Share: A Framework for Creative Courage
Share: Ideation Process {part 1}

Learn: Design Thinking Process

In last month's Creative Courage Retreat, each participant focused on a particular challenge for which we wanted to develop creative courage. (See last week's post Share: A Framework for Creative Courage for more background about the retreat and the topic of creative courage.)

One of the retreat facilitators guided us through a new-to-me process called Design Thinking, which allowed each of us to zoom in and clarify our specific challenge.

As you might guess by the name of my web site, I love to learn. And I love learning about different processes and approaches and maps that can guide self-discovery. I was excited to learn more about Design Thinking and explore how I might be able to apply Design Thinking in my work here at Learn + Explore + Share. Here's what I've learned about the process so far.

The web site describes Design Thinking as "a structured approach to generating and developing ideas." The Design Thinking approach is:

  • human-centered. The process begins with empathy and a place of understanding peoples' needs.
  • collaborative.
  • optimistic.
  • experimental. The Design Thinking approach welcomes mistakes as a path to improved experiments.
  • flexible.

You can visit the web site for a detailed description of the process and download the Design Thinking toolkit here.

Following what I like to call "pre-1," or defining the challenge, the process has five main stages:

  1. Discovery: understanding the challenge, preparing research, gathering inspiration
  2. Interpretation: telling stories, searching for meaning, framing opportunities
  3. Ideation: generating ideas, refining ideas
  4. Experimentation: creating prototypes (Hey! Vision Maps are one kind of prototype!), getting feedback
  5. Evolution: tracking learnings, refining experiments, moving forward

To step into the frame of mind that fosters design thinking, the toolkit (p. 16) suggests adopting a specific set of assumptions and instructions:

  • You are a designer.
  • Embrace your beginner's mind.
  • Stepping out of your zone of comfort = learning.
  • Problems are just opportunities for design in disguise.

The art journal page below shows how I've interpreted what I call the Design Thinking Hat.

Design thinking hat (c) Heather Koshiol :: design thinking process mindset
This week, I have been applying Design Thinking to my process of designing a workshop that I will offer beginning in 2016. The process has also made its way into the structure of the workshop. (If you're on the list to receive Joy Messages, you'll be among the first to know about the new workshop! Click here to subscribe.)

What are you learning and exploring these days? You're invited to share your thoughts and experiences here on the blog or over at the community group on facebook

Heather-for home page

P.S. There are still a few seats open in next Thursday's in-person Minneapolis-area Vision Mapping Workshop. I'd love to see you there!

P.P.S. If you don't live in Minnesota, I've got you covered. Check out the details about the Online Vision Mapping Workshop, which begins, along with Autumn, on September 23.