All Humans are Born Design Thinkers

All Humans Are Born Design ThinkersHover Image

In today’s rapidly changing world, do we always have to stick to the conventional methods of solving business problems?

Is there a need to adopt new methods and learn new skills, or do we have these skills in us already?

A lot of people think that they aren’t creative and can’t be innovative for many reasons: they don’t know how to draw, they don’t have formal training, their brain doesn’t function that way, they just weren’t born with it—the list goes on and on.

But what does it mean to be creative and innovative?

What assumptions do people make about “creative and innovative people”?

Defining creativity only as the ability to paint, compose music, or do graphic design seems to be very limiting and has nothing to do with actual reality.

If we open the definition further, we can define creativity simply as the ability to have an idea. And to be innovative as the ability to get the idea done. That makes a whole lot of sense when we think about the fact that everybody has ideas. The hard part is usually to get it done.

You may have heard of Design Thinking which is a human-centered approach for creative and innovative problem-solving.

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With Design Thinking, innovation can be managed, and full use of our creative abilities is encouraged. You can learn more in our beginner’s guide on Design Thinking.

For some of us, Design Thinking may still carry a meaning associated with some sort of artistic eccentricity that does not fit our personality. And no, it also doesn’t mean you have to be a designer first. So let’s not stay stuck with the “not-for-me” syndrome.

What if I told you that we all are natural design thinkers? We were all born creative.

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I believe that all humans are born with the innate ability to be design thinkers. But as we grow up, this part of us slowly fizzles out, confining us to think more rationally, instead of exploring and testing how far we can go.

Keep reading to find out exactly what I mean.

How Every Human is a Natural Born Design Thinker

All of us as humans, are born with the natural ability to think outside the box, and explore possibilities beyond what is there.

Let’s take a look at children, for example.

Children are curious about everything that surrounds them. Everything could be fun. Everything can be played with. They manage to turn even the most seemingly boring things into a toy-like object.

Think of the time you wanted to play with the box for hours instead of the actual gift that was in the box.

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They make use of whatever they have in their vicinity to entertain themselves. This speaks exploration and creativity.

A child asks unending questions. A child could ask a hundred ‘Whys’ and ‘Whats’ in a day. They’re eager to explore and learn. They always want to know why something is the way it is. This is curiosity.

The imaginative abilities of a child are amazing. You could see a child having a full blown conversation with their toys, a little child arranges her soft toys and dresses them up for a tea party. This is imagination. To them, anything is possible. Nothing is ‘logical’ or ‘rational’.

It’s fascinating how children make use of whatever resources around to reach a goal.

Creativity is finding novel, practical ways to address challenges. – Duncan Wardle (Former Head of Innovation and Creativity at The Walt Disney Company)

A child wants to get to the top of the shelf and begins to place different things on one another, just to reach the shelf. They don’t mind how long it’ll take or if it will work out that way. They keep trying over and over again.

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Children, and especially younger children, learn by their only option, which is trial and error, failing and repetition.

This can be compared to Design Thinking or any other business innovation framework, where we are not limited by conventional methods of getting things done. Instead, we give room for new ideas, inspired by our creativity, not minding if it doesn’t fit into the traditional mode. As long as it helps us achieve our business goal, we go for it.

Anyone who works in innovation knows that failure is an inherent part of the process of coming up with something new.

What matters is not that you sometimes fail — because you inevitably will — but rather how you respond to that failure and whether you learn from it.

What Blocks Adults From Being Creative?

As children grow older, society begins to teach them to act and think differently.

We are all born creative. We just got it educated out of us. - Tham Khai Meng

As soon as children conform to traditional environments such as school, they slowly stop using their mindset which is primarily built around creativity and exploration. Because society begins to lay down rules and structures they must follow.

Consequently, their imagination becomes boxed in, and creativity is not encouraged.

We are all born creative. We just got it educated out of usHover Image

This is what happens to every one of us. As we grow older, the creative spirit in us begins to diminish, and we no longer make use of our imagination as often as we used to.

Furthermore, most people do not like change, and if their world is changing rapidly as it is doing today, they tend to hold on to what they know and feel comfortable with. And then there is usually no room for innovative ideas to thrive in the ever-changing world.

Although this might seem like a logical thing to do, it does not usually yield anything worthwhile. We can’t evade it by burying our head into the sand. Especially not with change happening in so many areas.

Rather, to create something truly inspiring and innovative, you have to think outside the box here. But this can’t happen, if our creativity is boxed in, and we’re unable to put our creative minds to good use. That’s why sometimes we have a great idea, but we’re scared to speak up, because ‘that’s not how things are done’.

In a business-like environment, it’s very often the case that creativity is by default blocked and prevented.

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New ideas seem to disrupt efficient operations and threaten hierarchical order, status, and responsibilities.

The use of Design Thinking in a business environment allows every adult to be creative. Everyone can contribute and proffer creative solutions of solving problems, without being rebuked, harassed, or talked down. Everyone uses their Design Thinking skills to solve complex problems, using more of intuition, imagination, and creativity, rather than rigid rationality or logic.

Every contribution is welcomed, and every voice is heard.

But unfortunately, it still happens all too often that we teach innovators the wrong things.

How to Revive the Design Thinking Spirit in You

There are 3 important things to keep in mind, to gradually revive the innate Design Thinking spirit in you.

1- Remember that failure equals learning

Design Thinking is a powerful mindset, but it can be easy to lose that spirit, especially when faced with failure.

In Design Thinking, every unsuccessful attempt is seen as an opportunity to learn.

Young children often try again without hesitation. Their natural curiosity and persistence drive them to keep trying, even after initial failures. Embrace this childlike mindset.

Don’t let failure discourage you from making your fantastic idea a reality and remember to bridge the gap between Design Thinking and Doing.

We try again until we get it right.

Here are three tips to help you get back on track:

💡 Reframe failure as learning: Every failed experiment is an opportunity to learn and grow. Ask yourself what you can learn from your mistakes and how you can apply
those lessons to your next project.

💡 Embrace the creative process: Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. The best design thinking solutions often come from the most unexpected places.

💡 Be persistent: Design Thinking is an iterative process. Don’t give up on your ideas easily. Keep trying and tweaking until you find a solution that works.

2 – Embrace the creative process

When engaging in creative work, recall your childhood experiences and disregard worldly limitations and constraints.

Adopt a creative mindset that welcomes any idea to surface and take shape, regardless of how silly or impossible it may seem.

This process might not always be smooth, but the beautiful results it produces is always worth it.

That’s why we should enjoy every bit of the process, and see every opportunity as a chance to learn.

With the right methods and framework in place, no idea is too big to execute.

If you struggle to initiate your creative process, you can employ innovation techniques taught in Design Thinking, such as Scamper, crazy 8s, or Worst Possible Idea.

Scamper is a brainstorming technique that stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, Eliminate, and Reverse. It is a flexible tool for creative thinking that helps users approach problems and challenges from different perspectives. By modifying or transforming existing ideas, it encourages the generation of new ideas and solutions. It can be applied in different areas like product design, marketing, process improvement, and problem-solving.

Crazy 8s is a quick ideation technique that encourages you to generate as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time. To do this, fold a piece of paper into eight sections and give yourself eight minutes to sketch one idea in each section. Don’t worry about the quality of your sketches or how realistic your ideas are. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible, no matter how crazy they may seem.

Worst Possible Idea is an ideation technique that encourages you to think outside the box and come up with the worst possible solutions to a problem. The goal is to challenge your assumptions and explore new possibilities. Once you have a list of the worst possible ideas, try to brainstorm ways to improve them or turn them into good ideas.

All three of these techniques can be used to generate new ideas for products, services, processes, and more. They are especially useful for creative workshops and team collaboration sessions.

It is no secret that we strongly believe in the effectiveness of structured workshops for achieving the best possible outcomes by utilizing guided decision-making and problem-solving methods.

3 – View all Challenges through the lens of Design Thinking

We should not always be too quick to continue with traditional working methods to solve complex challenges.

The world is rapidly evolving, and the old methods used may not be the perfect solution for the increasingly complex business challenges we face today.

It’s high time we explored our creativity and looked into other methods that would bring about innovation while challenging our minds and having fun in the process.

Challenge yourself to view all challenges through the lens of Design Thinking:

💡 Exercise: Think of a current challenge you are facing at work or in your personal life. How can you apply the Design Thinking principles of empathy, ideation, prototyping, and testing to solve this challenge?

🔍 Example: You are a product manager at a tech company. You are working on a new product, but you are struggling to come up with a design that users will love. You decide to use Design Thinking to help you come up with new ideas. You start by interviewing users to understand their needs and pain points. Then, you brainstorm a list of potential solutions. Next, you create prototypes of some of the solutions and test them with users. You get feedback from users and make changes to the prototypes. You repeat this process until you have a solution that users love.

Design Thinking can be used to solve any kind of challenge, big or small. It is a powerful tool that can help us to be more creative and innovative.

Here are some additional tips for viewing all challenges through the lens of Design Thinking:

Be curious and ask questions. What is the root cause of the challenge? Who are the people who are affected by the challenge? What are their needs and pain points?

Be open-minded and explore all possibilities. Don’t be afraid to come up with crazy ideas. The more ideas you have, the better.

Be collaborative and involve others in the process. Get feedback from users, stakeholders, and teammates.

By following these tips, you can learn to view all challenges through the lens of Design Thinking and become a more innovative problem solver.

Of course, we aim to demonstrate this through our own actions.

We continuously adapt our problem-solving approach to stay ahead in the fast-moving world and offer our customers optimal service solutions, regardless of the scale of the challenge.


With Design Thinking, focus is given, ideas are birthed, and clarity is gained. This ensures your vision and strategy is executed confidently. And in the process, we’re not confined to the traditional methods we’ve always used.

Instead, we get to use our creativity, our intuition, our imagination, and our curiosity. The team works together, and all ideas are welcomed.

Everyone is free to make their voice heard, and ideas are combined, to bring out something truly remarkable.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney

In Design Thinking, Diversity is Innovation. The ability of each individual to see things differently is what makes us unique.

In Design Thinking Diversity is InnovationHover Image

And when we work together, with our combined creative abilities, and our imagination, curiosity and intuition is put to the fullest use, outstanding innovation is birthed.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions or are wondering which innovation framework is the right one for your business, please get in touch.