Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works – Steve Jobs
Design thinking burst into the collective consciousness of corporate India when the headlines in leading newspapers screamed, “One lakh employees trained on design thinking by Infosys.” The runaway success of companies that have adopted it (like Google, Apple, Samsung & GE) and the work of Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO have been instrumental in popularising this discipline.
But what is Design Thinking?
Design thinking describes a repeatable process employing unique and creative techniques which yield guaranteed results — usually results that exceed initial expectations. Extraordinary results that leapfrog the expected. This is why it is such an attractive, dynamic and important methodology for businesses to embrace today.
Design thinking is a mindset for approaching problems – based on some deep beliefs, namely that:
• It’s Human Centered: Design Thinking begins from deep empathy and understanding of needs and motivations of people involved in the scenario.
• It’s Collaborative: Several great minds are always stronger when solving a challenge than just one. Design Thinking benefits greatly from the views of multiple perspectives, and others’ creativity bolstering your own.
• It’s Optimistic: Design Thinking is the fundamental belief that we all can create change—no matter how big a problem, how little time or how small a budget. No matter what constraints exist around you, designing can be an enjoyable process.
• It’s Experimental: Design Thinking gives you permission to fail and to learn from your mistakes, because you come up with new ideas, get feedback on them, then iterate. Design Thinking is all about learning by doing.
If you would like a little deep dive – with a few examples thrown in, do make time to hear directly from the guru itself – Tim Brown speaking at TED about how Design Thinking works.
The world around us is witnessing a growing complexity in all areas: technology, politics, healthcare, education, cities…etc. The problems that are appearing in those areas are so intertwined with each other, that traditional left brain thinking (e.g. cost benefit analysis, incremental solutioning, brainstorming, benchmarking, fish bone analysis etc) are becoming less effective in demystifying the complexity in a useful and actionable way. There is no longer, “one right answer”. What makes design thinking so powerful is that it helps organizations figure out if they are building the right thing, before building it right.
Through an engaging workshop experience that weaves in the path breaking work done by many pioneers in the field, like Jeanne Liedtka & Tim Ogilvie of Darden School of Business, Tim Brown & David Kelly of IDEO, FocusU brings to life the concepts and tools of Design Thinking – such that it can be immediately put to practice by participants back at their workplace. The workshop is run in the trademark FocusU style of it being experiential and packed with activities & examples that give participants a first-hand feel of all the tools that are discussed. The workshop is specifically designed for a corporate audience, to help managers turn abstract concepts into everyday tools that grow business while minimising risk.
The key take-aways that the two-day workshop targets to achieve with participants are:
1) An understanding of Design Thinking methodology & philosophy
2) A familiarity with using the different tools
3) Design thinking as an alternate problem-solving approach – not the only one
4) Using Design Thinking as a problem-solving approach in organizations
5) Practical tips to get going with Design Thinking
FocusU has run these workshops by invitation at many premier institutes including IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur & IIT Guwahati.
If you are charged with leading growth and innovation in your organization or if you just want to arm your team with the latest cutting edge thinking that other pioneering organizations are adopting – FocusU invites you to explore The Design Thinking workshop!