Friday, February 22, 2019

Design Thinking and Problem-Solving

The purpose of design thinking is common sense thinking involving the right people in the solution; finding the simplest and best value solution that fits for the purpose.

Fundamentally, running a business or living a meaningful life is a problem-solving continuum. Problem-solving is a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. Digital is the era of people, option, or simply put, "personalization." It is the age to connect the dots between science and arts; analytics and intuition, logic and design thinking in order to solve problems unconventionally and deliver products or service from functioning to delight.

Design thinking is a type of problem-solving mindset: The traditional problem-solving approach is usually analytical, break down the bigger problems to the smaller pieces in order to be understood, and solve them step by step. What is significant about the rise in Design Thinking is that it provides a counterpoint to the analytical, to help solve problems creatively. Design Thinking is not linear; it is NOT dedicated to perpetuating the status quo. The best-practice methodologies are mainstream in the industrial age. But design thinking is not predicated on following a single method. At its core, it is not the kind of thinking that got you into whatever mess you're in the first place, it encourages different types of thinking for solving problems creatively. There are different tools and ways which you may or may not use to bang away at the issues, focus on constantly building collective competency to think critically, solving problems creatively, understanding things systemically and engaging in conversations using a type of design thinking with a strategic mindset.

Leverage design thinking to reframe the problem and solving it creatively: The "methodologies" being put into the design thinking bucket are somewhat unique and previously outside of the business norm, but have the potential to reframe the problem which in itself is a pretty huge contribution. The art, design, and humanities are interconnected, teach people how to recognize patterns, perceive invisible behind the scenes, and solve problems in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. 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 types of the problem-solving scenario for running an innovative business.

Design thinking addresses problems in a non-linear way that is more in keeping up with the pace of technology and updated methodologies or practices: Design starts with a need and tests the solutions with experimentation. The purpose of design thinking is to think about how to address a problem creatively; to organize and facilitate ideas; to mapping from here to there and the stops and steps in between. While doing actual work using Design Thinking, you must end with solutions, but you do need to understand that those solutions may come through back doors and side windows. Therefore, always be careful about examining the potential points of engagement, rather than jumping to the “we'll fix this" mentality. Design decides nothing on the basis of semantic completeness or conceptual neatness. If you cannot afford to fail you cannot apply design techniques alone to solve the problem.

As going forward towards more radical digital transformation, the problems become over-complex and interconnected, solutions need to be made from a much broader and encompassing view that is not possible in linear thinking. Thus, the design does need more recognition as thinking and problem-solving process and the digital management discipline.


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