Design thinking and creativity for Business

Design thinking is a process that solves problems by prioritizing consumer’s needs above all else.

It relies on observing, with empathy, how people interact with their environments and  employers, creating innovative solutions from this.

Design thinking is “human-centered”, it uses evidence of how consumers (humans) actually engage with a product or service, rather than how an organization thinks they will engage with it. To be truly human-centered, designers watch how people use a product or service and continue to refine that product or service in order to improve the consumer’s experience. This is the “iterative” part of design thinking. It favors moving quickly to get prototypes out to test, rather than endless research or rumination. 

In contrast to traditional problem-solving, which is a linear process of identifying a problem and then brainstorming solutions, design thinking only works if it is iterative. It is less of a means to get to a single solution, and more of a way to continuously evolve your thinking and respond to consumer needs.

Design thinking has been used at Kaiser Permanente to overhaul the system of shift changes among nursing staff. It has helped the Singapore government make the process for securing a work pass in the nation-state easier and more human. Design thinking has been used to solve business problems at companies like Toyota, Intuit, SAP, and IBM.  

One of the main reasons of the popularity of design thinking among industries and businesses is that it is useful to break down problems in any complex system, business, government, or social organization. It can be used to go through important questions about how to respond to the increase of technology and globalization, how to promptly reply to rapid change and on how to support individuals while growing larger organizations. Employing a design – thinking process makes it more likely a business to be innovative, creative and ultimately more human.

Design thinking can be used by all the departments of a business. It can be fostered by bright, airy physical workspaces that cater to the way employees prefer to work. To employ design thinking in all their projects, managers should first define the consumers they’re trying to help and then employ the five stages of design thinking to define and tackle the identified problems. Employing a design-thinking process makes it more likely a business will be innovative, creative, and ultimately more human.

Which are the principal characteristics of Design Thinking?

It Aims to solve a concrete human need using an observational, human-centric approach. Design thinking can provide solution to specific pain points once identified

Tackles problems that are ambiguous or difficult to define. Consumers often don’t know what problem they have that needs solving or they can’t verbalize it. But upon careful observation, it is possible to identify problems based on what they see from real consumer behavior rather than simply working off of their ideas of the consumer. 

Leads to more innovative solutionsHumans can’t imagine things that are not believed to be possible. Design thinking can help surface some of these unknow pain points using an iterative approach to tackle problems and lead to non – obvious, innovative solutions.

Makes organizations run faster and more efficiently. Rather than researching a problem for a long time without devising an outcome, design thinking favors creating prototypes and then testing to see how effective they are.