Brainpowered Breakthroughs or Design Thinking?

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Design thinking’s defined in many ways, usually related to a process of problem solving that brings talents together, engages diverse thinkers, and creates innovative prototypes. It doesn’t work for most innovators. Is is possible that design thinking carries baggage from status quo systems that holds back new flights?

If design thinking tools fail to facilitate prototypes that surpass conventional power grabs, or win beyond flawed critical thinking, then very different communities may be needed.  Imagine an innovation culture that boldly steps beyond broken systems in favor of mind-bending archetypes.

Problems in design thinking have nothing to do with design or thinking, and more to do with untapped brainpower.  Conventional rating and feedback practices, for instance, often lead to rigid lock-step routines, rather than to risk-taking climates.

Conventional rating systems, for instance, that pit one innovator against others – raise mental barriers through increased cortisol, that stop innovative prototypes.  It takes serotonin settings to grow from missteps and develop vast pools of hidden and unused talents. Freedom and support generate discoveries.

Perhaps rigidity problems can be fixed by calling design thinking something else, and removing the hierarchal or peer rating system.  Assess original offerings so that one person gains by another’s loss, and genius soon flees in the process. Here’s a video of design in business through the eyes of one diverse panel.

To fix design thinking I suggest to first change the name to Brainpowered Breakthroughs. Second, remove rating systems that promote power grabs that allow one to gain power by rating down others. Third, support mindguides to develop a new system whereby talents are developed and shared in ways that stack one another’s deck, include as many women as men at the helm to ensure brainpowered differences,  and test brilliant ideas within a wider community.

Breakthrough openings elevated multiple innovations at one new program in Bittner School of Business shared at Forbes, so that innovators went on to further develop discoveries.

To invent is to sidestep power controls that fuel conventional organizations. In fact organizational control and discovery make poor bedfellows. Innovation, for instance, requires a few squandered resources, wasted time, and missteps that lead to a great discovery.

Only when passion for novelty stirs – do genius talents arise! The neatness of design thinking may avoid  frivolous ideas generated along the way  – but too often design controls fail to gather novelty from wider pools of brilliance that futurists offer.

If not design thinking, then what would it take to draw deeper outcomes from hidden or unused talents where you work?

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset