I recently had the honor to sit down with HR leader Daniel Vallejos and discuss how design thinking can be applied to HR, the importance of community, and the story behind why I created the hr.hackathon alliance.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Here are a few key insights from the podcast and associated 1 minute exercises I created for you:
WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE SUPERPOWER?
I talk about the path that shaped my creative superpower of “connecting the dots”. Everyone has a creative superpower – even HR pros!
1 Minute Exercise: Reflect on what your creative superpower might be and how this strength came about.
EVERYONE IS A DESIGNER
Everyone can be a designer. You re-decorating your living room is designing. Experimenting with a new recipe is designing. Creating a piece of art is designing.
1 Minute Exercise: Think about all areas of your life: work, family, hobbies, etc. and come up with a list of 3 areas where you are a designer. Now, reflect on how you might apply that creativity to what you do in HR.
DESIGN THINKING WILL BE A CRITICAL FUTURE SKILL
According to the World Economic Forum, skill needs in complex problem solving, ideation, and collaboration will increase. These skills are uniquely human and will remain our competitive advantage over robots in the foreseeable future.
1 Minute Exercise: Brainstorm 5 ideas for how you might upskill yourself in design thinking.
DESIGN THINKING STARTS WITH A CURIOSITY MINDSET
The first step in the design thinking process - gathering insights - is often skipped in our fast-paced, action-oriented business environment. This can lead to ill-designed or biased solutions.
1 Minute Exercise: Think of a current HR project you are working on. What might be additional insights you would want to gather and how will you do so?
HOW TO PROTOTYPE AN EXPERIENCE
A prototype is a life-like façade of your future-state service or experience that your users can interact with. It’s more than just providing feedback to a slide deck. An experience prototype might include a storyboard and scripted role play. [Note: View an example of a new hire’s first day experience prototype video here.]
1 Minute Exercise: Think about how you might have prototyped an HR program or service that you recently launched. How might prototyping have affected user acceptance and quality of your final design?
THIS IS A TIME TO BE COURAGEOUS IN HR
One of the lenses we apply in design thinking is asking ourselves: “Is it ethical?” In the era of #MeToo and other movements that fundamentally challenge our role as HR leaders it’s time to be courageous and re-design our HR processes and programs from a truly human-centered perspective.
1 Minute Exercise: Think about all of your HR programs. Identify those that merit a review based on your assessment of whether they are truly employee-centered.
FIND YOUR CREATIVE HR COMMUNITY
It’s not easy to learn new skills, mindsets, and habits on your own. You want to find a supportive peer community of other innovative HR practitioners. Obviously, I am partial to thinking that DisruptHR Chicago and hr.hackathon alliance are these communities…
1 Minute Exercise: Post on your social network of choice to get insights on where your network is getting inspiration from. Jot down the 3-5 communities that resonate and make a plan to check them out.
We are all about working out loud here at the hr.hackathon alliance. By sharing and evolving ideas from our events we get better as a profession.
1 Minute Exercise: Check out hr.hackathon ideas that were generated on employee engagement, diversity recruiting, flexible work, and first time manager support. Pick the one that resonates the most and experiment with it in your organization. [Note: We’d love it if you shared your experience with the hr.hachathon community by submitting your story.]
Experimenting with design thinking does not have to be this huge project or time suck. You can start by incorporating a few methods in some of your everyday practices, e.g. how you conduct meetings.
1 Minute Exercise: Think of an everyday practice at work that might benefit from a bit of design thinking magic. Then, try a few insights, ideation, or prototyping techniques and observe what happens.
I hope you found these little exercise helpful in getting started on your design thinking journey. I would love it if you said hi on LinkedIn and shared what you learn along the way.