Month: April 2015

Design Thinking, are you thinking about it?

For many Design Thinking is the breath of fresh air that they have been looking for. For some it is the lever that opens up new possibilities for innovation. But for others it can be a very bad idea indeed.

Instead of getting into a state of ‘analysis paralysis’ by over thinking, over analysing and focusing on minimising risks, design thinking allows you to stop contemplating your navel and get on with it.

However, such thinking can sometimes lead to under thinking. Just because doing something is possible, that does not necessarily mean that it is a good idea to do it!

Any sound strategy is based on a clear understanding of what your organisational values are (who you are and what you do). Any ideas that you choose to implement have to fit into the wider strategy. Design thinking does not replace your product or service strategy, but should be part of it.

Stage one of Design Thinking requires the generation of ideas without judgment. This is a brilliant way to inspire innovative ideas, but after this stage, someone will have to narrow down the ideas to actionable ones which fit into the greater product and company strategy. When creating new business models, it is critical to consider alternatives, trade offs and opportunity costs.

If an idea does not fit in with your strategy then do not get uptight about it. Why not consider spinning off a business venture to pursue this?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ method for building Design Thinking into your organisational processes. Instead, each organisation must work out how its own internal processes can support Design Thinking.

Before embracing Design Thinking, sponsors and decision makers must take into account the following:

  • What are available to ensure innovative ideas have a chance of succeeding?
  • What indicators will be used to determine whether a project has succeeded?
  • How will ideas produced by the Design Thinking process be evaluated?

Design Thinking is not a magic cure all. It cannot replace product and brand strategies, but it can be a tremendous help in unleashing the creative potential of your organisation.