Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Jan 2018

Going Beyond Design Thinking

Often, we would like to think that doing an analysis, reinvesting in the mission/vision, or even deploying a new technology/tool will allow us to capture some sense of the newness of innovation. We are more or less grasping at straws, looking for a meaning in what we are doing which will ressonate with our core publics better, or will increase the width and depth of what we offer to others. A part of the fractals within such spaces could be called design thinking - an approach to look for and appreciate the design, not just the process or the technology which drives those innovative processes. While design thinking is indeed part of such a toolkit, one must be willing to also go beyond design thinking in order to capture realistic expressions of innovation.

Realistic expressions of innovation - or going outside-of-the-box on purpose - is both the hard data of what does/doesn’t work, as well as the revisualizing of your goals without the legacy of past decisions, tools, or moments on deck. Being able to have one foot in the probable, and the other in the realistic. For example, for one client, it didn’t matter the number of newsletters, events, and flyers if the basics of printing, lighting, and cleanliness were taken care of. Operationally, they needed to reorient towards those smaller points of disciple and function in order to maximize the impacts they wanted to have for their clients. Innovation simply was orienting line workers towards expectations with a task sheet. If the tasks were done, there wasn’t an issue in displaying the rest of the facility.

Designing a usable, and low-training-needed task list was the innovative act. It was out-of-the-box as it stopped using the communication methods which weren’t working. It was out of the box to encourage the extinction of excuses. It was out of the box to count conversations, and give equal weight to those which caused members to join, and visitors to not come back again.

Going beyond design thinking is our mission. But, making your organization’s sense of innovation, purpose, (and eventually) profit, is what we help you design for you. If these are the types of viewpoints needed, get in touch with our founder and we can help you see these realistic expressions of innovation for your company/mission.