The term Design Thinking has become a global buzz recently for all the right reasons. This is very different from the first time I gave a speech about the topic in 2013 when very few people heard the term.
I hope you have had a chance to experience it through a short workshop already. If not, let us know, and we can organize one for your team and/or organization. If you attended or facilitated one, then let's talk. Not about the workshop, but about what is next!
What to take out of the workshop?
One day to learn something new is not much. You were probably introduced to a process and one or two tools that can aid that process. You moved a lot, used sticky notes, laughed, and hopefully had fun while at it.
After a fun day, you might go back to your office job and start thinking, what now? Suppose you are not in a leadership position. In that case, you might not have the authority to introduce new processes to the workplace. Was it all a waste? Hopefully, the answer is NO.
Focus on the greater goal
The idea of Design as a method of problem-solving has a very central idea behind it. It is that we should keep the human at the center of our thinking. All the processes and tools used by design innovators lead to that. Luckily, as humans ourselves, we can relate to each other naturally without processes leading us.
So, if nothing else, drop the processes and the tools in your everyday work and start thinking about people as humans beyond the established status quo. If you can sneak in a tool or two, that is great. If not, the mindset of thinking about human needs is most important.
In a one-day workshop, this mindset of Design is all you need to get. It is simple and surly within your power to think of our fellow humans as such.
Think of chess or checker – It takes time
Whether you are looking at the design mindset or applying other design innovation processes, practice makes better (not perfect). You can think about design innovation like all other skills, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. Attending a one-day workshop is a great start. But, there is a huge world out there relating to Design Innovation. A one-day workshop is more like scratching the tip of an iceberg, again just all other fields.
If you are going beyond the design mindset to follow up with processes, don’t be a fundamentalist in following them verbatim. Often, that only repels people away from engaging with the process. Instead, always remember that the design mindset is more fundamental to the design processes.
How to infuse design innovation processes into your organization
Beyond the design mindset, design innovation methods, tools, and frameworks can greatly accelerate and enhance generating sustainable streams of innovations with higher success chances. The more serious an organization is about design innovation, the more it can include it in its operation. Integrating design innovation processes can be demanding. Thus, having an individual or a team responsible for guiding the innovation process adds considerable value. This could be an internal or external individual or team.
A good duty for that person duty is not to generate ideas but rather to guide the organization to innovate with its own mind power. S/he can get familiar enough with the organization to tailor innovation processes that would work for it. S/he can then walk the journey with everyone avoiding common issues that can take place like unintended biases or stagnations.
Let us summarize
Here are three main points you can take away from this:
By Tayseer Almattar
Tayseer is a passionate designer and educator. He believes that innovation potential can be grown and natured within organizations with relevant design innovation processes.