Anyone can come up with an answer to a problem, but the correct solution takes work. Through design thinking, MorganFranklin Consulting shows clients that throwing out what you think you know and using designer approaches like leveraging empathy and experimentation allows companies to develop innovative solutions and arrive at new possibilities.
From Airbnb to Bank of America to selling solar panels in rural Africa, design thinking has been leveraged to solve a wide range of problems, develop new products and services, and build forward-thinking business models. Its framework allows your team to become and stay innovative regardless of role or industry. Since design thinking pioneer Tim Brown’s 2008 Harvard Business Review article (subscription required) and 2009 TED Talk, design thinking has blown up in popularity with teams ranging from start-ups to international organizations.
Intersection of Innovative Solutions
Design thinking is a human-centered problem-solving framework focused on finding the intersection between people’s needs, technological capabilities, and business success requirements. The results associated with focusing on this intersection allow companies to creatively and effectively traverse real-world problems better than they otherwise would.
The three pillars of design thinking focus on the following:
- uncovering and prioritizing the unmet needs of your team or stakeholders
- mitigating risk associated with launching new initiatives and ideas
- focusing on revolutionary solutions over incremental improvements.
It’s a nonlinear process
We’ve laid out design thinking as a linear process where one stage occurs after another. However, in practice, this process is much more flexible. For example, testing a product or solution may lead to the development of a new prototype or even a new ideation session. Also, teams may work on stages concurrently or prototype and collect information throughout the life cycle of a project. It comes down to being flexible with the steps laid out and driving the process with an end user centric focus.
What value does design thinking bring?
Design thinking allows teams to explore problems creatively, immerse themselves in end user needs, and intuitively construct solutions. Teams are forced to make decisions on what customers really want versus relying on risky bets, historical data, or instinct over evidence. This lets teams across industries grow their market, drive value for customers, redesign their product offerings, and stay innovative. Design thinking can not only be used to design new products or solutions but to solve any problem or challenge.