Ever since I got introduced to the concept of Design Thinking, I had this feeling that this could be a game changer for how we do our business innovations. In a nutshell, because it starts with the customer as sole for finding innovations.
This may be obvious for anyone knowing about Design Thinking fundamentals, but it may be not fully true for people coming from a Business Thinking background, where the norm is how opportunities are projected to make money, not how it will solve a customer problem.
I will try in this blog post to bridge both worlds and suggest a framework for change when it comes to innovation. How can we introduce Design Thinking in a seamless manner in current today Business Thinking (at least in my company ^_^ ).
Lets start the story from the beginning …
ONCE UPON A TIME !
My company which works in the telecommunication field. As usual, its a very competitive environment and with saturation reaching very high levels. At that this point innovation has been identified as the secret weapon to solve this issue.
For that decision have been taken to create an innovation center in my company. The purpose of this innovation center is to pursue innovation opportunities that mainly brings Growth, Differentiation and slightly Efficiency to our enterprise.
It has been working for about two years, but what we figured out is that we have not yet made the IMPACT we were anticipating to do!
Why as an innovation center we did not make any impact?
To be honest, it’s all the fault of the Needle!
To understand this Needle, I will let you go through this short story that happened between me and the “Head of Innovation” one and half years ago…
BASED ON A TRUE STORY!
Once I had been assigned the task to find innovative opportunities that covers the domain of social media and advertising, for that I had like two days come up with ideas that are new to the market and would be valuable enough to our brand (financially, brand value, social good, etc… or I thought so! )
I took the diagram above and went to the Head, and here is what happened (I know you may say where is the Design Thinking here, but bear with me, please!)…
THE HEAD: This will not move the Needle!
Me : Which Needle?
THE HEAD: We need something that generate 100 Million in five years time frame.
Me : OK!!? But as I know, if we are looking for the social media domain for example it’s still too early to find results. We need to build a mass then figure out how to make money! Still Facebook and Twitter, they did not figure out how to make big bucks out of what they have..
THE HEAD: Not convinced, we are not here for causes, show me the money!
This story actually raised the question in my head, what is wrong?