CM 008: Mona Patel on What Drives Great Design

Twitter - CM Logo and Mona PatelDesign thinking and creativity are like muscles: we all have them, but they are more useful when they are strengthened! In this bestselling book Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think, Mona Patel gives you the perfect exercises for your design workout, giving you the tools you need to unleash your inner designer.

Mona is a regular contributor to Fast Company, Time Magazine, and Forbes, and she is the founder and CEO of Motivate Design. Mona is also an adjunct professor at Parsons School of DesignIn this episode, she explains the ways design thinking informs her life and her work, and she shares some of the strategies she uses with friends, family, colleagues, and clients.

In addition, you will learn:

  • how to unleash your creativity through design thinking
  • why everyone can be creative
  • creative openers you can use with your teams
  • questions that actually limit our creativity
  • how to push people to create something better without making them feel bad
  • the most important question for designing solutions
  • which assumptions hold us back
  • what it is like to be a woman of color leading a design company
  • the power of a design-centered culture in the workplace

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Links to Topics Discussed


Four-C Model of Creativity by James Kaufman and Ronald Beghetto

TEDx Talk by Mona Patel



Excuse Personas

White Space

Project Greenlight

Human-centered Design

Woman and Minority Owned Business

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

Thank you to Clark Nowlin for his sound engineering and to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for creating the Curious Minds logo!