Have you heard of Design Thinking? Perhaps you heard of it at work or when reading about another company. I was recently speaking with a family member of mine over the phone, and they introduced this topic to me and how well it is working in their family life as well as at work. I thought, "How cool and interesting that is to take a brainstorming resource from a work environment and use it at home in your family life. Genius!"
 
Design thinking is a problem-solving process. At a high level, the steps are: understand the problem, explore possible solutions, test and refine, and implement. It is necessary to set your preconceived ideas aside, understand others' needs, and work together using creative brainstorming. 
 
Here is an example that we talked about on the phone. The weekend is coming up, and as parents you have, errands to run, chores around the house, and you want to go out to dinner. The kids have school projects to complete, sports games to attend, household chores, and friends they want to see. Plus, you want to add in a family hike and everyone cooking dinner together one night. So you make an extensive list of everything that must be done and everything else you want to do. Everyone gets a chance to add anything and everything they want to do during the weekend. 
 
Now you begin to develop different solutions, such as different schedules for the weekend that could or could not work. Everyone has by in, and everyone is participating. You can loop through the list a few times, testing what days and times might work well.
 
Once you come up with the best possible weekend schedule that works for everyone in the family, you can implement it. Viola, you now have weekend plans that cover everyone's wants and needs, and the entire family is on the same page and ready to accomplish their goal and have some fun! 
 
For more detailed information on Design Thinking click HERE.

Photo generated from MIT Sloan School article on Design Thinking