What is Design Thinking: Product And Process Innovation

Let’s take Design Thinking: at first analysis, the word “thinking” could lead to something abstract, a thought that is very likely to remain so. In reality, this is not the case, indeed even before a real methodology, Design Thinking is a thinking model that pushes towards product and process innovation, breaking down the barriers between company departments and creating a circular design/prototyping model. / testing very fast (very lean, to use a term dear to all those who are having an aperitif right now), reducing time and costs.

Brutally. What is Design Thinking? What is it for? How can you move from the “thinking” plan to the “doing” plan? Indeed, as I said a little above, it is a way of thinking even more than a real method. 

Unfortunately, it is not enough to say “from tomorrow we will do Design Thinking” or “we will organize the work with an agile methodology” because, in fact, it is a question of thinking, even before doing, in that way. What does it mean? When we talk about a radical change of habits, especially in a field like the professional one where we are all touchy and convinced of always doing our best, the motivation and the result we want to achieve are fundamental elements: the first must be created, the second must be communicated and done understand.

As with all things involving a group of people, everyone needs to be on board and understand why they are doing it this new way. Wasn’t it okay before? So everything I’ve done so far is to be thrown away? What a waste of time. Do I even have to sit at the table and watch someone write everyone’s ideas on the blackboard? Do I really have to go into a meeting with the one I can’t stand?

Examples, not too far from reality. Did we say? Touchy.

This is why it is a mindset: because we can have the vision, but somehow we have to bring onboard people (even very good people and hard workers) who, however, have limited visibility on the company each to their own role, as it is right that be. And that they have been used to doing in a certain way for many years, which has always gone well. And now everything changes? Let’s not joke.

How to change the corporate mindset?

I admit that this paragraph was not foreseen in the original draft of the article but, since we are talking about it, it seems relevant to me.

Then. We have a company that is not really a start-up and does not pride itself on having a culture centered on innovation. Rather. We have the internal IT that all in all plays to the preservation of the status quo, we have the sales that tend to manage themselves independently from the company directives without speaking to the marketing part, we have software that has stratified over time, and that push the processes towards total stasis, we would like an innovation manager who we do not know how to integrate into the team, or maybe we already have it but can not do anything because he preaches in the desert. Sound familiar?

Moving from this situation is long, tiring, and expensive. The good news is that it can be done. Indeed, if you are asking me, it must be done because paralysis does not lead to anything good. The world goes on, whether your company evolves or not: here it is a question of whether we are ready for competition or not if we are flexible enough to manage any changes in direction that the market requires today.

How to force change? In the meantime, doing it is never easy; you need to have a strong propensity to accept the unknown or a strong motivation to do so. In the company, it is certainly not something that is introduced from one moment to another, but it must be prepared. From experience, taxation in the strict sense is not a good choice because it does not last long; people have to believe it. Better to convince than to oblige.

The goal is to mold old habits into new behaviors by bringing people to understand their reasons and necessity.

Keeping in mind the result we want to achieve, Discovery is a growth path that passes through some phases and tools typical of Design Thinking aimed at deepening the following themes:

  1. The analysis of the company’s business
  2. The Buyer Personas profile
  3. Customer needs
  4. The value proposition
  5. The analysis of the company’s digital and non-digital assets
  6. The Customer Journey
  7. The analysis of communication activities

The output of Discovery is what we call a Growth Plan: a set of communication, marketing, and sales strategies and tactics that are based on shared and measurable objectives and that have an impact on the sustainable growth of the company business.

This is a path that the Agency takes together with the company and which has 4 fundamental advantages:

  1. Helps the company focus on priorities and needs
  2. It helps the company to bring people who usually don’t find the time to talk to each other on strategic issues at the same table
  3. Helps the Agency to understand the needs and requirements of communication, marketing, sales, and after-sales of the company, aligning it with the objectives
  4. It can be the first step towards the introduction of a thinking model linked to Design Thinking.