WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING AND HOW CAN BUSINESSES USE IT?

  ©Hasso Plattner Institut

©Hasso Plattner Institut

In collaboration with Volvo, The Telegraph has launched Telegraph Connect, which is a network of communities dedicated to helping professionals grow their businesses and develop their careers. In their latest article, the focus lied on “design thinking”. Although rooted in design and creativity, it is a technique that businesses use to solve particular problems. John Oswald, the former business design director at Fjord, and now global principal of the advisory team at digital innovation consultancy, Futurice, describes design thinking as a cross-section of design, business and technology, brought together to solve human problems.

THE THINKING: UNDERSTANDING PAIN POINTS

It’s not enough to identify a problem. If you want to solve it, you must understand why it is a problem for your users. This means spending time with consumers, or employees, to understand precisely what their problems are and why they exist.

THE DOING: START-UP APPROACH TO SOLUTIONS

“For most companies, there’s no shortage of ideas. The difficult bit is making ideas actually happen,” he says Oswald. It is about taking a lean and agile start-up approach to developing solutions. Launch quickly and iteratively by prototyping an idea, testing it, making it better, testing it again, and making it better again. That way you are evaluating the idea to make sure that it has an impact on the industry and people.

THE CULTURE: RIPE FOR INNOVATION

“For design thinking to be successful, there needs to be a cultural transformation,” says Justin Ablett, associate partner for financial services at IBM. It starts with providing with teams a dedicated space to develop creative work and empower the people responsible for those business areas to break the rules and become disruptive.