Design thinking and failure

Ever since Singapore’s prime minister’s speech earlier this year positioned design thinking as a critical in country’s future national building, interest and demand for design thinking as a future skill has been soaring.

Given my current focus on building design capability and designing executive programs, I spend a lot of my time thinking about what it takes to implement design thinking successfully in an organization. The longer I practise design thinking in a corporate environment, the more I see the importance of one’s mindset about it. It requires deep thinking and an attitude of inquiry; and it promotes a mindset of curiosity, positivity and open-mindedness,

Discussing design thinking, we tend to often infuse it with a sense of positivity. In order to make it truly work however, we must deliberately think about the opposite end of success: failure and humility.

While design thinking is a capability that individuals can learn, practise and master, it is also an organizational capability which entails providing a safe space to fail: creating an environment of humility that allows constant iterations and learnings.

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