By Tanya Garma, Content Director
If you haven’t heard of Design Thinking, it’s a working method traditionally used in developing innovative products and service. The key principle behind Design Thinking is ‘human-centred design’ – in other words developing solutions for people, and including them in the research, prototyping and iteration process.
But what many people don’t realise, that Design Thinking is as much a cultural mindset, as it is a process. If you’re an organisation that isn’t necessarily focused on developing the latest new product or app, the awesome thing is that you can still steal parts of Design Thinking and implement simple, straightforward hacks to your workplace.
Innovative solutions have come out out of the craziest and most far-fetched of ideas. Therefore, one of the golden rules in Design Thinking, is to build and expand the ideas and thoughts of others. So saying, “No, but…” in a meeting is a definite no-no! Instead, always try, “Yes, and…”. Why does this make a difference, you wonder? The latter does make a big difference, as it plays a dual role of taking into account and acknowledging someone’s idea as worthy, as well as keeping a positive and inclusive spirit within the meeting/team. Try it, and you’ll see how well it works!
It’s so easy to defer to using written language to express a thought or idea. But getting the hang of communicating a thought or idea visually is in fact a lot more effective. Why? As the person expressing something, it engages a different part of the brain and opens up thinking patterns. As an audience member, one’s eye is often more geared to a picture (think about a meeting scenario for example). So an easy hack is to always ensure your workplace meeting and collab areas are well-equipped with post its, markers, pens – anything! – that gives people the opportunity to express ideas in a visual way. And don’t worry if you’re not Picasso, even stick figures will do the trick!
Using a time-timer explicitly allows for a set block of time for a meeting, and an alarm sounds as you approach the deadline. How is this human-centric, you might ask? Because people’s time is worthy – and going over time in meetings is almost a disrespect to the work of the people in attendance. And the best part is, it increases efficiency, helps you stay on track, and respects every member of that meeting.