According to many different sources of research and field analysis from various companies we are fast moving away from product centricity to customer centricity, from company internal process oriented approach to organizing company’s functions by customer touch points or customer journey maps. This change from product driven business models to customer value-centric business models is hard for traditional companies but are natural way of functioning for smaller entities and start-ups.
Design thinking gives an alternative approach to complex problem solving and wicked obstacles to be faced in a totally new context and way in order to achieve new innovations and new perspectives to the problematic areas. Design thinking takes into account the very crucial and in product centric approach easily forgotten element – user feelings, intuition, the gut feeling that decides, despite all the hard-proven facts and figures, which product or service you end up consuming and potentially even becoming a loyal fan or evangelist. When companies wake up in crisis, their sales in not coming as expected, the reason can most probably be found in their change culture or lack of it. When companies are trying to change their company culture from the traditional approach to design centric and customer centric approach, the roll-out has to start from the top management and if the management is either familiar with design centric approach or sets up siloed function in the organization, the change will be hard to accomplish.
“You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
For a company to be able to master the change journey with a success, a good approach is to use systematic processes and methodologies to examine new innovative ways of conducting various parts of business interactions in different levels to achieve better results. One good and systematic approach is The Mindshake’s Design Thinking Model, Evolution 62.
With help of this model and by using the design thinking approach a company can start a serious change journey and can come up with something totally unexpected by the end of the process. For many companies it is hard to run through this process by themselves, many times the company executives are too close to the operations and don’t see the trees in the forest. Therefore, a good approach would be to take an outsider, external consultant to run this design thinking model with representatives both from executive and operational level to get a good glance from different perspectives, not forgetting the customers or the competitors either. As this model explores some many perspectives, all relevant stakeholders are taken into account and potential ideas are experimented and prototyped along the way. This is an extensive exercise for any company but well worth the time and money invested since it can reveal total new ways of facing customer and doing business with them, creating totally new currently previously non-existing business ideas and create a totally new paths for the future.
My takeaway from the first Laurea course is good process and methodology to be used for design thinking approach created by Katja Tschimmel. This 6E model takes it a bit further than other models I have been dealing with previously. I still believe that the “feeling factor” is very crucial when winning or losing in business as it overrules in many cases all the evidence and facts that might have been contradicting one’s feelings, therefore this aspect should be taken in all consumer research as well.
Mootee, Idris, 2013. Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation : What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School. Wiley
Brown, Tim 2009. Change by design: how design thinking can transform organizations and inspire innovation. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Tschimmel, Katja 2012. Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona.