HR Series: Creative Thinking in the VUCA World

Mr. Paul Smithson is a design thinking consultant and the owner of On-Off Group:

This is him.

He starts by asking whether anyone is creative nowadays? We used to be not so much anymore.

Design thinking is a structured way of solving any type of problem. It provides an opportunity for us to be creative, positive, innovative and to take ownership of problems and their solutions.

Innovative has been a catch phrase nowadays. The boss wants us to be innovative but nobody really knows what it means.

The big problem is, Divergent or Creative thinking….

Is opposite from Logical and Analytical thinking.

In Design Thinking, we redefine our problem.

Three magic words: HOW MAY WE….?

Saying How Might We changes the mindset.

It forces everyone to come up with a solution. It puts everyone together in a room and let’s people to come up to a solutions faster.

Empathy puts yourself into another person’s shoes. Adopting a different worldview.

Understand the problem first. Put yourself in another person’s shoes.

Vuja De helps us look at the world with fresh eyes and putting ourselves in another person’s shoes.

Case in point – You want to learn a new language, say Tagalog

Ask first why.

The initial answer is to be able to speak to Filipinos.

But it’s not just being able to speak to Filipinos. It’s about CONNECTING WITH THEM to help integrate and adjust in the Philippines and get results faster.

Language helps in making connections.

There’s a few rules in Design Thinking.

1. Defer judgement. Don’t judge while brainstorming. There’s no bad ideas.

2. No hierarchy when doing design thinking. Even the boss or a rank and file can contribute.

3. Use “Yes and…” to build on each other’s ideas.

Saying an idea is stupid KILLS an idea.

Once you have an idea, PROTOTYPE and execute. Get feedback for the people we are designing for.

Test the idea and get immediate feedback.

An example is the app they made in Meralco.

That’s how design works. Nobody really knows yet what it will look like.

But doing it pushes you to come up with a solution.

Don’t fall into a dangerous phase — there’s always a better way.


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