Design Thinking

This week I was invited by a former colleague to attend a breakfast seminar with the title:
“How to create Business Value through Design”

To be honest I barely know anything about this subject, but I was drawn to it by my former colleague’s words how it can “co-exist with the Agile world”, that I’m much more familiar with.

The presenter for the day was the professor and author Jeanne M. Liedtka, apparently her first visit to Sweden.

The Customer

(Picture taken during the presentation)

Introduction – What is Design Thinking?

Jeanne stated that there are as many definitions as there are experts in Design Thinking, but the one she is using was the following:

“Design thinking is a systematic approach to problem solving. What would be different if managers thought more like designers? Problem solving would be driven by three core beliefs:

  • Empathy – Start by establishing a deep understanding of human needs
  • Invention – Discover new possibilities
  • Iteration – Use the first solutions only as stepping stones to a better one”

Interesting quotes

During the presentation Jeanne said some interesting sentences that I wrote down, below I have tried to expand on them:

  • “Innovation is the new quality” – I couldn’t agree more. Everywhere you hear talk about innovation, we really need to innovate and so on, but many doesn’t seem to have figured out how yet. Maybe Design Thinking have all the answers?
  • “Don’t take data from the past to guess the future” – Nowadays you need to be “data driven”, but using existing data you can only take your product or service further in a predictable way. You really want to know your customers unmet needs.
  • “Innovation is not disruption” – This also strikes me alot. Whenever there is talk about innovation, the iPhone is brought up. Like there is only a small amount of people or companies that have the capability to make innovations, where it should be the total opposite (see next bullet below).
  • “Everyone can create better value” – You want every person in your company to feel that they can add to the whole, even “tiny steps” are a way forward to the bigger goal. 

Value delivered by design thinking

Jeanne ended her presentation by summing up the values delivered by design thinking:

  • Toolkit for producing more creative ideas
  • Risk management strategy
  • Facilitator of behavioral change
  • Vehicle for empowering local capability building
  • Way to convene conversations for change across diverse stakeholders.

Summary

Are you an agileist like me and have started to learn more about design thinking? Maybe you are an expert already? Whichever it is, I can now add CX (Customer Experience) to my list of known abbreviations 🙂

All the best,
 Tomas from TheAgileist

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