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Issue #36 - Design Doing

Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Who are we doing “it” for, what do they really want, and what does good look like?
My definition of design thinking in a nutshell.
Design thinking has been long considered to be at the cross-roads of innovation around desirability for people, technical feasibility, and vitality for business.
Or as Andrew Razeghi recommends: “try to solve a problem instead of trying to innovate.”
Generally, design thinking is an approach that encourages organizations to focus on the people they’re creating XYZ for - which in turn, is meant to guide better products, services, and processes.
Over the past 50 odd years, via iterations in cognitive science, furniture design, architecture, anthropology, sustainability to software - these three simple questions of “who is it for”, “what do they really want” and “what does good look like?”- have led to great leaps in the three key areas of innovation. Respectively, when these three simple questions were not asked, innovations tended to flop.
Because this design process helps create focus around real pressing needs to help “solve the problems right in front of our noses” by viewing the issues at hand via the glasses of the ones most effected by the challenges. Thus, the design-thinking methodology has led to many in-vitro observations, customer interviews and Post-It splattered workshop walls.
More recently though, design thinking has been reduced to an essential Fix-For-All tool-kit via design canvases, personas, customer experience journeys, to generate a quick output based on assumptions one has about a particular users needs rather than gaining an actual real understanding of those needs. In other words: talking about customers - not actually to them. Another problematic development has been designing around current individual symptoms or irritations - rather than what might be most helpful for achieving a particular end-in-mind on a broader issue or challenge. Which means we miss out on what good really can look like.
So, like my friend, Mike Hruska says “If we want to do things differently, we need to start thinking differently.”
Which is why I want to bring the focus back on the principles of design-thinking and how they can really support the learning and understanding necessary to build better organizations/products/services and outcomes.

Don't just throw ideas at a wall - figure out what makes them actually stick!
Don't just throw ideas at a wall - figure out what makes them actually stick!
What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking origin story plus some of the people who made it all happen - Jo Szczepanska
Thrive Not Just Survive - Design for What Matters
The Designer Who Changed Airbnb's Entire Strategy - Interview with Rebecca Sinclair
Designing Good Digital Innovation - Dr. Steffen Walz
Designing equality How design thinking can help tackle gender bias in the workplace
Question: If you look at the work you are doing today, how would you answer the three questions for yourself?
Putting the customer at the center of innovation and demanding broader involvement into solution generation are not only the new reality - this is where the new opportunities and potential to learn, transform and grow truly lie. Which is in a word: awesome.
A special shout of of appreciation for the great case-study talks over the past couple of weeks to Derek Whiteside, Director of Mobile & Web for Oregon State University, Adam Menter, Sr. Business Architect at Autodesk, Mandy Chooi, HR consultant and faculty at THNK School of Creative Leadership, Linda Hahner, founder Out of the Blue design, and, of course, Mike Hruska, CEO Problem Solutions. You guys are the magic changing the world!
Is design-doing up your alley and you want to have a deeper discussion on how it can work for you and your organization? I would love to dive in with you to see where I can best support you!
Until next time - all of my very best regards,
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Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant) @elizabethlembke

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Elizabeth Lembke, Transforming Talent Consulting: and