Organisations such as IBM, Google, SAP, PepsiCo, Airbnb, GE Healthcare, KWSP, and Astro have embedded Design Thinking into its workings not only to stay competitive but to chart new territories in its respective fields. Not surprisingly, Design Thinking is fast gaining traction as the innovation methodology for tackling the complexities and unknowns in the future of business and service delivery.
Design Thinking is an innovation methodology that places user needs front-and-centre in the solution development process. It employs direct engagement with users to zone in on key insights that drive motivation and behaviour. This structured problem solving methodology is reinforced by mindsets and guiding principles that propel its practitioners towards greater teamwork, a shared innovation language, tools and techniques, and empathetic strategies in challenging the status quo.
The success of Design Thinking hinges on some of its key attributes - a keenness to discover underlying problems, navigating ambiguity, creativity and imagination, drawing logical conclusions, synthesis and reasoning skills, openness to feedback, and a commitment towards improvement and refinement. These skills become particularly important when dealing with novel challenges that dynamically evolve. After all, the way forward is paved with increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).
Innovation brought on by Design Thinking is not always about making the next hi-tech device. It is about devising solutions that touch its intended end-user in a meaningful way. It is not necessarily about re-inventing the wheel, but rather taking a critical look at problems and asking the question, “can this solution better serve its purpose?”
Whether you are looking to shape your organisational culture, design processes, identify new market opportunities, define problem spaces, or plan public policy, Design Thinking is a core competency that enhances existing skillsets and expertise for your talent to achieve their goals.
THE HPI D-SCHOOL FIVE STEP PROCESS
We use the HPI D-School model of Design Thinking that encompasses five steps to bring structure to the creative problem solving process. This model of Design Thinking is a trait of the HPI D-School network, used by Stanford d.school and the d-school at University of Cape Town.
The wavy lines connecting the circles indicate that Design Thinking is an iterative methodology. It allows its practitioners to start and return to any step depending on the requirements of the project or challenge.
Design Thinking demands the right mindset to bring the methodology to life. As such, we have the 12 commandments of Design Thinking that further maximise the impact and outcomes of each step in the Design Thinking process. By internalising the right mindset through these commandments, they cultimate in greater creative and collaborative behaviours.
The working environment plays a huge role in sparking productivity and openness. It includes aspects related to space setup, furniture, lighting and sound. Each piece of furniture and space at Genovasi d.school is intentionally designed for specific learning outcomes.
For instance, the high stools ensure that participants are not slumped in their seats, and are always in an active posture towards group participation. In fact, you will likely not see any stools in the team space during ideation as it is meant to be an active, rapid-fire session for the team.
Design Thinking practitioners make space work for them – whether its needing to have more efficiently timed meetings, better engagement at events, or a more focused discussion – leveraging on environments is a great way to influence desired behaviours.