Thursday, January 16, 2020

Strategic Thinking vs. Design Thinking

Strategic thinking is about starting the end in mind. Design thinking focuses on creative problem solving, they are both future-driven progressive mentality.

Strategic Thinking is about keeping the end in mind. Design Thinking inspires thinking by doing. The purpose of strategic thinking is to explore the “why” factor behind the issues. The purpose of design thinking is to think about how to address a problem creatively. More and more of work is less about design in its purity and more focused on holistic and strategic business initiatives. Here is the "apple to apple" comparison between strategic thinking and design thinking.

Strategic thinking is an integral component of design thinking: Strategic thinking is about inventing the “future” by being open to discover interconnection between people, ideas, experiences, or relationships, etc, and making literally or figuratively something new from those insights. Design thinking addresses problems in a nonlinear way that is in keeping up with the pace of technology and updated methodologies or practices.

With the very characteristics such as hyperconnectivity and interdependence of the digital business, designers in the organization begin to understand that they must design with all business realities in mind, not only those that affect the aesthetics of the end products, services or solutions. Thus, strategic thinking is an integral component of design thinking which could involve multiple thinking processes such as spatial thinking and visionary recognition, matrix thinking and interactive connectivity for charting business blueprint and orchestrating the future state of the organization.

Strategic thinking is about starting the end in mind. Design thinking focuses on creative problem solving, they are both future driven progressive mentality: Design thinking starts with a need of a customer and tests the solutions with experimentation. Strategic thinking is the thought process for diagnosing the issues, making choices, inspiring design and solving them. The digital era upon us is about choice and people-centricity. Business people with strategic thinking begin to understand and embed the design process into a problem-solving scenario.

When you apply strategic thinking, you begin looking at “WHYs,” benchmarks that can be set for the improvement activities of the future. You will also drive greater design and customer-centric innovation as you have more options available to solve problems creatively. Put yourself in the shoes of your user or otherwise building empathy is the beginning of a design journey. Design is not a method which focuses solely on product/service aesthetics, design thinking aims at building a journey, for improving customer experience and organizational maturity. Strategic thinking encourages to think about the future by exploring the “why” factor and deals with "discovering novel, rewriting the rules of the competitive game."

Design Thinking is the discipline with strategic, cultural and personal implications to solve problems radically: Strategic Thinking is the ability to think on a temporal plane: where you are, where you want to be, identify gaps, and provide creative solutions. Design, in fact, becomes the strategic business driver at higher level maturity. Design in product or service development is a full cycle of research, defining, designing, prototyping, iterating, and testing.

The strategic objective of design thinking is to understand what your customers need and help the organization orient itself towards those needs in pursuit of its business objectives. You need strategies and robust practices to switch off the logic-deductive mindset and allow creativity and design to flourish and deliver. Step out of the routine transactional activities for a while, and reimagine the new possibilities of design to delight customers. The important thing is to identify shared principles and the body of knowledge that will help to raise design thinking from an inwardly focused semantic argument to the truely recognized professional discipline it has the potential to be.

The forward-thinking digital leaders and professionals today should understand how things like design thinking can fundamentally change organizations, understand things systemically and engage in conversations with a strategic mindset, solve problems creatively, build a strong brand, improve the overall organizational maturity and make the societal impact.


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