Fall in love with the customer problem, not the solution.

The concept of human-centered design, or design thinking, has been demonstrated over decades at the nation’s top universities, major consulting groups, large corporations and billion-dollar unicorn startups like Etsy, Pinterest and Airbnb.

Anchored in principled entrepreneurship and driven by mutual benefit, human-centered design provides a creative approach to problem solving that puts people at the center of every step. Its three inherent components include empathy, creativity and action.

Empathy for Insightful Learning

Empathy is the human ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This means going beyond what is initially communicated.

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Often, this requires a deeper dive to discover a customer’s true desires beyond what they initially articulate. Understanding a customer’s environment, stakeholders and frustrations helps to gain well-founded insights, empathize with their struggles and fight to tell their story in a way that creates new and better outcomes. We strive to “fall in love” with their problem.

Creativity — It’s a Mindset

By falling in love with a problem and not a specific solution, we remain open and receptive to new possibilities.

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A creative mindset helps us explore new ways of doing things and generate inspiring ideas. This is not business as usual — it often entails challenging the assumptions we’ve become accustomed to and embracing curiosity, optimism and ambiguity. This shift in mindset is critical to providing fresh perspective and new things to react to, and it requires a conducive environment that includes encouraging leaders and curious employees.

Action Towards Discovery

Knowledge is only useful when it’s applied. Once knowledge is gained, it's time to take action.

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The concept of progress over perfection is encouraged to accelerate momentum and avoid stagnation or fixation.

Action is the idea of leaning-in even when you don’t have the perfect plan. It involves experimenting, learning and sharing results to drive progress. To make it real, prototypes are built that inspire in compelling ways, but we only build what we need to learn. To learn, the prototypes are tested through rapid experimental discovery by running numerous “right sized” experiments that drive knowledge and reduce risk. Acting with urgency requires an entrepreneurial approach — the ability to think creatively and move without delay is imperative when time is limited and resources are finite.

Taking action means asking, learning and constantly iterating. With our vision of continual and perpetual transformation, this approach and our behavior truly will never end. Everything is a prototype.

Continually improve & perpetually transform


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