Because we all benefit when artists are able to pursue their passions.
House is a Design Thinker

Design thinking is a process, approach, and attitude that promote innovation.  This can apply to developing new products and services, or leading a company.  Dr. House of the television series of the same name demonstrates this approach to solving the seemingly unsolvable problems in the most complex system, the human body.  Following are key design principles which he follows:

1.  Holistic Perspective – In the series, the patient history, environmental information, and personal details are all taken to find potential clues to solving the issue.  Design thinking considers everything!

2.  Wisdom of Crowds – It’s not just one smart guy, but a team of the best, focused on a common issue, with the shared mission of solving the problem.

3.  Metaphors – House utilizes metaphors in his analysis to visualize the complexities and understand nuances of the problem and potential solutions.

4.  Patterns – Rarely is the issue obvious and to diagnose the illness, patterns and irregularities are noted for valuable insights.

5.  Fearless -  House is unconventional, unorthodox, irreverent, and antisocial at times.  Some for entertainment value, but the extremes portrayed are often necessary to think beyond the norms that can inhibit new ideas.

6.  Heuristic approach – This is necessary to think differently.  It requires following a path of discovery, no matter the twists and turns.  Then to learn from the details, even when perceived as mistakes.

7.   Key Players – The process of innovation, collaboration and creating, requires key elements.  There must be a development stage that allows for storming or brainstorming to create new ideas.  This requires a team to push back and push out on ideas.  The process is fragile and requires a protector or facilitator.  Gordon MacKenzie had a boss who promoted him to creative paradox and Dr. House has Cutty who allows his idiosyncrasies. 

8.  Open mind – This means to look beyond what one knows to explore the unknown which will include the irrational, illogical and even unappealing.  It also requires attention to insight everywhere.  Often the best ideas are realized in the most unusual places.

9.   Whiteboard – In the series, the whiteboard allows the viewer to see the symptoms considered and contributions of the group.  In practice, the board focuses the team, organizes the facts and creates a space to generate new ideas.  This space is extremely important to the design process.

10.  The Process – Innovation and creativity are fragile.  It requires attention to the details and facilitation of the process.  This includes understanding the stakeholders, their motivations, and the dynamics that affect participation.  House commonly notes personal details of the group which seem as distractions and become influential factors.

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