I believe that all problem solvers, innovators, design thinkers need to develop a suite of practices that enable them to perform better as time progress. “Design Kata” offers such a suite of practices that would help any problem solver to move towards better contextual understanding of any situation he/she faces if not attain greater wisdom and keener insights.
As problem solvers and design thinkers we always take decisions. Our quality of decision making determines the quality of our performance in our field of work.
So, the first “design kata” that I recommend is to have a ‘decision making journal‘. Whenever, we take an important decision on some problem, it helps if we take care to write down in a journal what decision we took, how we arrived at those decisions and what is expected once the decisions are implemented.
We can also make note of how we felt physically and mentally while taking the decision.
Over time, a well kept journal, written in our own handwriting, would reveal patterns in our decision making style and process, which we can then modify and develop as desired for enhanced performance. And if need be we can then develop more patterns of thinking and practice them to see the outcomes they produce. In this manner both our repertoire of techniques and our confidence in our problem solving skill increase over time.
Such journals also help us keep a tab on the decisions we took for a specific problem. It would not only remind us to take a feedback of the effectiveness of implementing our proposed solutions but also record the benefits those solutions provided over a longer period of time. It helps us enhance our understanding of problems, improve our problem solving skills and increase the depth of our thinking.
Over the last 31 years my shelves are filled with more than 100 such journals that have kept track of my thinking process, styles, approaches I took to tackle thousands of problems in my field of application including my moods on specific days and how I felt during the process.
Looking back, I can clearly see at what point of time, my own signature style of solving problems emerged, which must be the goal of any problem solver or decision maker, i.e. to develop his/her own signature tune and learning over a period of time.
To my mind this is the number 1 Design kata a problem solver must initiate and practice.
How much do you agree on this?