Framework for developing companies beyond design thinking processes — Copyright Irina Damascan 2020

Since we know that design thinking was created for problem-solving and is meant to be a process preoccupied with narrowing concerns, we need to zoom out of this bubble and see what is beyond that. Before this, in the 1960s companies were not thinking of innovation the way we do. They were thinking of inventing things which is much bigger than innovating.


For most people who feel sad and depressed, the first action they take is to get on anti-depressives and carry on with life as usual. But there is another way to go about this without involving drugs which only add up to bottling up emotions in the body: emotional healing therapies!

Being able to accommodate uncertainty in life is part of the development stage explained in Bowlby’s theories on attachment when the child learns to detach themselves from the parent. That detachment is the part where the child learns to take care of themselves in the world. Just like in childhood when we learn to be on our own two feet, in therapy, we are offered a “crutch” to use for a while but at some point, you need to walk on your own again.

All effective therapy ultimately requires that patients view themselves as responsible for their own behaviour. -


Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

The problem with death is that too often we connect it to a cemetery. And that is becoming especially important for religions like Christian Orthodox ones. But there’s a systemic root cause of why this is happening and we are not getting it solved for centuries because we can’t think straight when we’re grieving.

From a very young age, I hated cemeteries. Not just the places but also anything that would lead to thinking of such a place where there is so much grief gathered in one place. It felt like the dark whole that would drag you in it and you’d not be able to come out of it anymore. However, I avoided as many funerals as I could. The only ones I couldn’t be in denial about were those of my grandparents. Having a double family, as I had, made me aware of the fact that I will have to say goodbye…


ATS violation list — Copyright Irina Damascan 2020

Digitalization of recruitment going through the age of Applicant Tracking Systems is proving to leave a lot of “humans” out of the workforce. This article goes in-depth about a problem we already face in recruitment for some years and will be even more intensified by the millions of job seekers left in unemployment due to Corona and automation of processes using RPA ( robotic processing applications).

If you’ve been looking for a job lately, you’ve probably seen how many rejections you get without any feedback.

Even more so, personalization systems fail to actually include your name in the rejection letter! That stings!

The ATS-es help companies process the applications of hundreds of candidates a lot faster and using AI they scan very fast if you have the right keywords in your CV or not and almost 75% of the times reject candidates from a percentage score rather than any subjective decision of a human hiring manager. …


Photo by Henrikke Due on Unsplash

“Say you’re sorry like you really mean it!” If you’ve heard this and you felt ashamed and guilty for not really being “honest” enough for the person who asked you this, then you’ve probably been gaslighted and you don’t even know it!

This is the line I’ve heard from my mom back in my childhood every time I would get her upset about something that I didn’t consider my fault but had to apologize for it anyway. For many years, I thought that I was really just stubborn about saying “I am sorry” without really meaning it because I couldn’t deal with my emotions and my arrogance of wanting to be the victim.


Photo credit: Zuzanna Marzec — Larping event Fairweather Manor

On Medium, writers like that are called indie writers because they are raw, honest, real, and connect deeply with their audience. But in real life, they are called outspoken uncomfortable activists. The rule of thumb is that the less someone agrees with your openly expressed thoughts, the more uncomfortable you become for them.

The problem of freely speaking your mind in a lot of circumstances is that it jeopardizes your chances of getting accepted by the group especially if they quietly agree to turn a blind eye to the reality you are pointing out to. In many cases, the role of advocacy groups is to enable the conservatives to open their mind about the blind spots they have and the biases they hold and help engage a larger and more inclusive, and diverse community in the decision-making processes. But if there is no entity formed yet for your particular problem, you might bark…


Wow Andy! This is really great! Your way of summarising the main struggles we face when identifying as service designers just resonates so much with me. I’ve been having the transition the other way around, from service design to product design because I could not find the place to use my power to frame things from new angles. My biggest hurdle was to allow people to see that connecting the dots differently than they were usually doing is not something threatening and scary and risky. It’s bold and revolutionary and outspoken, but not meant to undermine the legacy of what was built and instead grow a more honest relationship with customers through deep understanding of the value we’d deliver to them. So it’s just refreshing to see you found a company that appreciates that way of working!


Photo by Jony Ariadi on Unsplash

Actually, the difference couldn’t be bigger but a lot of millennials confuse the terms because the media industry is bombing them with ads and content on self-care selling it as the value of self-compassion.

As this article says:

We sometimes use “self-care” as a proxy for “self-compassion.” But they’re actually different concepts. Self-compassion is regarding yourself compassionately. Self-care, by contrast, is treating yourself compassionately. The two terms sound interchangeable, but they contain a thinking versus doing distinction.

What compassion is all about is the perception and framework of reference from which we produce a judgment about something, someone or ourselves. Meanwhile, regardless of how I see myself, self-care will allow me to give myself a dopamine boost and treat myself every once in a while. This instant soothing effect will allow me at times…


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Our feelings are valid! All of them! But sometimes we lose ourselves in the emotions of our partners and we allow them to become more important than our inner voice and needs. The way in which we allow the dynamic of our emotions to be prioritized in relationships with others makes us the more emotionally mature people in the room. Not that this was the goal, but let’s see what should be the goal in these intense moments.

Learning to be aware of our emotions, to label them, to control our reactions to them, and to regulate them and their intensity is probably just as important as learning to walk “professionally”. Most people think that once you got the basics of it, you’re done with learning. But it’s all about the practice that makes this flywheel of good habits spin.

Codependency is a topic I previously discussed in an article about my own journey that made me go through all the available books and resources to get the information about what this is, what’s the cause, and what’s…


Photo by Joel Bengs on Unsplash

Trauma coming from a mother’s wound is the reason why people form fear of connecting and depending on another human being for their sense of worth and love and belonging in the world. That’s the beginning of what emotional availability comes from and if you’re attracted to people with this problem it’s worth exploring your own mirroring trauma about this.

If you’re a girl/ woman reading this and think this is another empowerment article, stop reading here. This is an article exploring serious attachment trauma from both an individual perspective and the ability to form healthy relationships. If you’re still reading it means you are a person ( regardless of gender) with an anxious attachment style and you are prone to fall in love with a person ( again regardless of gender because this can happen to both genders) who is avoidant attached. In the famous theory of Bowlby on attachment styles further explored by Amir Levine in Attached, these…

Irina Damascan

Experience and service designer passionate about psychology and behavioral change. Writing mostly on matters of the heart as a way to form user centric methods.

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