Leading for Change

Creating a Safe Environment for Experimentation

Freedom to live: a safe environment for experimentation. Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

How do we solve problems, resolve conflicts, and make changes in the way we live our lives?

We assess the reality of our situation and devise experiments to test solutions. It is a process of trial and error until we discover something that works.

This is the scientific method.

  • Hypothesis
  • Experiment
  • Results

This is the design process.

  • Concept
  • Prototype
  • Test Data

Design is the scientific method applied to creativity and technology. It is science and art, the way the Bauhaus imagined it 100 years ago. Let’s try using the design process to solve our problems.

What makes for a more successful team?

The only thing that matters is whether or not you have created a sense of psychological safety.

“I feel safe that I can say anything. I feel safe that if I make a mistake, we’re going to look at it as a learning opportunity rather than something that is punished.”

When people go to AA and they are trying to make lasting and significant changes in their lives.

AA doesn’t say, “Hey, you are going to stop drinking in three months and that would be it.” They say, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” It’s a reinvention and a redefinition of who you are. I think that’s where you start, but once you have started with that idea, then a lot of the pressure goes off. “Okay. I am reinventing myself as this kind of leader. I’ve got the rest of my life. I don’t have to do it all in the next two weeks. But the thing I do have to do is maintain some kind of consistent practice or discipline.”

The Human Organization

There is safety in numbers, as long as you create a safe environment, where failure is an opportunity for change, a necessary part of the process of learning from our mistakes and becoming more human.

Psychological Safety

  1. mindfulness: build greater awareness
  2. growth: become a better learner
  3. connection: cultivate good relationships

In that way, design becomes less about the appearance of things or even how things work and more about how people work together. It’s about how we create our environment and organize ourselves to create a better world. It’s about reimagining our social architecture.

Building Awareness

We can become more aware by engaging the mind through the analog process of writing. The Bullet Journal Method is a book about using a journal to track the past, order the present, design the future. You don’t really need anything more than a notebook and a pen. It is a way of engaging the scientific method and the design process to gather ideas, make plans, and track the changes that are happening in real time. It is a way of designing the future.

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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