Critical self-reflection of knowledge and personal development

From experiencing design thinking and entrepreneurial activity, I become able to develop my knowledge as it has supported me to analyse that posters are one of the important way of communication with the customers. However it is necessary to design the posters while focusing towards informative and attractive parameters as it remains supportive to attract the consumers (see blog #1, 20 July 2017). At the same time, it has helped me to learn that while designing, there is a need of focusing towards four steps, that is, thinking, reasoning, deduction and logic while giving consideration towards the customers. In like manner, I learned that in design thinking process, there is a need of keeping four questions in mind, that is, what is, what if, what wows and what works (see blog #2, 25 July 2017). Additionally, there is a need of thinking how can a firm achieve it under a particular time frame and conditions.

Furthermore, I learned that there is a need of applying various theories that can remain supportive to explain the design thinking. It has supported to develop my personality by giving me understanding regarding applying the logic of reasoning such as inductive, abductive and deductive reasoning (see blog #3, 1 August 2017). Moreover, it will support to understand regarding loop learning and its types. I learned that there is a need of making assumptions before taking any action. I learned that design thinking in a different way while focusing towards the customer need which has supported to develop the skill of customer-centric approach. I learned that there is a need of utilizing various brainstorming activities as it remains supportive to increase the creativity and design approach which is the integral part of DT (design thinking) process (see blog #4, 9 August 2017).

At the same time, I learned about making modification in the poster, if there is any loophole.  In like manner, I learned about value chain system while focusing towards the activities which play major role in creating the value of the product while focusing towards the relationships and inter-organisational links which has personality development skills of decision making (see blog #5, 27 August 2017). Additionally, it has assisted me to develop the technical skills of developing systematic information collection and interpretation of information while focusing towards clear purpose. It has supported to learn how to collect the correct information and identify the actual problem while giving concern towards primary as well as secondary data sources and adapting quantitative and qualitative approaches (see blog #6, 27 August 2017).

This workshop has supported me to learn the importance of prototype in DT and has enabled to develop the skills of generating prototype while utilizing craft tools to design the prototype importance of prototype in design thinking (see blog #7, 7 September 2017). In addition, I also have learned about different design thinking tools like journey mapping and mind mapping. Journey mapping is quite helpful to determine the issues for the customers while mind mapping tool is used to organise all the information obtained from brainstorming. I with my team approached to a technique by using sticky notes of different colours to design the map to organise the ideas and easily go through it. Apart from this, attending workshops also helped me to develop my understanding of the learning launch that is quite important for the innovation perspective. For this, we prepared and performed an activity by writing the feedback grid including positives, negatives and unclear aspects and new insights. It helped me to learn the customers’ issues and concerns effectively and get proper direction for new innovation (see blog #8, 15 September 2017). Moreover, I also acknowledged of the marketing concepts including segmentation, targeting and positioning in the market. Previously, I used to consider that customers are considered as data like statistics, but entrepreneurial marketing suggests that customers are real people. There is need to adopt creative and entrepreneurial strategies to market the products. The use of video helped me to understand the customer buying behaviour and patterns and communication ways with the target customers (see blog #9, 24 September 2017). In addition, I also learnt about entrepreneurial innovations and fundraising options like grants and debts to arrange required fund to make innovations. It helped me to develop my knowledge of the benefits and limitations of different finance sources including external and internal sources to choose the best one as per the business requirements (see blog #10, 24 September 2017). Further, the workshop also helped me to develop my presentation skills when we presented the design problem in different ways (see blog #11, 5 October 2017).

Analyse self-reflection to identify personal strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of development

My Self-reflection has helped me to understand myself and have given men insight on my developmental needs. The analysis of my self-reflection has directed me towards self-assessment to identify my strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvements or learning skill development.  The self-reflection is done by maintaining notebook for blogs resulting from experiencing design thinking and entrepreneurial activity to notice my actions, feelings and actions/decisions taken.  In my analysis of self-reflection, I have known that I have passion for design thinking to map out designs to resolve issues or to ease out the complex process through design techniques and on how to enhance effectiveness of blogs through design thinking.  From my analysis of self-reflection, I have identified my strengths, weakness and improvement areas in relation to design thinking and entrepreneurial activity. I found that my designing skills are good for poster designing in terms of making it informative and attractive. I got to know that apart from my design skill for poster presentations to make it appealing to target group, I have found my work to  be well organised in a way to collect and present it in poster to make it easier to interpret and make it understand to the audience.  Through these workshops I have developed a sound understanding of the design thinking as well as about the entrepreneur activity for new venture. The enhanced knowledge about the key steps in designing a product such as thinking, reasoning, deduction and logic contributes in my knowledge development as my strengths. In addition to this, my self-reflection analysis has given me an insight on my strengths such as designing skills, organising skills and technology skills related to designing. At the same time, I have realised that teamwork is equally important for improvements through feedback and completion of any task. For the perspective of my knowledge I have developed a broad knowledge related to designing concepts, the different theories explained has given a clarity of design thinking, types of reasoning (deductive, designing, abductive) and its application. This information has given me the significance of combining the designs with logic perspective to achieve the desired outcomes.  The workshop has also changed my thinking about learning as a long-long activity through educating about the concept of loop learning and its kinds (Grainger, 2014).

I have realised that theses workshops has helped me in the development of my strengths to support me in design thinking and better understanding of aspects of entrepreneur activity in adequate manner to enable my knowledge and skills development in an effective and efficient manner (Burnham, 2015).

However, this self-analysis has also drawn my attention towards my weakness in design thinking area such as critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and technical skills.  I need to develop my critical thinking skills or design thing skills which are required for make assumptions prior to any action and critical thinking skills are also required to clear self-doubt about making the right assumptions or taking correct decision or action for designing phase such as for double loop learning (Scheer et al., 2012). Moreover, problem solving skills and technical skills are also identified as my weakness on which I need to improve. These skills therefore, require improvement to make me more proficiency in designing and for any entrepreneur activity. Thus, by identifying my weaknesses areas I have become aware of my development areas for critical thinking, problem solving of issue through design thinking and to learn about technical skills required for designing using appropriate tools and working principles (Eisele et al 2013). This has assisted me to improve in my areas to study design thinking and to understand of different components in the designing act from the technology skills to specific technical skills in terms of design process, design principle, assumptions and theories and critical thinking for different design system and the influence on thinking process of designers (Dorst, 2011). I also need to focus on sharpening my problem solving skills to understand the nature of engineering design skills for complex issues. Thus, I can say that analysing my own reflection has given me strengths to leverage and develop skills for design thinking to purse my designing passion and for my personal development in this area and to develop my identity as a designer.

Action plan, supported by literature, that addresses key development needs

The table explains the skills which need to be developed in myself for performing the allotted task effectively. For this, time frame will be shown within which skills/ competencies are obtained. Thus, below mention table will give the brief description of the opportunity/ training for accomplishing the skills:

Time Frame Description of opportunities/training Skills/competencies to develop
Within 2 year  ·         Reading  books, articles helps for gaining knowledge about the different subject matter in order to take appropriate decision as per the situation

·         Reading different critical or suspense stories






Critical-Thinking Skills


Within 3 year ·         Attend seminars, coaching and presentations etc.

·         Reading annual report of different companies

·         Sign-in with the various test


Within 1 year   ·         Understand each aspect of the situation through analyzing.

·         Read different authors journals

·         To receive the training from the specialized professionals.






Problem-Solving Skills


Within 4 year ·         Attend conferences and workshops on the different business houses

·         Group meeting and discussion

·         Through developing the healthy Communication with the colleagues


Within 3 year   ·         Embrace multiple software

·         Reading online tutorials

·         Take classes with the professional bodies

·         Take advice from superior group

·         Subscribe to the technical magazines

·         Learn to develop the programs and system





Technical Skills


Within 6 year ·         Read article related to technology

·         Attend different technicians workshop

There are different skills are mention above such as critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills and technical skills in which I am lacking as an entrepreneur. So in order to learn these skills, I explore various opportunities and attend various training program. Likewise, for the development of critical thinking skills, I read the different journals, articles and suspense oriented books. Besides that, I also undergone through various test and attend seminars etc. At the same time, from the research findings of Leung et al., (2017), it is determined that for being a good entrepreneur, the critical thinking is one of the major aspects. It is because it helps the entrepreneur to get success and to overcome the different issues and the problems as well. So, in order to improve these skills, the use of different subspecies stories, etc. It is because it will increase the thinking capability and make critical of their thinking (Tattum, and Tattum, 2017).


In case to achieve the problem-solving skills, I receive the training from the experts and take part in group discussion with my colleagues. Such practices provide support to me in terms to solve the complex problems. In the research of Yang et al., (2012), it is determined that three are different books and the journal articles that are available and help the individual by providing the knowledge about the different aspects related to the business. Because of this, it can be interpreted that the use of various books and the journals can be the better way for the entrepreneur for managing the different issues related to the problem solving (Cottrell, 2015).

Furthermore for incorporating a technical skills, I undergone online tutorials, attend technicians workshop, develop multiple software or systems. Moreover, I also take classes from the different professional bodies in order to develop the practical knowledge with theoretical understanding. From the research of King et al., (2010), it can be illustrated that reading online tutorials, attended some classes, etc are the major way that help the individual in terms of increasing their technical knowledge and make a good entrepreneur. Therefore, it can be stated that such training or opportunity contributes high for me in terms to develop the necessary skills (McGrath, 2014). In additionally, it also provides supports to manage each task and perform the activity in an effective and efficient manner.


Burnham, D.H., (2015) Create Your Personal Leadership Development Plan. The Discover Your True North Fieldbook: A Personal Guide to Finding Your Authentic Leadership, p.199.

Cottrell, S. (2015) Skills for success: Personal development and employability. Palgrave Macmillan.

Dorst, K. (2011) The core of ‘design thinking’and its application. Design studies, 32(6), pp. 521-532.

Eisele, L., Grohnert, T., Beausaert, S. and Segers, M., (2013) Employee motivation for personal development plan effectiveness. European Journal of Training and Development37(6), pp.527-543.

Grainger, A., (2014) Your personal development plan. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants8(1), pp.6-6.

King, D. K., Glasgow, R. E., Toobert, D. J., Strycker, L. A., Estabrooks, P. A., Osuna, D., & Faber, A. J. (2010) Self-efficacy, problem solving, and social-environmental support are associated with diabetes self-management behaviors. Diabetes care, 33(4), pp. 751-753.

Leung, A., Mitric, C., Chow, K., & Krishnamurthy, S. (2017) P-OBS-JM-141 OBGYN Bootcamp: Pre-Rotation Obstetrics and Gynaecology Technical Skills Training Improves Medical Student Confidence and Performance. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 39(5), pp. 395-396

McGrath, M., (2014) Personal development plan. Leading the Way11(1), p.21.

Scheer, A., Noweski, C., & Meinel, C. (2012) Transforming constructivist learning into action: Design thinking in education. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 17. Ppp. (3).

Tattum, D. and Tattum, E., (2017) Social education and personal development. Routledge.

Yang, Y. T. C., & Wu, W. C. I. (2012) Digital storytelling for enhancing student academic achievement, critical thinking, and learning motivation: A year-long experimental study. Computers & Education, 59(2), pp. 339-352.

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