Design Thinking as a Competency

I recently had a thoughtful and engaging discussion with Wade Pickren around design thinking where he posed the question: What would the competency for design thinking be? I hadn’t thought about design thinking in this way before. What does it mean to be competent in design thinking? What would an organization that is competent in design thinking look like? After some reflection I came up with the following:

  • Interact with users from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial and ethnic backgrounds in a way that increases understanding of user needs, challenges and barriers
  • Create a design thinking environment that incorporates all steps in the design thinking process in a way that is safe and conducive for failing
  • Utilize knowledge of design thinking framework to ideate, prototype and test as a way to learn more about the user, refine point of view and find a solution for the users real problem
  • Incorporate a range of design thinking strategies to effectively integrate solutions into the user experience in ways that users with range of backgrounds become excited
  • Integrate a safe, creative space that allows for observation, ideation, reflection, building and rebuilding of prototype throughout the design thinking process, build increased understanding of users and allow the design thinking team and user to understand potential barriers and challenges
  • Develop network of collaboration with other design thinkers within own community of practice and across the globe to continually share, learn and grow
  • Grow a passion for design thinking, and understand importance of empathy, needfinding, understanding, creating and doing by engaging with users through observation of practice, and increase belief in ability to think divergently

What do you think? What would you add or change?

How does an organizational competence in design thinking emerge?