In simple words, design thinking is a mindset focused on the solution, not the problem. It is a repeatable and proven problem-solving protocol that promises results. A person, a business, or a profession can easily achieve big, measurable results by making Design Thinking the core of their innovation processes.

To explain it a little better, you can say that design thinking is more or less an amalgamation of creative and critical thinking that facilitates decision making, organization of ideas, improvement of difficult situations, and knowledge acquisition.

Why should Design Thinking be the Core of a Business?

Problem-solving is a part of our routine. However, in the corporate world, when every action aims at innovation, it is more complicated than conventionally defining a problem and figuring out an equally conventional and effective solution. There are too many people with different perspectives, too many ideas, so much data to evaluate, personal biases, and lack of focus on what matters in the process.
This disorganization and chaos results in unexpected trade-offs, which Design Thinking aims to avoid. As a social technology, design thinking facilitates innovation just like what TQM (Total Quality Management) does for manufacturing. It helps people unleash their full creative energies, fulfill their commitments, and improve processes step by step. Design thinking helps solve problems in an organized and unanimous way.

Design Thinking – A Social Technology

What makes Design Thinking a social technology and so important for a business is its ability to change the ways innovators engage in the innovation process and how it counteracts their biases.

  • When innovators are too focused on their own skills and experiences, design thinking helps them turn their focus on understanding the only thing that matters, the user experience.
  • When dealing with lots of data, Design Thinking helps hone in on one good solution. It helps organize the data into themes and patterns so that it is easy to see new insights and possibilities.
  • When there are masses of ideas and opinions, Design Thinking encourages innovators to work in convergence by focusing on what matters to their users and what solves their problems.
  • When innovators are too afraid of change, design thinking helps them experiment with users and staff and bring out commitment and confidence in new products and strategies.
  • When it is not good enough and accurate user-feedback, design thinking helps develop prototypes that can help in pre-experience and accurate user-feedback.

Design Thinking and Product Innovation

There are three main goals of a product innovation process:

  • Superior Solutions
  • Low risks and costs
  • Employee buy-in

By using design thinking, you can set user-driven criteria and build superior solutions. Design thinking helps businesses avoid complexities and offer a structured and linear solution. In an organizational setting, there are seven steps of implementing design thinking.

  1. Immersion in user experience
  2. Organizing and making sense of data
  3. Building alignment in team members
  4. Encourage the emergence of fresh perspectives
  5. Articulation to filter out ideas
  6. Offer pre-experience
  7. Learning in action by experimenting

Each of these steps generates clear outputs that the next activity takes on and converts it into another output. The chain goes on until the organization reaches an implementable innovation. In short words, creativity, critical and structured thinking facilitate innovation and brings businesses one step closer to success.

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