Recently, I spent 6 months in Paris. When you are walking on the streets of Paris and trying to go somewhere, you often have only a sense of orientation. You may even lose that sense of orientation off and on. But you keep moving. And then you suddenly get a glimpse of a famous monument or the Seine or a well-known boulevard or something you are familiar with. Once again, you become aware of which direction you should be heading. “3 blocks down South and 2 blocks East”, doesn’t work for Paris!
I think what you experience on the streets of Paris holds true for design thinking too. When you are working on a complex problem, you only have a vague sense of direction. But you keep moving and keep trying out things. At times, you come to those vexing roundabouts of several possibilities. On those occasions, you use your best judgement to pursue a certain possibility. You are also faced with incomplete information and/or ambiguous data, but you once again use your best judgement to move ahead. Sometimes you can come up with an explanation for, why you did what you did. On other occasions, you just have to say, what Blaise Pascal said – “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing!” Continue reading