We see a great interest today in design thinking as a way to foster the creative development of products and processes. However, most of the efforts we see are directed towards the individual. Individuals are encouraged to take courses, go to workshops, to increase their ability to think as a designer.
Having worked with many professional designers over the years I know that one of the most frustrating experiences for these designers is the lack of support from their organization. Sometimes there might be an expressed support but real support is missing.
As with every approach, a designerly approach cannot thrive unless it is embedded in a larger system that understands and supports the approach. Unfortunately, we do not see many ideas out there on how to assess the level of an organization's design competence and how to intentionally develop it. But there are ways to do it, and it makes a difference. Designers who find themselves in design competent organization can thrive, feel safe, take on bigger challenges, deliver exceptional outcomes.
Monday, August 26, 2019
A while back I started to offer mentoring and coaching to design professionals. It has been exciting. Even though I have been doing this kind of mentoring and coaching for a very long time, every new meeting and session leads to new insights. Some of the most important insights are simple and obvious.
The most simple insight is that whether you are successful or not in your job, you need to talk about your situation, your career, with someone who is not involved in your workplace, and someone who is not your family or friend. You need an external view. Someone who can challenge you and offer new perspectives. You need someone who actually doesn't know you too well.
Professional mentoring is about your whole life. You cannot separate your professional life from the rest of your life. This is also one reason why good mentoring is problematic to get from family and friends who are entangled in your life outside work. They are personally involved in what they are trying to mentor you about.
Professional mentoring is about how to combine and compose all levels a professional position: the mind set, knowledge set, skill set, and tool set. There is no simple division possible. You cannot 'fix' your career by only dealing with one level. They are intermingled.
So, if you do not have a professional mentor. Find one. You do need one.
Friday, August 23, 2019
In 2004 I published a paper with Anna Croon Fors. The paper was not recognized by anyone really for quite many years, and then it got some citations. I just mention this since it shows how difficult it is to predict the interest and importance of what you do as an academic. Here is a screenshot from Google scholar about the paper.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Just a reminder that this is still an opportunity. Take a look at the tab "Mentoring and Coaching"
Here is a comment from one of the mentees:
"I feel so much better after I talked to you every single time, and it makes me full of hope for my life. I have been asking for advice from co-workers, my peer friends, some people who are successful, but I did not get any clear answers. Now I have answers and know how to improve my career. I cannot thank you enough. Your advice is worth billions of dollars to me." (Yuki, Visual Designer/Product Designer, Aug 2019)
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