Sure, you’re aware that design thinking exists but what are the real advantages and benefits at play for a business and its employees? Allow us to explain.
If you’re a regular to the Woven blogs, you’ll know how much we value design thinking. As we’re typing this, we’re surrounded by post-it notes in the office that we’ve collected after our own design thinking workshops. And no, we’re not kidding!
In our past blogs, we’ve focused on how design thinking helps you to build a connection with and gain empathy for end users. What we haven’t dipped our toes into yet is how beneficial it is for your business and how it can help colleagues to build empathy with one another to become a more in tune, happy and successful team. In other words, this approach is beneficial to everyone: your customers, your people, your company and overall business processes.
Design thinking isn’t a solution in itself but a framework to provide you with the tools you need to develop a solution or at the very least, a first step in the right path towards a real workable solution. This approach can be applied more broadly throughout your organisation to create a framework in which you advance more ideas towards prototyping, which in the future, can become engaging and functional product designs or processes. So how does it achieve this?
The design thinking framework can provide positive outcomes for the whole business by helping to alter the way innovation projects are perceived and dealt with internally. This can start to shape a new process and larger ecosystem that allows consistent exchanges of ideas and continual testing, changes and evolution. In other words, every idea, regardless of how small it is or where it came from, can be heard, deliberated and potentially, become a reality. The process may help improve something as straightforward as reducing costs or result in a bigger change such as better workplace culture or a more efficient innovation process.
By already having a procedure in place to facilitate new ideas and innovation projects, approaching these concepts before considering and then tackling them to become tangible designs, won’t seem like such a huge mountain to climb. The process also ensures everyone in the company is involved, on the same page and working towards the same objectives.
When design thinking is functioning at its best, collaboration is a key part of workshops and the overall process. As they say, there is no ‘I’ in team. The ability for your team to come together and work with diverse members of your organisation towards a solution(s) to the problem at hand, is vital.
So you know how you walk into workplaces sometimes and that young new kid in I.T has never talked to the head of Marketing? Forget that! With design thinking, with any given project, you might be working with anyone from any department within your organisation: accounts, I.T, product, the supply chain, finance and so on. It’s all about building a product that incorporates knowledge across numerous areas of your business to capture as much expertise as possible so the final product is out of this world! In a good way, of course.
These workshops make each team member feel heard and valued as you’re inviting them to present their ideas and voice their opinions. By creating a safe space to share, the possibilities really are endless and you never know what someone in the team might produce in this encouraging environment. When leaders seriously consider their employees’ ideas and input, it makes people feel valued. And when this extends to putting ideas into action, this can motivate staff beyond belief and confirm how meaningful their work is. Motivation and productivity levels are sure to be on the rise!
At Pronto HQ, we’ve recently completed our own series of workshops, creating teams consisting of individuals across a range of different backgrounds, expertise and experiences. The participation from the entire crew was amazing! The workshops were a great opportunity for people to come together and talk through any issues and understand more about one another’s goals/work and the various divisions within the company. This paved the way for staff to view problems from someone else’s perspective and consider their processes and typical issues they face with particular problems.
Provide people with a platform and they will come! Even the shyest and most introverted of people among the team were keen to participate in the workshops to put forward and share their ideas. It’s fair to say some employees talked more during the workshops than we’ve ever heard them speak before. And that’s a good thing! Working together, the team became excited to explore ideas that had been bubbling a way for a while - regardless of how ambitious or impossible they seemed. The real magic with these workshops is that each new idea inspired another idea from someone else, which inevitably builds the path towards a stronger solution. The end result is so much more diverse and of higher quality than if one employee locked themselves away and kept going round and round in circles trying to figure out the problem.
When it was all done and dusted, the design thinking process helped us to work better together and build stronger relationships for the future. And of course, we walked away with a fantastic starting point to approach the problem at the centre of the workshop. Now that’s what we call a productive day in the office!
Want to learn how a design thinking workshop might help to unpack one of your business’ pressing problems? We’ve facilitated many of these workshops over the years so contact us today!