"There is no greater power on this earth than story.” ― Libba Bray

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Design Thinking in Action

Eddy was left in a dumpster to die when he was a baby. This family adopted him and now he enriches their lives more than anyone could have predicted. 

Design Thinking in Action

In higher ed it is never easy to make a quick change. That’s why I was asked to facilitate the creative process with design thinking for various projects.


Project: SOAR Initiative
Medium: Facilitation
Time Frame: 1 hour

The Brief: Rename “Innovate and Elevate” - an initiative to incorporate soft skills into the Gen Ed core at Northwest Florida State College to something more easily recognizable to it’s purpose.

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I had a blast leading a diverse set of faculty and staff to help find a new name for their initiative. I designed our gathering around steps comprised of essential tools from the design thinking mindset:

  1. We became aligned with the desired outcome and the context of the project.

  2. Diverge: I handed out sharpies and sticky notes and gave the group 2 minutes to write down as many physical manifestations of what ‘soft skills’ look like. This helped align the groups perceptions of soft skills, and wiggled our brains free from possible ruts.

  3. Converge: We took these sticky notes and together organized them according to theme and priority. This gave us insight into what most people probably thought about when they considered ‘soft skills’.

  4. Diverge: I directed the group write on sticky notes as many initiative names they could think of that were not affiliated with higher education. This stretched our minds to consider alternative options to ones regularly seen in Higher Education and draw inspiration from them.

  5. Converge: We went around the table and shared our examples and why they stuck out to us.

  6. Diverge: Finally they were instructed to write down as many new names for the initiative as they could.

  7. Converge: We put all the names on the board and each person got three votes. The 4 names with the most votes were submitted as recommend name changes.

The participants love the session and leadership of the initiative were very pleased with the options given. All in all, it was a success!

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Project: NWF Online
Medium: Video
Time Frame: 1 Month

The Brief: Create a brand video that introduces NWF State College’s new online program.

The Challenge: The unique challenge that we faced in this project was not having a clear understanding of the right creative direction. I used the prototyping mindset from my design thinking toolkit to create basic story lines where we could easily get a feel for several options, without having to dedicated significant resources to production.

Below are notes and stickies from brainstorming sessions held around trying to find the right direction. We eventually settled on three possible options that are shown in the following picture.

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Once we showed these prototypes in our meeting we knew we needed to go in a different direction because none of them were what our leadership was looking for. This saved us thousands of dollars and major headaches.

We eventually settled on the video below that was met with much fanfare: