Design + Research + Strategy


Some thoughts on Design Thinking - for Your Story

From the article above:

Design thinking

Design themes cutting across sectors today include design thinking. “Design thinking is at the core of effective strategy development and organisational change. You can design the way you lead, manage, create and innovate. The design way of thinking can be applied to systems, procedures, protocols, and customer/user experiences,” Suprita explains.

The purpose of design, ultimately, is to improve the quality of life for people and the planet, she adds. (See also my reviews of the books 101 Design Methods and Solving Problems with Design Thinking, and the framework The ‘8 Is’ of Design Thinking for Startups.)

“The biggest misconception that pervades industry today is that design thinking can somehow be taught in a short workshop. The best outcome of these short courses is to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the power of design, and for organisations to bring designers into strategic roles,” explains Abhimanyu Nohwar, Founder-Director of Kiba Design.

But in some cases, it is taken as another skill development workshop, leading managers to feel they are now able to understand the importance of design better than designers, he cautions.

It takes years to “think and see like a designer,” to understand the physical, social and cultural structures of the world around us, its representation through sketching, and the elements of design, composition, colour and form. “The design process is a culmination of all these learned skills working together in harmony to understand a problem and define ways of dealing with it,” Abhimanyu explains.

However, unlike most management processes, design isn’t a purely rational process, and relying equally on intuition and rationality is one of its greatest strengths. “Unfortunately, design thinking is being understood as yet another rational process-driven methodology to achieve innovation,” he laments.

Organisations need to do the hard work of internal restructuring by including creative thinkers and designers in strategic roles and integrate creative problem-solving methodologies across disciplines with an eye to organisational transformation, rather than simply sending top management to “learn design thinking,” Abhimanyu urges.