If you are a student of “innovation” you’re probably familiar with the term Design Thinking. If you’re not familiar with the term here’s a link that can give you broad overview.
The actual process of design thinking is often attributed to IDEO, a product design company located in California. To make the story short, IDEO was doing a lot of business in designing products they were getting a lot of attention (the mouse for the first Mac computer among others). Nightline the news program did a very cool story on them and the unique process by which they designed their products. Many people we interested, and looked for ways to adapt IDEO’s product design process to tackling other non-design problems.
Over time, Tom Kelley and IDEO began to refer to it as Design Thinking instead of simply “design”. They realized that it has more to do with the way that you think about the problem and its solution than about the actual product. They also began to consult with many different companies on how to integrate this thought process into the common challenge of being innovative.
In general the concept is that our society has moved to very left brain thinking. Left brain thinking is characterized by analysis, logical, and linear thought processes. Right brain thinking is more creative, adaptable, and innovative. The goal is to use both the right and left brain thinking abilities.
For the church, this makes great sense. For hundreds of years the message of the gospel and the story of Christianity was represented through art, creativity and the narrative. It is a recent trend that we have focused so much on the logical and scientific aspects of the faith. In denying our creativity we have denied a large part of who God created us to be. At the same time – simply being creative, without understanding the rational and logical truths of the faith- is also denying a large part of who we are. It is when those two parts are brought together that we can most resemble the functioning body of Christ.
Over the next few posts I’ll be going into more detail about Design Thinking as a process and how it can benefit the church. It is one of the core processes that we use at 218Consulting when we help churches overcome the obstacles they face.