Design thinking in terms of today’s business world is defined as a making-based approach to problem solving that is rooted in human empathy and collaborating in teams. It is designed to be used for solving complicated and complex problems that do not have one straightforward solution. The end goal of design thinking is to ultimately bring something to life, to a market, or to people or a community. The best leaders understand that this way of thinking is a mindset instead of a process with cookie-cutter steps to follow. It is an integrative and empathy-based approach that leads to success and differentiation that many companies are hoping to strengthen in their organizations.
There are four strategies that good design thinking leaders are able to do that will develop their design thinking leadership. I found these strategies to be really insightful. The first is being able to consistently frame the problem. Use both the details available and concepts that are later explored in order to reframe how the details are being approached. This will allow you to have multiple perspectives in solving a problem. Second, is to be experimental and welcome failure and small wins. The third strategy is to communicate ideas clearly in order to be affective to your peers. It will be more memorable this way and they are more likely to understand them. Lastly, you must define your role clearly as a leader and encourage collaboration as well as model it, in order to balance the vision and progress of team thinking. Set good examples within your organization, and your peers will more likely mirror that behavior.
However, since design thinking is a non-linear approach to problem solving, it can create ambiguity and anxiety. Strategies for managing ambiguity can include focusing on iterating ideas, recognizing that each iteration may be different, maintaining an optimistic attitude, and avoiding overcontrol. It’s important to identify signs of exhaustion, overcontrol, big picture paralysis, and step reliance early on in order to redirect the team’s energy.
To conclude, we need to remember that successful design-led organizations have a competitive edge due to the problem-solving approach of designers, but this advantage stems from a cultural mindset rather than a strict process, which may require time to establish. It’s crucial to understand that design thinking is centered on human needs, so it’s important to know the organization’s target audience as well as your own team members. To incorporate design thinking into your routine, we should try to brainstorm with “what if” questions and embrace unconventional ideas, as well as sketching and prototyping to elaborate on those ideas.
Prototyping is an important part of designing experiences since it allows teams to quickly learn from interacting with the prototype and to quickly adapt it based on the feedback received. Effective prototyping involves pulling information that is needed to inform the next iteration and creating an expression at the appropriate level of fidelity. Prototypes are known to serve three purposes: framing the iteration, learning from others, and refining and making. In order to master it, prototyping will require creating simple yet fast prototypes and sharing them with others as soon as possible. Reduce presentations and consider your user’s perspective in order to be the most effective. This will result in better-aligned teams and meaningful products and services, therefore, making an organization more likely to succeed longterm.