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Can Design Thinking still add value?

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Design Thinking adds value

Looking at users of Design Thinking such as Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Intuit, and IBM, you could argue that Design Thinking adds value, otherwise why would they use it? Design Thinking isn’t just a product development approach, it is a way of viewing problems, navigating through uncertainty, and designing your future. Yes, that is right, Design Thinking can be used for personal reasons as well as for business purposes. Design Thinking is an approach, a mindset and as a set of tools to assist business owners, leaders, engineers, health professionals, producers, educators, anyone. Design thinking is best known as a process to design solutions that are desirable (people like them and want to buy them), viable (makes business sense) and feasible (doable with the assistance of systems or technology). Traditionally, businesses invest in developing the “ultimate solution” to take to market. The reality, unfortunately, is nearly 95% of new products fail. With a design thinking approach success is improved because the new offering is the result of testing and validating to see if it is desired (i.e., people want to buy it), viable (it makes business sense and is profitable) and feasible (the idea is doable, we have the technology to do it).

The traditional approach is build it, and “hope” they will buy. With a Design Thinking approach, the offering is only marketed when it passes the “sweet spot” test. The ‘sweet spot’ test is the intersection of desirability, viability, and feasibility and when the sweet spot is hit, it is time to enter the market, which is the last phases of the 4D Design Thinking Framework by Leadingrowth. In the “Do phase” we know that people want to buy it, we know that there is a market for it, and that the idea is profitable, and that we have the systems and technology to do it. The “Do phase” is when the offering enters the market to grow, and to scale. Design Thinking adds value to the new offering process, because it reduces the "to market" costs and success is improved through various iterations of market testing before its rollout into the marketplace.

Design thinking adds value to customers. Customer Experience Managers use design thinking to gather insights about their customers to improve the customer experience. They realize to grow the business; it helps to continuously delight customers. Keeping your existing customers is cheaper and a more efficient than trying to obtain new customers all the time. A bonus of using 4D Design Thinking Framework to delight customers is that there is the potential to turn customers into brand advocates. A brand advocate is likely to forgive the brand if it makes a mistake, stand up for the brand in front of others, and will share their brand experiences with others, suggest others to buy the brand, effectively acting like a lead magnet. Using design thinking delights customers. This adds value for customers, and to the business’ bottom line.

Design thinking is a people centered, collaborative, problem solving approach. By extension, this means, Design Thinking adds value to employees and the business when used to improve productivity. Any area of business can be improved. Using the 4D Design Thinking Framework, employees collaborate on new processes and systems that will improve the way work is carried out, and the way that people and teams within the enterprise interact and engage. The 4D Design Thinking Framework when used routinely and regularly empowers employees to challenge the status quo, and work together, to develop solutions, to improve and grow the business. The outcome of the 4D Design Thinking Framework’s regular usage is a people centric place to work, where people are empowered, appreciated, and collaborate to improve business outcomes. So, yes, Design Thinking does add value.


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