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Heidi Marion Weber

Changing mindsets in Design Thinking

Supervisors

Prof. Doutor António Cruz Rodriguez , UNIDCOM/IADE
Prof. Doutor Américo MateusDelli research / HEI-Labs

ABSTRACT

Design Thinking is a methodology to solve problems. The approach works best on ill-defined (wicked) problems and is highly human-centered. “Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as functionality, to express ourselves in media other than words or symbols.”(Brown, 2009, p. 4) According to the frame of implementation Design Thinking is a tool, a method, or an all-interfusing attitude for the applying organization (Schmiedgen, Rhinow, Köppen, & Meinel, 2015, p. 47).

Literature often stresses the one mindset people need to work with and in Design Thinking (Baeck & Gremett, 2012, p. 231; Liedtka, King, & Bennett, 2013, p. 203; Martin, 2009, p. 159). The goal of the thesis is to show, that the execution of the various Design Thinking tasks demands for different mindsets and thinking processes. To reach that goal, the research not only examines methods and demands of the Design Thinking phases but also investigates into the (Neuro-)Psychology of Creativity and matches the findings with the processes in Design Thinking. Subsequently the research seeks for methods to influence those mindsets for better results in Design Thinking sessions.

Keywords: Design Thinking, Mindset, Creativity, Attitude, Psychology

Project Description
The thesis works on the field of idea-finding and problem-solving processes, namely Design Thinking and seeks to optimize the creative phases therein. The thesis questions if on the basis of the definition: “A mindset is a mental attitude. It shapes your actions and our thoughts, as well as how you perceive and respond to events.” (Meier & Kropp, 2010, p. 179). different mindsets – or mental attitudes – are needed for being creative in different stages of the Design Thinking process.
In a first stage, the recent research In Design Thinking and Psychology as well as Neuropsychology of creativity is deeply investigated with the goal to identify the relevant attributes of the mindsets needed for the different stages of Design Thinking and their relationship to the traits of creative people.
To date the research identified five pairs of attributions that are vital to creative thought processes and that vary through the phases of Design Thinking:
  • Collecting Analytical
  • Observant ↔︎ Envisioning/Imagining
  • Developing ↔︎ Judgmental/Selective
  • Empathic ↔︎ Withdrawn / Introverted
  • Spontaneous ↔︎ Reflective
As research has shown that mindsets can be influenced the second part of the thesis focusses on the identification of possible methods to lead persons conducting a Design Thinking phase to the ideal mental attitude for the task at hand. This phase uses literature again but also action research in Design Thinking projects as well as quantitative and qualitative observation with participants and experts in the field. The goal is to provide a set of tools, modified tasks, introductory games, storytelling or role models to optimise the creative outcomes.
References
  1. Amabile, T. M. (2018). Creativity and the Labor of Love. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The Nature of Human Creativity (1st ed., pp. 1–16). Cambridge University Press.
  2. Amabile, T. M., & Pratt, M. G. (2016). The Dynamic Componential Model of Creativity and Innovation in Organizations: Making Progress, Making Meaning. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36, 157–183. Retrieved from http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=51996
  3. Beaty, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Christensen, A. P., Rosenberg, M. D., Benedek, M., Chen, Q., … Silvia, P. J. (2018). Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201713532. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713532115
  4. Beaty, R. E., Benedek, M., Silvia, P. J., & Schacter, D. L. (2016). Creative Cognition and Brain Network Dynamics. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(2), 87–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.10.004
  5. Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: HarperBusiness.
  6. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2013). Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention (Reprint). New York: Harper Perennial.
  7. Curedale, R. (2016). Design Thinking Process and Methods 3rd Edition (3rd ed.). Design Community College Inc.
  8. Dweck, C. S., & Molden, D. C. (2018). Mindset - The impact on Competence Motivation and Acquisition. In A. J. Elliot, C. S. Dweck, & D. S. Yeager (Eds.), Handbook of Competence and Motivation, Second Edition (00002 ed., pp. 135–154). New York: Guilford Pubn.
  9. Mateus, A. (2016). Product / Brand co-creation methodology crossing Marketing, Design Thinking, Creativity and Management: IDEAS(R)EVOLUTION (Doctoral Thesis). Universidade de Èvora.
  10. von Thienen, J., Clancey, W. J., Corazza, G. E., & Meinel, C. (2018). Theoretical Foundations of Design Thinking. In H. Plattner, C. Meinel, & L. Leifer (Eds.), Design Thinking Research, Understanding Innovation, (1st ed. 2018). New York, NY: Springer