How to process design thinking into actionable steps to improve your business.

Design thinking is all the rage right now, even if most people have no idea what it means. This buzzword has been around for a while, but its popularity has exploded recently. The reason is simple: this methodology has proven highly effective in solving problems and developing innovative solutions. Nowadays, we live in a world that’s changing faster than ever. Digital transformation and artificial intelligence are changing the way we work and live. To remain competitive, businesses must process design thinking outcomes into actionable steps to stay ahead of the curve. With the rise of global trends like AI, machine learning, and automation, traditional business thinking is no longer enough — as many companies have found out the hard way over the past few years. As a result, new ways of thinking about problems are being developed across industries — including design thinking. 

Design thinking is an iterative process framework that uses creative problem-solving techniques to drive innovation in any business or organization. It is a human-centred approach that begins with an idea and uses the design process to turn that idea into a reality. It focuses on the final result and the entire design process leading up to it.

You can learn more from What is design thinking? to understand the steps involved in the design thinking process. 

This article will discuss how you can process design thinking into actionable steps to improve your business. 

One step at a time

It’s not feasible to instantly apply design thinking throughout a company. To begin, you’ll need your teams to adopt an iterative mindset and use each of the five phases. Therefore, start small. Do little experiments so your team can practice collecting data, testing frequently, and altering quickly. You can, for example, set aside time each week to work on these skills, or you might begin with a small part of your business and expand over time. 

"One step at a time" spelled out in wooden blocks
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Identify the core team

Some people will have prior experience with design thinking or be particularly motivated to learn, so be aware of these early adopters and build a network of supporters. Whenever anything new is introduced, there will always be individuals who are exceptionally proficient at it from the beginning. Leverage these early adopters to build a network of advocates. Design thinking can be championed in company meetings and initiatives across departments by these employees as evangelists who act as coaches for other workers.

Nonsequential is welcome

Design thinking is nonsequential. It doesn’t have to happen in a specific order, and phases may occur simultaneously. Don’t try to use the complete design thinking approach from empathy to testing on every problem when you first introduce design thinking. Instead, select the process that makes the most sense for your situation. For example, you might begin by testing and discover that it creates new thoughts for your project. 

Measure and share results

How will you measure and report on the effectiveness of design thinking? When investing so much time and effort into introducing the process to your group, be sure you have a method for tracking progress. By conducting internal surveys, you can track the number of projects that apply design thinking or gauge its impact on employee satisfaction.

Design thinking workshop

Design Thinking workshops are one method to adhere to the Design Thinking procedure. You can utilize a Design Thinking workshop to address just about any particular problem your business may be facing. Design Thinking workshops typically last a few days or a week, but could be run in as little as a couple of hours, and cover every phase of the Design Thinking approach—from establishing empathy to prototyping and testing ideas—to help you solve your problem. For best results involve members across the company to participate as it will be helpful to all teams.

A group of designers processing design thinking steps.
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

If you want to start using design thinking in your business but don’t know where to start, contact us for a free consultation. Our team of experts can help you get started and guide you through the process so that you can see results quickly. In addition, we have a range of resources available on our website that can help you continue learning about design thinking and how to apply it to your own business.

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