Design Thinking, new superpower?

World is changing faster than ever before. Businesses are facing more and more complex issues. Management models from the days of Industrial Revolution are not so useful in the fast-moving world of today. No businesses are safe from change as world is going digital. Think about Uber and Airbnb. We want more, when we want, how we want it. Current management tools are focused on value capture but we should be focusing more on value creation. There is a need for something new.


Design Thinking is a creative, logical tool that can facilitate innovation and transformation. Applying it to business problems empowers organizations and individuals to better understand their competitive and operational environment. It helps us to get back to the basics of human needs and human problems. Future business leaders need to be Design Thinkers. Design thinking teaches us how to bring intuition into the strategy process.

New skills are needs in the working life and therefore also education needs to change. We need skills as the ability to think creatively and critically, take initiative and work collaboratively for common goals. Design thinking offers enormous potential to improve the current educational system.

Our two-day course on Design Thinking led by Katja Tschimmel was based on the MINDSHAKE model Evolution 6, 2012 – 2016. Big part of Design Thinking is design doing and our course was exactly like that. We worked in small groups on the subject “Studying in Laurea”.

Presentation- group the Tortoises:


Working like this you get to know your team members and their working styles very well. Visualization was a big part and it helps with the idea creation process.

Opportunity mind map:


Experimentation- generating idea and concepts:


Service blueprint takes you through the physical elements and customer actions of your solution. Role play with Legos:


Storyboarding – communicating the new solution. Stay tuned for this one!

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This course gave us a really good overview of the subject and in the coming months we will dig deeper into fascinating world of Service Design. Hopefully more people and organizations will realize the benefits of Design Thinking in everyday work. It can be used at the beginning of an idea or used to unlock hidden value in existing products and services. Design Thinking can take your thinking and business to the next level. Looking forward what the future holds for us!

Written by Jaana Valli

Mootee, Idris. 2013. Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School. Wiley.

Tschimmel, Katja. 2015. Research Report D-Think.

6 thoughts on “Design Thinking, new superpower?

  1. Thank you Jaana for your post. I especially liked your insight on how Design Thinking focuses on value creation rather than “old style” value capture. I agree, that it is unppssible to capture the value proposition and multiply it for all situations or for all customers. Value is perceived differently for each situation and therefore the aspect of creating value with the customer or creating value when using the service (e.g. Booking the room from Airbnb) is highly important. Each encounter (f2f or online) while using service matters and I agree with you, that is why there is a need for Design Thinking in all sort of businesses. // Sara

  2. You describe the first days lecture very well and the pictures give this post a nice touch. They walk you through the story!

  3. I like your approach that future leaders need to be design thinkers, having empathy and finding solutions for the end users, instead of old way being mainly concentrated on maximising value capturing. Good story, thank you Jaana!

  4. From revolution to evolution and value creation – great take aways from our contact session. Was able to breathe while reading your post, thanks Jaana – and good pics! And you mentioned an important point – getting to know your team mates and their working styles was every bit as important than the service design process learnings we got.

  5. Bringing intuition to the strategy process is critical in service development today, because quite often you just can’t find all the answers from numbers, statistics, questionnaires and previous experiences. As you said, design thinking offers grate tools for taking also human needs into account.

  6. You have described the Design Thinking course very well and especially I liked the use of multiple pictures. I really got a bit into you hard working days and design doing. It is true that design thinking can take anyone of us or any business to a next level and I am also excited about the future and the benefits of design thinking.

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