Design Thinking Whitepaper
Design Thinking Whitepaper

You can use Design Thinking too! If you are an empathetic human being this makes you a design thinker already.

The word “design” often triggers people to imagine that Design Thinking requires some kind of exceptional creative skill. This thought keeps many of us from believing that we too can be design thinkers! The irony is that by simply being an empathetic human being, we perform design thinking every day.

At its simplest it’s problem-solving. The creative part of it is problem-solving using Empathy. I’ve often thought that the people who created the term chose the word “design” to give it an exclusive, elitist status. But it’s is a human thing. We all do it every day, throughout the day. When a someone at work pops by to talk about a problem, or when we meet for coffee with a friend who’s struggling with something, or our child or partner tells us a story about a challenge they had that day, our response is to ask questions about their story to give us a better understanding of their experience. It is at this moment that we are engaged in the first phase of Design Thinking. We are developing empathy for that person and their struggle. And we go on to use that empathy to brainstorm solutions with our colleague, family member or friend. That person, in turn, reacts to the ideas being generated and modifies them to better fit their need, and eventually, we land on a potential solution. The solution may or may not work, and they may come back and continue to discuss their experience and explore new ways to approach the problem. This is Design Thinking! Or more appropriately, the process of using Empathy to find meaningful and impactful solutions.

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