A recent study in Harvard Business Review showed that leaders who ask questions are considered more effective. Team members, staff, and employees identify with both the vulnerability and authenticity of asking questions. Even more important, leaders that ask questions can learn about motivation, stress, and pending organizational issues before problems occur.
Yet, many of us feel that as leaders we have to “know it all” and that asking questions demonstrates weakness. It’s funny that our feelings as a leader are exactly opposite of what we feel as team members. As leaders, we want to be invincible but as followers we want to help set the direction.
Design thinking is a collaborative problem-solving approach that focuses on empathy and experimentation. Empathy means putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes to view challenges from their perspective. Experimentation allows us to test various solutions to the problems we encounter without a wholesale commitment to a single path forward.
In innovation, we use design thinking by combining empathy and experimentation to find answers to customer problems. Empathy involves observation and interviewing, generating personas, and shadowing end-users to understand their pain points. When we can feel a problem as our customers feel it, we are in a better position to develop a unique solution.
Rapid prototyping is a key tool of design thinking. With lots of little experiments and tests, we can identify specific features and attributes that are essential to delivering the best solution to our end-users. Experimentation, in this sense, means testing portions or parts of the final product and getting feedback to ensure we truly understand the problem, and can deliver a novel approach to eliminating customer pain points.
What I find absolutely fascinating about design thinking is that it is applicable to nearly every problem. Design thinking helps us as new product development (NPD) practitioners find innovative product and service solutions. And, we can use design thinking to help us identify solutions to our own life challenges. Should I go back to school? Should I take the new job? What do I do after retiring?
Life Design Master Mind is a collaborative approach, using empathy and experimentation, to find unique solutions to career, personal, or professional opportunities. The master mind group provides a safe space to ask questions and to be heard. And because the other master mind group members are following design thinking tools also, you gain feedback on your questions, ideas, and experimental prototypes. Master mind groups allow you to ask the questions you need to ask as a leader.
Until 17 May 2019, we are offering a discount for new members in the Life Design Master Mind cohort. If you are struggling with how to find answers to the tough questions of career, innovation, or life stages, this is the place you need to be! You can ask questions to build leadership skills, brainstorm new ideas to enhance your creative empathy, and test new concepts to rapidly prototype different visions of the future. Join Now! Contact me at area code (281) plus 280-8717 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Defining Innovation Leadership