I propose to strengthen the cognitive processes involved in design thinking, especially for cross-functional teams, both through artificial intelligence techniques and focused cognitive coaching. I take as an example of design thinking the canvas metaphor used by Osterwalder and Pigneur (2014, 2010), selecting its CS (customer segment) component for further scrutiny.
Specifically, I introduce an amplified form of design thinking called “transformational” thinking that is grounded in research in adult cognitive development over the lifespan (Laske 2008 [2017b/c]). My approach is rooted in DTF, the Dialectical Thought Form Framework developed at the Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM) since the year 2000.
In focus in the blog is the notion of “hidden dimensions” of the canvas that iterative cognitive sprints of a cross-functional team reveal. I see such sprints as based on a combination of “breadth-first” and “depth-first” search, where the former is focused on creating the biggest possible picture, while the second deepens and refines the picture in its details, both in terms of thinking and resulting outcome. I show that the two kinds of searches are mutually reinforcing and that purely logical thinking (and thus algorithmic thinking also) fail in depth-first search,
At the end of the text, I demonstrate by example how cognitively high-performing teams engage in innovative thinking supported by DTF thought forms and their base concepts. I suggest how transformational thinking can be effectively supported by cognitive coaching as well as artificial intelligence techniques.
From my consulting and teaching experience with DTF I draw two conclusions regarding innovative approaches to canvas design:
1. agile coaching becomes more effective if it encompasses the practice of breadth- and depth-first search here outlined;
2. artificial intelligence techniques should be used to implement in canvas design cognitive templates that visually provoke team members to engage in transformational thinking.