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How Design Thinking Can Take Your Business to the Next Level

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Introduction to Design Thinking

Are you a leader in a small organisation or an executive in a large firm? Or maybe you’re a young entrepreneur, wanting to take to market your own concept? Or do you work in a product team, on the look out for new ways to develop and market your offering? Regardless of where you fit in to the business landscape, innovation is a constant need. Sure, it’s a buzzword – but it’s also a necessary component of any successful business.

A key element within the innovation process, design thinking is a “solutions-based” method of creatively tackling uniquely challenging problems by focusing on a desired future outcome. Rather than have all the problems out on the table to begin with, design thinking challenges you to tackle big problems on the run. Be flexible. Simultaneously identify and solve problems as you go.

Effective organisations and leaders must be able to design innovations that are viable and successful. That’s a no brainer. But it’s not just a matter of coming up with a great idea. Solutions are often a result ofdesign thinking. When Toyota went to market with its first electric car, there was a significant amount of design thinking required to come up with a solution that would be be drivable, comfortable, and – of course – electric. Effective design thinking is a key component of effective innovation.

“Design thinking is about being able to explore…being able to fail, make mistakes… an opportunity to learn, and find out exactly what does the actual ultimate solution look like.”
Mr Simon Spencer – Founder, Edgelabs
Ducere Global Leader


Design Thinking Rules
Rules? No-one likes rules do they- especially when we’re talking about all of these new trendy business buzzwords- innovation, flexibility, agility, disruption. But what if they are more like guidelines for best design thinking practice? Keep these rules in the back of your mind whenever you are designing, or thinking, or design thinking:

1 The human rule
Firstly, design thinking is social in nature and requires interaction and collaboration.

2 The ambiguity rule
It’s ambiguous- sure. But don’t be put off. This ambiguity is to be embraced and preserved in all of your problem solving efforts. It’s what gets you thinking laterally.

3 The re-design rule
By nature, design thinking is an iterative process. It requires constant creation and re-creation. Constant evolution. Creating product and value is never a static end-result, but rather just another step in a circular process. Maybe it should be called ‘re-design thinking’…

4 The tangibility rule
Finally, there’s the tangibility rule. Ideas should be made tangible in order to facilitate communication and a social problem solving process. Ideas are one thing, but creating a physical presence- whether it be as an actual physical product, or an online platform – is where excitement and buy – in really come in to play.


Ducere Business School Design Thinking MicroCourse
Okay, so now you know what design thinking is, and you are armed with four key rules to always keep in the back of your mind, it’s time to get started. This Dūcere MicroCourse will take you through the steps in the design thinking process- from defining the problem all the way through to its implementation. By following his MicroCourse you’ll be able to overcome some key challenges that any business faces daily- a fear of failing at solving the problem, stakeholder resistance and devil’s advocates.

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