Thinking About Design

I traveled this weekend and while I was in the airport I decided to buy a copy of the Harvard Business Review. I didn’t know that it was almost $17. However, I paid the sum and hopefully got $17 worth of wisdom out of it.

Anyway, there is an article in it called Design Thinking by Tim Brown. The article is pretty good, but I really like the sidebar. It is called The Design Thinker’s Personality Profile. As the sidebar says – here, as a starting point, are some of the characteristics to look for in design thinkers:

Empathy. They can imagine the world from
multiple perspectives—those of colleagues, clients, end users, and
customers (current and prospective).
Integrative thinking. They not only rely
on analytical processes (those that produce either/or choices) but also
exhibit the ability to see all of the salient—and sometimes
contradictory—aspects of a confounding problem and create novel
solutions that go beyond and dramatically improve on existing
alternatives. (See Roger Martin’s The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking.)
Optimism. They assume that no matter how
challenging the constraints of a given problem, at least one potential
solution is better than the existing alternatives.
Experimentalism. Significant innovations
don’t come from incremental tweaks. Design thinkers pose questions and
explore constraints in creative ways that proceed in entirely new
Collaboration. The increasing complexity
of products, services, and experiences has replaced the myth of the
lone creative genius with the reality of the enthusiastic
interdisciplinary collaborator.

Here is link to the sidebar “Design Thinker’s Personality Profile


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