Design Thinking As a Strategy For Innovation
How do you create a strategy for guaranteeing that innovation and creativity flourish in your organization? When design principles are applied to strategy and innovation, the success rate for innovation dramatically improves. Great design has that “wow” factor that makes products more desirable and services more appealing to users.
Design thinking is at the core of effective strategy development and organizational change. You can design the way you lead, manage, create and innovate. The design way of thinking can be applied to systems, procedures, protocols, and customer/user experiences. The purpose of design, ultimately, is to improve the quality of life for people and the planet.
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. A design mind-set is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user (the customer).
Design Thinking is a practical tool for integrating 21st Century skills and an innovator’s mindset into the workplace. At the start of the 21st century, there has been a significant increase in interest in design thinking as the term became popularized.
In 2005, Stanford University’s d.school begins teaching Design Thinking as a generalisable approach to technical and social innovation. Design Thinking is a methodology that teaches individuals new strategies to solve problems. The design process challenges students to create successful solutions with an innovator’s mindset and encourages thinking outside the box.
Distinctions Between Design and Design Thinking
“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs
Design Thinking Framework
Design thinking welcomes the multi-dimensionality of a dynamic process. However, many have attempted to formalise the core principles of design thinking application via process models. Despite endless modifications, there are three enduring models. The diagram below illustrates one of the enduring models of design thinking framework created by The Design Council (UK), which maps the design process into four distinct phases: Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. This illustrates the divergent and convergent stages of the design process that you can implement into your work.
BY FRANK KUIJSTERS
Director – Digne Consult Asia Pacific