Coaching Design Thinking

Learn Coaching Techniques to help your team work through the Design Thinking process

Winter 2017
1 Unit
Credit/No Credit or Letter Grade
1:30 – 3:50
Lathrop 299


Tennis, Anyone?

Coaching tennis is a teachable art.  The goal of coaching is to help athletes practice the basics and improve their game.  A good coach works at multiple levels: Foundation, Technique, and Play.  Design Thinking is a bit like tennis – to learn and apply Design Thinking requires mastery at all three levels. Further, a good coach can read the “player” and determine what elements from the three levels to engage.  Because Design Thinking is a team sport, coaches experience significant challenges in bringing teams together and each player up to the same level.  One player may have a poor racket; another may lack the skill to sustain a practice volley.  A team volley (shared insight or compelling story) is one measure of the quality of the Design Thinking process.  

This class will work in conjunction with Needfinding in the Wild (ME 277) as a practice vehicle for Coaches.  Coaches are expected to be in class up to two hours a week.  There will be no additional work outside of class.  We break down coaching into its components, parsing out the role of the Coach at each stage of the Design Thinking process.  Participants will alternate between engaging in activities, and coaching them — providing and receiving feedback in real time from the teaching team and their peers.  We will practice coaching (on each other and in Needfinding) with both live Design Thinking activities and scripted scenarios.  These live coaching sessions will be videotaped and reviewed.  As with tennis, the only way to figure out what your game actually looks like is to watch yourself in action!

To apply, you will need to attend one of the office hours below for an interview.  Please submit your contact information and the date you have chosen to by Monday, November 28.

Office Hours
Tuesday, November 29, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Friday, December 2, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Tuesday, December 13, 1:30 – 3 pm

Accepting 10 Graduate Students, Fellows and Post-docs. Application Closed

Teaching Team
Michael Barry, Adjunct Professor Stanford
Virginia Rath, Entrepreneur and Scientist
Phoebe Kuo, Design Researcher