Design Thinking

Type of record:
  • Macro method
  • Creativity technique
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
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  11. 10


Unlike many other innovation methods, Design Thinking is not a method in the classical sense - Design Thinking is a fundamental approach that leads to solving complex problems and developing new ideas and always puts the customer or user at the centre of the effort. Thus it is more than an innovation method: "Problem solving in this context does not necessarily always have to have an innovation context".

Design Thinking is based on the assumption that problems can be solved more efficiently if people from different disciplines and teams work together in a space that promotes creativity, jointly develop a question, know the exact needs and motivations of customers and then design concepts that are tested several times and changed iteratively (pivoting).

The Design Thinking process is based on the work of inventors and creative developers, which is understood as a combination of understanding, observation, brainstorming, enrichment, testing and learning.

Design Thinking is always multidisciplinary!
The leading approach here is exclusively multidisciplinary work with people from at least three to five different disciplines, departments or teams. So if only people from a classic team use Design Thinking, it is not Design Thinking.

In order to create new things and solve problems that our customer has, but has not yet recognized, it is irrelevant to which hierarchy level an employee belongs or to which department. Maximum diversity is the key to innovation success with Design Thinking.

Design Thinking always means "broad understanding"!
Design thinking is always about understanding a problem broadly. What else does it have to do with anything? Who or what influences it? Such and similar questions are asked at Design Thinking. For many this already means a paradigm shift - most people are conditioned to understand a problem only deeply.

Design thinking always means MACHEN!
"Don´t judge on opinions - only judge on Testing!" - that's one of the most important natural laws in design thinking. In general, one can also say "before we long theorize and create assumption after assumption ... make wir´s better". Early prototyping and testing also means hard business management: We want to make mistakes quickly and early. In this way we save cash and learn great things early on. Prototyping and testing also means that Renaissance works of art were repeatedly altered and overpainted during their creation.

Also tried and tested at the time: inspiring spaces and multidisciplinary work. Both can be found for example in the art school of Andrea del Verrocchio. At that time, artists from a wide variety of disciplines worked together interactively in large inspiring spaces - they always did it immediately and put their ideas into practice.

Design Thinking is a culture of innovation!
Yes, there is - the culture of innovation. Design Thinking brings with it a lot of mechanisms of action and helps to transform entire organizations in a target-oriented way. Here are some essential characteristics:

- Design Thinking involves more people for more ideas in less time, so the right things happen at the right time.

- Design Thinking helps you transform and sharpen your strategy - it makes your team fit.

- Design Thinking means creating benefits for the user or customer and thereby putting the company in the pole position.

- Design Thinking is inventive thinking with a focus on radical customer benefit and radical need fulfilment.

- Design Thinking creates a new agile culture of collaboration with more lived values.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for disruptive innovations
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for low complex challenges
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • P1 Understanding (identify innovation fields - problem solving)
  • P2 Analysis (problems - challenges - environment - people - products)
  • P3 Observe (people - environment - product use)
  • P4 Synthesize (create leading questions - take a stand)
  • P5 Idea Finding (ideation - idea generation - creative phase - incubation)
  • P6 Idea enrichment (idea combination - idea integration)
  • P7 Idea selection (voting - evaluation - filtering - deciding)
  • P8 Early Prototyping (testing the idea directly on the user)
  • P9 Fighting for ideas (building commitments - generate fundings)
  • P10 Implement (implementation - execution of ideas)
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