In recent years, Design Thinking has really taken off as a business tool across a whole range of industries, commerce and organisations. Why should this be? As the name implies this methodology of thinking originated in the design profession. And as everyone knows, designers think in peculiar ways. So what is all the fuss about??
Probably the greatest success for Design Thinking is that it is an excellent tool for innovating and taking leaps of imagination. If you are seeking to achieve market leadership through innovation or the use of disruptive tech then Design Thinking is the method you should grab from the toolbox. In olden days, deep in the past, say about 48 months ago, engineers and business MBA's were trained to solve problems by linear analysis and breaking the things down into individual easily handled actions. Analysis and simplification based on known factors. Designers have always been forced to do things differently because in design you are dealing with concurrent complexity with factors which are largely unknown - and in the future. So the Design Thinking method is one in a spiral rather than linear. It is very much 3 dimensional rather than 2 dimensional from A to B. Design Thinking has been likened to juggling with many balls all at once.
The great advantage of Design Thinking is that it allows a myriad of complex factors to be dealt with simultaneously. Tech, production, market, environment, materials, user UX and economics as well as strategic formulation. And it pays off as examples from MIT and IDEO can witness.
The paradox is that the success of using Design Thinking is not easy to quantify. For this reason GDA Awards have included a special category for Design Thinking. It is important that the skills used in this system need to be recognised and awarded as is their due. If you are using or have used Design Thinking then make an application to the GDA Design Thinking award. It does not have to be a designed product as such. The end result of Design Thinking can just as easily be a service system, a community event, an app or other immaterial product or platform. Think future.
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