My only documentation of this moment comes in the form of post-it scribble… Oh, how I wish I had a video or photographic evidence of the Pivot… Well, lets see if I can tell it like it was…

This moment comes from the work of parents at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School who have been involved in a DEEPdt Challenge called “I See You.”  Please take a moment to read previous posts about this challenge. The goal in this endeavor is to have our parents experience design thinking that goes well beyond a crash course and instead creates an impact within themselves and their community. HERE & HERE

Ok, let’s get crispy…

A d.TEAM met one Friday morning to continue flaring in Experiment mode based off of the following HMW… question:

As you can see, many revisions occurred on this HMW…?  (It actually stems from three other HMW…?s)

As the d.TEAM was flaring and generating ideas/solutions to this question, you could just sense a change in the air and deflated excitement in the ideas generated.  Why was this?  Was it that their ideas were boring or not on target for their User?  No, not at all.  Their ideas were solving a stated & stressed need for the  Community Assistance Center to function & be successful.  Its just their ideas were going to entail a lot of time, resources, blood, sweat, and tears to commit and follow through on.  Now with design thinking, does it mean that if the solution is messy and time consuming its not worth striving for?   No, but how can designers be expected to design for Users on an idea that takes all the air out of their sails?  I am a firm believer you must fall in love with your User not your Idea. Yet, you gotta like the idea just a little, right?

And this is where I will get CRISPIER… I asked the d.TEAM this question, “Do any of these ideas make you excited to get started prototyping?” As they pondered the question, Mrs. Robinson wrote on the whiteboard wall, I See You.  And this is where the Pivot came.  Mrs. Robinson took the team back to the original premise of the DEEPdt Discover point of this challenge.  Recalling the story a parent told about a connection made with a person living on the streets of Sandy Springs and those important words expressed to this person, “I see you.”  Were we seeing the person or the problems?  Were the ideas being generated by the designers about seeing the person beneath the label, beneath the dirt, or  the plight of their situation?  Were the ideas about solving problems for the masses or the individual user? 

This very quick reframe and pause created a pivot in this d.TEAM that amazed and impacted me greatly. In the next 5-10 minutes later they were on their feet, energized, focused, excited, and hopeful with their ideation of a solution called Fresh2Feed (you can see some of their scribble on the post-it on the top of this post).

One thing I know through my own practice in DEEP design thinking, the more I practice, the more it impacts me to my core.  Also, I am able to see the power of Ddt’s impact in people I am fortunate to guide.  When it comes to a challenge like homelessness or specifically, people in need we tend to want to act with a surgeon’s touch rather than a mom’s touch. What I mean by that is, a mom’s touch is a bandaid.  It might not stop the hemorrhaging, but with enough bandaids the bleeding just might stop. Makes me wonder how many design challenges are out there looking for a mom’s touch yet only surgeons are showing up to solve the problems.  This d.TEAM were trying to be surgeons in their very first out of the gate DEEP design thinking challenge.   Thankfully the found the Pivot. 

Below is a slide show of pictures of their thoughts, findings, and ideas on the whiteboards… Up next, Testing their idea for feedback to help them flesh out their idea and its possibilities.

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