One of the gifts of working in a way that is human centered is that it is fulfilling, as you tune into the needs, motivations and realities of someone’s life.  People leveraging design thinking find they “fall in love” with the person for whom they are solving. This is the start of a virtuous cycle and often at the end of working in this way people feel great joy and energy.  They are happy. Why?

It feels good to really tune into others and pay attention with the true motivation to help them. And with design thinking framing tools, it helps to look at situations from many angles, not just the usual lens.  From those new perspectives, you may find an abundance of possibilities and possibilities are energizing. Plus when done well, teams turn the design thinking tools on themselves and tune into each other and work to find the emergent idea that resolves without compromise. Collective curiosity at its best.  You don’t have to go too far to say they even feel happy.

I have seen it and I have felt it myself.  During my daughter’s recent battle with leukemia (she is in remission), we leveraged design thinking routinely to imagine what possibilities there might be for her.  Yes, she had a compromised immune system and yes at times she felt terribly, but we used the power of framing and empathy to imagine what might be possible and with that we pushed the limits (safely).  Helping my daughter battle leukemia is the hardest thing I have ever done, yet by keeping myself tuned into her, and others helping her, and looking at things from many perspectives, she and I saw all kinds of possibilities which we seized. Surprisingly, during her treatment, there were more smiles and moments of joy than I ever would have imagined.  Yes, we were happy while we were fighting for her life. We were happy by design.


Take Action

Join our tweet chat at #TrippinwithDI on April 2nd at 5pm EST to explore Design Thinking and Happiness.

In honor of my daughter and mom, I am taking another action–raising money for the next person who faces this deadly disease (in the US every 3 minutes  a person is diagnosed with a blood cancer). If you would like to learn more, feel free to check out my website: and perhaps make a contribution to cure blood cancers.

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