Leadership And Design Thinking

Just for fun… here is why this is on my heart. One of the most incredible opportunities Design Thinking has to offer is the reorientation that leading is for the benefit of others. IMO leadership is relationally dependent. If you turn around and don’t see anyone then you probably aren’t leading. DT allows us to teach learners that being people-centered is one of the core concepts of leadership. We get to where we are going by understanding and empathizing with the world we are being challenged to transform. While also motivating others to go there with us!

The greatest challenge in my DT experience has been the bridge between prototype/feedback and shipping design. In other words, moving from ideas to impact. I believe that Design Thinking naturally lures us ideaphobes in because of its openness towards the imagination, the group-life it demands, and the limitless possibilities a group of people can come to. But… In my experience the powerful pivot at the end of a challenge, the resulting iterations of an idea that leads to impact, often never makes it that far because of time and resources.

My question (rather… serious conundrum): HMW ship the ideas k12 designers intended to create?

Thus, this chat is a result of my own design frustration. How can I develop students who are people-centric and that can lead teams to see their ideas impact others in real life? How can I convince students to reject apathy and lead with the courage to make a difference? How can we instill design virtues into people-centric world changers that lead multiplicative people-centered movements for the benefit of others?

Design Thinking is about making hope visible. It’s about opening our eyes and caring enough to invite others along the journey. If that isn’t leadership… I don’t know what is.