How To Implement An Effective Design Thinking Strategy

Design Thinking refers to the human-centered approach to innovation, drawing from a designer’s toolkit, and integrating into the needs of the people, as well as the requirements for business success and the possibilities brought to life by technology.

In the design-thinking process, each person is a designer, and the best bit is that there is design everywhere. But for the best design strategies, there must be three important aspects – inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Today, we look at the best practices for the implementation of the most effective design thinking strategies.

Design thinking strategy is critical for the success and the outcome of both goals and plans. In the design world, the design strategy is used to describe the nexus between design thinking and corporate strategy, where the corporate strategy encompasses the traditional methods used by businesses to identify, plan, and achieve their goals. Design thinking, on the other hand, represents the methodology that offers a solution-based approach to problem-solving through the engagement of the end-users. As a result, just like business and war, you must come up with the best way of putting a strategy into effect. For that, you must have the right methodology, framework, roadmap, as well as a way of thinking. All these, put together, ensure that the implementation of a design strategy through the strategic thinking mindset.

So, how do you implement the most effective design thinking strategy?

First, examine the existing perceptions of design thinking

Never make assumptions. Before you initiate any change, you need to take a closer/ clearer look at the current dynamics, as well as the perceptions around design thinking, as they affect different areas of your organization. The reason for this is that design thinking is often perceived differently, even within one organization. So, with variations of the design maturity calling for the implementation of alternate practices across an organization and the increase in the design thinking opportunities as you go up the organizational structure, you will face fewer challenges, even as you implement more supportive actions. All these activities ensure that the right positioning of change agents high up in the organization’s hierarchy.

Incremental implementation of practices 

Remember that regardless of the kinds of design thinking practices you are thinking about implementing, everything on your list must be done in a step-by-step manner. The reason for this is that the smaller changes are quickly and easily internalized, minimizing resistance barriers among the non-designers. The incremental approach offers proof of the value of the non-designers, and it also provides a positive hands-on experience that comes with design thinking. Thanks to this approach, the non-designers will notice positive value resulting from the small changes, and from it, become more receptive to future changes.

Leverage the managers

The other effective approach for the implementation of the design thinking strategy involves working with and taking advantage of your managers. The reason for this is that managers often play a huge role in effecting organizational changes in the forward direction, either directly or indirectly. By engaging the managers, you’d gain their support, which you could then use to create a comfort zone (psychological) for your employees to try out new things. Lack of managerial acceptance often makes employees feel as if they are crossing an invisible line, and they might act out against the rules.

You could also:

  1. Collaborate constantly
  2. Change the culture of the company
  3. Start with empathy
  4. Be focused on the users’ experiences
  5. And encourage change from multiple perspectives.
Drew Neisser