This blog post from the social innovation agency, innovate change talks about the difficulty even highly experienced designers have with dealing with ambiguity and talks about 'being in the grey' as a critical mindset for social innovation (design for social change). Read the blog post below and respond to the following prompts:
What strategies do you use to help you to become 'unstuck' when working on a task or problem?
When working on a task or handling a problem, there are several challenges that can make one to be stuck. I have gone through such moments where I am stuck but need to be moving. When in the tough situations of being stuck the best strategies that have helped me get unstuck are; Firstly, I outline the causes that have led me to the situation, and this way I will be in a better place of looking for solutions. Secondly, I concentrate on each cause and dealing with it exhaustively so that I get unstuck. Additionally, I research new ideas that can get me out of the situation and apply them to my work. It is the only way of finding out the viability of a suggested solution to a given problem. Finally, I also engage experts to help me in case all the methods I apply do not work.
What kind of emotions or behaviors do you notice yourself or others displaying in situations that are ambiguous or uncertain? Why do you think uncertainty can be so challenging?
When in situations of ambiguity, I find myself in a panic mode at the beginning, but with time, I get strong and become aggressive in looking for new information. Also, when in uncertain situations, I tend to be cautious in the decisions I make because I am not sure of the outcome. Ambiguity also makes me patient and grounded because I cannot make hasty decisions to regret later because of the unclear situations surrounding me. In such moments I embrace everything that I cannot control so that I do not get discouraged. Similarly, I have seen others panicking when they are faced by uncertain situations, and if they are not directed, their state can affect the entire process. I think uncertainty can be challenging because it encompasses dealing with situations that can turn out to be positive or negative. It is also problematic because of the risk that is associated with it.
What part of the Design Thinking process so far have you found most challenging or most rewarding/satisfying (and why)?
The part of the design thinking process that I have found most challenging is the fourth step, which is to ideate. It is where I need to give solutions to problems and times I find myself stuck and not able to resolve an issue. The part encompasses taking risks in trying out new ideas. It is a place where I have to get out of my comfort zone to think of alternatives and apply them to situations. It is a part that needs one to be extremely proactive. It is also the most satisfying part because I get to see my ideas work, and when they are successful, I derive a lot of satisfaction. It is rewarding because it entails trying out new ideas which can take my process to the next level.
What Design Thinking mindset or skill would you like to work on cultivating/developing? (e.g., curiosity, empathy, integrative thinking, etc.)
The design mindset skill that I would like to work on is empathy. I need to be more curious about how others act or think. I desire to put myself in their shoes to know their challenges and how they handle them. I also want to cultivate the art of willing to give and take. It is the best way to learn from one's mistakes. When I am willing to give advice and ideas to others and also ready to be advised and corrected, I will make progress in every part of my engagement. I also want to cultivate the culture of listening more and talking less. It is the only way to gather more information and ideas from other people. Above all, through the skill, I will be emotionally sophisticated an art that I have always desired.
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