January is notoriously the busiest season for divorce. Perhaps the holiday represented a failed, last-ditch reconciliation between you and your spouse or maybe it was the last hurdle to overcome for the ‘kids’ sakes’ before moving forward with a divorce. Whatever the reason, the number of divorces across the nation spike after the holidays and, after the split is finalized, many are left wondering where to go from there.
That is where the opportunity of ‘Developing a Whole New You’ kicks in. Using a strategy called “design thinking” you may be able to turn things around. Using this strategy, numerous entrepreneurs and engineers have successfully developed new ventures with positive effect. If this modus operandi works for them, some wonder if the rest of us can transform our lives by using designed thinking to develop beneficial habits.
A prominent Stanford engineer professor believes that design thinking can help everyone form the kind of life-long habits that solve problems, achieve goals and make our lives better. A win-win formula, especially for those emerging from the rigors of divorce.
To get started, design thinkers focus on five steps that include identifying real issues that need to be solved, defining the problem, brainstorming possible solutions, creating a game plan and testing the idea. At the heart of design thinking is reframing a problem to make it easier to solve.
Lets see this in action in an example of someone who wants to find a “new” life partner following divorce. The problem to solve is “finding the new Mr. or Mrs. Right”, right?. Next, define “what would finding a partner or spouse do for me?” One answer might be that it would bring you companionship. Given that, the next step is to reframe the problem: “How can I find companionship?” There are more and easier answers to the new question — you can meet friends online, take classes, join a club, get a pet and spend time at the dog park – on and on. “Finding a new partner” becomes simply a way to “find companionship”. By changing the question, you alter your point of view, dramatically expanding the number of possible solutions.
The bottom line according to our Stanford engineer is that,”If you have tried something and it hasn’t worked, then you are working on the wrong problem”. (A ‘eureka!’ moment?…) If you’re curious how designed thinking works from tackling weight loss to solving irrigation problems in Myanmar, read the full New York Times article here.
Source: New York Times, “Design Thinking’ for a Better You”, By Tara Parker-Pope, January 4, 2016