Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a type of agile problem-solving mindset.

The discipline of Design Thinking in whatever iteration it is called, has been around a long time, design thinking is actually thriving globally and has now finally moved into the C-Suite for many organizations, as businesses strive to improve maturity level up to the ultimate stage: From ‘functioning’, ‘firm’ to ‘delight’; and also from efficiency, effeteness, to agility.

Integrating Design thinking into the business strategy for Business/Organizational Design,  where it implements every business aspects into account (vision, mission, values, brand, marketing, sales, ops, biz dev, financial plan, policy). More and more of work is less about design in its purity and more focused on holistic and strategic business initiatives. Business people begin to understand the design process. Designers begin to understand that they must design with ALL business realities in mind, not only those that affect the aesthetics of the end product. Integration is already here. 

Design thinking is a type of agile problem solving mindset: What is significant about the rise in Design Thinking is that it provides a counterpoint to the analytical, best-practice methodologies that define the 100-year-old business model of management that is taught today. This is because humanities and fine arts is teaching people how to solve problems in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Design thinking addresses this in a non-linear way that is more in keeping with the pace of technology. This is not to say that Design Thinking is a panacea. It's not. But it helps to think of problem-solving as being on a continuum with analytical, traditional business-thinking on one end and Design Thinking on the other end. Smart business leaders know this and balance their organizations with both.

Design thinking is not a process. It is a collection of methodologies. It is an orientation towards life-powered by an ever-evolving collection of methodologies. Rather than focus on one method, as a team with broad expertise across a range of disciplines, there are choices of tools or methods appropriate for the challenge, and customizing tools and methods for the challenge will always yield a more desirable outcome. So focus on constantly building a collective capability to think critically, solving problems creatively, seeing things systemically and engaging in conversations using a strategic mindset.

The difference between Reliability and Validity also sum up the differences between traditional business thinking and design thinking quite nicely. Traditional business thinkers have a preference for reliability--getting the same result every time. Designers prefer validity; getting the right result this time. Design Thinking is very reliable at producing valid solutions. The important thing is to identify shared principles and shared the body of knowledge that will help raise design thinking from an inwardly focused semantic argument to the true, recognized professional discipline it has the potential to be. 

Design Thinking turns to be a discipline with cultural, personal and strategic implications. It is having a major impact on organizations globally. There are many variations in tools, processes, and certainly descriptions, vocabulary and many are trying to 'own' their own flavor and language. The forward-thinking leaders understand how things like design thinking can fundamentally change organizations and their societal impact, first by demonstrating wins on simple products and services, and then on things like strategy and sustainability and social responsibility. And given current predispositions

Everything is designed... so everyone is a designer, but very few are trained on how to design well. Like many other expertises, it takes both aptitude and attitude. For design and Design Thinking to reach its full potential, organizations need to take the disciplined approach to embrace design thinking and build such creative intelligence.


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