There is a rhythm to design thinking. Design thinking is not just about creative thinking. It balances creative thinking with analytical thinking. Daniel Kahneman calls it in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow System 1 & System 2 Thinking.  Design thinking, done well, modulates between these two types of thinking between the rigor and control of analytical thinking and the creativity and chaotic spontaneity of creative thinking. It is the balance of the two that creates the conditions for breakthrough.  It is the balance, not the average of the two. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are two visuals that express this.  First, as Roger Martin has depicted it: Here is how I have drawn it:  I believe the healthy tension created by modulating through these two states is highly creative and is part of what needs to happen for design thinking to add value.  Turning design thinking in to a repeatable, highly controlled process eliminates the potential in the process.  When leading a design thinking process, be sure to design this modulation into the plans. And, when leading a design thinking effort you feel that the process is hot, spinning out of control, avoid the knee jerk reaction to bring it back into control.  Like a jazz musician who is improvising, go with it for a while and see what beautiful music emerges.  When it is time to modulate into more analytic thinking, you will know it and people will be willing to follow you there. Cindy 

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I spoke at Ipsos UU annual meeting last week on this fascinating rhythm as they are crafting their own version of it, called HOT and COLD.  Check out the link here to spur your thinking.

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