Design Thinking – Day 4

By: Paula Hollohan

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” – Golda Meir

Well, after 4 solid days of Design Thinking workshops, while I agree with the sentiment of this quote, I feel we are still governed by the time allotted to us by the set timetable.

But we did make one noticeable change that helped us all relax and enjoy the workshop so much more. As yesterday evolved and we started the first of the two elementary workshops today, we took the pressure off the students.  They don’t know it but we did.  That’s the great thing about 25 new students in each iteration, they don’t know what they are missing or what they have gained.

Tammy mentioned it right after the first workshop today.  “I like it more when we don’t say, you have 4 minutes to complete this task!!!!” And I agreed.  Saying to the students, “we are gong to give you a few minutes to discuss this part with your table group,” helps focus them but doesn’t pressure them with a deadline.  And it worked.  We looked for when the conversation started to lag or the writing and drawing started to slow down and we moved on from there.  Most impressive was the fact that, even though we had timed it to the minute on our outlines, when we left it to students to pace the discussion, we came in on time in both sessions.

Two things might be at play.  We have done the workshop ten times now so our pacing will naturally become easier to fit within the 80 minutes we are working with but, and I still think of this as magic, students are suitably engaged to have short, deep conversations and move through the process in the time limit given.

We are tired but in a good way.  We have walked about 200 students through the steps of Design Thinking.  We have 8 more workshops next week so stay tuned…

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