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Design brings forth what does not come naturally. While science is concerned with how things are, design is concerned with how things ought to be.

Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones. The intellectual activity that produces material artifacts is no different fundamentally from the one that prescribes remedies for a sick patient or the one that devises a new sales plan for a company or a social welfare policy for a state. - Herbert Simon (Nobel Prize Winner & Carnegie Mellon professor)

Brent, perhaps the term “system” scares them off. Maybe we should think “Holistic”? Thus iHD rather than ISD—a small i is used rather than a capital as the emphasis is on Holistic and Design rather than instruction.

In an article by Fast Company, they tell the story of coronary-artery bypass patients who have surgery to relieve pain, rather than to cure them. In fact, the only real cure is to start taking better care of themselves, such as quitting smoking, eating less, and exercising. Yet, in study after study, very few do! When these patients are looked at two years after their surgery, 90% have not made any significant change to their lifestyle.

Here are people facing a life or death situation, yet they fail to make the right choice, thus they face more pain, more surgeries, and possibly even death. How can we expect leaders to change people when they will not even change themselves when faced with a major personal crises?

Dr. Ornish, showed that a holistic program, focused around a vegetarian diet, can actually reverse heart disease without surgery or drugs. This holistic program includes going after their feelings by having them attend a twice-weekly support group sessions led by a psychologist. It includes instruction in aerobic exercise, meditation, relaxation, and yoga and lasts for about a year. A study showed that after three years, 77% of the patients had stuck with their lifestyle changes and avoided the surgery. A far cry from the 10% who succeed when only given cognitive instructions.

This holistic method works better as the change is reframed—rather than trying to motivate patients with the fear of death; they are motivated with the joy of living. Facing death for most people is much too frightening to think about, thus patients often go into denial; where as making daily life more enjoyable is a powerful motivator.

Perhaps our system holistic methods need to invite people to jump in for the shear joy of it, rather then trying to force them in.