As an innovation training firm that specialises in Design Thinking, we are often asked what Design Thinking actually is. The short answer is that it is a user-centric, creative and repeatable process for solving problems, but in all honesty, this short answer doesn't really do it justice.
We all know that problem-solving is an inherent part of business, however what many don't realise is that whilst problems can be a source of frustration, be they small hurdles or colossal obstructions, they also provide critical insight and stimulus into your business and inform the innovation process as a whole. In fact, the businesses that truly prosper are those that use problems to uncover opportunities and arrive at agile, intelligent and creative solutions.
This is where Design Thinking emerges as a powerful framework...
Design Thinking is a series of steps that forces you to dig deeper, define and refine, ask the difficult questions, and go beyond the obvious to understand the real challenge to be solved. It is an approach that always puts the user at the centre, encouraging you to immerse yourself in their experience, getting right into the nitty gritty of their perspective to ensure that your ultimate solution adds value to the end user, because if it doesn't, your solution is just not going to triumph.
This 'triumph' is the most important and celebrated element of Design Thinking. Sometimes Design Thinking is mistaken as primarily a brainstorming or creativity tool but it is actually a holistic process in which every stage crucially takes you closer to reaching the end goal. In fact, we would go so far as to say that if you're skipping a stage, then you're not practising Design Thinking, and the end goal won't be reached as quickly, efficiently or successfully, if at all. Design Thinking is all about creating value and impact, and when employed properly it achieves amazing results.
That's why Design Thinking is no longer a process only used by designers looking for an assured way of developing products that people actually want and need. Today, all types and functions of business from admin to marketing to HR and finance have begun employing Design Thinking as the go-to process for successful problem solving, innovation and driving a brand or business forward.
Are you one of them?