Kedron Rhodes Thoughts on Design, Innovation & Leadership

3 Steps to Design Thinking

Design West Michigan, in conjunction with Steelcase and Kendall College of Art & Design, hosted Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO, for a evening focused on Design Thinking.

Mr. Kelley's presentation, "3 Steps to Design Thinking", was lively, engaging, and thought provoking. Here are a few of my take-aways.

Step 1

Start with Empathy

"The real act of discovery consists not of finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. — Marcel Proust

The act of human centered design begins with seeing the world from a new perspective, and empathy is how you gain that new perspective.

Seeing with fresh eyes.

Mr. Kelley reminded us our employers hired us because of a specific skill, which is great, but not always sufficient for seeing a problem with a fresh set of eyes. Bringing multiple disciplines together to solve complex problems widens our perspective and allows us to see the challenge from a new perspective.

Step 2

Treat Life as an Experiment

Creating an environment that discourages the fear of failure allows for people to take the risk of being innovative.

Step 3

Leverage the Power of Storytelling

Referencing the book "Made to Stick", Kelley spells out 6 keys to crafting a compelling story.

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Introduce the unexpected.
  3. Use concrete reference points.
  4. Build credibility.
  5. Keep it emotionally engaging.
  6. Craft it in a story format.

Wrapping it up

Start with empathy, experiment all the time, and leverage the power of storytelling and you'll be well on your way building an innovation centered strategy.