I attended a phenomenal training session previously with my professional association (GOOD Network) on design thinking, facilitated by mastermind Karen Tilstra and her staff with FHIL, (Florida Hospital Innovation Lab). It got me thinking about how I did this everyday when I was a public classroom teacher teaching English to middle and high school students and also teaching Sunday school at my church (Grace Orlando). Everything was hands on, asking why, and solving problems collaboratively and in teams. I was brainstorming with two of my valued team members, Catrina Davidson and Andi Earle about Design Thinking Series I am facilitating for entrepreneurs. I am so fortunate to have these two women on my team - Catrina works from Alabama remotely and we employ design thinking as if we are in the room together. Andi is a new team member and rapidly learning how Design Thinking is used in event management, marketing, social media creation, promotion, and engagement. I digress though, back on track.
Let’s go straight to a good source of inspiration about what design thinking is: The Interaction Design Thinking Organization. Design Thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. Using design work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn and apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way.
Who uses Design Thinking in the workplace. Leading world brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung and GE, have rapidly adopted the Design Thinking approach. Does it stop there? No way! Design Thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT. You may be thinking “Yeah, but that isn’t my company, I don’t really understand what Design Thinking is, or even why it is so popular. Thought I would share 5 reasons why Design Thinking should be part of your Learn Human growth strategy to help you pivot quickly with your people and processes.
Design Thinking focuses on the end user. Some businesses call this customer service, design thinking calls it the end user. This makes the audience bigger and includes employees, vendors, affiliates, and customers. When we focus on what our end users are telling us, it should be recognized as “real money” for any business owner. Receive a complaint? Listen to the pain point from that end user. This is how you will improve your processes, create a Learn Human culture, and make change that yields a higher ROI for your business.
Design Thinking leverages the collective wisdom, experience, and generations in your company. When hiring, look for diversity by having multigenerational and multidisciplinary humans on your team. This brings a plethora of well-rounded voices to the table and creates a better representation of who your end users are. It is a big world physically, and yet it gets smaller everyday.
Design Thinking brings empathy into your company culture. Empathy is not just “I understand how frustrating that is for you.” It is genuine concern that makes them feel heard and brings anxiety down. This results in HUGE value for your company. Your company becomes human to the end user and they are willing to stay in place because you are putting your company in a place of being a problem solver and a partner with them.
Design Thinking Tests, Tests, Tests. In real estate, there is a phrase most of you may have heard: It is about location, location, location. In Design Thinking, the catch phrases is test, test, test. This is a central to the process. It allows to have amazing results because of the rich feedback from actual users and customers before spending too much time, effort or money on any one idea. The process may look messy with all the Post-It Notes used in the process and how quickly they move into different categories, but it yields results that are far more powerful, engaging and interesting.
Design Thinking Creates Value While Using Problem Solving Skills to Solve Real Problems. This becomes part of your “secret sauce” in business. It is about solving real problems (no matter what size) for real people in every industry.
Design Thinking is challenging and changing the way we solve problems and deliver more value to the user. Want to learn how to incorporate this into your company’s purpose, people, and processes so you will know how to pivot more quickly? Sign up for the Design Thinking Series for Entrepreneurs,
or contact me if you want to host your own design thinking training with your staff.