Design thinking from Google experts
Spoiler: The atmosphere of trust and psychological safety in the team is the foundation of the company’s success.
How can we achieve this? We can do it by using design thinking, which is based on a human-centered approach. If we think about people’s needs first, use the ability to empathize, do not think in clichés and are not afraid to experiment, it will be easier for us to act in a changing climate.
Design Thinking Tools
Empathy for others and active listening are the most important skills. Try to identify other people’s needs and change your views, drawing on design thinking methods borrowed from cultural anthropology and psychology. By empathizing with people, you will be able to draw inspiration from their needs, feelings and aspirations, and thus create solutions to demanding current problems.
Listen and understand what others really need. This skill can and should be learned. It may be that some of your assumptions about other people are based on your own needs. By discarding such biases, you will be able to offer useful and relevant solutions.
At Google, people think understanding other people’s feelings will be a critical skill in the future. We should give our executives and employees the opportunity to learn this in their day-to-day activities. For example, through having virtual meetings in the morning and evening to see how everyone on the team is doing in person. We should have an experiment where each team member talks about something important to them and the feelings associated with it, and everyone else tries to understand and share these feelings.
Ask the question, “How can we do this?”
It is often said that innovations begin with an idea. In fact, they begin with the question of how to solve a problem. Many people are capable of coming up with great ideas and identifying problems, especially when we first start doing something. However, many lack the ability to look at a problem from an unexpected angle and turn it into a question that can then be answered together. Getting the questions right helps with the “How can we…” design thinking tool. For example:
- Problem. We have to work from home, so it is difficult to establish personal contact between participants in trainings. Question. How can we make video trainings even more useful than offline meetings?
- Problem. It’s hard for me to work at home. I can’t concentrate, and family members are constantly distracting me. Question. How can we help people adapt to different work styles while at home?
When we frame the problems as questions, it becomes easier to come up with ideas to solve them.
Learn to experiment
After considering the possibilities available, we can move on to experimentation. Experimentation is a sure way to fail quickly. The point is to learn from your mistakes. Failures help you quickly determine what works and what doesn’t and thus move toward the right solution.
Experimentation is not always easy. People tend to be frugal, so it’s easier to apply ideas and solutions that have worked in the past rather than try new things. We need to create an environment where teams and individuals feel confident enough to take risks and experiment, even if only virtually. And to do this, managers and teams must be encouraged to step outside the box, take care of psychological safety, and not be afraid to show weakness. This will allow you to assess ideas more accurately, understand users better, identify the strengths of managers and teams, and move faster toward future success through experimentation.
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