Gone are the days when we were simply googling how to get things done. And we cannot use the same thought process to solve the problems that were used in creating them. We need a different approach towards things and a different mindset to work with. With the fast-changing world and everyone continually running towards the next “big thing”, nobody has the time to sit and actually think through anything.
We need faster thought processes and even faster innovations to keep up with the pace. At this time and age, we need people who can come up with practical solutions faster than ever. And the only thing that can help us with this is developing new ways of thinking to have better solutions, services and the experiences that we face currently.
One step towards this is developing a design thinking strategy for innovation. It offers a human-centric approach towards systematic problem solving and further innovations. It will further help us put things in a different perspective and see the problems differently.
What is Design Thinking Strategy for Innovation?
Design Thinking strategy for innovation is a process through which we try to understand and identify the challenges that the users might face while working with the upcoming innovation. The idea is to pre-assume things and then come up with a comprehensive plan to overcome those challenges.
At the same time, it offers a way to figure out solutions for the existing problems and innovate products or services accordingly. Design thinking strategy for innovation helps in understanding the audience for whom we are designing the products. It helps us in developing empathy towards the target user. It is further helping in tracking the known-unknown problems and re-framing them in different ways.
Design thinking strategy for innovation gives people to space to come up with as many ideas as possible. Then adopting the best approach of all and finally testing it. However, when it comes to innovation, design thinking can take a slightly different approach towards everything. While it is open to as many possibilities as anyone can imagine, it varies across different approaches and problems.
Meanwhile, design thinking is a process that ensures that the people follow a specific type of mindset. Design thinking strategy for innovation can be applied to almost every methodology, social innovation models, management practices and much more. It is a process that changes according to different strategies and disciplines without losing its original purpose.
Why is Design Thinking Strategy for Innovation Important?
Design thinking works best when it is strictly around the humanistic approach. It is best suited when the challenges are looked upon as per the human needs. A controlled and technical approach towards solving things is long gone, and it now needs to be sensitive towards modern society.
Design thinking strategy for innovation starts with the intention, desire or a need to make a particular situation better. While we don’t know if the path is viable, it gives us the tools to explore “what could be”.
With the new times and the advent of the internet for a considerable part of the population, brands across the world are always fighting for attention. Every user is a potential buyer and brands are tirelessly working towards being the best amongst all. However, this also led to “information overload”. There is too much information available about everything in the world in a different version. And this can be very overwhelming and confusing for the target audience.
While your users or the target audience also realize this, they are on a lookout for brands or organizations that they can personally connect with. Even if they are talking only to a website and a robot sitting across the screen, people want to feel the personal connection that will understand their concerns.
Over the years, companies have been working towards making the user experience as human-centric as possible. The way people now look at the human-internet interactions involves many human values and touch that ensures that the audience feels comfortable. All of this was possible because of design thinking.
It requires a whole plethora of creativity, analytics, studies and management strategies to ensure that the audience feels comfortable. Design Thinking strategy for innovation helps you to understand what would make your audience want to come to your products or services and not get distracted to the rest.
Change is the only Constant.
As we have mentioned before that design thinking strategy for innovation fits into almost every methodology. It is also subject to change. While the times are changing fast, so is the concept of design thinking. This only goes on to show that there is no hard and core rule for design thinking. It changes with time and people.
With the right mindsets, cooperative teams and conducive environments, design thinking thrives.
What is the Business Value of Design Thinking?
Businesses all across the world have been successful because of using Design thinking strategies for innovation. While they all have a never-ending list of goals and targets that they have to achieve to grow, design thinking also is a never ending process.
At the same time, business value of design thinking has a much greater value than anything material within the company. It costs picking up the right people with the same vision as yours and the ones that are quick to test and implement.
As an organisation you must understand that the design thinking isn’t restricted to your people. It also is the way everything is presented to the customers. There were more than enough taxis before Uber, there was enough social media before facebook. One thing that these companies share is the constant increase in their investment towards enhancing the business value of design thinking. It all comes down to investing in the right minds to take your organization further.
What are the Design Thinking Best Practices in Organization?
While design thinking strategy is open to everyone possible, but as a brand, you need the right people in your team who can mingle with the brand as much as you do. Everyone finds their space across the job strata, but your brand needs to pick the people who fit in. There are certain design thinking best practices in organization that you must encourage to assist people to look further.
One of the best things about the design thinkers’ is their creativity and analytics in line. They have the ability to merge creative thinking and their analytical abilities into one. While this may set unrealistic expectations, you must understand that the right mindsets may not always have everything in line. But they will always be open to it.
As a brand, you’d need people who are open to different possibilities and exploration. And design thinking strategy for innovation assists in doing so.
Each person is different, and they all have different abilities. Even if they are qualified for the same jobs and skill sets, their creativity levels will differ. And that’s precisely what you need in your team. It would be best to have people in your team who are different and excel in their own fields.
For example, a graphic designer’s creative skills and the analytical skills of a marketing professional could be the perfect combination that you’d need to boost your products/services.
At the same time, you need a healthy collaboration between creativity and analytical skills. It would be best if you had multidimensional approaches towards problem-solving. To further encourage and enhance design thinking strategy for innovation, you need a team that thinks across different possibilities and finally comes up with one solution.
While you need the right kind of people in your team, you also need to create such an environment for them to function and think through things. The environment you create within the organization for the team will determine their understanding of things and the ability to innovate.
This is the primary reason why huge giants like Google, Apple and many other startups also are working towards making the work environments fun. Many companies start with quirky colours on the walls and some playrooms within the company. It helps take the stress off of the team and help them refresh themselves throughout the day.
Along with this, many companies also encourage getaways and company parties to ensure that the employees have their fun while working. Having to start with a refreshed mind further enhances the design thinking strategy for innovation. It improves the way people behave with each other and experiment with radically new ways of thinking and approaching the problems. Also, it breaks the ice within the team.
Design Thinking in Business Examples
Below are some of the best design thinking in business examples that you can learn and implement for your brand as well.
Braun/Oral B Toothbrush
In the year 2016, Braun and Oral B hired some of the expert designers, Kim Colin and Sam Hecht to create a smart toothbrush. At first, the companies wanted them to create a toothbrush with intricate details like music player, gum sensitivity, etc.
However, at that time, the experts suggested them to go with the user’s experience than their own vision for the product. And they kept it simple that would solve many friction related problems that their customers have been complaining about.
Colin and Hecht added the on-the-go concept with USB charging and brush heads which the companies had already come up with. The result was a completely new product that not only boosted their sales but also increased customer loyalty.
Another brand for design thinking in business examples is Airbnb. It is hard to believe that there was once a time when they were making less than $200 per week. But the thing that was made it now to a billion dollar business is the design thinking.
The co-founders of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia and Paul Graham once said that they went through tons of charts, graphs and codes with their design team to understand the slow growth rate. And they didn’t understand it until they check their app as a user and understood that the pictures were terrible.
Soon after, they went across New York with a camera and spoke to people and replaced their pictures on the app with professional pictures. And within a few weeks, their revenue gew.
In the end, it’s essential to understand that design thinking strategy for innovation only works when people are open to change, and the organizations offer an environment to grow. And most importantly, design thinking is not only for big corporations but also for startups and other fields. It is not restricted only to the businesses but also spreads across through other fields of work and innovations.