Connecting the dots


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Connecting The Dots.

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Connecting the dots

  2. 2. The main objective of this final project is reflect on my experience with the design challenge and how I might apply the skills and mindsets of design thinking to my own work and interests. The first time I read this phrase, some words highlighted: experience, challenge, apply, skills and mindset. In some manner, these words remind me of the different steps we followed during the course: Experience Empathy Experience and interact require a certain amount of empathy Challenge Define Truth be told, define a statement is a challenge Mindset Ideate Attitude and mentality are factors that define and mould our ideas. Apply Prototype Apply the ideas require to make them real: prototype Skills Test And last but not least, skills or practical competences are necessary to put in motion our prototypes. The work is divided in two different sections. The first is OBSERVE AND REFLECT. This section consists of: a. Check the work done during the past weeks both made by myself and other participants. Also, I’m invited to read the letter I wrote to myself in the very first week. b. Complete a survey. For obvious reasons, I won’t put here the answers. It’s a secret between Mrs. Leticia Britos and I. c. Make a list of three key takeaways/learnings from the course, and a graphic map/representation of the design thinking process as you experienced it during the challenge. The second section is called IDEATE AND PROTOTYPE WAYS TO APPLY DESIGN THINKING TO MY CONTEXT, and has two parts: a. Start small: Brainstorm ways in which I could start experimenting with my recently-hyper-developed design thinking skills in my context. b. Build on the first ideas: Taking the work done before a step further and think more broadly about how D.T.S. and M. can be applied to problems I care about. So, let’s go my friends.
  3. 3. OBSERVE AND REFLECT IDEATE AND PROTOTYPE WAYS TO APPLY DESIGN THINKING ON MY CONTEXT LOOKING BACK SURVEY THREE TAKEAWAYS/LEARNINGS START SMALL BUILD ON YOUR FIRST IDEAS Well, all the works and assignments done are really lovely. Considering that almost all of us work, have a family, or have to attend certain commitments, I really gaze the work done by each and every one of my classmates. Congratulations, you must be proud! Secondly, here you have my initial letter to myself: Please, don't clamp your wheels. Feel free to create, to make up everything. Don't limit yourself by just accepting what others have made a long time before you. Try to question everything and explore new limits. You can do more than what you think. Just see the goal, focus on it and run. All the pre-established ideas can be turned upside down. You have a spring in your step. Just use it. Go one step further. Believe that everything is possible, and nothing is impossible. Generate, make up, create, and innovate. Motivation has always been your fuel. Don't shrink back, do not step away. Step on the gas and go on, push your limits. Because you can, you can do it. The world's yours to win. And your mind is the best tool you'll ever have. Use it wisely, use it to go further. I admit that I answered this submission once it was shared in the intranet with a big “I agree with you John!”. That’s true. I was in my office letting the hours whiles away and thinking “I was truly inspired the wonderful day I wrote that heartening words which should pass into history written with golden letters”. Some will say that I’m ironic; some will say that I’m an extremely humble man. And alas, you’re right: both observations are true, my friends. But, truth be told, I really agree with those words I wrote. All depends on me. If I can’t question reality or the way that I or others make things or what does currently exists if I have to accept things because that’s the way “we have always done it”, then: where is creativity, design and the fuel that makes the world move forward? As Mr. Jobs said during his Stanford University commencement speech: “it is impossible to know how the dots are connected looking forward, we just can do it by looking backwards”. That is the reason I have named this final project Connect the Dots. That first letter summing up my reflections about the course I was about to start, it did show my thoughts. And now, looking backwards I realize that taking that course has been exactly the helping hand I needed to develop my creative capacities. And if now I am about to undertake brand new projects and ideas that nearly a month ago did not exist not even in my mind, is due to this course really works. If I connect the dots I do realize that today I’m where I’m because this course has been the turning point I expected it to be. What will be the next dot to connect? Let your imagination run free and be creative, John
  4. 4. OBSERVE AND REFLECT IDEATE AND PROTOTYPE WAYS TO APPLY DESIGN THINKING ON MY CONTEXT LOOKING BACK SURVEY THREE TAKEAWAYS/LEARNINGS START SMALL BUILD ON YOUR FIRST IDEAS Sorry guys, I have to keep it secret. Well, you know, non-disclosure agreement signed with Stanford Did you sign it, didn’t you? Oops, am I the only one?? I knew it
  5. 5. OBSERVE AND REFLECT IDEATE AND PROTOTYPE WAYS TO APPLY DESIGN THINKING ON MY CONTEXT LOOKING BACK SURVEY THREE TAKEAWAYS/LEARNINGS START SMALL BUILD ON YOUR FIRST IDEAS Three takeaways or learnings: 1. The human being is inscrutable. Remember that video a couple of teammates and the old man? The solution adopted was witty, clever, amusing, amazing, funny, smart but that man just denied it. The human being is the key (at least that was the first adjective I put, though later I changed it by the one you have read). Being creative, using Design Thinking, ideating and so on, are marvelous manifestations of the human being, natural reactions that can be developed. And, at the same time, the human being can be a black box: you can show someone an idealistic solution but he or she can reject it in a snap of a finger. Why? Because he might prefer the same old solution. Why? Don’t know, don’t answer. Everything depends on our human nature: the motivation of doing something or not doing something, the decision of being an engine instead of a brake, creates or let it be... Although all of us are equal, not all the people develop the same level of emotional intelligence, creative skills So we will face situations that will require the best of us to endure with frustration and despair. The next challenge is: can we be creative and use Design Thinking to solve it? Yes, please read the following point. 2. Design Thinking can be applied to everything. Indeed it is true my friend! If we know (and we have learnt how to do it) we can do it. Today most of the companies have brainstorming sessions. How are these sessions carried out? They are used to laugh at others’ ideas, laugh a lot about everything, consume coffee on a massive scale, eat doughnuts and waste companies money. Why? Because Design Thinking is not used at all. Some examples: - Two days ago a partner asked me for some advice about a third company that requires some investment to take up an extension of their facilities to be able to expand their business. I did not need any names, I just asked him for some figures, balance sheets, cash flow statements and that stuff. While I was speaking with him, mentally, I started to sketch my mind map. First step: Empathy and Define. I made some questions about the amount required, which investments sources they preferred, reasons that motivated their option, interests I had a statement. Secondly, I ideated solutions. Obviously, I did not express the 5-year-old solutions or those that could be made with super powers, chiefly because I wanted to give a good and serious professional image. (I must confess I thought of them and some were very funny). After that, I explained them the best solution, depending on the information given and finally I asked him to test it with his client. Total time: roughly 30 minutes. Result: Ok. Personal objective: accomplished.
  6. 6. - I want/have to prepare a thesis. What might I write about? What could be interesting? Let’s use Design Thinking: Global markets operation sometimes is bizarre. If it is a game, it does mean that all of us are playing with the same rules. Are you sure? E.g. May, 2010: a B/M orthographical mistake made the NY Stock Exchange lose $ 700.000 million in the blink of an eye. Lucky that he did not write down a T! And I say: Do Nash-Cournot and game Theory really explain the global market operation?
  8. 8. 3. Design Thinking is a lifestyle. Why don’t we use Design Thinking not only in our companies, schools, universities, colleges but also in our personal life, families, decisions ? Why not? It is possible. We have to make some arrangements at home, we have to create a company, and we have to choose a new car for the family If we use Design Thinking methodology every day, the odds are that we will see new ways to use and apply it in fields that we never thought of before. The method is useful always, regardless our studies, experience or the question we face. 4. Design Thinking is universal. No problem where you live, how old are you, man or woman, boy or girl, regardless of your conceptions Design Thinking is universal and you do know it thanks to this course. And, here you have some examples of how I did and how I used Design Thinking process during all the challenges I struggled with during this course. Truth be told, it is hard for me to explain how my mind works. Let me show you how it does what it does. (I prefer to dedicate some time every day. Well, all day long I think about what I have to do and as soon as I have an idea I write it down in my Moleskine.
  9. 9. OBSERVE AND REFLECT IDEATE AND PROTOTYPE WAYS TO APPLY DESIGN THINKING ON MY CONTEXT LOOKING BACK SURVEY THREE TAKEAWAYS/LEARNINGS START SMALL BUILD ON YOUR FIRST IDEAS a. Start small: Brainstorm ways in which I could start experimenting with my recently-hyper-developed design thinking skills in my context. 1. Companies don’t brainstorm correctly. But, using empathy I can understand why: they ignore what does Brainstorm is and therefore what Design Thinking is. Most of the companies I know, only motivate creativity because they must fix problems. It would be better to use creativity and Design Thinking to improve their techniques, processes, systems, methodologies Only those American companies located where I live and/or their affiliates use it and do it suitably (I do know it). The rest think that brainstorming means something like generating a lot of ideas and, more ideas, and more until you suffer a stroke and your brain collapses. Although people have creative skills, they develop this capacity enough to cope with quotidian challenges. Or, some others use it to compete with their colleagues and score some points with the boss. I beg everybody’s pardon but I can’t bear this. I really believe that if you have the privilege of improving your capacities and skills, you have to use them with responsibility to pursue a Common Good. 2. Engineers: so sorry colleagues but we are too hard-head. - Sales Assistant: Could you do that whatdoyoucallit? - Engineer: Oh, let me calculate it because, well oh yeahhh! Great!! That is tricky!! (All in a sudden, a mass of engineers come around him like a flock of buzzards). - Sales Assistant: Oh no!! I need it in one hour buddy!!! - Engineer: Nooo, you killjoy! I want to calculate something; it is ages since I used for the last time a differential equation. I want a challenge!!” Yes fellows, we need to cultivate more creativity and use it. 3. Children + schools: the sooner they learn to use it the better, because it is universal and a lifestyle. I have changed my mind concerning our challenge. I focused the solution on the educational system, but, now I realize that everything depends on the most inner person. Redesigning the school-to-work transition implies first of all redesigning ourselves. Most of the studies made by my classmates showed people looking for solutions. One could deduce that solution lies in the educational or the labour market. But, think of it: how many people studied something that did not like them? How many people will have to work on something that does not like them? A master, postgraduate and career are designed exclusively to instruct, teach, inform I can teach and I can really try my best in it, but who says that students automatically will respond positively to the instruction? We lose flexibility and adaptability as we get old. The labour market does not ask us more knowledge but newer skills. We have to unlock the immunity to change. 4. High schools, colleges and universities (except from in Stanford University): partly, universities are responsible for the precious dialogue, which is very usual. Education and tuition should teach to be more practical. (An engineer like the one I have shown is not too practical, don’t you think?)
  10. 10. OBSERVE AND REFLECT IDEATE AND PROTOTYPE WAYS TO APPLY DESIGN THINKING ON MY CONTEXT LOOKING BACK SURVEY THREE TAKEAWAYS/LEARNINGS START SMALL BUILD ON YOUR FIRST IDEAS b. Build on the first ideas: Taking the work done a step further and think more broadly about how design thinking skills and mind maps can be applied to problems I care about.