Has anyone not heard about Design Thinking? There’s an eye-boggling amount of articles about the topic, no doubt one of the reasons why The Australian Business Review called it ‘the biggest buzzword in business.’ But for all the hype and volume, I’m glad too, because it’s stirred up a lot of questions, such as how relevant is Design Thinking to me?
If this describes you, the confusion is understandable.
Design Thinking is a challenge – not just to grasp, but to explain. First of all, the name’s not 100% accurate (but too late to try and change it now). It’s not its own subject really, because it incorporates elements from many other topics – such as strategic planning, continuous improvement, marketing, psychology, creativity and innovation, emotional intelligence to name a few – into its own theory, philosophy and tools.
Because I see lots of interest/confusion in the eyes of clients and students, I created a list of the 10 most useful things you could learn from a Design Thinking course to demonstrate how relevant it can be to anyone working in business today.
- You’ll learn why the ‘old school’ vs. ‘new school’ models of business are no longer effective. If nothing else, you’ll need this to explain Design Thinking to your colleagues or your boss, even more so if either of you have any type of degree or diploma in Business or Management.
- You’ll see the advantages of thinking ‘outside in.’ In other words, your best ideas are probably not within your company walls, and they aren’t hard to find. The question is, are you listening?
- You’ll learn how to break down the silos between people, departments and job descriptions. Integration isn’t hard when you understand how to help people focus on something besides their own agendas.
- You’ll grasp the value of being empathetic. Or at least, you might learn to stop listening to yourself. You don’t – and can’t – have all the answers. But surprisingly, someone else does.
- You’ll see why visualising data can be more compelling than analysing numbers. Business statistics are never an ingredient to make good ideas.
- You’ll pick up the important difference between ‘solving problems’ and ‘finding solutions.’ One looks backward, the other looks forward.
- You’ll learn to listen to your hands. Besides stimulating parts of the brain that you’ve probably forgot to use, you’ll see why it’s essential that you are hands-on involved with product development, to name one example.
- You’ll learn the significance of understanding your product or service from end-to-end. Not sure what end-to-end means? Steve Jobs did, but Thomas Edison did it 100 years earlier.
- You’ll be amazed you’ve already picked up one of the most essential elements of decision-making. More amazing, you didn’t learn it at university, but you’ll understand it all too well from shopping on the weekend at Bunnings or IKEA.
- You’ll stir up – if not revitalise – your innate creativity. As I’ve always said, being creative is the one time in your career you’ll get paid to act silly. So what’s stopping you? (We’ll talk about that too.)
These reasons are just a start. Have a question about what you could learn (or want to learn)? Happy to answer it. Email me here.
The course is offered in two ways.
- You can join a public workshop through the Australian Institute of Management, which has the added benefit of hearing ideas from one industry which might apply to your own. It’s also the most cost-effective way to dip your toe into the waters of Design Thinking. ‘Try before you buy,’ as it were.
- We can develop your own bespoke workshop, tailored to your staff, business problems or unique situation. For that, click here to get some free help.
My other posts about Design Thinking can be found here, by clicking on the tag Design Thinking.