Last week was an incredible event-filled week that started off with our 2-day workshop DT4i: Solving Complex Problems with Stakeholders.
As DT4i got underway, it was quickly obvious that we had convened a really interesting group that guaranteed that our participants would be bumping into the many assumptions common in their own work environment. This silo-busting group included educators, social innovators, front line non-profit workers, municipal staff and provincial public servants.
Using the theme of “ice cream & social enterprise” as the central challenge, the group divided up into teams to begin driving through the design-thinking process. Beginning with the critical, and sometimes the most awkward step, we find that the amount of time that any teams spent in the empathy phase will often determine the dynamics of the team, the work flow and ultimately the creativity in the outcomes of the process.
To help with the storming, forming and norming of the new project teams, we asked the workshop group to stop often to reflect on where they think they were in the process framed in our Task, Team & Self exercise. The first assumption of the day we helped to challenge was the expectation that feedback is useful for a later time or simply to reflect upon. Once gathering and compiling the room’s thoughts on the fly, we brought back the data and gave each team the opportunity to take ownership of their reflection and implement the feedback in realtime. The first piece of feedback was the need to set ground rules of how each team will work together to make sure everyone could brainstorm openly and generate.
Also, moving through the process not once but twice over the two days allowed each participant to be pushed out of their comfort zone, reflect upon what had happened and figure out what they would do differently… and then do it all over again. The benefit of coming to DT4i is not just the opportunity to identify and challenge your assumptions that we all bring into problem defining & framing but our ability to pivot our thinking and work plan based on real time feedback.
Check out the conversation that happened over on Twitter and find out when you can join us at our next event.