Design Thinking

The Importance of Design Thinking in the Corporate World

In today's article, I will be referencing Jon Kolko, Design Thinking Comes of Age. The main question I will be addressing is why design thinking is important for organizations. I found that while reading through this article they used an important sentence that greatly helps in answering this question, “Design thinking is an essential tool for simplifying and humanizing.” If you had the opportunity to read my last article, you may remember that we said design thinking brings a more human-centered focus to products, marketing, branding and services. Design thinking has a set of principles that create its process some of the most well-known are empathy with users, a discipline of prototyping, and tolerance for failure. By following the principles of design thinking, people are able to bring ideas to life that will impact the users and create an emotional experience for them.

With the changing of the times, companies have started to realize that design isn’t just for the creative group in the backroom but the whole company culture. By changing the whole company to a design-focused one, the company can better connect with their target market and understand them to provide the best empathic service. When considering that the society we live in is based on consumer satisfaction and customer experience, companies need to create design thinking in the very company to better provide human service for the customer. The example given by Kolko was of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ Center for Innovation. Instead of using a spreadsheet, they chart the changes in their veterans through a customer journey map. This allows them to understand the veterans’ emotional highs and lows when they are interacting with the VA. By using an alternative way of looking at a problem, they create an effective tool to understand and communicate with the customer and how they can strategically change the company's organization.

When an organization is design-centric, they will have constant prototypes for each new idea, product, and service, it develops. With the use of diagrams and artefacts, the organization is able to explore the problem space, so with the creation of prototypes, the organization can investigate the solution space. Prototypes are a way to communicate ideas, they are the single most pragmatic behavior the innovative firm can practice. With the integration of design culture, companies need to change their tolerance for failure. Design thinking is an understanding that the process of innovation is rare to get right on the first try. Failure is a part of the process of prototyping. Even successful companies like Apple, have products that don’t meet the same level of achievement in the marketplace as others. Some of the deciding factors to the success of a product is if they are built on an emotional value proposition instead of focusing on what the competitors offering.

So, to bring today’s article to a conclusion, over time corporate leaders have started to acknowledge how important design thinking is to the success of their companies. Taking design from the backroom and making it the main culture for the achievement of the company. These companies are able to offer unique opportunities for humanizing technology and products and services that resonate emotionally with the employees and target market. With the implementation of design thinking companies connect better to the public and are able to reach further heights.