Tag Archive | business development

Design Thinking helps you to move better when creating something new

We had two great mind shaking days on September when Katja Tschimmel introduced us to Design Thinking (DT), the concept and toolkit for creative processes. You can call DT also a mindset: “the way of thinking and doing”. It is meant also for organisations and businesses outside design field.

DT_SIDcourse

We had a concrete case and went through DT process using Evolution 62 model, which Katja has developed, as our guide through creative process. In different spaces of the model, there are several tools from which to pick up the most suitable ones. Those collaborative tools helped us on our way to get understanding and knowledge of the people and context, emerge and generate new ideas from the insights, define and evaluate solutions and finally prototype our value proposition.

It was a very good learning process by doing and we had fun!

Characteristics of Design Thinking

DT is human-centered approach. Multidisciplinary teams design product/services with users. Users are experts in interaction with products/services and their experiences are always true. When understanding other people you need to be able to empathize by stepping on your customer´s shoes (remember to take your own ones away first) to understand their mental state (emotions, feelings), motivations and hidden unstated needs in their context.

Visualising the problem and solution helps to build common understanding. Visualising is like “an external visual memory” for creative process. It frees space to dialogue, to thinking and to seeing all aspects between the problem and solution. Making abstract issues tangible and concrete is important. Early, cheap prototyping and fast failure belong to DT cost-effective process.

Design thinking is iterating and non-linear process although models are usually visualised in sequence order. What is common for DT models is that divergence and convergence phases follow each other. Design thinkers need to be comfortable with uncertainty, unexpected situations and incomplete information.

Using abductive reasoning, seeing new perspectives and future possibilities that do not fit on existing business models is typical.

DT is made for businesses

I see that Design Thinking concept helps organisations to think wider the innovation possibilities to develop existing value propositions, innovate new ones and solve problems to create better future.

Design Thinking brings to business people guiding structured model and helping tools to innovate and develop their businesses in complex, fast changing ecosystems where value chains aren´t linear anymore and you need to understand value networks with multiple actors when constantly developing your business. DT encourages organisations to experiment beyond existing products/services.

There is several good DT models to choose from and it depends on issues like existing resources, timetable, context, innovation field and of course which model feels to be the best for organisation`s purpose. I see this part also a challenge for DT concept as it is offered to business organisations which may not have experience from design models and tools before hand. The challenge can be that organisations do not have time to figure out which model to choose, they may feel confused about different models available and that way loose interest.

Build innovations through humans and experiences

I read Vijay Kumar`s 101 Design Methods book, which presents a structured, practical design thinking approach for building innovations within organisations.

Kumar raised the importance to understanding organisation as whole, its culture and processes, and what innovation actually is, before diving into the innovation process. In my point of view Kumar sees DT possibilities even wider perspective, not only as a concept for innovation processes, but change management tool to building innovation culture to organization`s DNA. In his book he raised four key principles that can be found from organisations, which have been successful innovators.

1# Build innovation around experiences

2# Think of innovations as systems

3# Cultivate an innovation culture

4# Adopt a disciplined innovation process

I see that the wider understanding about the humans, their experiences and context is crucial for building reliable innovations. Especially I like the first principle as it is really human-centered concentrating to user experiences beyond the product or services e.g. running shoes vs running. Reframing the perspective greatens the possibilities for innovation. Design Thinking process helps design thinkers to create this kind of experience-focused innovations.

Kumar`s easy to follow DT model for innovation processes is divided into seven modes. Every modes has their own goals and activities. Book practically guides to cultivate right kind of mindset in every mode. Right mindset helps being fluency enough to be creative and effective in the innovation process.

Vilay Kumar`s Design Innovation Process modelThe modes and 101 methods of Vilay Kumar`s Design Innovation Process model

Vilay Kumar`s Design Innovation Process model, seven modes and 101 methods.

The future and world we are living may seem to be foggy, but when you go out and observe world with empathy and then visualise your insights everything comes clearer. Design Thinking is there to help and guide organisations to better future.

Written by Marjukka Rantala – Laurea, Helsinki, Finland

Sources

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.

Kumar, Vijay 2013. 101 Design Methods: Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey.

TOMORROW is being made today

Tomorrow conference

Tomorrow conference was held at Helsinki music centre on 10th of June 2015.

I as a student had the privilege to attend to this thought-provoking and networking event with world-class speakers from diverse fields. Thanks to Lauri Ahonen, the event organizer and the front seat guests that made the participation for students possible.

For those of you that where not able to participate, I share some of the messages from few of the speakers.

FACING UNCERTAINTY

Pekka Haavisto, a Green member of Finnish Parliament and Member of Committee for Foreign Affairs, opened the conference. He encouraged us to know other continents cultures better by being open minded, exploring the world and stepping into the shoes of foreigners to see the world from the different angles. It was a good message to export field – knowing the culture and its people is the first priority to have successful business abroad.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of The Black Swan and Antifragile, raised issues like how companies that love errors are more likely to gain in the world where uncertainty is reality. When competition is everywhere the least expected happenings, the side-effects, can more often be the ones that lead to new business. Those that concentrate to lowering risks are also lowering their variability which means in the long run that their are dropping they ability to survival. Too centralized big countries, companies or projects are more fragile than the small ones.

For individual point of view I see that being always curious to new things, doing many things you love in life, having many incomes from different fields makes you strong and “antifragile”.

MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN

Write the futureTuuti Piippo, the author of Futuremakers, spread positive energy when describing the hero`s journey.

You do not need to know everything, but you definitely need to have the passion to learn. Everybody can be a hero. You need to have the courage to explore exciting things that you may be little scared off. Ask a lot of questions to learn and be humble to ask help. Then you need to be strong enough to go through the challenges in the journey where you are making failures and standing up again and again. I love her attitude.

I think her message raises a question for all of us: Are you the hero, the pilot, of your own life or just passenger?

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Young designer from Norway, experiments with using visualization tools and methods from service design thinking, to enhance engagement of previous prisoners and troubled youth

Caroline Chaffin, a Norwegian student who is about to graduate with an MBA degree in Service Innovation and Design, wanted to do something different for her Master thesis. With a previous background from Healthcare and Social entrepreneurship, she wanted to find a case company with a social purpose, which allowed her to work close with the end-users of the service offering. She states that: «When working as a social entrepreneur, nurse or service designer, what I find in common is being an ambassador for the end-users, and having the ability to create real value, for real people. This was a requirement when starting my thesis journey».

Caroline is an active networker and found the case company for her thesis, by attending the Norwegian Social Entrepreneurship conference, in Oslo February 2014. The conference was hosted by one of Norway’s largest investors within the field; FERD, and Monsterbedriften won the title as social entrepreneurs of the year.

Monsterbedriften is a Norwegian social entrepreneur, who wants to help former prisoners and people who have not completed their education, or have trouble getting work. Helping youth who are found among a marginalized group in the society, is an important target group, which has increased in Norway during the last decade.

Caroline used Monsterbedriften as a case company in her thesis, and the focus was on the internal customers. In the case company the internal customers are the staff, and can also be considered as end-users. This is argued by the company’s vision: to help as many people as possible get a new start in life and pay it forward, which emphasize giving staff, a life outside unemployment, drugs and criminality.

Monsterbedriften’s service offering towards internal customers involves work experience, housing, coaching and a family environment. Unlike traditional businesses where the service takes place during a specific time, the service offering in Monsterbedriften often becomes «the staff´s entire world», and they have their own values (Monsterbedriften values).

The title of Caroline’s thesis was: «Enhancing engagement of internal customers in a social business through extensive use of visualization». The purpose of her thesis was to enhance engagement of internal customers in a social business. The aim was to apply service thinking, service design methods and visualization tools for enhancement of customer engagement. The project took place from February-November 2014. An overview can be found in Model 1.

                                                                                  Model 1: Purpose and aim of thesis. 

thesis model .001

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Experiences from the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2015

10393857_741350965951185_8017900955231328757_nGlobal Service Jam is a yearly event enabling anyone interested in service design and design thinking to co-create, experiment and develop new solutions inspired by a shared theme.  This year, the Jam was arranged in 100 cities during the weekend of February 27th – March 1st all around the world.

In the Jam, the participants will go through the entire service design process in one weekend, gathering customer insight, creating new service concepts in interdisciplinary teams, building prototypes and testing the new concepts with real customers.

For me it was the first time I have ever participated in the Global Service Jam. I had high expectations and have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The Jam is an absolutely fantastic event to learn about service design, customer oriented service development, creative methods, concept development along with meeting new people and getting new friends. It is a 48 hour journey, focusing on “doing and not talking”, creating solutions based on real customer needs – and having a lot of fun!  The following video will provide a glimpse of what the Global Service is all about and revealing what the shared theme for 2015 Jam was.

During the Jam we also had inspiring presentations by Jani Turku from IMPROVement and Anton Schubert, the Head of Design at Futurice. The key message from Jani Turku was that creating new services requires you to allow yourself to play, be human, listen, say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”, dare to try new things and to be open-minded.

Anton Schubert talked about the importance of prototyping and how everything can actually be tested. It is just the matter of using the right tools and methods. Prototyping is about learning, failing safely and inexpensively, i.e. failing often to succeed sooner, as stated by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

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What would Marc Stickdorn do?

2015-02-28 16.04.11

Doing not talking

Just 3 short weeks after our Service Processes and Methods course was the Global Service Jam 2015. What a blast…and what an excuse to bring out the shiny new tools that Marc gave us. I don’t know about anyone else from the SID programme but I was able to utilise both the tools taught to us as well as the facilitation methods.

I know it sounds crazy but after all those Marc Stickdorn heads were circulated for his birthday photo, I couldn’t get his lessons from earlier in February out of my head. That is why I took one of those heads and wrote him a thought bubble. “What would Marc Stickdorn do?” I was inspired by all the Christians in the US who try to answer difficult problems by asking themselves what Jesus would do. It was the same thing (in my mind anyway).

I was trying to channel my inner Marc to have the strength and clarity to proceed through the next 48 hours to change the world…well, that is what we were told we were doing.

Letting go: the theme is what? Huh? Did he just say….?

As a first-timer I felt strangely calm (it might have been naivete) as the process started. The anticipation of the revealing of the theme and the inspirational talks by Jani Turku and Anton Schubert were a great start to the event. I really enjoyed the humour and the ease at which Jani was able to teach us some lessons about interaction and fun. Who knew it could be so interesting repeating 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3! But I also enjoyed Anton’s inspiring story of his “humble beginnings” as a mechanic.

As for the challenge…I think that everyone was stumped when the theme was revealed. I even sarcastically joked that “that must be the theme” when the instructions for the origami fortune teller was revealed…unfortunately I was right. What a theme. Not what I expected at all. But it really put us all in the same boat. This isn’t something that one person could say that they knew and that they were an authority on…it was a leveller for sure. The atmosphere when everyone (finally) realised the theme was electric. The buzz was confusion, anticipation…but mostly confusion from what I saw.

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To me sound of SID is like a sound of music

How I found my inner spark of Services Innovation and Design Thinking? I was one of the lucky ones who got in to Services Innovation and Design (SID) Programme at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. We newcomers met for the first time during our 3-day kick-off session in September 2014. I had high expectations for the class but I also kept my mind open because I didn’t know if my expectations were fair.

I think Design Thinking was a good subject to start with. We had workshops during the study days and we got to know each others. I learnt a lot from my group but also of myself. For example I noticed that the passed working years in the traditional business life had moulded the standards and rules around me. And now it was time to let them go and start to think about services and business in a new and innovative way.. in a SID way.

We had inspiring lecturers leading our workshop; Gijs van Wulfen, the founder of FORTH Innovation method, and Katja Tschimmel, a researcher, coach and a famous Design Thinker.

Gijs   Katja

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Attitude matters in lean thinking: learn to fail fast for success!

“Focus on the problem, not solution. You cannot quantify your way to the big max.” – Ola Sundell

I still remember when ‘lean’ was a buzzword in manufacturing industry years and years ago. Lean concept was originally based on production process optimisation principles invented in Toyota for automotive industry back in early seventies. Now the idea of lean has been turned into a workable philosophy in general management and other business arenas. Some time ago I was listening Ola Sundell, the CEO of Hub Helsinki, telling about the logic behind the lean market strategy. He gave a presentation in Laurea University of Applied Science based on the ideas of lean startup as an innovation method developed by Steve Blank and Eric Ries and his own experiences as lean entrepreneur.

Ola Sundell is explaining the essence of lean start-up methodology.

Ola Sundell is explaining the essence of lean philosophy.

‘Lean’ is  maximising value and minimising waste

The lean business culture have been evolving since view years aiming at solving business problems in the early phase of business set-up by using a service design approach. According to Sundell the startups mostly fail due lack of market and customers or because of a wrong mindset. Now lean thinking is challenging the old ways of thinking and doing. Lean startup methodology has evolved from customer development method highlighting the lean aspects of both product/service design and customer development. It focuses on customer value creation: everything that does not provide value for customer is considered as waste. By using lean startup methodology it is possible to maximise value and minimise waste.

As startups are considered being temporary project organisations creating new products and services under extreme uncertainty, it is learning that matters – and learning fast.

The process applied in lean startup methodology is based on a build-measure-learn cycle with six steps: What is built it based on a problem or solution hypothesis. Testing the idea is the intended learning step requiring the testing metrics to be defined. For generating metrics and testing hypothesis, the experiment has to be built.

The six step cycle of lean development process.

What does it mean to go for lean?

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