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Design thinking – Childs play provides competitive advantage

Really?

Really?

What’s this all about?

“You have got to be kidding me”, were my initial thoughts when I saw the boxes of Legos brought to the class room. It was 4th of September and the first contact lesson for the Design thinking course was about to begin.

For someone with a background strictly from sales and business management the whole idea of using this almost chaos like approach, as it seemed to me at first, in order to reveal ideas that lead to evolution and innovation or even new ways of managing business appeared impossible. But sure enough there was a method to this madness.

Using mind maps to identify opportunities!

Using mind maps to identify opportunities!

Convergent and divergent thinking

The object of the next two days would be to familiarize ourselves with the process of design thinking. Our instructor for the course Katja Tschimmel gave us a quick introduction to the evolution of design thinking after which she took us through the six phases of the Mindshake design thinking model. I didn’t take too long for me to start realizing the reason why design thinking has allowed numerous startups to shake the foundations of traditional businesses by the use of design.

We began with the divergent phase of the process where we used numerous tools to come up with new options, we used mind maps to identify possible new service or product opportunities and identified the involved groups of people for the project by the use of a shareholder map followed by intensive idea generation session by the use of brain writing.   After the divergent phase it came time to eliminate the options and make choices. Katja introduced us to new tools such as insight clustering to do this convergent phase as well.

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