Design Thinking is a team sport, this is very true if you look at sports teams and compare there way of working with teams working in design thinking. Many factors and characteristics are the similar. A team consists of different individual characters and personalities combined in a specific way to support each other to work in the most efficient way.
Who is in the team?
Who should be in the design thinking team? In general everyone can be part in the team. But lets have a look on the general rules when forming a design thinking team to solve a certain challenge. First a captain is required. Someone who will speak for the team and lead the process. Not a typical team leader as there is no hierarchy in our teams. Later we will have a coach to support in the work flows and steps. The team will find the best working concept.
The major rule is to look for people who are interested and want to join this very different way of working. You should not force someone to join this is not what we want to have as we need some free minds and people who enjoy what they do. So just bring the people who want to do something together and you will be surprised how they will form themselves as a working team.
The last one you need is a coach for methods and processes. Now form your team.
Now compare to the sports team
Where are the similarities? So lets take our sports team. We have different team members for offensive and defensive work, specialized supporter, a coach or leader and we have the trainer for gameplay and strategy. I think you can see the similarities already.
So lets start:
We have the team, consisting of different players. Everyone wants to play but they all have different skills and backgrounds. Some of the are good in offensive thinking, some in diffensive thinking and some have very special knowledge. So you bring them together in your team. But you need to organize them now. Clarify the targets and challenges. Where are the strengths and benefits. So you are the coach now. forming the team and leading them into the process. But now you need someone who tells you the rules and methods on how to play in the most effective way. A method trainer is required. This person will show you how to play and will plan the strategy for the game. And at last we introduced some players with special abilities. Where are these people in our design team.
Sometimes you and your team will get into situations where these abilities are necessary. Knowledge about business, software or products. You will bring them in the team if you need and let them go back if not required any more. These are our supporters.
So your team is formed and the match is planed. Go ahead and enjoy the challenge. You will see how everyone will give his or her very special input into the challenge.
Lets go. Kick off.