Some problems are seemingly intractable. One for you right now might be: “How do I plan for August when the current easing of social distancing and isolation restrictions may get reversed in a week, in a month or in the last week of July?”

One answer is to use Design Thinking, to work smart in addition to remaining agile. Design Thinking is a way of identifying new and innovative ideas. Sometimes to develop new products or services. And just as often to identify solutions to problems, especially intractable ones.

The five-stage process I use when facilitating Design Thinking for clients is the five-phase model of the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University:

  • Empathise – with stakeholders.
  • Define – their needs, problems and insights you have about them.
  • Ideate – challenge your assumptions to create innovative solutions.
  • Prototype – to start creating solutions.
  • Test – solutions.

Last week I asked you to test assumptions in relation to how various scenarios might play out over the coming months. The difference now in design thinking mode is that I’m asking you to test your assumptions about how your organisation can respond. That is, I am asking you to ideate, prototype and test your way to better ways of running your business so you can thrive under any scenario. The most successful organisations over the next six months will be the ones that work smart as well as being agile.

Want some examples? How about organisations such as boutique breweries manufacturing hand sanitiser. Schools working out how to teach online. Fitness centres becoming suppliers of gym equipment on short-term rental agreements. And bars and restaurants looking to design take-home experiences – cocktails, wine plus dishes that present well out of a plastic tub!

Over the past 10 weeks I have been writing about Adaptive Leadership. I have wrapped my thoughts up into a paper and it is my pleasure to share it with you Adaptive Leadership: Working smart while being agile.

Stay safe and adapt - quickly.


Bryan's new book teaches you practical methods to cut through with your advice and make the impact you want to make. Available on Amazon or order here now.


Available on Amazon or order here now.

Bryan Whitefield works with strategic leaders across all sectors to help organisations harness uncertainty – uncertainty is the strategic leader’s best friend. He is the author of DECIDE: How to Manage the Risk in Your Decision Making and Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon. He is the designer of the Risk Culture: Build Your Tribe of Advocates Program for support functions and the Persuasive Adviser Program for internal advisers. Both can be booked individually or in-house. For more information about Bryan, please click here.

Views: 15


You need to be a member of GlobalRisk community to add comments!

Join GlobalRisk community

Our Sponsors

Would you like to reach over 90,000 + Risk Professionals? 



Current Partners Include:





Join GRC Inner Circle - Get Top Risk Resources, Member Support PLUS become our patron

Business Exchange

If your organization delivers products and services that bring value to our members, you are welcome to join our partnership program.

Companies are welcome to setup a business profile page in our Multimedia Business Directory. You will get full control of the page and can include cutting edge possibilities – videos, adverts, presentations, white papers, job offers, Press Releases, product information, company blog, news feeds and more.


Our Knowledge Partners

Request our MEDIA KIT

Our Twitter feed

© 2020   Created by Boris Agranovich.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service