Two mindsets every designer and researcher should embrace

“We’re gonna go out on a limb here and say it: design research isn’t about finding proof — it’s about finding inspiration.”

” Good design research is proactive, not reactive. It shouldn’t focus solely on usability or validating the one idea, but instead on exploring the full range of possibilities to land on the best idea.”

“Always seek a way to be holistic and strategic. Gracefully redirect and realign the conversation. Dance between the who, what, why, and how. Have an open-minded skepticism about what is and what could be in the world. And strive to understand the problem before there’s even the first idea on the table.”

Team culture

Charles O’Reilly of Stanford GSB came for a workshop and gave us a simple exercise: “Here you all are, VMware’s best and brightest. You’ve built this incredibly successful company, what an achievement! Now, imagine I’m a new hire, a protégé of yours, and I show up in your office on my first day of work, and I ask you ‘So what should I do to get ahead at VMware? What makes people successful here? What made you successful?’”

If you try the Charles O’Reilly exercise on your teammates, like VMware’s execs, you’ll probably find some discrepancies between the culture you have and the culture you want.