[re]Design Thinking

The lobby of Oceanit.

I’ve learned so much this school year, from so many different people. And I’ve learned a lot from Design Thinking guru, Ian Kitajima. He has a different mindset. Now whenever I’m in a meeting, I try to “bring Ian to the party.” I ask myself, what would Ian say?

Here are just two lessons that I’ll mention.

1. Innovation
If you’re redesigning a motorcycle helmet, don’t start with the helmet. You’ll only come up with a better version (i.e., better materials, more aerodynamic, Bose sound-system perhaps.) Instead, start with the rider. This will free your thinking. Find out where he’s going, his habits, his likes & dislikes. Empathy leads to innovation. The result was an airbag system that deployed from a collar.

2. Naming
What you call yourself matters. It effects how you see yourself and how others see you. If you call yourself a “school,” it comes with a set of parameters whether conscious, subconscious, or subatomic (teachers, curriculum, classrooms, etc.) My team at Kamehameha Schools is called Education Technology Services. I believe that the name implies that we are a service provider. But we are more. We are also leaders and innovators. My suggestion would be to drop the word “Services,” and keep “Education Technology.”

I feel like I’ve been given a new lens. I am also better at recognizing opportunities. Mahalo to Ian for helping me to redesign my thinking…

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