We talk a lot about design thinking as the perfect methodology for deepening and enhancing connections with customers. This process lets you get to the heart of their pain points to determine their true desires, and ultimately create whatever it is they need through trial, error, and retrial until it is just right.
Design thinking can be applied in all facets of business, whether it’s customer-facing or internal — no matter if the problem at hand is actual product design, customer service and relations, or marketing. You name it, design thinking can get to the heart of it, untangle it, provide unique and creative solutions, and help bring about transformation.
So why can’t it be applied to personal problems and transformation as well? The answer: It can. As an article in Forbes points out, design thinking is “a great tool to help you get unstuck and problem-solve life’s biggest challenges.”
Whether you want to figure out “what now?” after a divorce or loss of a spouse, uncover what you really want to be doing with your career, find a way up when you realize you’re at your own personal rock bottom, or if you just want to create more true meaning and fulfillment in your life, what better way to get to the heart of the matter than with design thinking?
Here’s how it might work:
Empathize. You are the “customer” or “end user” in this scenario, so it means taking a good, long, honest look at your life with an objective eye. It might be useful to talk to close friends and family at this stage. What are your pain points? What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? What is standing in the way of your happiness?
Identify the problem. After you get some clarity on your life, boil things down to one challenge you want to solve. A career change? A new life after divorce? Whatever the big issue is, this is the time to define it specifically.
Ideation. More is more in this stage. Solicit friends and family and have a no-holds-barred ideation session designed to come up with possible solutions, no matter how “out there” they sound. If you’re thinking about a career change that will give your life more meaning, make a long list of everything you love doing. The Forbes article suggests thinking back to what you wanted to be when you grew up. Can you match up any of those loves with possible careers?
Prototype. This is your life we’re talking about, so it’s not going to involve actually making something. But you might sign on for a brief internship, or network with people who are in careers your ideation list matches up with. Try things out. Get your feet wet. See what you like in the real world.
No matter the problem, design thinking is going to lead you to transformation, guaranteed. Now, all of you HR pros out there: How can you use design thinking to help struggling employees find their ideal career path? We will have the answers soon…
Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Kickstart Innovation: A Guide for Organizations.