Bill Burnett and Dave Evans of the design school at Stanford University have turned their popular course "Designing Your Life" into a book for all of us.
A much anticipated book, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, is being released by Knopf today. The book is based on the authors' popular class in the Design Program at Stanford of the same name, and it distills the lessons they teach their students, and more, at (let's just say) a fraction of the cost of a Stanford education.
The reasons to pick up a copy for yourself may be apparent, perhaps multitudinous, but the authors think you can also use it as a tool to help employees in your organization, and help the organization retain talent. Your employees have questions about the lives and careers, and it's not just young people entering the workforce who have those questions. As Evans says in the video below, as an employer, "you're either going to participate in those questions, or you're just going to hear their answers to them." Oftentimes, that answer comes in the form of them walking out the door.
In Steven Kurutz's review in The New York Times, he writes:
"Design thinking, as rendered in the book, is about treating life in a more improvisational way. It’s a welcome counterbalance to the data-driven, engineering mind-set gripping the culture.
Follow Mr. Burnett’s and Mr. Evans’s teachings, and the anxiety-ridden process of decision making suddenly seems more playful. Their method is experiential and accepts that failure is part of the process."
That lesson is powerful for individuals, and productive for groups. Instilling that ethos in your organization can help reduce fear and free up creativity.
No matter how well we're doing, we all want to lead more satisfied, more connected, more meaningful lives. If you can give the people in your organization the tools to do that, if you can help them develop as whole human beings as they develop in the workforce, then you will have an army of active, engaged employees who are less likely to walk out the door. Those tools are all available in Designing Your Life.