Change By Design  

December 04, 2013
As we all know, change can be difficult and incredibly complex. In continuing my professional reading in the area of leading educational change, I just completed the book, Change By Design, written by Tim Brown. Although this book is geared primarily toward business, there were several “take-aways” that apply to education as well. In his book, Brown offers many strategies that can set any organization up for building and encouraging change through innovation. In the following paragraphs I have provided some highlights of two key leadership applications from the book.
Leadership Application: Using observation and empathy to gain insight into actual needs and develop a better design.
Humans are so skilled at adapting to inconvenient situations it is sometimes difficult to determine needs. In order to meet this challenge, a design thinker must find out what needs people may not even know they have. Author, Tim Brown suggests three essential, human elements for any successful design project.
  Learning from the experiences of others
  Watching their behavior for clues
  This can reveal more insight into a problem than crunching hard data
  It is about being keen in seeing the whole picture
  Watching what people don’t do, or listening to what they don’t say
  Tim Brown - “Good design thinkers observe. Great design thinkers observe the ordinary.”
  Questioning everyday occurrences or situations with “why?” will help you to discover what may be hidden
  Walking in the shoes of others and experiencing for ourselves, we can better understand what others are experiencing and feeling
  To understand a design is to understand how the people act and feel in relationship to the design
Leadership Learning: The divergent process of creating choices is futile if we do not move to the convergent phase of making choices.

-by Kelly Clapp, Professional Development Coordinator