Why design thinking works

Why design thinking works

Having trouble thinking outside the box? Behavioral norms root us to the status quo - but design thinking helps

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February 06, 2019

Have you ever felt that, despite your team’s best efforts to “think outside the box,” most brainstorming leads to obvious, low-risk, conventional solutions to problems? The culprit is likely deeply ingrained human tendencies and behavioral norms that firmly root all of us to the status quo. Design thinking is the breakthrough that could snap us out of it, says Jeanne Liedtka. 

[ Read also: Design thinking: 5 must-watch TED Talks. ]

After studying 50 projects across a range of sectors over the span of seven years, Liedtka observed that “people’s intrinsic biases and behavioral habits inhibit the exercise of the imagination and protect unspoken assumptions about what will or will not work.” Getting out of these patterns requires a lot of structure and very clear guardrails to provide the psychological safety people need – and design thinking does just that. 

In this article, Liedtka dives deep into the elements of design thinking and why they are so effective in eliminating biases and improving outcomes. She also draws from real life design thinking examples to explain how the activities of design thinking can reshape the experiences of the innovators themselves in profound ways. Read the article to learn more. 

Carla Rudder is a writer and content manager on The Enterprisers Project.

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