d.school delivers your Design Thinking Toolkit

Go to Stanford d. school to get some great innovation and creativity education (for free!) – they started the design thinking movement and are masters of this skillset.

Hikmaty Discovery is all about mastering the core 21C skills of innovation and creativity. The world of 21C work is hungry for innovation and creative people. Employers constantly ask for more recruits with creativity skills and whilst it is one of the most overused words in LinkedIn profiles – there is a mismatch because whilst people use the word to describe themselves – they really don’t truly know how to apply it effectively in their lives.  It is no good saying ‘I am just not creative’ either –the ability to look at things in different ways, empathise, solve problems, generate and adapt ideas are foundation skills for 21C success. Hal Gregerson in Innovators DNA suggests only 25% of your capability is down to genetics – 75% is about mastering some key behaviours, learning to use your mind and the right skillset. You can learn this stuff.

If you want to learn about creativity there are many great books available (as books or to listen to on Audible). We would recommend start with Twyla Tharp, Michael Gelb, Elizabeth Gilbert and Tina Selig (from d. School). You will also find talks by them on You Tube and TED.

Stanford University (USA) is a great College to get an education and their d. school aims to be ‘the best design school. Period.’ Stanford established d. School as the hub for innovators – it is not one of their seven Colleges and it does not grant degrees – instead, it is a resource for all the students to come and learn these key 21C skills together. Students and faculty in engineering, medicine, business, law, the humanities, sciences, and education collaborate on transformative learning experiences, knowing that inevitably the innovations will follow. d. School has evolved into a mash up of industry, academia and the wider world beyond campus through business collaborations and open course to use design thinking principles. They developed a process for reliably producing creative solutions to nearly any challenge that they call design thinking. A term used widely in business – these guys have mastered it.

If you are going to learn more about innovation processes and creativity skills – it requires more than reading – the learning comes from doing. Design Thinking is a great place to begin a creativity journey. It has a clearly defined process – with a map, a huge set of tools and a mindset to improve your creativity skills. The best place to learn about it – is to go to where it was developed and mastered – d. School.

Not long ago if you wanted a Stanford education you had to go be a student on Campus but now we all should be really grateful that some of these learning resources are available for you to use free online – so everyone can get a little bit of a Stanford education – wherever they are in the world. The simple structured approach and toolkit that supports the process provide a useful introduction to innovation and creativity techniques. Master this toolkit and you are well on the way to getting a real competitive advantage to keep your business and career on track. These are tools you should know and understand how to apply as you seek to solve everyday challenges in your work and life generally. It is a way of being in the world which directly relates back to the Innovators DNA and their discovery skills.

So what is available?

The d.school Bootcamp Bootleg Guide – described as more of a recipe book than textbook – a set of colour coded cards intended for graduates of their Bootcamp: Adventures in Design Thinking class. Including the d. mindsets, the 5 design modes and the toolkit of methods. You can review it online and it is also available for you to download here for free (with other d. School resources). They are all shared under a Creative Commons license whereby d. School must be attributed, and they are for non-commercial use (i.e. not to be resold).

We then recommend that the best way to get to grips with design thinking is to experience it. They also have two 90-minute fun and fast-paced projects called the Wallet Exercise and the Gift-Giving Exercise that each take you through a full design cycle. Students pair up to interview each other, create a point-of-view, ideate, and make a new solution that is “useful and meaningful” to their partner.  These are great resources for individuals or to use with your teams at work. d. School have also published the book Spaces which is a great guide to creating innovative environments and how to kit them out.

In addition two books worth investing in to support your Design Thinking learning journey are The Design Thinking Playbook by Wiley and Gamestorming that has many creative team games and tools to facilitate discovery.

If you enrol on our Hikmaty Grid Fundamentals Program in October 2020 or the full Hikmaty Discoverer Program in 2021 you will be introduced to a lot more useful creative resources. There is much to learn and plenty of great resources available to make it enjoyable.

The d. School Ethos

As you research these things, you often come across some gems that are not directly related to the topic but provide great 21C brain food. With d. School the whole project is inspirational, and their ethos described on their website describes the culture required for such innovative environments to flourish.

Students come to the d. School with an intense curiosity, a deep affinity for other people, and the desire to gain an understanding beyond their own experience. …… our culture of collaboration means we move quickly beyond obvious ideas. We help each other even if it’s inconvenient. We ask for inspiration when stuck. We play. And we defer judgment long enough to build on each other’s ideas.

This is certainly an ethos, mindset and value system worth catching. If you are looking to create a more innovative approach to life or improve your business culture, they are worth reflecting on. Finally based on this d. School ethos what can you learn from ‘we help each other even if it is inconvenient’ – who could you help today?

The d. School Manifesto of Intent

The d. School Manifesto of Intent


  • A QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER focused on practical guidance for using the HIKMATY GRID.
  • FREE WEBINARs  on key career trends with specialist interviews and  HIKMATY GRID  transferable skill builders.
  • ONCE YOU PURCHASE A PROGRAM you also get access to our PRIVATE Hikmaty Tribe Members Club – for a fresh learning experience.