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#10 Ways to Use Design Thinking for Driving Business Design thinking drives innovation & creates more opportunities for everyone to contribute effectively

By Apoorve Dubey

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Running a business is quite complex. One needs to deal with constantly changing business dynamics, manage multiple stakeholders, meet ever-growing customer needs and deal with an unknown future with certainty. Design thinking is an effective tool that leaders can use to drive their organisations and connect the dots better.

The most successful companies like AirBnB, Nike, Pepsi, Google, & Apple have all embraced design thinking. These companies use design thinking to rekindle creativity, narrow down focus areas & communicate goals with clarity. Many of the companies are adopting design leadership for driving important business decisions. Here we explore some of the ways design thinking is creating an impact and helping companies in various facets of business:

Create a roadmap for the Future

Disruptions are ripe in the technology-powered world. The leaders need to keep an eye on the future and take decisive steps to forge ahead in the right direction. Design thinking is a tool that allows the leaders to visualize things clearly. It can help the leaders to create a roadmap & chart the direction for the future of their companies. The visualization of the future with simplicity and clarity is very important in the fast-changing business environment today.

Identify the Right Problem

Design Thinking is not building products or services, but more about providing the right solutions & solving real problems. It focuses on identifying the right questions & core problem that is important for the users. It involves interactions with users and deep understanding of their environment. Design thinking methodology cares deeply about finding the right problem that needs to be solved for the customer.

Team Collaboration & innovation

Design thinking focuses on brainstorming, interactions and getting everyone to contribute. This is a great way to get inputs and collectively come up with new and innovative ideas for building better products/services. It enforces team-based collaboration that puts the user at the centre. CEOs can use and encourage design thinking for getting people aligned with common goals.

Deep Understanding of Customers

A deep understanding of customers is crucial for building the right solutions for them. The best products and services are built by putting the needs of their users first. The emphasis is on solving problems for the customers and not merely creating enterprise products. The solutions are built with feedback and iterations as per the needs of the users. End users are prioritized to build engaging and delightful experiences for them.

Stay ahead of Competition

Design thinking is a structured approach to finding innovative solutions. It is a solution-focused strategy that puts users at the heart of products and services. The solution focus creates a strong differentiation. It helps in building better products & services that customers love to use. Apple is a great example of how they used compelling designs to build products that helped them beat their competitors.

Get more opportunities

Design thinking drives innovation & creates more opportunities for everyone to contribute effectively. This approach helps companies to also improve the usability aspects of their products/services. The adoption of the products and services is improved with simpler designs. It is an effective way to build great solutions and create more opportunities for everyone involved.

Clarity in Meetings

One of the worst time killers in the corporate world is 'meetings'. Make no mistake about it. Most of the times a lot of things are discussed, but at the end, no one has a clear picture of what needs to be done. Design thinking is a powerful tool to set the expectations straight. It can be used to run meetings effectively to get everyone on the same page. With design, thinking meetings can create synergy in the team and draw an action plan for everyone to follow.

Improve Customer Experience

The customer journey influences their perception of your business. The ease with which, customers can interact and get things done matters a lot. Whether they are looking to make a purchase or support issues resolved, every interaction influences your brand perception. Design thinking can be employed to create pleasant and interactive customer touch points to influence customers positively.

Launching Products & Services

The launch of your products/services is often fast-tracked using design thinking. It allows fewer surprises at the end. The customer feedback and iterations are already factored during the development phase itself. It reduces last-minute surprises and risks. The products & services are also delivered in tune with the customer needs to maximize adoption.

Sales Interactions

Sales interactions are crucial for the growth of any company. Design thinking can enhance interactions with customers in a decisive way. The sales teams can use design thinking approach to articulate the solutions offered to the prospective customers. In fact, the visual representation of how the solution can take them from their current state to their goal state can expedite the sales process. When prospective clients can see the visualization of the solution, it is definitely easier for them to say yes.

Design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years, as per Design Management Institute. The design-led companies are winning by putting customers first. They are building solutions with a deep understanding of customers, their goals, behaviours and motivations. The CEOs and top leaders are now using design thinking to influence business decisions with great success.

Apoorve Dubey

Founder and C.E.O, Kreyon Systems Pvt. Ltd

 Apoorve Dubey is the founder and C.E.O of Kreyon Systems Pvt. Ltd, a fast growing Software company that serves clients in more than 10 countries. He is an alumnus of IIT Madras. He is the author of the best-selling book, “The Flight of Ambition” published by Macmillan and a co-author of “Successful organisations in action”.
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