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Design Thinking Rooted in Empathy Enables Innovation

Design Thinking Rooted in Empathy Enables Innovation

Design Thinking Rooted in Empathy Enables Innovation

To have empathy means to have the ability to understand the needs of others by becoming aware of their feelings and thoughts.

Design thinking is a process for solving problems and enabling innovation by prioritizing people’s needs above all else. It relies on observing, with empathy, how people interact with their environments, and employs an iterative, hands-on approach to creating solutions.

Design Thinking is an operating approach that faces and solves the demanding situations and issues that stand up in groups primarily based totally on creativity, multidisciplinary teamwork, and empathy.

This exclusive, experimental, and holistic technique can enable an upward push to what all companies want: Innovation.

According to experts, its beginning dates to 1919, while the German architect Walter Gropius created the Bauhaus faculty of crafts, layout, artwork, and architecture. The faculty started to set up several dynamics which might be used nowadays in Design Thinking, including teamwork, the removal of hierarchies and the alignment to person desires.

The method become advanced at theoretical stage in the 70s, at Stanford University (California), and many years later, in 1991, the North American consultancy, IDEO, gave it a very lasting place among multidisciplinary groups — professors, lawyers, engineers and, consequently laying the rules of contemporary-day Design Thinking.

The Root: Empathy

Empathy is a right-brain activity, which instigates people to think that it is a discipline associated with being touchy-feely. However, empathy is currency.

“Empathy at its core is a very valued virtue and emotional intelligence currency.”

Empathy enables you to think about how people feel and helps you understand a problem by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Empathy is one of the best virtues to have as a leader of an organization or a group of people dedicated to achieving any cause, but it’s not exclusively valuable just to leaders.

Empathy is listening to what others have to say, but also interpreting and feeling what is being said.

You do this by paying attention to the tone and the emotions of the other person and internalizing them.

For organizations seeking to be innovative and better aligned with their customer needs, a strong dose of empathy across teams will be a strong starting point.

“What most people are looking for aren’t answers with smart solutions to their problems, they are seeking to be understood, and validated first.”

Empathy and Self-awareness

Before a problem comes up, so does the solution and the process to solve it.

Life experiences can often shape how we perceive ourselves as a piece of the puzzle and how we fit in the bigger picture called humanity.

We can’t see how all the pieces DO FIT TOGETHER, when we are fragmented within ourselves.

Fragmentation outside of us (chaos), is because of the fragmentation within ourselves (internal conflict).

How does one break free of internal conflicts that get in the way of achieving empathy?

You must be willing to see and re-trace where the fragmentation started.

The purpose of becoming fully self-aware is so you can understand how to put the pieces together based on reality. It’s not work you can do alone.

Work with a friend, a mentor, a coach, a therapist… someone you trust to help you see aspects of yourself that are blocked.

I often hear people talk about being afraid to be vulnerable as a defense mechanism. Often all we are doing is keeping ourselves locked into a mind prison.

“You can’t be bold and play life in a big way without being vulnerable.”

To achieve anything in life, you must be willing to give all you have to it and shift your narrative from being attached to the outcomes, to finding joy in the process.

“The fun of a puzzle is the challenge in putting together all the pieces.”

By detaching from the outcomes, we can focus on giving for the sake of giving. We can find joy in the state of giving more, and in the journey. This vulnerable state of being opens your heart.

“An open heart activates empathy.”

Heart Centered Innovation

We won’t be able to solve the problems of the future with the same kind of thinking of the past.

“To solve the new problems of today, we need new kind of innovation in design thinking.”

Design thinking is a large part of innovation that we need to bring into our everyday mindsets.

This will allow us to engage in collaborative work by having a human-centered perspective towards what is needed to truly drive innovation.

Design thinking is best suited to addressing problems by applying multiple dimensions to them, not singular views of one way or the other as we are experiencing today, especially in the political theater.

They are also most effective at the intersection of business and society, logic and emotion, human needs and economic requirements, rational and creative beings and between systems and individuals.

Design thinking cannot be understood as a process that can solve a set-in-stone collection of problems that someone finds in front of them. It is rather a mindset towards approaching problems.

This mindset can be applied to almost any scenario where empathy towards people is the most crucial aspect of designing innovative solutions.

We as humans seek products, services, and organizations that we feel personally connect with.

These meaningful connections help us become more capable to get up and put in a productive day of work.

“With the right mindset, we can tackle any problem with innovation in design thinking.”

We must make sure that the thinking we design helps us focus on a human-centric approach to problem solving, making sure that the solutions designed are incorporating creativity as well as logic, but above all empathy.

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Society 2045’s Collaborative Thinking

Society 2045’s Collaborative Thinking

Society 2045’s Collaborative Thinking

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

We are in a world where social ethics are in a dangerous state, and the earth’s resource pool is getting emptied. Can we save our future?

This past summer, Society 2045 had a series of interviews with change makers seeking to improve the way society works.

Society 2045 is a community of people from around the world seeking to co-discover a vision for the year 2045. The goal is to connect with leaders of emerging communities and movements across society and come together to co-create a better future.

In an interview with Ken Homer, we discussed his vision of 2045 and some ways to make the world a better place to live in. Ken founded Collaborative Conversations after a decade as a member of the core team that developed The World Café dialogue process. 

Certified as an Integral Coach through New Ventures West, Ken has been exploring how what we do in conversation commits us to action and produces results at work for the better part of the last 20 years.

Dehumanization Is a Problem

We all are familiar with many business plans that fail to achieve the intended outcomes despite being full of resources and intellectual horsepower. It is not because of lack of talent or strategies that they fail, but because of their lack of conversational competencies.

There is a minimum set of conversations that needs to happen to take any project from conception to completion. Filling yourself and surrounding yourself with positivity is the key to success at work. There are four key processes that can increase the odds of success-

· Sharing understanding

· Exploring possibilities

· Coordinating actions

· Reflecting and learning

You need to understand and accept that no matter what challenges, or failures you experience, you are enough in every circumstance of life. No matter what, you will go through it, and the end outcome will always be in your favor.

To all the coworkers and your office colleagues, you need to be the source of positive energy to make that work happen. 

Addressing someone’s weakness in public or not showing enough empathy towards each other will lack the positivity in the group, and this directly affects the outcomes of everyone’s hard work.

Take this to the extreme, today’s cancel culture is an example of dehumanization at its worse. It is not serving the needs of humanity. It’s not center on conversation and collaboration, and does nothing to solve conflicts.

Collaboration and Conflicts Resolution

For many years Ken has been addressed as the collaboration partner and conflict resolver. According to him, the best way to resolve any conflicts is to just sit and think collectively about the solution.

Conflicts between groups will bring no use to society and individual growth itself. Only collaborative thinking about the core of the situation can lead society towards a better tomorrow.

Moreover, feedback loops are an integral part of the conflict resolver. We can come to an outcome, but what will be the use of that solution if it is not leading the world towards a better tomorrow?

People should learn the art of getting along with each other and with the environment. 

Earth is full of resources of its own. It is us who need to understand that plants can steer themselves. We are not supreme in ecological balance. 

“We are the species that is learning to get along with the earth and its resources. We are not leading the system in any way.”

Dignity –Justice — Belonging

All people want stability in the present world. Most people either create conflicts or practice respecting social norms.

If we succeed in providing stability, it will be because of our commitment to show dignity to each other as people. If we can justly treat everyone with the dignity they deserve through the correct means, then half of the conflicts in the world would be resolved automatically.

By broadening our view of conflicts, we can bring change through a resolving pattern into any situation.

When asking questions about a certain situation, focus on the important aspects rather than taking a defensive posture. People must collaborate to bring about solutions by discussing what’s important in a collective collaborative way.

Imagination Is Key

For any difficult situation, if we ask the simple question: How do we solve this? We activate our engineer solving skills. Furthermore, if we are ready to investigate the bigger picture of a situation and stay optimistic for the outcome, then we can solve all kinds of major issues.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

No matter the circumstances, what matters is to imagine something big and positive as the outcome.

With all the progress in the technical world, the need of the present is to secure the ecology with sustainable development.

We should acknowledge what we have in the environment and take measures to secure our future acquiesces.

Collaboration with the environment and with other people’s thoughts is the only key that could bring positive change on a global level.

Bonding, respect, and trust will clear out the odds of conflicts and build better relationships among people.

Ken’s vision for more collaborative thinking society in 2045 is groundbreaking. It will be amazing if we are able to achieve his vision in the coming years. Check out the interview here:

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Society 2045’s Future Is Self Governance

Society 2045’s Future Is Self Governance

Society 2045’s Future Is Self Governance

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Today’s organizational model centered on command-and-controls is no longer working. It never worked for most people to begin with. The great resignation is a testament that people want more.

They want better relationships and want to be able to make an impact at work by having an active say in the direction of the business. 

People want to feel like they belong and that what they do has meaning. They also want to be compensated properly. Above all people want to be becoming, and this can only happen in a co-leadership environment.

“The days of do as I say or else, are over. Companies that don’t get this, will find themselves without employees, without a future.”

Many are already struggling retaining top talent because of leaders who are best described as dinosaurs, lacking emotional intelligence and the ability to empower people.

This past summer, Society 2045 had a series of interviews with change makers seeking to improve the way society works.

Society 2045 is a community of people from around the world seeking to co-discover a vision for the year 2045. The goal is to connect with leaders of emerging communities and movements across society and come together to co-create a better future.

In an interview with Ted Rau, we discussed his vision of 2045 and ways to make the world a better place by introducing self-governance through Sociocracy. Ted Rau is a sociocracy trainer, consultant, and coach. Ted is also co-author of the sociocracy handbook Many Voices, One Song and Who decides who decides? How to start a group so everyone can have a voice.

What Is Sociocracy?

Sociocracy, also called dynamic governance, is a system of governance which seeks to create psychologically safe environments and productive organizations. It is distinguished by the use of consent, rather than majority voting, in discussion and decision-making by people who have a shared objective or work process.

Sociocracy is a self-convergence system that has a peer approach to organizations. It is an unbiased platform for global meetings where you can enter with a single thought and go back with a bucket full of ideas that are easy to implement.

Ted explains sociocracy as a movement supporting different organizations. People from different organizations have different views and different aspects of the world. All organizations can come together and discuss their approaches to evolve as a single unit.

Sociocracy in Today’s World

Our world is standing on the edge of its resources. Humanity crisis, emotional unavailability, conflicts, and other negative thoughts keep increasing among people with the passing years.

Undoubtedly, many experts are joining their hands and forming different organizations that concern the earth’s present condition. They are all making continuous efforts to make the world a better place to live in.

These different groups of people also need a platform to collectively discuss their views and make strategies towards the targeted path. No single organization with a single approach can bring changes in the world until it collaborates with the same mindsets.

On a collective level, they have the power over people to change their faulty mindset, which is continuously harming an individual’s environment and emotional stability.

Sociocracy and the Individual

Sociocracy is self-governance. The motto is to help the individual understand social learning. To change their thinking towards being more positive. It aims to bring out people from a self-centered society and transform to think of themselves as a single collective unit.

It is really a difficult process to reach out to every individual globally. To simplify this system, sociocracy has begun to focus on small groups of people. By concentrating on the nuclear level, the organization itself is simplifying the complexity of the system. Fewer people at a time will become focused better over time. Their ideas and perspectives can be heard and understood well.

As an individual you can understand the need for change in a broader scale. Then they will be able to prove their point and spread awareness to the right crowd. Most people in society don’t like to be taken advantage of, so planting small seedlings for a better more self-governed future is the need of the present.

Sociocracy and Change

Ted is positive in his approach to sociocracy. According to him, first believing in the positive outcome is our need to bring the positive outcome.

Organizations are full of skillful people who are ready to travel the hard road to bring positive changes to society. His beliefs is that people in small groups that share the views will bring out the best outcomes in the world. For an individual, it will be difficult to face all the world’s challenges and still lead in the same direction. But acting in the form of organization and other small groups, the whole process becomes simplified to stay active towards the goal.

The core of any organization is people forming into groups. To challenge the present situations of the world, people and crowds must be in good shape to endure the lows and highs of society. Individual mental stability plays a great role in leading an organization or a group. Even if you are playing the part of a member, stability is a building block of the group structure.

On a collective level, different organizations, together with their different approaches, will bring about fast change in the world. Personal stability of people will join hands together with the group stability and thus shaping a new world with their ideas.

Ted’s vision for more self-governed society in 2045 is groundbreaking. It will be amazing if we are able to achieve his vision in the coming years. Check out the interview here:

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Society 2045 and the Art of Human Alignment

Society 2045 and the Art of Human Alignment

Society 2045 and the Art of Human Alignment

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

It is not a secret that we are living during a time in human history filled with many challenges. From the recent pandemic, global political unrest, the climate crisis, to lack of equitable economic conditions in various countries, we are facing difficult times.

Is it ever going to get better? Probably not without divine intervention, but we can try our best to do our part towards enabling a better society.

This past summer, Society 2045 had a series of interviews with change makers seeking to improve the way society works.

Society 2045 is a community of people from around the world seeking to co-discover a vision for the year 2045. The goal is to connect with leaders of emerging communities and movements across society and come together to co-create a better future.

In an interview with Stewart Levine, we discussed his vision of the year 2045 and ways to improve the world’s present condition. Stewart Levine is a lawyer and author who has been studying human interactions and effective communication for the last few decades.

According to Stewart, the world will get worse before getting better. The level of misunderstanding and conflicts will increase among the human species. With the changing world, the environment will also reach its edge. All these factors will make the world difficult to live in.

For all the problems, people will come up with one solution: fighting and verbal conflicts. They will not think of any other alternatives until the pain becomes unbearable.

One of my mentors used to say, “When the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain to change, that’s when people change.”

Continuing on the course we are on, as a species it will cost us productivity, emotional well-being, and other mental distress. The cost of conflict will become the wake-up call for people to search for an alternative solution.

Solutions

Stewart, through his research, understands the need for a human-to-human empathetic relationships to better the world. He knows the essence of unity and power in humanity. When all the resources are on their edge, the world will face a major crisis. Alternatively, a better understanding of the situation and humans caring for each other will take the world to new heights.

Positive collaborations are the need and solution for the upcoming and present era. Opening to the influence of other beliefs and listening to their perspectives will enable a significant step towards positive collaboration.

Stewart is inspired by his father’s ethics and follows his saying wholeheartedly that “If you are not learning, you are not alive”. He has also taught the art of human alignment in his books, which directly leads to better actions towards any situation.

Being an author and lawyer, Stewart has come across many influential and visionary people. All of them have inspired him in a way that would make him think apart from money and conflicts.

He is the inspiration of many because of his influential thoughts and steps taken for a better world.

“We all collectively need to be prepared to take a step forward towards a better future.”

It Takes a Village

According to Stewart, all the un-concentrated industries with narrow approach, all the activities that lead to environmental disbalances, all the little television commercial are distracting people from the core understanding of humanity.

Everyone is using resources for ruling the present world in the now. Most are not taking the holistic scientific approach for preserving the environment for future generations.

Organizations need to get ready to bring positive change into society. Whether it is dealing with racism, saving resources for the future world, organizations need to stand together with a better vision for society, and do their part as a collective.

Moving Forward

Stewart is ready to accept the challenge of contributing as much as possible to build a safe and harmonious future world.

Through his e-learning programs based on his books and his collaboration skills, he brings society together with a single vision. People will be ready to listen and learn new facts. They will jointly work on better approaches to living without conflicts.

He has started different help groups to figure out and manifest the vision of this future society. He is building leaders for the world with human alignment, who will stand further with a single vision of making the world a better place to live in.

He is teaching the art of letting go to avoid conflicts between people to live free from any pressure of outcomes. These are just some of the efforts that together can bring lots of significant changes in society.

“For us to experience more harmony we need to seek human alignment instead of conflict and do more listening to each other with empathy and love.”

Stewart’s vision for more human alignment for society in 2045 is groundbreaking. It will be amazing if we are able to achieve his vision in the coming years. Check out the interview here:

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Society 2045 Conscious Contracts™ for Better Relationships

Society 2045 Conscious Contracts™ for Better Relationships

Society 2045 Conscious Contracts™ for Better Relationships

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

In the business world developing trust and building relationships is key to creating a great workplace environment.

However, most humans rely on a piece of paper for building relationships.

You might be saying to yourself that a relationship isn’t built on a piece of paper, and you would be correct. But what is a contract? Is it not a formalized relationship?

“Everything we do in business is about people. Every organization is in the people-to-people business.”

This past summer, Society 2045 had a series of interviews with change makers seeking to improve the way society works.

Society 2045 is a community of people from around the world seeking to co-discover a vision for the year 2045. The goal is to connect with leaders of emerging communities and movements across society and come together to co-create a better future.

In an interview with Glenn Meier we talked about the future of the business world. Glenn is progressive lawyer and a Conscious Contracts practitioner.

It’s About Trust

Glenn Meier has been associated with different law movements of the business world, and he has experienced that the business communities can act as a “force for good movement” in society.

It can drive people-to-people relationships to a path where trust will be the driving force.

Today, on analyzing business scenarios, we find that partners believe in the proposals framed by lawyers rather than trusting the partners for resolving issues and forming agreements.

Most people need the “security” of the legal framework for handling any workplace disputes. Over 80% of people related to the business world agree that their biggest fear is “protection,” protection of their rights, their money, and even their ideas. For which they want a legal framework to be set up before any deal with anyone or any organization.

“At the end of the day, the purpose for legal agreements is to establish enforceable trust between people.”

Conscious Contracts™

The solution to the trust issue is much needed. Glenn practices Conscious Contacts in dealing with such issue.

We cannot completely eradicate the fear of security of people by just proposing an idea. The need for a legal contract is still there. We can at least add consciousness in contracts before taking disputes directly to court.

Conscious Contracts make people aware of their power to resolve minor disputes. The Conscious Contracts process leads both parties to sit and have an effective conversation over the topics being disputed before entering the courtroom. It governs the relationship between the parties in the most amicable way.

The benefit of collaborative talking is that trust does not simply rely on a piece of paper; rather, it leans on the people working together as a team, as trusted partners.

Humanizing Law

Trust is the basic element for building long-term relationships. Trust contains a lot of potential that redirect the company’s future towards a successful trajectory.

However, we need to understand that trust is not fixed. Both parties need constant engagement to retain the trust and formal connection. We cannot say I trust you, with no connection between the parties. It is a formal process that needs an ongoing relationship.

When it comes to business relationships, they are not much different that romantic love-based relationships. You need to work at it daily and proactively to sustain the trust and intimacy needed to thrive for the long haul.

Conscious Contracts give you the window that allows the breezes of air to sustain trust in the relationships. It leads the business world to an intentional and aware approach to relationships. You behold all the rights as an individual yet understand the power of humanity and togetherness in the system.

The Problem

Problems lie in the framework of the system. We all agree on the point that we need a change in the system. But we do not actively support to change it.

All the powerful people are sitting on the top and governing the system for their benefit. Yet, we are not in the position to raise a voice against it directly. They are limiting the effectiveness of collaboration by developing the fear of being left out.

Therefore, cancel culture is pervasive. It’s not about cooperation and collaboration. Cancel culture is about compliance and conformity.

Not only this, but our philosophical aspects are also getting affected by toxic scenarios. People are not ready to sit and listen to the other side of the story. Humanity has lost its way because of this.

The Solution

Together, we can actively join hands and take baby steps forward to deal with the present challenges of making society a better place to work.

“Consciously handling problems is the key to building trust in the workplace among people.”

Together we can make a change as a society for a better tomorrow, by being more consciously aware of each other’s differences, needs, aspirations, and human imperfections. When we do everything in life with consciousness, we remember that we are one human family. A loving family always takes care of each other.

Glenn’s vision for a more conscious society in 2045 is groundbreaking. It will be amazing if we are able to achieve his vision in the coming years. Check out the interview here:

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