afraid of? Does every experiment need to be full fidelity? Or is the team able to focus on just one key question per prototype? Is the team comfortable exploring an idea and then letting it go when it doesn't work? The fifth characteristic is collaboration.
Listen for how the collaboration is working on all the channels and slack in the team space, over email and over drinks. Is everyone being engaged? And particularly for those folks on your team with a different point of view or a different skill set. Maybe it's the mechanical engineer with deep knowledge of manufacturing constraints or a health care lawyer who has HIPA in their everyday conversation. How is the team engaging their skills? Are they being invited to bring all their skills to the table? The last characteristic is experience focused.
Does the team have a mind set that is focused on just the point solution? Like the shopping cart that you've been asked to fix? Or are they thinking about the shopping cart, but how that relates to the full experience that the users have of your product? If they are thinking about the full journey, not just the shopping cart, they're probably in a good experience mind set. Over the next week, make a note of how the team approaches hard questions.
Are they asking "What if?" Is there and attitude of optimism about the problem? Are humans, people being brought into the process? Is experimentation a part of how you work? Is everybody on the team collaborating? And is the overall mind set experience focused? At the end of the week, define for yourself what you feel the greatest strength and the greatest opportunities are. And consider how you might support improving one or developing the other.
This is an activity you can do over time. So put a note in your calendar for sometime a few months out to do this again and see if things have changed.
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