Under "Professional’s Corner" on the website for Pediatric Services, comes this step by step guide to using design thinking at work.
Though we cannot predict the future, we do know actions that are taken now will have consequences at some later point.
By continuously striving to discover what can be—rather than
what is—we open the door to a realm of possibilities.
Unlike critical thinking, which only allows us to look for solutions
to problems by searching through our many experiences, design thinking
forces us to use new approaches.
Design thinking uses ideas, perceptions (the way we look at
things and creativity (the search for alternatives) to come
up with solutions we may never have considered.
We rarely look for alternative ways of performing tasks or solving problems when there is no immediate need to do so. But—when you acknowledge
that the best solutions may exist outside of what you know now, you
will begin to think about the possibilities.
Exercise: The next time you are faced with a problem, ask
yourself, "Why are things done this way?" When you come up with an answer, ask yourself "Why?" again. Continue this
process until you have considered a few new solutions.
Example: Why do employee have to meet every Monday? Because that’s the start of the week. Why is the good for employees? Because it starts their week out right.
By continuing with the "why again sequence, you may discover
that Monday meetings are not the most economical or efficient use
of employees’ time and that meeting Friday afternoons makes much more
Key: Think about all the factor that "shape"
a concept or rule. Then systematically challenge these factors-even if they appear to be sensible and fully justified.
Important: Omit "either/or polarizations in your challenges, such a "Either we do this. . .or we do that." Instead, consider how an existing
concept may be limiting…or if then are any issues that are being
avoided by continuing a certain practice.
Exercise: Provoke your mind with outrageous ideas to find
Example: Consider the statement "Airplanes can land upside
down." We all know that airplanes land right-side up. But this
sentence deliberately reverses the norm and provokes new ideas. After
you’ve laughed to yourself am said that airplanes do not and cannot
land up side down, you may find yourself in new territory. You may
find yourself wondering "What if the pilot’s windshield were
at the( bottom of the passenger plane’s nose, not a the very top?
Could the pilot get a better view for landing?" This may lead
you to consider where pilots actually sit in airplanes.
Exercise: Keep a journal. Record your observations, ideas and questions in a notebook—as Leonardo did. Don’t focus on goals
or results. Just let your thoughts flow and see where they lead. These
observations may later help you separate the means from the ends.
The exercises are not unique, but the articulation of the application of design thinking, that too in the professional’s corner for pediatric services, makes it unusual.