The greatest learning that I got from the Design Thinking course was about uncertainty. Design Thinking as a concept and process was not new to me, but what really struck me during the course, was how Design Thinking can be used in a business context to manage uncertainty.
The future is getting less and less predictable by past data. For many in the traditional business environment the way to create new has been by careful analysis and research of the past and currents markets. In the modern ever so competitive business environment to really succeed this is not enough. New innovative solutions must be created. When you cannot trust the previous data and development methods you need something else to rely on. This uncertainty and need for innovation has given the rise of Design Thinking in the business world. It has brought the design process and mentality to the business context.
For managers Design Thinking is a way to solve problems in the modern world. Design Thinking also enables the innovation team to deal with the uncertainty during the development process. It creates structure to the development of the new product, service or business innovation. Thus, enabling the development team to truly pursue the most innovative solution. Trusting the process even if you do not know what will come out in the end creates resilience towards uncertainty.
Managers often rely on the data to make decision and to be comfortable with their decisions. The Design Thinking process also creates data but it is different from what many managers are used to. The research phase in the beginning of the process enables the gathering of deep more empathic insight of the customers of the company and thus truly catering to the needs of the markets.
Design Thinking as a process also relieves the development team of the pressure of getting it right the first time. Failing is a part of Design Thinking. Failing fast and doing fast iterations of the concepts enables the team to truly find solutions that work. Testing and experimenting before full launch of the concept diminishes the uncertainty of the successfulness of the concept.
Finally, the process of Design Thinking is real. It creates action. It focuses on researching, creating and testing. Design Thinking is about doing, not just creating fine looking spreadsheets. Doing creates results. You might create great successes and most likely you will find out many ways on how not to do things. This is also important. So, when you do not yet know where you are going, trust the process. You will come out at the end of it and probably with cool new things.