Design Thinking is an innovation methodology that places user needs front-and-centre in the solution development process. It employs direct engagement with users to zone in on key insights that drive motivation and behavior. This structured problem solving methodology is reinforced by mindsets and guiding principles that propel its practitioners towards greater teamwork, a shared innovation language, tools and techniques, and empathetic strategies in challenging the status quo.
The success of Design Thinking hinges on some of its key attributes – a keenness to discover underlying problems, navigating ambiguity, creativity and imagination, drawing logical conclusions, synthesis and reasoning skills, openness to feedback, and a commitment towards improvement and refinement. These skills become particularly important when dealing with novel challenges that dynamically evolve. After all, the way forward is paved with increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).
Innovation brought on by Design Thinking is not always about making the next hi-tech device. It is about devising solutions that touch its intended end-user in a meaningful way. It is not necessarily about re-inventing the wheel, but rather taking a critical look at problems and asking the question, “can this solution better serve its purpose.