According to Harvard Business School accounting professor, Srikant Datar, anyone can learn to be a design thinker and innovator. Datar doesn’t believe in an innovative gene that we are born with, but rather anybody can learn to be innovative if given the proper tools.
I experienced this firsthand as a participant in a workshop that Datar teaches at Harvard Business School. I have seen my peers, business professors from Latin American, transformed from conventional to entrepreneurial thinkers over the last two days.
Datar challenged us to think differently. He gave us tools, one-by-one, to break us out of a fixated mindset into our new found creativity. One attendee joked (or perhaps he was serious) that he is quitting academia to become an entrepreneur. With just two days of training, our group has developed many new products and ways to improve processes.
This workshop has probably been one of the best learning experiences of my professional career. As a result, Datar and I will be writing an article on "Design Theory" in the near future to share this information with accounting professionals who want to learn new ways of thinking and solving problems.
I found myself wandering around Harvard Square today after snow delays at the airport and lost luggage. I ate a yummy tofu and black mushrooms dish for dinner. I pinched myself wondering how does someone from southern Ohio end up at Harvard?
It is exciting to be in Boston, reminding of the urban life I once knew as a young child living in Chicago. My last 40+ years, however, has been spent living in Ohio, where the major form of transportation is in a car. Folks look a little thinner in Cambridge. I figured its from all the walking, and I hope it works to my advantage.
I began writing to professors to see if I could sit in some of their classes. I wanted to learn about design thinking, and wrote to Srikant Datar, an accounting professor who teaches the class at Harvard Business School. He invited me to a session he is teaching this week to Spanish and Latin American Academics. Wow, I am looking forward to attending. I can hardly believe it!