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Design for yourself

I did't train as an engineer or anthropologist —two of the more common pathways into design thinking. In fact, I found the language and tools of design after I was well into my career in healthcare.

I'm aware I'm not a seasoned designer, but not always sure I know what I don't know...I am, as Noel Burch would say, consciously incompetent.

Lately, I've been working on my relocation to DC. I've had to sort through finding a place in a city I don't know as well as I thought I did. And then there are all the moving pieces (pun marginally intended) of orchestrating a move.

Then it occurred to me: be your own design subject. I re-approached the entire process by first interviewing myself. I asked myself questions like:  selfwhat kind of place do you want? What should it be near? What do you dislike about your current place?  I made post-its with my must haves, wants and dislikes. Those post-its turn into trial runs of hotel nights in various neighborhoods to practice commutes and check out restaurants; in other words, prototypes.

This weekend, I applied the same process to coordinating everything about the move.

The lesson for me, and perhaps other designers: take time to design for yourself.

Listen: The Recipe for Success? Fail a Lot

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab via Innovation Hub | Great Minds, Great Conversations | The Recipe for Success? Fail a Lot.


The cost of failure has gone down...the cost of sitting around and trying to decide to do something or not is higher than the cost of just trying something... Failures are the best was to learn fast.

We can play with reality cheaper than theories... Don't let the lack of theory stop you. I'd much rather have something work in practice and not in theory, rather than in theory and not in practice.


Listen here:

From Elsewhere: Make your users your addiction

In healthcare we call them patients, or caregivers, or staff, or doctors, or nurses, or managers, or payers...and they should be our addiction.

If I were to offer any advice to those seeking to apply design thinking to their work, it would be this: Don’t wait for your users to come to you; go find them. Make them your addiction and the source of the energy behind your work.

via the whiteboard | Make your users your addiction.

From Elsewhere: Insourcing Health Care Innovation — NEJM

Best argument I've seen for the creation of internal, embedded innovation centers to promote design-thinking as a culture in health systems. Insourcing Health Care Innovation — NEJM.

Insourcing Health Care Innovation — NEJM


Many health care profession- als find it irritating when management gurus recommend solving health care’s problems with approaches they would “copy and paste” from unrelated industries ...


...Health care is not a single problem but thousands of problems, and rather than seeking a solution derived from other fields, we’d do better to find a solution process to use from within.... 


...Forward-thinking health systems understand the obligation to improve value. Health care can benefit from outside perspectives in this endeavor, but clinicians have the requisite drive, experience, and context to be productive innovators. If we adapt and internalize proven innovation principles from other fields, much effective innovation can come from within.