Design Thinking – Introduction

So as one of my main focus areas, I will start with Design Thinking. I will provide a definition, and overview of the 6 stages, and hopefully create the link from Design Thinking to Digital Transformation and how it can help you start or continue the journey.

What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a human-centric approach for solving problems by creating new ideas. Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Always thinking about the outcome.

Where does it work?
For any business challenges like defining new solutions, strategies and roadmaps, organizational structures and processes. I believe that design thinking is perfect for the first and seconds phases of your digital transformation but you will probably leverage the process throughout. I will explore all phases of Digital Transformation as I move through the posts. But at a high level and to wet your appetite a little, the 6 phases are Discover / Prepare / Explore / Realize / Deploy / Run. Can you already imagine where a new process to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients can help here?

Create INNOVATION by combining the right PEOPLE, the needed SPACE and a supporting PROCESS. I like to summarize this as People / Process / Platform. More on this in a later post.

What is Innovation?

  • DESIRABILITY – Create something which fits to your users need.
  • FEASIBILITY – Otherwise it is just science fiction.
  • VIABILITY – Because we would like to earn money with it.

INNOVATION = Desirability + Feasibility + Viability. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10%, win some market share (even if it is in a red ocean), and maybe crash some competitors. This is exactly why most companies decay little by little as they tend to mostly do what they have done before with a few changes, their 10%. A study from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University estimates that 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer exist in 10 years. It is no surprise as 90% of Fortune 500 companies vanished since 1955, but the latest estimate is in 10 years, a fast decade away.

True innovation happens when you try to improve something by 10 times rather than 10%. Google talks about how sometimes it’s actually easier to make something 10 times better than improve it to make it 10% better. The key is perspective. This is where Design Thinking can help you get to that point.

In the next posts I will cover the 6 phases of Design Thinking. Now there are a few different process models so find the one that woks for you, but I will be covering my 6.

  • Understand / Empathize
  • Observe
  • Define a point or view
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Right lets go to Understand.


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