Designed to Thrive: 7 Principles for Better Practice

Thriving individuals are not born that way, they design their lives to promote vitality and learning.

As noted in a previous post, Thriving = Vitality + Learning.

A design mindset empowers individuals with a philosophy and methods for bringing energy (vitality) and growth (learning) into their practice of positive change.

Here are 7 principles of the design mindset that can help consultants, leaders, and coaches promote individual and organizational thriving.

1. Everyone’s life position is unique, including challenges, opportunities, and strengths;

2. Focus on purpose and ideal solutions–strip away everything that is non-essential to learning and vitality;

3. Use systems thinking to increase self-awareness about personal strengths, passion, and vitality;

4. Create and uncover knowledge that enables positive action;

5. Accept that all understanding is partial, temporary, and contextual;

6. Discourse and human dialogue are primary means of positive change;

7. Practice pragmatic experimentation–what design choices are you currently making? What happens to your energy and learning when you make different choices?

These principles can be paired with a variety of methods of consulting and coaching to help individuals and organizations increase thriving. Try them out. Riff on them. Let me know what happens.

Source of Truth: Romme, Georges L. (2003). Making a Difference: Organization as Design, Organization Science, 14(5), 558-573.


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