I am often shocked by how simple design thinking innovation is.  It is breakthrough and yet simple.   I am also constantly amazed at how design thinking can be useful in so many contexts from creating products to business strategy to health care.  For instance, Design Impact, a non profit design thinking organization solved child malnutrition using the tools and mindsets of designers. Check out the link in the Take Action section to learn more.

Whether business, design or health care, people often remark “the solution was right in front of our face, but we did not see it or understand it.”

Why are we so blind when we think we are so in tune?

It is natural–with some much stimuli assaulting us every day, we have a coping mechanism to tune out a lot of data based upon our experience and our paradigms.  While this may be very useful for navigating a typical day, it makes us almost incompetent in solving vexing problems.

Design Thinking is one way to overcome this blindness. It invites in diversity, new eyes, new frames, curiosity, iteration, and the important outlier.  Yes, in design thinking we find the outlier fascinating. It contradicts our paradigms and our “norms” and representative thinking causing us to reconsider, question and explore.  Defaults are disrupted and simple solutions emerge.  Once working with a client on a vexing problem, a light bulb illuminated all the sudden and he said “Ah, now I understand the research we did last month. It just did not make sense at all, but now it does.”  His eyes were opened by design thinking and so past experiences were now understood in a new light and a simple solution emerged.

Recently I read another book that talked about this ability to remove our blindness, Positive Deviance.  In it, the authors talk many of the same principles of design thinking.  Yet another place where the principles show up. The world is trying to communicate with us and it is right in front of our face.


Take Action

Come explore #Designthinking and #Healthcare with Christi Zuber of Kaiser Permanente at 4:00EST/1:00PCT Friday, November 7th.  Simply search for #TrippinwithDI to find the questions and dialog.

Check out this inspiring story about solving childhood malnutrition, Laddoo Story

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