On Being a Design Thinker – Part 2

In the last post, we covered the bare basics of Design Thinking – the People and Spaces respectively. In this post, let us see the steps involved in Design Thinking.

Before i start, allow me to break both the basic rules of Design Thinking – People and Spaces. As far as people are concerned, it is going to be just ME. I am the team here. So do I have a T-Shaped personality? I guess not. My interests vary from Social media, General Trivia, Supply Chain, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, General Management, Entrepreneurship – everything except maybe HR and Finance. I am trying to develop my career in what seems to be a combination of Supply Chain Management and Business Development. So at present, I would describe myself as someone whose expertise fits this image
Career Graph

– not exactly the conventional T Shaped expert you would expect.

As for spaces, i am too lazy to invest in buying boards and Post-it notes So i have decided to use Trello, an organizer of sorts. You will see later how i have used them.

To start with, lets define a problem statement for myself:

“How do I make sure, that I see an idea to completion?”

The funda behind this is that I usually get quite a few good ideas, put pen to paper but do not see it to completion. I get distracted midway and the idea goes into cold storage. I plan to use Design Thinking to help me get over this problem. <Post writing this blog post, i intend to put the insights gained here to practice>

Design Thinking is a six step process: Steps in Design thinking


In this stage, one understands the problem statements, does research about the problem at hand, speak to experts and get a thorough background knowledge of the problem. For the problem at hand, I do not have much research material.  I am not suffering from lack of motivation because of burn-out. Nor am i just giving up on things because i have tried my best. My problem was something more similar to what writers generally face – stopping midway after writing a few pages– but not exactly.  My problem can be defined as a mix of procrastination plus losing steam owing to laziness. A complicated, yet real world problem 😀 This post itself has been in the making since 13’th December, when the first installment came out.  I finally was able to crystallize this post on 25th December, but I have decided to split it into one more part, so as to enable myself to give a comfortable excuse.


This is the observation phase in the Design Thinking process. You ask questions to people, observe the processes, make sense of what we see and empathize. For my problem, let me list my observations on what happens when  I try to do something and lose interest midway.

  • I usually get ideas and i want to jot them down but don’t
  • I have a laptop in front of me, but i spend more time reading than writing
  • Blame the Instant Gratification monkey
  • I might get to jotting down the ideas, but the gap between two subsequent sittings for the same idea is days apart
  • Some other idea captures the fancy of the Instant Gratification monkey and the rational decision maker, thus putting this one into the back-burner
  • I start working on office related stuff for longer hours than usual
  • The brain craves for entertainment – working on my ideas doesn’t sound entertaining enough

An important sub step in the Observe phase is to research. If you were an individual, i would give it a good few days and read voraciously on topics that can even laterally relate to this topic. For my current malady, i was struck by two seemingly unrelated videos:


This gave me an important insight, which is,  I need Dope. I mean Dopamine. Everything you love doing, stimulates this chemical in the brain. So i guess i will use this thought somehow when i go to the “Ideate” stage.

Another insight that hit me hard was about how a having a daily routine gives you inspiration. It improves your creativity.  That and the fact that I do not need 10,000 hours to actually become good at something. All these things didn’t exactly solve my problem, but gave me good understanding of the root cause behind my problem.

Does anyone else have a similar problem? Do you have any of your observations to add?

I shall continue the other stages in the next post.


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