Design thinking has a human-centered core. It encourages organizations to focus on the people they're creating for, which leads to better products, services, and internal processes. When you sit down to create a solution for a business need, the first question should always be what's the human need behind it?
Power exists in all of our relationships, and it shapes the roles we play in each others’ lives. However, it’s not distributed evenly. Sometimes, it can be gained through expertise, knowledge, or skills—but other times, it’s tied into social and cultural factors like race, identity, and wealth. With this in mind, it’s helpful to reframe the purpose of power in our lives. It’s about more than just personal status and privilege; it’s also a responsibility and a tool we can use to help effect positive, meaningful change.
Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, authors of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book No Hard Feelings, say embracing our emotions makes us better at our jobs. They outline a framework for making better decisions by tapping into our emotions and explain how to move from emotional intelligence to emotional agility.
When you’ve spent countless hours, months, or years deep inside a particular field or system, a radically fresh perspective can help unlock sticky problems or inspire new directions of exploration. Use this activity solo or with your team to draw insight from analogous contexts and provoke new areas of thinking.
Regardless of role, work can suck sometimes. Laszlo Bock, CEO and Co-Founder of Humu, a company that aims to make work better by encouraging people towards better habits and unlocking their potential, is focused on changing that. He’s dedicated the last decade of his career to bridging the gap between what we wish work was and what it actually is. In this episode of the Creative Confidence Podcast, he shares insights and tips on how we can make work better by sending small behavioral nudges to cultivate more empathy, equity, and resilience in the office.
In service of inspiration, we wanted to share some of the things we think about when designing human-centered online learning experiences. At IDEO U, teaching online has always been our reality—we’ve never coexisted in a physical space with our global community. We hope that some of the things we’ve learned along the way can help you teach whatever it is you need to teach in a virtual setting, and find creative joy in a new set of constraints.
In this Office Hours episode of our Creative Confidence Series, Jane Fulton Suri, IDEO Partner Emeritus and Executive Design Director, chats with IDEO U Dean Suzanne Gibbs Howard and answers questions from our community on design research, empathy, and observation. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. Listen to this episode on our podcast, and check out their full conversation to hear more about Jane’s experience over her 30-year career at IDEO and in design research.
There’s a reason why the saying “curiosity killed the cat” has stuck around. Not all cultures or workplaces welcome curiosity as a path toward innovation. Some see it as questioning orthodoxy or stirring up trouble. But asking questions to uncover new problems and drive your thinking is a critical step toward achieving innovation. So how do we bridge the gap between those two competing perspectives?