Who? — me, a “designer” — are you crazy?

Design for those of you who think you might not be a designer

We believe everyone is a designer sometime in their life…how are you a designer?

This elaboration is for those of you who lead or want to facilitate ‘change-work’ processes; interested in engaging others around innovation and new ‘possibilities’ – building upon what’s already working AND ways to get even more of it.

Our Assumptions:

  • Everyone designs in life — especially “their” life
  • Life happens by default or by design
  • Every choice is an intentional choice—a design capacity process
  • Responses can be adaptive or reactive
  • Reality is examined for “what is” and “what could be”

In our experience, everyone is a designer – at the least, in their own life and how it unfolds. You might have your own assumptions around what “design” means for you. For us, design involves ‘making choices’ about how to best respond to challenges and the unexpected; along with how to assess and determine the best actions to take AND not to take.

Sometimes it seems that someone is not making any choice – and THAT is a choice that comes with its own unique consequences. The best choices involve identifying the ‘criteria’ one will use to determine when and how a choice will be made AND, then, use that criteria to assess the degree to which a desired outcome was achieved or not. Using designing criteria allows for reviewing what works and what doesn’t work over time. When groups of individuals or teams utilize the same criteria, whatever they design can be reviewed more effectively and efficiently as well as being fair to all involved.

Design creates the intentional “flow” of how a group of people, small team to large-scale organization and community, reflects and considers what is important now (in current reality), examining all the diverse perspectives and mutually determining what needs to be in the future. Every day human beings are “designing” their lives as they best are able, and these responses can be either adaptive (opening up new and better ways) or reactive (getting more of the same old, same old or worse). So, no matter what degree of awareness you might have, you ARE a designer of your life – by default or by design…and you get to choose!

As leaders, how do we use the notion of design to lead?

  • Design is set in intention—what is it we wish to accomplish?
  • Where do we hope to land in this discussion?
  • How do we move from here to there?
  • What do we want and need to learn along the way?

You might ask yourself:

What have “I” changed in my life that I thought wouldn’t be possible for me to change…and, yet, I did make that change?