The basics of innovation and design thinking

Why design thinking?

design thinkingIncorporating innovation into your business model can prove to be very valuable for you and your company. It is the key to success in business now. Being on the forefront and continuously evolving and innovating gives a competitive advantage to your organization.

Look at some of the big name companies that are based off of innovation: Salesforce.com, Amazon, Facebook, Adobe. These companies got to where they are now using revolutionary thinking and technology. According to Linda Naiman, “the focus of innovation has shifted from being engineering-driven to design-driven, from being product-centric to customer-centric, and marketing-focused to user-experience-focused.”

This new wave of innovation is geared towards design thinking. It is used to reduce the risks of innovation by developing and iterating within a framework; a quote from Tim Brown, IDEO “Design thinking is a system that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business can convert into consumer value and market opportunity.”

The framework for design thinking includes 5 phases:

  1. Empathize
    Think about the goal for the project in question and do a deep dive of the problem and try to empathize with the users
  2. Define
    Observe the users needs and look at insights into your problem to frame your project and define your scope.
  3. Ideate
    • Get together with your team and come up with as many ideas as possible.
    • No idea is a bad idea in this step.
    • Think outside the box to solve the problem
    • Come to a consensus with the team and pick ideas to work upon
  4. Prototype
    Build mockups of the ideas to generate insights and refine the prototype if needed
  5. Test
    Conduct final testing and iterate upon the product. Launch the product after approval

These steps seem pretty easy to follow but implementing this into an entire organization can sometimes be an unmanageable task. The best way to go about this is by starting small. Introduce your team and run through a small project with the design thinking framework. Encourage the team to speak freely and ask questions. To learn more about design thinking, take a look at our article on LinkedIn or some of these other resources.

 
 

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