What’s Stopping You?

“What’s stopping you?”

Several mornings ago I had an interaction with a fellow educator where I asked the question, “What’s stopping you?” We were discussing the “whys” around classroom environment and space. What was so cool about this interaction, question, and the opportunity to ask this of a fellow teacher was I truly meant it. After some pressing of what was stopping her, she said, “I didn’t know I could. I didn’t think I could ask.

What is stopping you?  I’ve asked it before in some forum or another… I find I have been consciously asking myself this question more and more as I wade deeper into DT Land.

During a 12+ School Visit day at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, I was asked about the difficulties I encountered in infusing DEEP design thinking into a K12 environment…  Some aspect to my answer centered around constraints. “We had very little, if no money when I began over 6 years ago to get the ball rolling on this design thinking train…. and even today, I keep this as a trusted constraint. We have little, to no money, so find a way around it. If anything, not having enough time has been the biggest obstacle.”

When faced with constraints, creativity can be sparked in a huge way.

And real constraints (as well as assumed constraints) can result in some wild & spot on ideas that tend to bring the designer further down the path and further towards their User.

So when it comes to solving a problem, meeting a need, taking a stand, or even asking a question, what’s stopping you?  I understand fear.  I understand uncertainty and worry. I would challenge constraints that start with money, people, or even the Powers that Be. Yet, even in understanding I would challenge you again, “What’s stopping you?”

This is where the d.School’s “Bias towards Action” rings so loudly for me. So what’s stopping you? A question never asked results in the same answer. No.