Design Thinking #2: Essentials of Learning to Design one’s life

Video Credits: TEDx Talks

Design Thinking, as I have read & blogged about has been a novel approach to problem solving stemming from our individual creative abilities. My entire understanding of this methodology has come from workshop experiences (One with Dr. Arup & One with Mr. Puntambekar) and secondary research, at this moment I am absolutely intrigued by the perspective brought in by Mr. Burnett in the above video where he talks about “Designing one’s Life,” an absolutely pertinent technique which places the Design Thinking concepts at the central pedestal of our choices-driven life.

Watch the video to find the context of William Gibson’s quote:

Future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed

BUSTED! #1: PwC gets banned from Auditing listed entities in India for 2 years!


(Pic Credit – Livemint)

Yes you read that correctly! PriceWaterhouse Network firms & other firms operating under the PriceWaterhourseCoopers Brand have been banned from issuing any audit certificates with respect to statutory compliances of listed entities & intermediaries in India. This ban has been issued by SEBI in light of the Satyam scandal of 2009. The order comes after a long arduous battle of words between the regulator, the ICAI & the PwC representation with regard to the responsibilities of an auditor. The strictures imposed on PwC have been outlined in the capital market regulator’s 108-page order.

Well this leaves the leading auditing firm’s publicly traded clients open for poaching! If this isn’t alike to the Pearson Specter Litt’s down slip, then I don’t know what is. The Indian firm had started bleeding clients since the scandal but didn’t take a major revenue hit. The firm is also supposed to cough up a hefty sum of Rs. 14 Crores (which includes 12% interest!) towards penalty.

This leaves us asking the question whether anybody in the Street earns an honest-day’s living anymore? Are we still human enough to own up mistakes? The markets which are driven by investor sentiments – can they be affirmed by cold expression of opinion?

An overview of the order can be found here –

Design Thinking #1: Workshop #1 by Dr. Arup Mazumdar @ Planning Forum – NM College

The Design Thinking interest group of the Planning Forum –NM college was initiated on 1st July, 2017 under the guidance of Dr. Arup & Ms. Madhulika Mazumdar.

Ironically, the primary question of “What is Design Thinking?” wasn’t the first touch points of the session, instead the centerpiece of DT “the user experience” & “the interest of stakeholders,” became the highlight of the session.

The undergrads who composed this interest group were stifled in the face of their own feelings, when Dr. Arup asked each participant to write their feelings in a few words on a paper-strip taped to their pockets. Figuratively speaking, the participants wore their feelings on their pockets & Dr. Arup read their personalities in a manner alike to pulling “a rabbit out of a hat.” This was followed by an activity where in the participants had to depict four triangles with the help of six pencils. The participants missed the answer by a dimension difference in perspective.

The focus of the workshop then shifted towards Leadership. What is Leadership? The answer to this question was a dual combination of “Things” with “Right!” Leadership, according to Dr. Arup is a dilemma between “doing Things Right” and “doing the Right Things,” and for a Leader the correct out would be “Doing the Right Things-” it is that skill of a person to do the things which are right for the organization & taking the leap of faith, undertaking the risk of what the future entails on making a particular choice.

The workshop was a journey of activities & the goal was to initiate the concept of Design Thinking. The pivotal introduction of the concept was brought in a unique way by presenting the interest group with a challenge – a case study on the Education System in its current state, the content of which was corroborated from various research papers and Dr. Arup’s own findings. The goal of this challenge was to accomplish a set-up wherein the ultimate User-Group or the Stakeholders feel involved evoking the vital Empathy.

Deliberating with this idea, the novice undergrads set out to Define the problem, seeking Solutions by writing any idea which crossed their minds on a post-it, applying the concept of Psychological Distancing and mobilizing the perks of Perspective for a Time-defined Process of two rounds each of 10 minutes.

At the end of everything, Dr Arup’s method of gauging the mind-sets of participants showed an evident shift in thought processes with the change in “words” being written by the “Designers” to describe their current state of being. From “Anxious, Excited, Intrigued, Enthusiastic and Perceptive,” the descriptions closed onto “Happy, Joyous, Satisfied and Aware.” The workshop in a single note provided the participants with a CREATIVE skill to appraise the benefits of an altruistic VISION and the importance of EMPATHY.

Innovation Insight #3: Asking the Right Questions – Extension of the Creator Philosophy

In Update #6, I mentioned Paul Sappho’s idea that the 21st Century is a Creator Economy i.e. unlike the previous 20 centuries, everyone will contribute towards the growth of the economy.

Now that we have established that every person in the economy is a “creator.” It is time for us to seek upward mobility by Asking the Right Questions – the answers to which will lead us to connect the dots as to what is it that we need to ask questions for.

Q1. Who is/are the most important person/people for a creator?

Is it our parents? siblings? Co-mates? Definitely, the love of our lives?
Nope, doesn’t ring a bell. It is the USER/USERs of his/her creation which in general should be perceived as the global community. I say so because narrowing down the scope by installing barricades at the porch of the ideation process stifles the reinvention capacity. Create a niche, sort of (exactly like!) a target market only after being convinced of a sufficient cause to eliminate them from availing your creation. Kinder you are in giving access, Stronger is the foundation of creativity.

Q2. What should be the mindset of a creator?

Most people urge the “creators” to “Think Outside the Box,” which is cent percent worthwhile but while doing so why are we absconding the avenues of FEASIBILITY. Each Creation is the product of a Creator’s vehicles of thoughts – organized in hyperventilation or serenity or at the beats of heavy metal! Such Creation’s objective is to add value and it’s worth is ad valorem. Keeping this in mind, I feel we should assess our environment, perceive what is in the box, understand what is lacking & what is fulfilling & then let us sojourn into the seas of REINVENTION, which to me, would expand (at least explain!) the paradigm of “Thinking Outside the Box.” Ergo the reiteration of the previous conclusion!

Now, that we have the pointers for “Asking the Right Questions” as “User/User’s feasibility” –> “Reinvention – Thinking Outside the Box” we can gauge that we need to ask questions for determining the User’s feasibility to engage with our creation & for us to instill creativity upto the “Reinvention” capacity such that the user can make peace with the externalities of our creation thereby evoking a balanced & sustained solution for the user in the long run.

Stay tuned to further this connection in an upcoming Innovation Insight Post…

Daily Feed #2: Insight into a new role – the way to do Right Things

This year, I ventured into a new role as the Head of Department of  Design Thinking & Business Innovation Dept @ The Planning Forum – an intra college association . After toying around with the concept to find a right answer for the question, “What is Design Thinking?” I found a sense of satisfaction after arriving at this meaning of Design Thinking – A tool which spearheads the process of creating ideas evoking “the user experience” at its centerpiece. 

Further introspecting into the component words – there is light at the end of the tunnel – Design is the portrayal of one’s vision for the product. Thinking is what you do when you novate. The entire process in a corporate set up is driven by the ultimate user experience. 

Astonishingly, the premise of my limited experience has been the two driving factors of Design Thinking – transplanting reality into innovation. Reality can be explained as the difference between you and the future you; both of “you” will know the reality but in a different horizon of time. Innovation is something with drives you towards the future.

A new perspective showed itself as I researched & attended workshops. Nobody can thrive on belief and ideas by itself cannot sustain. Let us not rush to think outside the box ; first – look what all is in the box. The next step is to reinvent those that you find in the box by applying the best of your creativity.

Innovation Update #6: The Creator Philosophy – “Design Thinking”

“Walk a mile in his shoes,” implies Developing Empathy.

Design Thinking” is a novel concept which spearheads process of creating new ideas in the modern innovation terrain evoking “Empathy” as it’s centerpiece with companies “Walking a mile in the user’s  shoes” to instill a fulfilling experience of their product. The following video is an insight into what “Design Thinking” entails:

Video Credits: Sean VanGenderen

“Creative Philosophy is the one which Richard Florida Talks about – this idea is an elite concept. Design Thinking is what Paul Saffo is talking about – that we all will be participating in the Creator Economy through small acts which would include creating a search string on Google wherein you as a creator would be creating a value for yourself and in this instance for Google,” says Tim Brown, the CEO of Innovation & Design firm IDEO, who along with David Kelley forms the team which is the leading proponent of the Design Thinking Concept. Here, is a video of Tim Brown speaking to a consortium of Startups @ the Khosla Ventures

Video Credits: Khosla Ventures

Harvard Business Review also videographs the avenues of Design Thinking, which can be viewed here:

Stay tuned for the Innovation “Insight”!

Reality #3: Leap into the “Ma”ster’s Vision @ the World Economic Forum 2017

Video Credits: World Economic Forum (Davos 2017)

Envisaging ground-breaking solutions for the world trade like the e-WTP, in this conversation Jack Ma follows the money earned by the top-10 companies through the Globalization reforms – further stressing the need for an “inclusive” development in the avenues of Technology, Leadership and Trade Models. The Alibaba group founder goes on to discuss how the group is leading the race in grounding IP piracy and is also fancied by the impeccable quality of fake products.

Watch this to hear Jack Ma say, “I do not want to die working in an office, I want to die on a beach!”