Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea (Mercury)

The logic we use to understand the world as it is can hinder us when we seek to understand the world as it could be . Anyone who comes up with new ideas for a living will recognize the challenges this truism presents. It means that to get organizational support for something new, the designer needs to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as to the new idea itself. The Normal Way of Generating Commitment… Normally, we commit to an idea when we are rationally compelled by the logic of the idea and we feel emotionally comfortable with it. In the modern world, we focus disproportionately on the logic, assuming that the feelings will naturally follow. Analysis has become the primary tool in this regard. A logically plausible proposition, combined with supporting data, is presented to produce a cognitive “sense of proof.” Hence the modern equation is: logic plus data provides proof, which generates emotional comfort, which leads directly to commitment. The tricky thing about new ideas is that there is no data yet to analyze – otherwise the idea wouldn’t actually be new. The absence of data undermines our modern commitment equation. For a new idea, the equation is likely to be: logic without data produces speculation, which results in emotional discomfort. …And Its Consequence: an Over-Commitment to Exploitation over Exploration No wonder so many new ideas are dismissed out of hand. Our training and experience tell us logically that ideas without data […]

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