7 Qualities of Design-thinking leaders
In leadership coaching I meet a lot of " New School" leaders that are looking for new ways of leadership. They miss creativity in their jobs.
Design thinking is method to solve difficult problems in a creative way.
The following books are recommended:
1. Change by Design, how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovationTim Brown (ideo: dit is de agency die dit begrip wereldwijd op de kaart ah zetten is, en als eerste het toepasbaar maakten voor de non-creative industries.)
2. Creative confidence, unleasing the creative potential within us allTom & David Kelley (ideo)
3. Designing for growth, a design thinking toolkit
- Sees the world in terms of problems and products. Richard Buchanan adopts a broad view of products that includes information, artifacts, activities, services, systems, and environments. All of these can be designed in order to solve specific problems. All of these entities are within the scope of practice of leaders.
- Views self as product. A leader viewing themselves as a product means adopting a designerly approach to their own attitude, behavior, and outlook. Design-thinking leaders iterate on versions of themselves that will lead to exceptional team performance.
- Rigorously cultivates the abilities of a designer—especially empathy and optimism. Tim Brown did an excellent job of identifying the traits of a design thinker, many of which have direct correlations to the tenets outlined in the theory of transformational leadership. Once again, these include empathy integrative thinking, optimism, experimentalism and collaboration.
- Deeply understands the process of creative problem solving and knows how to act as a catalyst for creativity. Within the creative process, . Leaders shouldseek to be conduits, provocateurs, sheperds and motivatiors.
- Collaborates and communicates outside of PowerPoint. Design thinking leaders seek of new ways to create a group, drawing upon methods from books like Gamestorming and Thinkertoys.
- Embraces ambiguity and seeks opportunity to use models and other forms of making to tame chaos and create order. It’s not a new concept that leaders should embrace ambiguity and chaos,but doing this with a design attitude empowers leaders to tame this through designerly activities like modeling, sketching, and storytelling. This is echoed in Jon Kolko’s latest Harvard Business Review article, The Evolution of Design Thinking.
- Prototypes visions, not just products. Protoptypes are typically used to test out products in various stages of fidelity in order to get meaningful feedback from stakeholders. Design-thinking leaders should look for ways to prototype and test out different visions for their organization. This could include things like role-playing, or writing magazine articles about the future success of the company. There are always opportunities to “prototype” a more desirable future.
- Richard Buchanan and Victor Margolin, Discovering Design, (University of Chicago Press, 1995); Buchanan, “Design Research and the New Learning”; J Kolko, “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: the Drivers of Design Synthesis,” Design Issues, 2010; V Papanek, Design for the Real World, New York, (Pantheon, 1971).
- Papanek, Victor: Design for the Real World.
- Buchanan and Margolin, Discovering Design; Buchanan, Design Research and the New Learning.
- T Brown, “Design Thinking,” Harvard Business Review, 2008.
- Buchanan, R. (2001). “Design Research and the New Learning.” Design Issues.
- Bass, B. M. (1991). “From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision.” Organizational Dynamics, 18(3), 19–31.