In the first workshop in SID’s design thinking course, all the students had a positive and adaptive attitude to learning the design thinking method. This may not be the case in your workplace. Especially old production company workers that are not used to use service design may have a lot of perceptions towards new ways of working. The existing culture affects heavily on people and needs work to be changed.
Design thinking is a series of divergent and convergent thinking and doing that uses empathy, visualization collaboration and fast prototyping. End results are desirable for the user, viable and feasible solutions for innovation challenges or other wicked problems. Design thinking is a mindset, a method and a set of tools that can be used in product, service, process and business model innovation.
Design thinking connects the business logic with the human aspects to create desirable, viable and feasible solutions.
To successfully implement design in an organization, the value of design should be first understood. As Katja Tschimmel taught us in the design thinking course, it is very difficult to prove. It is impossible to make the same project with the same people and the same amount of knowledge at the same time twice. Of course, people will learn a lot of new things when participating in a single project where design thinking tools are used.
Ideation can be done effectively and in an organized way with different tools.
If your company is adding design to everyday processes, make sure that the design leadership is in high level in the organization to ensure that design thinking can be in a central role in the strategy planning and execution. Customer value should be aligned with the company strategy and the existing processes need to be aligned with design.
Company’s attitudes and culture should be about empowerment, reflection, collaboration, long term outcomes, shared purpose, experimentation and learning from mistakes. To make that happen you can for example train marketing and product development people for design and give business people knowledge about business. Encourage people to be visual, to draw and sketch. It will stimulate for more design thinking. Visualization makes people from different departments to understand each other better and strengthens the collaboration.
Try to use different tools for smaller tasks to prove their usability. For example, I found service blueprint as a great tool for opening the discussion and making a service more understandable and concrete.
A great thing about Design Thinking is that you can apply it to so many things. At first design was about products but now it is more and more about other things such as services, processes, organizations and business models. Last week I helped a colleague to plan how to make a strategy using Design Thinking. He had understood that with design thinking he could make people to take part of the creation and commit to the strategy from the beginning.
Design thinking is not only for increasing the commitment inside an organization but also for that of customers’. Like Marty Neumeier puts it “Organic loyalty beats artificial loyalty every time”.
Design thinking: integrating innovation, customer experience and brand value 2010. Edited by Lockwood, Thomas. New York: Allworth Press.
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. http://www.academia.edu/1906407/Design_Thinking_as_an_effective_Toolkit_for_Innovation