Using the cortex: “Design Thinking”

In book called "Dinosaur Brains" by Albert Bernstein, he gives a step by step approach to moving beyond the "instinctual" or "dinosaur" brain, commonly referred to as the hind brain, and engaging the cortex, or "thinking" the pattern of response through. He calls it the empirical business decision:

  • Set a goal. What do you want happen?
  • Establish criteria. How will you know if what you wanted to happen has happened?
  • Think of possibilities and alternative ways of reaching the goal. When you can see the alternatives, your cortex is working. The dinosaur brain never knows from alternatives.
  • Pick several alternatives and try them.
  • Evaluate. Actually measure results and compare them to your criteria to see which one worked best.
  • Choose the best solution and use it.

That is, one designs a product or service, creates prototypes, tests and tweaks them and chooses the best solution for the final design. So, in effect, "design thinking" is indeed "thinking", rather than reacting or responding, in a designed manner. Nice.

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