an innovative way of thinking and solving problems – WAU

Design Thinking is a creative thinking approach. With the tool, it is possible to generate and organize ideas, as well as solutions to the problems faced by the company.

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The ability to innovate and find creative solutions to common problems is one of the most determining aspects of a company’s trajectory. Therefore, it is not surprising to note that most positions that involve decision making are filled by creative and critical thinking people.

It turns out that even the most brilliant of managers will find it difficult to meet such requirements in an inappropriate environment. That is why, it is the company’s duty to provide its members with the necessary conditions for this. Among other things, this involves structuring a design thinking process.

Want to know more about it? We created this article precisely to further explore what is one of the fundamental concepts of marketing.

See the topics you will find throughout the text:

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is the term used to refer to the critical and creative thinking process, enabling the organization of ideas in order to stimulate decision making and the search for knowledge. It is not a specific method, but a way of approach.

In other words, design thinking does not have a specific formula for its implementation. Instead, it creates the conditions necessary to maximize the generation of insights and their practical application. The idea is that the process is carried out collectively and collaboratively, so as to bring together as many different perspectives as possible.

Its applications are varied. In companies, it is common to use the approach to find solutions to the most diverse problems, regardless of their nature or magnitude. From the different perspectives already mentioned, it is possible to achieve a more complete understanding of the problem.

Another very common way of using desing thinking is in the development of new products and services. From the gathering of multidisciplinary talents, that is, representatives from all areas of the company, it is possible to add value to the item in all aspects, increasing the chances of success.

Regardless of your objective with the application of this approach, it is worth remembering that each case is different, which means that each company can conduct the process differently. That said, there are steps that can be taken in all cases. We’ll talk about them in the next topic.

What are the stages of design thinking?

Every process that seeks to solve a problem must, as a rule, begin with a complete understanding of the obstacle to be overcome.

Then comes the analysis of possible solutions, the definition of the best solution and its application. Design thinking is no different. The entire procedure can be divided into 4 stages.

Immersion

The first step suggests a dive into everything that involves and affects your company. Here, it is valid to perform a SWOT analysis, which maps the threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths of your business, both from the internal point of view and from the external perspective.

Thus, don’t hesitate to collect feedbacks from clients, observe the performance of employees and go deeper into the firm’s organizational policy. Only from a complete knowledge of the business is it possible to create solutions that can be effectively used.

Remember not to make the mistake of looking only at the navel itself. More than the company’s internal processes, it is necessary to consider the country’s political and economic situation, the actions of competitors, etc.

Ideation

Once the immersion process is complete, you will have already identified the points that need improvement and those that can be left as they are. So, it’s time for the next phase, commonly called ideation. As the name suggests, it’s time to come up with relevant ideas to make the necessary improvements.

At this point, it is essential to bring insights obtained with the use of big data techniques, which increase the chances of process efficiency. Then, just gather the teams involved and adopt techniques like brainstorming, which encourages and values ​​the sharing of many ideas.

Prototyping

After gathering a lot of relevant ideas, it’s time to impose a filter on them and choose the ones that you (or the group) consider most likely to succeed. To reduce the risk of failure, it is recommended to create prototypes of what was designed before actually investing in its execution.

If you are developing a new product, for example, this is the time to invest in a beta version, that is, not a definitive one. Then, from the tests performed, you can decide if the idea is ready to be finalized or if adjustments still need to be made.

If the subject in question is a service, you can build more abstract prototypes, such as graphical representations that simulate real actions.

Development

Finally, we come to development. Here’s the time to get everything off the ground and put it to work for real. In the event of a product launch, take steps to draw the public’s attention to the fact, ensuring that it does not become ostracized.

In this part, the company’s communication and advertising sectors come into play. Its mission is to sell the solution to the public so that it is well accepted. In all cases, the process does not end here. It is necessary to maintain constant monitoring in order to identify points for improvement and evaluate the success of the operation.

Why invest in design thinking?

Every worthy enterprise values ​​its investments according to the return that can be obtained through them. In this, design thinking stands out. Its implementation cost is extremely low, while the competitive advantage it generates is enormous.

So, the first reason to invest in this approach is the fact that it can be the necessary differentiator for your company to put itself ahead of competitors. Thus, it is possible to acquire a larger share of the market and, consequently, boost profits.

Other than that, because it is a process that must involve different points of view, design thinking will bring together employees from all areas. The result of this is extremely positive for the company. After all, the appreciation felt by the professionals is essential for the maintenance of a productivity satisfactory.

More than valued, employees will feel more integrated with each other. This encourages a sense of empathy and collaboration that has only positive impacts on the progress of the business.

Finally, the real advantage of the approach is that it is extremely efficient in finding answers to the most important business questions, which is fundamental to its excellence.

How to apply design thinking in your company?

So, now that you understand the concept of design thinking and the benefits it can bring to your company’s operations, how to implement it? The first and most important step is to ensure that your organization has a culture where there is room for activities such as design thinking.

What does that mean? To begin, it is necessary that the members of the company work in an environment that makes them comfortable. After all, poor working conditions decrease people’s motivation and confidence, which makes it difficult to require them to come up with relevant ideas.

In addition, you need to adopt a strategy based on data collection and analysis. Thus, it is avoided that the resolution of problems and the launch of new solutions are based only on guesses. Data and statistics are essential to guide any creative process.

Therefore, it is fair to say that the efficiency of the design thinking process depends more on the company’s organizational culture than anything else.

What tools can be used in the design thinking process?

As it could not be otherwise, the choice of the right tools is decisive for the success of the approach. Next, we will mention some of the tools that can be used in the design thinking process. Follow!

Brainstorm

The term brainstom is nothing more than a literal translation of a storm of ideas. The technique consists of a group dynamic that, without any kind of judgments, encourages the sharing of ideas. Even those that look bad should be kept, as they can serve as a lever for the emergence of others.

In order for one of these sessions to work, it is important that the person responsible for conducting it take some steps. It is necessary, for example, that the participants know in advance the problem to be solved. Thus, they can go deeper into readings and research that serve as food for creativity.

Mental maps

Mind maps are very effective in organizing and developing ideas and thoughts. The focus is to provide a clearer and more complete view of the creative process, which is fundamental to the emergence of other insights.

Thus, we take an idea considered central and place it in a prominent place. From there, a kind of flowchart is created, enabling the branching and display of secondary ideas. In this process, it is very important to use graphic resources, such as figures, drawings, pictures etc.

Co-creation with customers

Consumer involvement in the creative process is a more common practice among companies, especially in the era of marketing 4.0. The modern public sees brands as equal and gives extreme value to personalization. Therefore, conducting a process in this direction enriches your experience.

In addition, customers can bring unique insights, as their perception of the venture’s activities is completely different from that of business members.

To make this interaction possible, you can use social networks. A post asking the public’s opinion, for example, is a simple and efficient situation.

What successful cases involve design thinking?

Successful examples are always fundamental to support the recommendation of a technique. In the case of design thinking, there are plenty of cases in which brands achieved significant results from the application of the approach. Check out some of the main ones.

Natura

A reference in the world cosmetics market, natura went through a rebranding process. It all started when the brand identified that it no longer had the same appeal as before, especially among the younger audience. To solve the problem, design thinking was used.

From interviews with consumers and employees, the company was able to identify several different perceptions about its products and services. From then on he developed a creative process that changed several of its elements, from the information on the packaging to its visual identity.

Netflix

The streaming giant is no accident. The company has content customization as one of its main differentiators and, therefore, it needs to constantly seek ways to optimize this element. Naturally, the data collected and stored by your algorithm makes the process a lot easier.

Based on their analysis, the brand directors guide their strategy. In this way, contents such as series, films and documentaries are released only after an intense period of immersion in the characteristics of the public and the identification of audience patterns.

So Netflix guarantees that when released, its contents will have greater acceptance by the consuming public.

Havaianas

Until a while ago, the London brand was known almost exclusively for the flip-flops it produced. If you’ve visited one of your stores recently, you’ve probably noticed the change. Today, in addition to the variety of slippers, bags, towels, key chains and other products are offered.

This diversification of product mix it was no accident. The company went through a process to identify market opportunities, coming to the conclusion that offering these items could be beneficial for its operations.

For the specific launch of the scholarship line, the company conducted interviews across the country, and even outside of it. When it reached a consensus on the characteristics that the product should have, Havaianas did not go straight to the execution. First, it went through the prototyping phase.

Prototypes were produced that passed tests and adaptations. Only after this stage, was the launch, which took place during an edition of São Paulo Fashion Week.

What are the main courses in design thinking?

As in any other area, it is essential to invest in training to ensure the application of the best techniques. For this, there are several courses that are offered to professionals in all areas.

One of the best rated is the one offered by the Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA), a business school with more than 30 years of existence. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more accessible option, there is the course offered by Sebrae, which is completely free and online.

Other institutions that offer training programs in design thinking are:

And the best design thinking books?

If you are looking for a more homely learning experience, good readings are always recommended. Although this option does not include tutoring, the right books can cover the subject in great depth.

One of the most relevant in this regard is the Design Thinking: A Powerful Methodology to Decree the End of Old Ideas. The author of this work is Tim Brown, who is none other than one of the creators of the concept of design thinking for business. Reading is light and highly recommended for creative managers.

Another essential work on the subject is written by Marc Stickdorn, under the titleThis is Service Design Thinking: Fundamentals, Tools, Cases. The book is divided into three parts: fundamentals, tools and cases. Thus, it is a complete reading on the essential elements of design thinking.

The third of this list was developed by ESPM specialized teachers in São Paulo. Entitled Design Thinking Brasil, the text brings together the origins and motivations of this approach. With light and engaging language, the authors bring details about successful cases that occurred specifically in London.

Implementing design thinking as an approach in your company is an action that can change the direction of the business. From the process, it is possible to find more efficient solutions to several issues, from internal problems to the launch of new products and services.

Did you see how design thinking has the power to revolutionize your business? Since we’re talking about the creative process, how about knowing more about it? In this article, we talk about creativity and how to tap the full potential of your company!