DEEP Insight

Transformation Through Design Thinking Premium

Design thinking is a vital tool for growth and innovation. This dossier shows you how to use it successfully.

This executive dossier includes the following articles:

From Identifying Needs to Generating Opportunities Premium

Discovery Before Solutions

Vilà, Joaquim; Camps, Xavier

When companies encounter problems, they tend to jump straight to solutions. Yet, it can be far more effective to reframe the initial challenge on the basis of customers' needs. This is a key component of design thinking, an approach many companies are using to transform some of the seemingly intractable problems they face. Based on extensive research and practice in this area, the authors outline the initial phase of design thinking, consisting of discovering customer needs and generating new opportunities, and they explain how to put it into practice. In addition, they describe under what conditions problems are best suited for design thinking, presenting real-life situations in which it can be applied, and suggesting some considerations for managers to help ensure effective implementation.

How Design Can Boost Social Impact and Business Results Premium

The Value of Good Design

Sosa, Manuel E.

Many managers approach problems with an engineering mindset: build it the right way and make sure it works. Designers, on the other hand, approach problems with the question: are we building the right thing in the first place? In this article, the author discusses how companies can build a design culture, using examples from EGGS Design in Oslo, Norway, and ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. The key, he says, is to bring together insight, imagination and iteration -- the three key elements that research and experience show can boost business results while solving complex social challenges, often in surprising ways.

Got an Idea for Your Business? Test Your Assumptions! Premium

Working Back to a Solution

Liedtka, Jeanne M.

Business people are primed to take action to change the present and solve problems. But by jumping straight to solutions before they have thoroughly explored the current reality of the user experience, their grand ideas may fall flat. Although starting with a solution is rarely the best way to go, the author provides tips for those who go this route, suggesting how they can still leverage the design-thinking model to test assumptions and get back on track. Using the example of a U.S. hospital's innovation effort, the author highlights three common challenges that arise when companies get ahead of themselves. Sometimes you need to take a step backward in order to take two steps forward.

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