Sometimes it take an outsider to put things in perspective. She sees behavior and hears communication differently because she’s not biased by previous experience. Being an outsider is an everyday occurrence for our Insights team, and making new discoveries never gets old. However, there’s a heightened level of excitement when you’re on the other end of the proverbial microscope. It feels a little like stumbling onto the secret levels of a video game, without using any cheat codes.

In her Tedx talk, DI founder and “design outsider” Kate Hanisian talks about the value of design in the social sector. Kate tells some important stories about her work, notably about how different personality types (planners and searchers) relate to social design. But what stands out for us is her ability to crystallize the designer mindset that’s crucial to innovation:

Design is great at mixing everything up. Doing step 3 and then step 11 while you think about step 5, prepare for step 2, and action on step 4. Design is really iterative; it allows you to consistently to go back and forth. That’s really different from the way that I used to worked, and I found that it was an incredibly ripe process to use for innovative. It allows for an incredibly rich space for creativity, for all different voices to speak and to be heard in a solution.

Hearing someone from outside the design function define the creative process is always a joy, and, like the process itself, never exactly the same. What quotes on design do you find yourself coming back to repeatedly?