When Moses Isn’t Around, You Have to Create Your Own Miracle

According to the authors of Solving Problems with Design Thinking, most managers they meet harbor a deep, dark secret: They believe in their hearts that they are not creative.

In today’s seemingly rampant innovation mania, managers and leaders cannot appear unimaginative, let alone fail to come up with brilliant solutions to vexing problems on a whim.

For most of us there will be no Moses-like parting of the waters of the status quo that we might safely cross the Red Sea of innovation. Drowning is more likely our fate.     – from Solving Design Problems

There is hope.

Instead of trying to part the waters, leaders need to build a bridge to take us from the current reality to a new future.

In other words, we must manufacture our own miracles.

According to Liedtka et al, the technology for better bridge building already exists, right under our noses. What to call it is a matter of dispute, but they call it design thinking.

This approach to problem solving is distinguished by the following attributes:

  • It emphasizes the importance of discovery in advance of solution generation using market research approaches that are empathetic and user driven
  • It expands the boundaries of both our problem definition and our solutions
  • It is enthusiastic about engaging partners in co-creation
  • It is committed to conducting real-world experiments rather than just running analyses using historical data

And it works.

Design thinking is capable of reliably producing new and better ways of creatively solving a host of organizational problems.

inspired by and adapted from Solving Problems with Design Thinking by Jeanne Liedtka, Andrew King, and Kevin Bennett

 Solving Problems with Design Thinking

For further reading:

Why Design Thinking?

What If Leaders Thought Like Designers?

Leaders Need to Work Our of Both Sides of Their Brains

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