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Sharing some Design Thinking thoughts

I was preparing in the last hours for the Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation Workshop that I will have with my group this evening and decided to share some thoughts before leaving home. I am not an expert in writing blogs as some SCN members, it always takes a long time for me to write the first sentence..but somehow this DT with SAP Place (Space) has been making me feel more comfortable to write…Today I just had the idea and started it.

I will be the Weekly Leader of the Workshop this week, so I need to be prepared to lead the discussions and activities. Each week we have one member who is the leader, other is the enthusiast, and other is the nagger:

  • Weekly Leader: responsible for keeping everything organized and leading the team
  • Enthusiast:  inspiring the team with big dreams
  • Nagger: making sure things keep moving forward

As we are a group of 4, the 4th one is responsible for selecting the wine 🙂 . A glass of wine helps to open our minds…

One of the things the Human-Centered Design training teaches is that “it’s important to embrance your ‘begginer’s mind’ to approach problems as novice even when you already know a lot about them. Your begginer’s mind is eager to learn and willing to experiment.” This sentence can be linked to SCN blog Listening for the solution where I wrote a comment using another sentence I learned.

Because of this training I have been reading a lot about Human-Centered Design and have been checking the Design Thinking at SAP space very often, looking for more information, different perspectives and to meet new people that are also interested in this subject. Suddenly today I started to feel some nostalgia. In Portuguese I would say: “Saudade” instead of nostalgia, because it defines more truly the feeling, but we don’t have this word in English. SAP TechEd is close and it always brings me the memories of my first contact with Design Thinking during TechEd Madrid 2011 and the enjoyable moments I had with my group during that workshop. I felt “Saudade” of our conversation and a strong need to read again the blogs by Otto Gold describing the workshop, his point of view about the theme and the event, and our experience. In case you haven’t read his blogs, these are the links:

Unfortunately I haven’t met some of the members of my first DT group after that TechEd and did not hear if they had a chance to practice Design Thinking in their daily lives, private or professional, or if they continued searching for more information.

After 2 years I would really like to know what happened to each of them and also to the other members who were in that workshop or in any other event or training, what they learned and how it changed their lives, if so. I can say that it opened my mind, showed me the importance of being multidisciplinary, taught me the benefits of seeing the problems with the user’s eyes when looking for a solution, helped me to meet fantastic people, start new friendships and see things in a different perspective.

If there is a place to share experiences, thoughts and feelings about Design Thinking in the SAP world, the place is here.

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  • Hi Raquel,

    It is truly a joy to read your blogs. Thanks so much sharing your DT journey and thoughts.  I am also very much curious to abut other people's journey and thoughts.

    The Human-Centered Design class sound fabulous. I love it that you are asked to provide and keep a framework by assigning team member roles to ensure you have the space to explore, keep the beginners senses but also move forward to not get stuck. And the rotation of the roles.

    One of my fav tools to keep multiple perspectives in an ideation is De Bono 6 thinking hats

    This is one thing I keep learning, it's crucial to provide such a framework and encourage a mindset that allows a team to explore, work from understanding a problem to creating a solution. And very important, allow and provide space for the more quiet and introverted people to participate.

    I also keep realizing one size does not fit all, there are many different cultures and an approach to innovation should not be dogmatic and depending on the situtation (culture) at hand it needs adaptation. Every (team) cuture has different strenght and it's good to have a tool box to draw from to provide a good facilitation.

    It should be obvous and a given, but what helps me in tense if not conflict situations is to remind myself "pause. everybody wants to add value. so lets pause and  understand what's the passion behind".

    Looking forward to read and hear about the journeys. 



    • Hi Heike,

      you can't imagine how nice it is to hear these words coming from you, as you were my first DT mentor. Thank you for inspiring me.

      Also thanks for the link to the Six Thinking Hats book, it's the first time I see it. I saw there are some videos on internet about this method of thinking and also some Edward de Bono's speeches. It's very interesting. In one of his speeches he talks about Fixed Positions x Perceptions, and mentions a word he invented: "Ebne: Excellent but not enough". 🙂

      In our training we are using the HCD toolkit from IDEO.

      Best regards,


  • Hi Raquel,

    we talked on the phone just some days ago, that was cool. But I haven't heard from or seen the others. I have Roel and Tom on Facebook, so I do have a link to them, but not to the others. I would like to know how they are, what they're doing.

    I can pefectly understand this feeling of yours, I "suffer" from it time to time as well. It was an evening to remember indeed. It is even worse because I can't go to TechEd this year so there is zero chance to experience the magic again. You must keep me posted if you're lucky again.

    Cheers Otto

  • Hi Raquel!

      Great to see your experience with DT, because it's something that's catching much of my attention now.

      I'll take a look on De Bono's stuff too, I think it's great!

      Today I bought the new book from Kelley brothers on Amazon, it´s called "Creative Confidence" and from reading the preface and the reviews I think it will be a great addition to the DT library.


  • Hi Raquel,

    Good Day!

    Who told you dont know to write blogs. You become expert now.

    I liked the sentence very much he he he "A glass of wine helps to open our minds..."

    Keep sharing and motivate us! 🙂


    Hari Suseelan