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EXPLORATION X DESIGN

Design Leadership Toolkit


First Edition Published April 2018 Exploration x Design www.exploration.design Written and designed in Austin, TX

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) This license allows you to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially. When doing so, you must acknowledge Exploration x Design. Contact jess@exploration.design if you have any questions. For more information about Creative Commons and what you can do with the content and ideas contained in this kit, go here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-sa/4.0/


Most likely you’ve picked up this kit because you want to explore what leaderhship means to you. This kit isn’t instructions on how to be a leader. Instead the intention is to direct your ability to identify your personal leadership style and skills. True leadership is authentic and can’t be imitated. Your style of leadership is your own to discover and explore.

“Leadership is a choice, it’s not a rank.” –Simon Sinek

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT


You are about to embark on an exploration of deep significance. Give yourself as much time as you can afford for this journey. A minimum of an hour is ideal. This kit will provide you with the equipment, but you are your own guide. Here’s the stuff you’ll want on hand: -

Post-it notes (four different colors) Sharpie markers Printed copy of our Design Leaderhip Worksheets Unlined/ graph paper Colored dots Pen Timer

Find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed and able to concentrate.

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT


The following excerpt was taken from Peaks and Valleys, written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. Discovering

T

he young man trudged along through the unfamilar valley. Driving rain

stung his face. He looked for shelter but found none. The journey was proving to be even harder than he’d expected. When he set out, the valley had not looked this deep. “Why does it have to be this way?” the young man muttered. “Aren’t we supposed to be happy in life? Why do we need Valleys at all?” His feet were soaked, and he felt chilled to the bone. He was miserable. He said through clenched teeth, “One day I’ll look back on this and laugh.” He thought about what he’d said, then added, “Why wait until later? Why not laugh at it now?” He laughed out loud and felt a little better. The his laughter was answered by a loud clap of thunder. He looked up anxiously, and hoped he would be safe from the lightning.

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” - Proust His legs ached and his feet hurt from walking over sharp rocks. He remembered the old man saying, How you manage your Valley determines how soon you reach your next Peak. He didn’t feel he was doing a very good job of managing this one. Finally he reached the very lowest point of the valley and stopped. The rain had completely washed away the path. Ahead, he saw nothing but a narrow, roaring river that seemed impossible to cross. “I can’t, he said aloud. ‘The current is too strong. I’ll never make it.” He felt defeated. He would have to turn around and go back the way he came. But how would he ever face the old man? How would he face himself? EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT

The young man sat down in the mud and stared at the river. He feared he might wade into the river and be pulled under by the powerful current. He imagined swallowing mouthfuls of water as he went under and drowned. He shuddered and asked himself, “Why does being in a Valley have to be so painful?” And then he aswered his own question by remembering something the old man said:

The Pain in a Valley Can Wake You Up to a Truth You Have Been Ignoring


So what truth was he ignoring? He looked up at the higher peak in the distance. “All I know,” he thought, “is that I really wanted to be on that higher peak.” He wondered if there were mountain lake up there that was as beautiful as the one in front of the old man’s house - or even more so. He wondered that the fresh air would feel like against his face. The he thought about what the old man has said about getting to your next Peak by creating and following a sensible vision - a picture of a better

future that makes sense and that you draw on all your five senses to imagine. He realized that just moments ago, he had been creating a fearful vision - an image of himself drowning as he was being pulled into the river. The old man has never talked about a “fearful vision,” but that was exactly what the young man has been seeing. “Maybe you are always creating a vision of your future,” he thought, “whether you are aware of it or not - either a fearful vision, or a sensible vision. And it’s just a question of which vision you follow.” And then he said, “Ohhh! -that’s it!”

He spoke the words out loud into the rain and thunder around him:

My Valley is Fear EXPLORATION X DESIGN: GETTING UNSTUCK TOOLKIT


Over the next five minutes we’ll practice reducing stress and muscle tension. This will help you prepare to explore fear and how safety is the most important quality of a successful leader. Begin by keeping your eyes open by with a soft focus. Start to breathe with intention. Allow yourself to hear your breath. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. To help you connect, make an audible ‘ahhhhh’ as you exhale. Continue this for three more breaths. Fill the room with the sound. Allow your eyes to close. Return to regular breathing. Continue focusing on your breath by counting each inhale and exhale. One is the inhale, two is the exhale and so on. Continue counting to ten and then start again. Repeat this three times. Now think of a word that helps you go deeper in your relaxation, maybe it’s relax, peace or breathe. Focus on this word and imagine a sharp bright light shining down from the sky and beaming on top of your head. You are warm and safe in the light. Your word is the light. It is your protector, healer and friend. The light surrounds you in a ray of love. Each breath fills you with this light. Scan your body from head to toe. Notice where you are holding tension or feeling tight. Breathe into those parts of your body and allow the light to soften and warm anywhere that needs to let go of tension. With each breath feel how your body continues to relax and soften. Allow the tension to melt away. If your mind wanders - that’s ok, return it back to counting breaths and scanning your body.

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT


1.

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP WORKSHEET PAGE 1

DRAW YOUR STORY

Create a poster of a time you discovered something remarkable about yourself. (Can be professional/ personal) Try to recall as much detail as possible - who was involved, where did the story take place, what moments led to your realization, etc.

2.

MAP YOUR EXPERIENCE Using post-it notes, create an experience map of your story. To begin, find a large surface to work on such as a wall or large table. Use two of the same colored post-its to represent the start of your story and the end of your story.

Start

2. a

Finish

MAP THE DETAIL

What

Use a color post-it to represent each moment that pushed your story forward, added richness, provided opportunity. Map what happened from the start to the finish.

Who

Use a color post-it to represent each person, organization, school, group or entity involved. Note their role and place them in the order of their appearance.

Where

Use a color post-it to represent locations and context as you reconstruct your story you’ll likley realize that the outcome wasn’t a single moment in a single location, but rather a series of moments lead to your realization.


EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP WORKSHEET PAGE 2

3.

IDENTIFY THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS Examine all the post-its in your map - what are the contributing factors? What caused your realization to happen? Circle the important, significant moments on your map and number them (you may find that this excercise leads to generating more post-its - it’s entirely ok to add more details). Alternatively, if drawing circles doesn’t work, you can add colored dots with numbers to identify the most significant moments on the post-it notes. Example :

Start

Finish 1 2

2 1

2

1

1

2

3

3

3

3

3.a

NAME THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS Number each factor, name it and provide a brief explaination. You might only identify one, or perhaps you might find a dozen - there is no right or wrong number for this excercise. Example : 1. Connections, x,y,z were introduced and this enabled me to be exposed to new opportunities. 2. Practice, I was provided to more places and ways to practice and learn through trying (and failing). 3. Mastery, overtime my confidence grew and people began to notice and comment that my skills had become extremely proficient.


EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP WORKSHEET PAGE 3

4.

SAFETY

Describe how each contributing factor from step 3a relate to safety. What is the possible connection between each important moment and a sense of belonging, protection or general feeling of acceptance.

1

2

3

4

5

5.

LEADERSHIP MANIFESTO

How might you translate everything you’ve learned from your story into a replicable experience for others? Convey the way safety played an important role as a your personal leadership manifesto? Try to create something simple and easy to remember and share.


“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” - Simon Sinek

Safety: (noun) the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: DESIGN LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT


Jess Lowry, Founder of Exploration x Design

My job as a human-centered designer is to design for other people - not myself. When it comes to designing meaningful solutions we have to get better at reaching beyond our own limited points of view. Too often we stay on the surface and rarely dig deeper to uncover meaningful insights. We do this for a variety of reasons often we’re dealing with constraints of time and budget, other times; we fear what we might uncover because it might reveal something about ourselves that we’d rather not address (or maybe a business flaw no one knows how to change). Design Thinking is a process to help people work collaboratively and reach below the surface to uncover deep insights. The best solutions are designed by teams who allow themselves to think beyond limited points of view. When teams are equipped with self awareness and acceptance they can perform at an optimal level. Creative exploration is a practice and requires the ability to maintain a beginner’s mindset. As a design coach, I’m interested to explore what design means to you. Creativity is a state of mind - not a job function or title. I want to help people explore design as a practice, not a job function; in order to cultivate deeper levels of empathy for themselves and others.

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: GETTING UNSTUCK TOOLKIT


Be Patient - Authentic Leadership Takes Time and Practice If you've made it this far, you know that leadership is a mindset - not a rank or job title. No one decides for you whether you have what it takes to be a leader it’s something you decide and allow yourself to be. If you need help, contact me. I’m happy to talk about collaborating together. You are not alone, reach out at any time! I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to use the #designleadership tag on Twitter or Facebook, or email me your story at jess@exploration.design www.exploration.design twitter.com/explorexdesign facebook.com/ExplorationxDesign medium.com/@ExDesign


Exploration x Design presents: Getting Unstuck, 2-Day Intensive June 15 - June 18, 2018 Austin TX

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: GETTING UNSTUCK TOOLKIT

Tickets and Info on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/exploration-xdesign-14909489943


Big thanks and deep appreciation to the following people: Andrea Wheelock Lisa Lang Di Gallo Marcy Bell Book excerpt was taken from Peaks and Valleys, written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. Images, icons, photos sourced from elements.envato.com

Content inspired by the following resources: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook by Mathew McKay, PH.D, Jeffrey C. Wood, PSY.D, Jeffrey Brantley, MD Co-Active Coaching by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phililip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman


EXPLORATION X DESIGN Created by Jess Lowry, Founder of Exploration x Design in Austin TX

EXPLORATION X DESIGN: GETTING UNSTUCK TOOLKIT

Exploration x Design: Design Leadership Toolkit  

This kit isn’t instructions on how to be a leader. Instead the intention is to direct your ability to identify your personal leadership styl...

Exploration x Design: Design Leadership Toolkit  

This kit isn’t instructions on how to be a leader. Instead the intention is to direct your ability to identify your personal leadership styl...

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