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Leading Like A Designer

July 22, 2016

Leading an innovation project, or other significant change? Determined to find better solutions to complex challenges?

Taking inspiration from Human Centered Design (HCD), an innovation strategy steeped in users’ perspectives, can help you:

  • better understand the people you want to impact
  • and offer real solutions they’ll adopt more readily.

You don’t need to be trained in HCD to benefit from the thinking habits that fuel its effectiveness.

designer mindsetListening to designers describe mindsets that shape their work here, or reading the quick synopsis below, you can ask yourself,

“How could emulating these mindsets accelerate my success?

Creative Confidence
“I know a solution exists and, by asking good questions and staying focused on the people most impacted by it, we’ll find it together.”

“I look for ways to better understand other’s lives and solve problems from their perspectives. When I learn something that surprises me, I’m doing it right.”

“I knowing we can create important impacts. Even if we don’t know an answer now, it’s out there and we’ll find it.”

Embrace Ambiguity
“I start by not knowing the answer, and explore without knowing what will work. This can be uncomfortable, but it helps me sidestep old assumptions and uncover new solutions.”

“Once I have a good idea I create a simple prototype that makes it tangible. Then I test the prototype with prospective users.  This reduces risk by correcting mistakes earlier on, when they’re less expensive.”

“Designing in partnership with users helps me arrive at better solutions. By offering a series of prototypes, each improved by integrating their feedback, a solution evolves.”

Learn with Failures
“I keep asking and testing, designing experiments to help me learn. What I learn from a failure can sometimes be more important than the eventual success.”

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