Let’s dive right into it! Shall we? Well, before I take you through my journey, first thing first one of my modules this year is called “Design Thinking For Start-ups”. Quite frankly, when I read the module descriptions and assessments I was quite apprehensive, and may I dare to say that I was terrified? Simply because of the tasks that we will be doing this year, I feared that I would not be able to accomplish what was required of me. I started questioning myself about whether I could challenge further a little of creativity I had. As we slowly moved on every week, the tasks that made my blood pressure rise out of fear were becoming clearer, it was become extremely interesting and fun.
During those moments of doubts, I thought perhaps if I saw or read from other students it would help ease my worries. I watched the video “Kingston University – MACE“and I could see the passion from former students, their accomplishments and how highly they spoke of the module and it got me even more worried. I then decided to take a different route and read as much as I could on the subject because after all my definition of creativity and innovation were probably fictional, incorrect or perhaps other people shared the same vision.I read three books: the first book I read was “The Art of Innovation” by Tom Kelly, the second was “Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All” by David Kelley and the last one “The Ten Faces of Innovation: Strategies for Heightening Creativity” by Tom Kelley.
One could say that I was obsessed with the “Kelley” brothers but for me I just wanted something insightful that would give me the courage to break out of that state of mind. Furthermore, I think I was more curious and I wanted to know how successful people were able to translate their wild imagination into strategies, innovations or what were their secrets if they had any. I remember reading the first pages of “The Art of Innovation”, though very simple and clear I was still not sure about how I’ll express my creativity. I asked myself is Tom Kelly right when he says that everyone can be creative? I grew up thinking that you are either born creative or you are simply not. I have always known that I possessed some creativity in me but the challenge has always been not to be able to construct ideas around them. All three books proved that even the most creative person struggles with that problem. Not being able to say or put into words the ideas or even simple drawings you have got in your head was not a problem that only me struggle with but many other people too.
Tom Kelley touched on how his teams conduct their research: examining it from the customers’ perspective. His problem solving method consists of observing the behaviours of the people who will be using the service or the product then brainstorming with with focus on tangible results. He put great emphasis on quickly prototyping ideas and designing at every step of the way but also advices not to be opposed to the idea of finding solutions from other areas. Had I read this book four years ago I would have rolled my eyes and said there is not a chance that a very successful entrepreneur/innovator praises failures. I am excited to reflect on this module once at the finish line, I am excited to both succeed and experience set backs but most importantly to grow as a class or as individuals.