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Can the 4D Design Thinking Framework save business?

Updated: Jan 30, 2021


Collecting data on customers isn’t new, it has been around for a while. As AI and digital analytics become more sophisticated so will the data we collect about our customers. To learn from our customers about how we can serve them better, improve their experiences, and create wow moments for them, we need to up our listening game. We can hear them online as they comment, like, share or provide emoticons to express their sentiment. We can observe their online behaviours as they click, share, like, fulfil, or leave their shopping carts. Having “real conversations” with them is likely to tell us more. Engaging with our customers and listening with empathy may provide us with “real” insights into how we can improve their experiences and grow their business, and ours.


Design Thinking as an approach has been around for a few decades, and is growing in intricacy, as we simplify the way we engage with customers using Design Thinking tools. Leaders consistently using 4D Design Thinking Framework approaches and tools are improving their growth mindsets and empowering their team to do the same. With regular use of Design Thinking, teams improve their creativeness and innovativeness, and can navigate complex problems, be more attune to customers, hear them, understand them, and grow them. 4D Design Thinking Framework helps leaders and their team improve customer engagement, experiences, and retention because they understand from the customer’s point of view what keeps the customer engaged and onsite longer.


The 4D Design Thinking Framework by Leadingrowth assists leaders and their teams navigate uncertainty or complexity and overcome hurdles that can impede growth. Using the 4D Design Thinking Framework as a guide, leaders move through each of the four phases, discover, define, design, and do. In the discover phase, leaders and their teams use empathy to understand from the customer’s viewpoint what they want, need, and don’t need. In the define stage, the leader defines the vision forward. In the design phase, the team come up with a range of solutions that are either discarded, tested, or validated until the one that best fits the vision is found and is implemented in the do phase of the 4D Design Thinking Framework. Through the experience and learning loops in the 4D Design Thinking Framework, the leader and team improve their confidence. As they grow in confidence, they realise that design thinking can be used for a range of business issues and not limited to those that help to grow customers or improve the customer experiences. Regular and routine use of Design Thinking helps to grow the mindsets of its users and helps its users to find new uses for growing the business using Design Thinking.

The 4D Design Thinking Framework isn’t just about customers and improving their experiences, it’s also about improving processes and systems within the business. Design Thinking is people centered. Design Thinking is about improving the talent, improving the onboarding of employees, or improving the way in which teams collaborate and interact within the enterprise. Design thinking is relevant to any aspect of the business where there are people, and there is a need for improvement or a lot of uncertainty requiring big decisions. Through regular use of Design Thinking, teams improve their research, creativity and innovation skills, and the capacity of the enterprise to adapt, change and grow with agility also increases. Regular and routine use of the 4D Design Thinking Framework can help to save business. Innovation and improvement are key. As the innovation capacity of the enterprise increases, so doesn’t its ability to change and pivot through uncertain times, and potentially grow in unexpected ways.

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