Knowing what greatness looks like

So often, as people who have been deep in the work for years, we forget what it’s like to not know. We forget what it’s like to have never seen greatness.

Adopting a beginner’s mindset helps us step back into the shoes of someone just beginning their journey. Assume the best about a beginner’s intent. Assume they want to do great work, but just don’t know what “great” looks like, or don’t have the resources to achieve it.

I’m trying to show more examples of greatness early on in design work with students. Showing them how people at IDEO work and think about projects. Now, we can reference their process and ask questions like “how might we be more like that?” Those are questions we could not have asked if we had never modeled greatness.

Show examples of incredible work, then help people believe that they’re not as far from achieving it as they think.