Daniel Perl on Design Thinking September 27, 2009Posted by Daniel Perl in Design Thinking.
I struggled a bit with the “Innovation as a Learning Process” article with regard to the four learning styles and the various models presented. Reading through the frameworks and descriptions of the models/learning styles, I felt myself failing to grasp the most salient points – I wanted more examples and more stories/anecdotes that would more persuasively illustrate the concepts that were being described.
This is not altogether surprising considering that I recently learned that I am categorized as an “Accommodating” learner, who learns through experience and is more interested in practical examples than abstract concepts. When encountering something like a new framework, I physically want to walk my way through it and wrestle with it out loud — asking questions, probing the author, and restating it in my own words and with my own analogies to make sure that I understand it.
That being said, I don’t think that I’m a full-on Accommodater – I think that my learning style/preference changes based on the context of the assignment/task and the particular composition of the group that I’m working with. I think it’s critical that groups embrace dissent and have contrarian thinkers among them. As a result, I feel that I am able to slide around the “Innovation Framework” to fill a particular role that may be underrepresented. For instance, when I felt that my Haas study group was becoming too concrete and too goal-oriented, I found myself becoming more idea-driven and creative/open-ended in my thinking. Sometimes I feel like it’s almost as if I value going against the grain more than I appreciate any one particular style.
I’d like to think that this chameleon-style that I sometimes employ is ultimately helpful to the groups that I’m a part of – filling gaps and pushing for diversity of thought. However, I imagine it can detrimental to a group process if I am perceived by my teammates as being unpredictable.