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Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership:
A Framework for Human-Centered Change
Ben Grossman-Kahn
CEO & Co-Founder
Zachary Smith
COO & Co-Founder
Presented by
To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to:
1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re
solving
2) Consid...
What’s your Transformation story?
We are facing profound changes in every sector
• Rise of Mobile
• Cloud platforms
and services
• Open source
• Machine Lea...
Employee resistance to change and management
behaviors, not budget or resources, are the primary
factors in 70% of failed ...
Software Machinery
Process
Technical Infrastructure Cultural Infrastructure
Design ThinkingAdaptive Leadership
Observation
Intervention
Interpretation
“…change that truly transforms an organization, be it a
multibillion-dollar company or a ten-person sales team,
demands th...
Adaptation
Technical vs Adaptive Changes
Technical Adaptive
Clearly Defined Problem
Not clearly defined problem. Requires
learning
Cl...
Technical Adaptive
Broken Arm High Blood Pressure
MysteryPuzzle
Each one of these thwarting tactics…grows out of
people’s aversion to the organizational
disequilibrium created by your in...
People don’t fear change,
they fear loss.
A framework for change
• Core
• Company values
• Who our
customers are
Emerging
• New ways of
working
• New project
proces...
Competing Commitments
• Am I solving a puzzle or a mystery?
• What might people be afraid of losing?
• What might be some competing
commitments?...
To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to:
1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re
solving
2) Consid...
21st Century Skills
Skills needed in 2020
• Complex Problem Solving
• Critical Thinking
• Creativity
• People Management
• Coordinating with O...
Learners must cultivate 21st
century skills, capabilities, and
attributes
• Emotional Intelligence
• Curiosity
• Creativit...
Learning & Innovation Skills
• Creativity and Innovation
• Critical Thinking & Problem
Solving
• Communication
• Collabora...
Communication
Sharing thoughts,
questions, ideas, &
solutions
Critical Thinking
Looking at problems in a
new way and linki...
To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to:
1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re
solving
2) Consid...
Design Thinking
Communication Critical Thinking Creativity CuriosityCollaboration
D V
F
Desirability
(Do people want this?)
Viability
(Should we do this?)
Feasibility
(Could we do this?)
immerse
CuriosityCommunication
Start with Empathy
Observation
vs.
Interpretation
frame
Critical Thinking
I need a bridge…
I need a way to get to the other side...
I need to collaborate with someone on the other side...
How might we design a
better suitcase?
Design a Better Suitcase
How might we arrive
at our destination
with the resources
we need for our trip?
How might we arrive at our destination…
imagine
Creativity
Psychological Safety
• When someone makes a mistake in this team, it is often held against
him or her
• In this team, it i...
BUT…
AND…
How would each of these professions design the DMV experience?
prototype
Communication Collaboration
Prototype & Test
• Provides services and financial support to
people with developmental disabilities in the
San Francisco Bay Area
• State ...
Design Sprint
• What have we done to build empathy and
challenge our assumptions?
• Have we invited diverse perspectives into
our ideati...
To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to:
1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re
solving
2) Consid...
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change
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LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change

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A presentation given at the 2017 Washington State Lean conference. Introduces tools and frameworks from design thinking and adaptive leadership and how they can be used to better design organizational transformation and change initiatives.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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LeanWA Conference: Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership for human-centered change

  1. 1. Design Thinking & Adaptive Leadership: A Framework for Human-Centered Change
  2. 2. Ben Grossman-Kahn CEO & Co-Founder Zachary Smith COO & Co-Founder Presented by
  3. 3. To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to: 1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re solving 2) Consider the skills we’ll need to solve new problems 3) Leverage frameworks that utilize the skill sets of the future
  4. 4. What’s your Transformation story?
  5. 5. We are facing profound changes in every sector • Rise of Mobile • Cloud platforms and services • Open source • Machine Learning • AI • Automation • Internet of Things Technology • Multiple generations • Culture of entrepreneurship • Purpose driven economy • Competition for talent • Virtual staff Workforce • Expectations focused on speed, convenience and personalization • Technology driving new experiences Customers
  6. 6. Employee resistance to change and management behaviors, not budget or resources, are the primary factors in 70% of failed change management programs - McKinsey 62% of employee respondents identified culture as the main hurdle to digital transformation - CapGemini
  7. 7. Software Machinery Process Technical Infrastructure Cultural Infrastructure
  8. 8. Design ThinkingAdaptive Leadership Observation Intervention Interpretation
  9. 9. “…change that truly transforms an organization, be it a multibillion-dollar company or a ten-person sales team, demands that people give up things they hold dear: daily habits, loyalties, ways of thinking. In return for these sacrifices, they may be offered nothing more than the possibility of a better future.” -Heifetz & Linsky, HBR 2002 Adaptive Leadership
  10. 10. Adaptation
  11. 11. Technical vs Adaptive Changes Technical Adaptive Clearly Defined Problem Not clearly defined problem. Requires learning Clear and known solution. Have all information required, goal is to optimize execution. Solution unknown- requires learning, experimentation and gathering more information Evokes a rational and logical response. Evokes an emotional response- people may avoid or struggle to deal with this Uses existing processes, practices, behaviors Challenges existing processes, practices and behaviors Led with authority Requires engaging stakeholders and bringing them along
  12. 12. Technical Adaptive Broken Arm High Blood Pressure
  13. 13. MysteryPuzzle
  14. 14. Each one of these thwarting tactics…grows out of people’s aversion to the organizational disequilibrium created by your initiative…people strive to restore order, maintain what is familiar to them, and protect themselves from the pains of adaptive change. -A Survival Guide for Leaders, HBR 2002
  15. 15. People don’t fear change, they fear loss.
  16. 16. A framework for change • Core • Company values • Who our customers are Emerging • New ways of working • New project process Legacy • Siloed teams • Some roles or titles
  17. 17. Competing Commitments
  18. 18. • Am I solving a puzzle or a mystery? • What might people be afraid of losing? • What might be some competing commitments? Questions to consider
  19. 19. To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to: 1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re solving 2) Consider the skills we’ll need to solve new problems 3) Leverage frameworks that utilize the skill sets of the future P
  20. 20. 21st Century Skills
  21. 21. Skills needed in 2020 • Complex Problem Solving • Critical Thinking • Creativity • People Management • Coordinating with Others • Emotional Intelligence
  22. 22. Learners must cultivate 21st century skills, capabilities, and attributes • Emotional Intelligence • Curiosity • Creativity • Adaptability • Resilience • Critical Thinking
  23. 23. Learning & Innovation Skills • Creativity and Innovation • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving • Communication • Collaboration
  24. 24. Communication Sharing thoughts, questions, ideas, & solutions Critical Thinking Looking at problems in a new way and linking learning across subjects & disciplines Creativity Trying new approaches to get things done equals innovation & invention Collaboration Working together to reach a goal, putting talent, expertise, & smarts to work. Curiosity The capacity for inquiry and the desire and ability to learn about something
  25. 25. To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to: 1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re solving 2) Consider the skills we’ll need to solve new problems 3) Leverage frameworks that utilize the skill sets of the future P P
  26. 26. Design Thinking Communication Critical Thinking Creativity CuriosityCollaboration
  27. 27. D V F Desirability (Do people want this?) Viability (Should we do this?) Feasibility (Could we do this?)
  28. 28. immerse CuriosityCommunication
  29. 29. Start with Empathy
  30. 30. Observation vs. Interpretation
  31. 31. frame Critical Thinking
  32. 32. I need a bridge…
  33. 33. I need a way to get to the other side...
  34. 34. I need to collaborate with someone on the other side...
  35. 35. How might we design a better suitcase?
  36. 36. Design a Better Suitcase
  37. 37. How might we arrive at our destination with the resources we need for our trip?
  38. 38. How might we arrive at our destination…
  39. 39. imagine Creativity
  40. 40. Psychological Safety • When someone makes a mistake in this team, it is often held against him or her • In this team, it is easy to discuss difficult issues and problems. • In this team, people are sometimes rejected for being different • It is completely safe to take a risk on this team. • It is difficult to ask other members of this team for help • Members of this team value and respect each others' contributions.
  41. 41. BUT…
  42. 42. AND…
  43. 43. How would each of these professions design the DMV experience?
  44. 44. prototype Communication Collaboration
  45. 45. Prototype & Test
  46. 46. • Provides services and financial support to people with developmental disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area • State of California Department of Development Services • Assessment for services takes 3 months
  47. 47. Design Sprint
  48. 48. • What have we done to build empathy and challenge our assumptions? • Have we invited diverse perspectives into our ideation? • How might we test our ideas quickly and cheaply? Questions to consider
  49. 49. To Grow a Culture of Problem Solvers, we need to: 1) Think differently about the types of problems we’re solving 2) Consider the skills we’ll need to solve new problems 3) Leverage frameworks that utilize the skill sets of the future P P P

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