What Is All The Fuss About Design Thinking?

As new technologies surface and means of communication and transportation evolve, the world is becoming increasingly rapid and efficient. One of the main results of this speed is disruption. Hence, some companies have turned towards Design Thinking to better understand this disruption and preserve their competitiveness.

Design Thinking is not an experiment; it empowers and encourages us to experiment.
— Idris Motee, CEO of Idea Couture

We can undeniably agree that the rate of change today is faster than it has even been before.  Businesses now need a new, smart, social, agile and creative way to put innovation at the center of every action. That way is what management experts call Design Thinking. It is a proven and repeatable problem solving protocol that any firm can implement to achieve big results. The definition given by Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO, is a “human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success”. Arguably, the process is typically split into a few steps:

  • Empathize: learn about the audience for whom you are designing
  • Define: construct a point of view that is based on user needs and insights
  • Ideate: Brainstorm and come up with creatives solutions
  • Prototype: Build a representation of one or more ideas to show to others
  • Test: Return to your original user group and testing your ideas for feedback

A few tips to fully take advantage of Design Thinking

  • Invite everyone in the firm to participate in the strategic innovation: it is important to hear all   perspectives before taking an important decision because you never know who might have the best idea until you give them the opportunity to do so.
  • Accept differences and take them into consideration: not everyone has a creative approach when  tackling problems. Take every point of view and mend them together to create something great and unique. The key is not to judge each other because all ideas can have potential. Once this comfort zone disappears, it will increase participation and provide you with more ideas to eventually crystallize into gold.
  • Tolerate mistakes: the objective is to be better not perfect. Ideation must be a learning process and mistakes must be accepted.
  • Give credit to the right people and celebrate: once a goal is achieved, it is important to celebrate and highlight the results to the various stakeholders.
  • Lose control: creative personalities are the type to bend the rules by nature. Hence, it is fundamental to encourage this mindset and allow some freedom from time to time for exploration while maintaining the focus on problem solving and key metrics.

Bottom line, I see Design Thinking at the core of every strategy development and organizational change to create a culture that is focused on problem solving. It is a real framework for innovation, growth and profitability. These principles illustrated above will remain timeless for generations to come.

I highly encourage you to check out the book, Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation by Idris Motee. He’s a real genius!