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Converting Challenges into Opportunities through Design Thinking

Converting Challenges into Opportunities through Design Thinking

Design thinking, this term is often heard but it is somehow difficult to define. According to Matthew Jervis, author, educator, designer, the founder of Make it Creativity, everyone can use design thinking, it is not only for creative people. He added that even our ancestors used creativity for survival. They had to look for what to eat and what to wear. He takes parenthood, childcare, teaching as the best three instances of design thinking. The creative process and design thinking approach relies on the human ability to consider a challenge as an opportunity. Being creative requires mix of many different skills. In his research, Jervis evokes ten of these creative skills that anyone can use to face to challenging circumstances and to be able to bring solutions for any problems.

1. Showing Empathy

First, having an emphatic skill is important. This means being able to show caring and understanding to others. In design thinking, it is that empathy which enables us to recognize a situation with gratitude. It also allows us to construct meaningful ideas for solving problems. How to handle a situation expects us simply to have that power of handling the situation.

2. Reaching Agreement

Negotiating with others is also extremely useful. It is vital in order to reach an agreement or a particular solution for the benefits of both parties. Negotiation and empathy work together to a successful discussion.

3. Taking actions 

Facing to any circumstances, many ideas or strategies may come to our mind as there are actions to be taken, this is what we call Contingencies. We always have to be creative and be able to have another option or plan B, in case that the first solution we found was not the best one for the matter.

4. Bringing solutions to problems

As humans, we have to solve every little thing in our daily routines. For example, what to prepare for meals, something is broken and need to be repaired, etc.  The creative problem-solving process is used to solve problems with creative solutions and to explore opportunities. It includes separating both the divergent and convergent thinking in each step. The divergent thinking implies gathering ideas without judging. The convergent one aims at analyzing, comparing ideas and improving.  This process involves also avoiding judgment while brainstorming and analyzing the ideas, to collect inspiration from others’opinions. Another point is to evoke the problems in a form of question. The creative problem-solving process is the key to determine clearly the matter. This will help to understand well the existing situation. Implementing the convergent  and divergent thinking will increase the chance of getting creative ideas.

5. Imaginative skills

Dare to imagine plays also an important role. We should be able to think what if this or that. By having this question in mind, we will see that all things are possible. Then, we will be more hopeful and can bring changes. The famous Albert Einstein stated: « Imagination is more important than knowledge ». He was right saying so.

6. Building valuable ideas

We should also create in us this way of thinking, the technique of thinking in a divergent manner like kids who are good at finding immediate and original solutions. Parents often consider their ideas as crazy. Asking for their opinions and giving attention to what they say will be a great help for us.

7. Being allowed to make changes

Before innovation, there are permission and curiosity. This means it is impossible to bring any changes when we are not allowed to use our curiosity.. So, we have to feel permitted in anything so that we can be more confident and will find many solutions.

8. Working with conditions

Being able to put Limit in everything we do, for exemple, when working, will helps us to be more valuable and to be able to see things in a positive manner.

9. Showing good humour

Our humour can be a great help for us when we are searching for inclusive and human solution. Bringing laugh to someone’s face is a very amazing skill. We need to have this skill of being there for other people, giving them a positive thinking, educating and taking care of them. It is used when negotiating, collaborating and even in problem-solving.

10. Having inter-personal skills

We need to have a team-spirit in most part of our life no matter what our job is. Interaction with other people, having that team-spirit, which means being able to deal with others; listening to them and take their ideas into account will give us ability to think well and to take the perfect decision face to difficulties.

To sum up, with all these skills, it will not be that difficult for us to transform all challenges in our personal or professional life into great opportunities, to be more and more creative for a better and successful future.

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