Driving innovation through Design Thinking

Driving innovation through Design Thinking

Steve Jobs, the revolutionary CEO who was reinstated in 1997 to take Apple from obscurity to limelight can be referred to as one of the pioneers of design thinking. Likewise, in the 1990s, Procter and Gamble (P&G) was experiencing severe crisis and struggling to infiltrate the market. However, they re-strategized and adopted an approach which was user-focused and solution-centric; establishing their market dominance in the process.

This same concept which proved useful in the tech and manufacturing industry has been adopted by other markets and the outcome is the same; design thinking drives innovation. You might be wondering, “what is this strategy?”, “can I apply it to my business?”. Your questions are addressed below.

What is Design Thinking?

Before now, designers tackled projects by focusing on the problem at hand, seeking to solve the challenge by concentrating on the problem. However, design thinking adopts a solution-based style which begins with the end-user in mind. Logic, intuition, analysis, and imagination are tools which are heavily relied upon in creating the desired outcome.

How to Embrace Design Thinking

Even though it is not a silver bullet to all your organization’s problem, design thinking offers an opportunity to collectively create a framework for pursuing innovation. Ditching the conventional linear approach to problem-solving is difficult, however, it is a worthwhile venture. You can start with these three steps.

Empathy

For a human-centered design process to be successful, it is important that the business managers empathize with the customers who utilize these products. This skill becomes particularly useful when the business is on the verge of expanding into new spheres.

Without empathy, gleaning information on the challenges encountered is impossible. Design thinking basically entails asking the right question, meeting the right demographics, in essence, putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

This strategy might appear plain and ineffective, however, research has revealed that a 50% increase in income has been recorded by companies which adopted this strategy. In another study carried out, lack of empathy was identified as one of the reasons customers patronize other businesses.

Iterative Problem-Solving

The global market is rapidly evolving and it becomes difficult to keep up with the pace if you still spend the bulk of your time on futile ventures. Constantly changing the scope of a problem engenders better results every time. Often, businesses stick with strategies which have shown minimal potential to succeed.

Harvard Business Review carried out a survey and it was seen that about 9 in 10 companies struggled with finding an accurate diagnosis of their problem. Design thinking encourages you to diversify, adopt an iterative approach, and re-diagnose the problem.

Stakeholder Mapping

As a business seeking to innovate, you should form the habit of visualizing the effect and outcome of certain actions and decisions. Ideally, you need to consider different factors such as time constraints, geopolitical factors, religious beliefs, etc.

You should have an exhaustive outline of global stakeholders, their allies and foes, addressing the issues pertinent to them.

Design thinking in its simplest form is a way of solving a problem. Many an organization, straitjacketed by their process-oriented methodology would rather live with a problem than apply an out of the box approach like Design Thinking. Many others treat it as a last throw of the dice, when all else fails. The truly smart ones believe that this is the approach which is the real complement to innovation.

At Biztruss, we recognize the need to apply the right brain in equal measure to address challenges. Whether it is in scoping out a development challenge or in drawing out a Customer Journey Map, a user centric approach sets the tone for designing appropriate solutions for every problem. While the design thinking may not or even should not always have quantified success metrics in keeping with the spirit of its being, it definitely does succeed in opening up minds and avenues, in turn helping unearth new ways of solving problems.

In case you haven’t tried it out yet, there’s always a way you can make a start, just by altering your thought process, just that little bit. That’s what Design Thinking is all about, and that’s what it asks of you.

Till we roll out another blog from our thought factory, continue to think with design. And tell us all about your success stories doing it.

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