For those of you who are not familiar with Muggles, they are people who are incapable of magic, and who are usually unaware of the wizarding world. Design Thinking is sort of like wizardries, it takes certain type of people with the certain type of training, Hogwarts or Harvard.
When Muggles think Design Thinking, they see nothing new there and they believe it has been around for a long time, it basically means they still don’t get it and may never will. They hardly see the real challenge, it is simply not to invent a better mouse traps. We care capable of doing more and being more innovative. The power of our imagaination is what it is.
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
Design Thinkin is alot more than lateral thinking and creativity de Bono style or ad agency style brainstorming. Design Thinking fills the gap created by management theories and business schools which analytical thinking and data-driven decision making override intuition where empathy is never part of the equation.
Companies have been battered by system level economic failure, extreme uncertainties, and the failure of traditional forms of strategic making, leadership styles and management model. These wounds have left businesses gazing hopefully towards Design Thinking. Design Thinking is bringing a refreshed, revitalized, and rejuvenated approach to management and strategic thinking- however, design thinking is far from a cure-all. It takes a certain type of people who are comfortable with different thinking styles. I’ve read so much poorly written papers about design thinking and many of them don’t even grab the basic principles and its true transformational power.
Often people talk narrowly about design and prototyping, but Design Thinking is not just bringing the power of empathetic creative problem-solving to bear on a human needs, it is an organization culture, a mindset, a framework and a toolkit to solve complex wicked problems that we created. It provides a balance between the needs to create customer value, shareholder return and social value. Design Thinking is strategic.
Everyone comes to me hoping to join Idea Couture claims they are creative, they have great ideas and can turn ideas into great products and create new markets. Go deeper and I ask the how… there comes the sound of silence. Great Idea, great products, great business is a tagline, not a strategy. Design Thinking can be applied to fill the gaps of traditional strategic thinking. The increasingly complex needs of the business need a new toolkit and Design Thinking is exactly what is needed. It helps to uncover new needs, creatively redefine value, reconfiguration of value-chain activities, develop compelling brand narratives and create markets that are yet to exist. When my friend Roger Martin advocates Design Thinking, he is not talking about ethnography or prototyping; he is talking about a whole new management paradigm.
Everything is designed—from behavior, systems, organizations to public policies. Design is universal. The dirty secrets of why how big corporations destroy shareholder value are actually no secrets. Everyone from the board of directors to the frontline employees knows 'why' a company is 'stuck.' Because their structures and management systems are so rigid and can’t adapt to changing market shifts or respond to any disruptions; their over focus on core competencies and optimization that prevent them to see beyond the core and; fail to see and anticipate the future and even if they see it they fail to act on it. This is where Design Thinking comes into play.
Everyone understands the need to make money and everyone hope they can do magic. And everyday many moguls are trying to create magic with cute packaging and fancy taglines and hoping to make a lot of money, off course it won’t work. The real magic lies in understanding deep human desire and unmet needs and anticipate emerging behavior, not every company truly understands how to do it. They teach those at the Ministry of Design Thinking.