Running a business can seem quite complicated at times as one has to manage multiple stakeholders, deal with the ever changing business dynamics, meet the increasing needs of customers and plan for a future which is always uncertain.
As a leader you can make use of an effective tool known as design thinking. If you are able to use it correctly, it is possible that you may connect the dots better and drive your organisation forward.
For those of you who are unaware of what design thinking means, it is a method that designers use in ideation and development. It also has many other applications and it is human centered and iterative in nature consisting of five steps which include- Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
Several successful companies such as Nike, AirBnB, Google, Pepsi and Apple have embraced design thinking. Design thinking can be used to narrow down focus areas, rekindle creativity and communicate goals with a greater clarity. In order to drive important business decisions companies have begun to adopt design leadership.
Following are some ways in which design thinking can be used to create an impact and help companies to adopt a different approach to problem solving:
Creating a Roadmap for the Future
An important part of being a leader involves keeping an eye on the future and taking decisive steps to advance in the right direction. Design thinking is a tool that enables leaders to have a greater clarity when it comes to visualising things.
Thus it can help leaders to come up with a roadmap for the future and successfully chart the direction in which their company is headed. In today’s fast changing business environment being able to visualise the future with clarity and simplicity can prove to be a boon for the company.
Identifying the Right Problem
Design thinking is a lot about finding the right solution for a problem and solving real problems. It is not really a tool that one can use to build products and services.
It makes us identify the core problem experienced by the users and identify the right questions to address the same. It helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the users’ environment by interacting extensively with them.
Innovation and Team Collaboration
Design thinking focuses on interactions, brainstorming and getting everybody involved in the project to contribute. In this way, one can get many inputs and collectively come up with innovative techniques to build better products and services. The user occupies the centre point of discussion and fosters team collaboration.
Understand Customers Better
How can a company come up with the right solutions if they do not have a deeper understanding of the customers? It is only when the needs of the users are placed before those of the company that the best products and services can be brought into existence.
Creating enterprise products may not be the intent behind employing design thinking but solving the problems that consumers face while using the product or service.
Improving Customer Experience
The experience that a customer has upon using your product or service influences to quite an extent how they perceive your business. Customers must be able to interact with the product or service easily and get things done with ease. Design thinking can be used to create an interactive and pleasant customer touch points to have a positive influence on the customers.
Clarity in Meetings
‘Meetings’ can be comfortably called the worst time killer in the corporate world. As it often happens many things are discussed but at the end of the meeting nobody really has a clear picture as to what needs to be acted upon. Setting the expectations straight can be achieved by using the powerful tool of design thinking.
By making use of this, meetings can become more productive and make sure that everybody is on the same page. With design thinking it will be easier to bring a greater level of cooperation in the team and come up with an action plan that everyone can follow.
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