Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Design thinking at work (Book summary)

Key things to keep in mind

  • The essence of design thinking, in many ways, involves identifying problems by seeing things that other people miss.
  • Design thinking requires executive support for slow, reflective experimentation and systems thinking, not only for creativity.
  • Spend time framing and reframing a problem or opportunity.
  • Allow an indefinite period for experimentation, prototyping, discussion and reflection.
  • Give design teams separate creative space while keeping them connected with your firm.
  • Balance the team’s focus on incremental improvements of existing products with their search for breakthrough innovations.
  • Help the team balance internal and external stakeholder demands.
  • Build credibility and support for your team by focusing first on “quick wins.”
  • Develop a design mind-set throughout your firm. Bake creativity into your culture.
  • Emphasize the multiple perspectives of internal and external stakeholders, including the systems that new innovations must work within.


Best Practice
Adopt the following best practices to improve your odds of successful design thinking:

  1. Separate but connected – At least at first, create a safe, close but separate space conducive to your team’s creativity in layout, furnishings, and the like. Even if you prefer to spread designers out in various divisions around your organization, maintain a separate space where they can come together to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Foster communities of practice for designers to gather, share and discuss ideas – internally and externally.
  2. Inform and educate – Designers need leadership’s strong support and appreciation. Educate top executives and the rest of your firm in design thinking and the benefits of a creative culture. Keep the organization informed of what your design team is doing, its processes and its progress.
  3. Source multiple perspectives – Look for a variety of perspectives on design from inside and outside your firm. Think about designing platforms for wide application, as opposed to one-off solutions. Help stakeholders understand how they can apply your innovations. Bring people inside your circle to share feedback and ideas through workshops and focus groups. Ask prospective users to test your prototypes, watch them use your tools, then discuss their impressions and ideas for improvement.
  4. Adopt a systems approach to design – Your solutions must operate within larger systems, and consider political, emotional, societal or environmental concerns. Expand your notion of stakeholders to consult with community and interest groups.


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Design thinking at work (Book summary)

Key things to keep in mind The essence of design thinking, in many ways, involves identifying problems by seeing things that other peo...