Live Intentionally

Where do you accept the defaults? When do you get to decide how life goes? Why take life as it’s handed to you when you can make it what you want?

Life happens. It is always moving along, moving forward, moving on. You put plans in place or plans are made for you and it’s easy to be in the flow of it. But what if the flow is now the direction you want it to go?

I had plans to stay on after three days of workshops in Hawaii. I got the tickets with just enough time to fly off to Kauai and hike for four days then return on a late night flight back to SFO. But when the campsites were full I had my plans changed for me and stayed on Oahu.

After checking out on the last day with no inter-island flight to catch back go Honolulu, I had 12 hours to wait for a flight which I no longer needed so late. That meant the red-eye flight back and leaving at 11pm.

This was the moment – to stop the flow of plans and see what the options were. I went to the counter and just asked for what I wanted. And now I am writing this on flight 10 hours earlier than my plan, upgrade included! That means an good nights sleep and a fresh start – just because I didn’t accept the default plan.

Design Thinking requires that you always have an observer eye looking from above to see “what should we do next?” Design Thinking is not a process – no matter how many bubble diagrams people draw. You never know what you need until you are in that moment. More empathy? Another iteration? Back to brainstorming? What comes next?

And, It can be anything and some of the currents are very strong.

  • Working Meetings The reigning corporate culture is to book a room, bring your laptop, sit down, flip up, tune in or out depending on your interest, your day, and your inbox. And it’s true whether you schedule the meeting or you attend. If it was a brainstorm meeting – you need to loose the table and add music, open space, and people gathered around a vertical surface.
  • Interviews Common wisdom dictates that people come in suits, they are asked questions, put on the spot and tested. Microsoft brings in engineers to play 8 hours of pictionary and learns how they work in a collaborative environment. Why not change the game to get what you need?
  • Staff Meetings Every week, every month in the conference room or the cafeteria report out the status and Q&A. The new software movements like SCRUM and agile turned that idea on it’s head with daily standup meetings because it’s what you need now what you did.

Where are the the places you are defaulting? What are the obvious routines, the ongoing traditions, the project planning you did months ago that need to change?

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