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Design Thinking : Creating New Value by Humanization

Business today is about emotions, wants and wishes. The traditional role of business management has been to ensure the efficiency of use of resources. The world has changed, and customers don’t settle to the cheapest and most practical products and services anymore. As we already have almost everything we actually need, we are now increasingly seeking to fulfil our wishes and wants. That’s just human.

The human essence of Design Thinking

To meet these new demands, we need tools that are human-centric, cultural and social, and which keep innovation at the cord. One way to answer these needs is by applying Design Thinking.

The essence of Design Thinking is human to human. It’s a holistic process that unpacks the whole process to human touch points and takes in consideration not only the service process but also the feelings that affect to our decisions through the whole process. Experiences are not just functional, but also social, cultural and personal. They are important in value creation, because experiences are meaningful to people.

Design thinking helps to understand customer needs and create new value

Design Thinking is a way to apply tools traditionally used by designers to a problem-solving-contexts in business, services and processes. A collaborative way of working helps designers to gain mutual and holistic understanding of the problem. In the process of idea creation, 1+1 equals more than 2. Since visual perception is dominant for us, visualisation and prototypes are crucial in communication of ideas and opportunities. Applying of Design Thinking tools and methods can help business managers to identify, visualise, and solve problems in systematic and creative way.

Design Thinking considers human needs, emotions and feelings just as important as functionality and rationality. It requires from a designer capability to consider human needs, available recourses and constrains, and opportunities at the same time. Designer has to be analytical and emphatic, rational and emotional, methodological and intuitive, oriented by plans and constraints, but spontaneous, and all at the same time (Pombo & Tschimmel 2005).

Herbert Simon’s ideas of design-centric mode of thinking are foundational to the practice. He considered design as “the transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones”, and described design-centric thinking as a process of “building up” ideas, in comparison to critical thinking and analytic process of “breaking down” ideas.

fullsizerender-1Design Thinking methods can help us appreciate and understand connections between people, places, objects, events and ideas. It drives innovation that is based on future opportunities rather than past events. It focuses on human behaviour, relationships, interactions and emotions. By combining business methods with Design Thinking, organisations can establish more sensitive and comprehensive knowledge, and better understand operational environment. Design Thinking methods like ethnographic research, customer journey mapping, storytelling and rapid prototypes are tools to create understanding through empathy and collaboration. They help to identify the needs and goals and emotions of customers. And because emotions greatly affect in our decision-making, it is possible to make services and products more desirable by adding emotional elements.

Although some amount of efficiency and standardisation will always have a place in business processes, it’s the human touch points which give the greater meaning to products, services and brands. And that is where the new value is being created.

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Creating deeper understanding about the prosess with service prototype.

* This post has been inspired by the book Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School by Idris Mootee, and Katja Tschimmels article Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation.

Book Review: Fast Strategy by Yves Doz & Mikko Kosonen

1        Fostering Strategic Agility

Sharpening strategic sensitivity, building collective commitment and enabling resource fluidity are major guides to strategic agility.  They give insight on all that need to be done to ensure that strategies are implemented to yield positive results.  Sensitivity of organizations to changes around them is not enough to make them have a competitive advantage of their product/services over others. Other factors of consideration are as well required in order to make their strategies agile and these are listed below.

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Toolbox for growth and innovation – the outcome-driven innovation process

The author challenges traditional ways of gathering information for innovation in products and services. In this book, Ulwick introduces an outcome-driven innovation process, which he presents as new and productive.

The book has a refreshing point of view on customer involvement and distribution of work between customers and experts. It is important to know precisely what inputs an organization or a company wants from the customers in order to find business opportunities and create value. According to the book, a significant business opportunity lies in knowing which outcomes are important and which unsatisfied needs the customers has. After exploring these factors, solutions are evaluated and carried out by the experts.

Based on our understanding of the book and the outcome-driven innovation method, we started to think of the methods as an “innovation toolbox”. Ulwick is offering the following 8 tools in his book:

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Strategic Roadmap for Startups

by Abdalla, Man, Markus, Juha and Theodros

The term “Service economy” has changed the mindsets of companies’ strategic thinking in the 21st century. It reflects from the fact that in industrialized economies, manufacturers are focusing more and more on add-on services when trying to defend their business against the continuously growing service sector. Market is a battlefield and new challengers are entering from every corner.

Markets are changing rapidly and constantly forcing companies to challenge their existing business models. Today many of the startup companies are founded on the basis of innovative service concepts, aiming to create their own market and challenge the structures of traditional business competition. This blog post focuses on providing a strategic roadmap to startups on their journey to become a forerunner in service business. Continue reading

Hey executive! A few tips to make your organization strategically agile

“The only thing constant is change”
– Heraclitus

We know your job as an executive is getting tougher and tougher no matter in what business you´re in. Operating environment is getting more and more competitive, fast based, complex, turbulent and blurry. You have probably noticed that the “old” way of thinking about the strategy and competitiveness won´t guarantee your organization´s success anymore. Strategy can´t no longer be done as a periodic planning exercise conducted in your organizations boardroom behind locked doors; planning for half a year, implementing for 3-5 years and then evaluating the strategy and building a new one – there is no time!

Say hello to agile strategic thinking! Through it, your organization is able to make fast turns and to transform itself without losing momentum. And we don´t mean simply adjusting to change, but thriving on the waves of change and becoming number one. Continue reading

Revolutionary Coffee Cup

Coffee Cup

Photo by Eva

By Tero, Eva, Pingshan, Outi and Mari

This is going to be an unusual day for you! Because you don’t start checking your emails or Facebook, or logging into your Skype, MSN or whatever instant communication system you use at work. But look over the edge of your coffee cup and dare to discover the possibilities in your daily routines.

You Are More Than Just You

Sometimes even the smallest matter can make a difference in your work or in your organization. Take the distance to see what your habits are, and then unlearn the bad habits. Easier said than done, but try to identify what you could do differently. This way you have more space to learn new things and new point of views. You are probably reachable online all your work day. But what if you change all that and take a small piece of the day and be offline. Take the time and fine tune the mindset. Think why you are working as you are? Why weren’t you part of the meeting, handling tasks which produce the upcoming tasks for you? Surely there could’ve been some input to be said. Maybe you have some new thoughts about the existing service offering? Be brave and act with courage. Who other than you and specifically why not you should stand out? Continue reading

The nature of “innovation” is changing

by Jane Vita, Sofia Nyyssönen, Tinja Lindförs and Tiia-Marina Silva

The world is always changing and everything goes around adapting. Some companies that have more vision are already looking for the new market – we call them forerunners. These companies have a new vision and concepts in their minds such as design thinking, agile methods, service design, social design, among others. They are not thinking only about their consumers but how to make their employees do better products and services.

Consumers are also more concerned about their needs, they are more demanding, Products and services are created with their proposals, so why not put them in the center of the whole process of design and make them part of the creation? We went through 5 books where the main topic discussed was co-creation and we’ll share in this post what we find in common in all them. Continue reading