How many people do you think you can train in design thinking in 10 months? At Infosys, a global leader in technology services and consulting, that number tops 36,000, including 500 executives. The global leader in next-generation digital services that enable clients in 45 countries to navigate their own digital transformations, has also used design thinking workshops to empower and help change the mindset of all of its 170,000 employees worldwide.
That’s powerful change management.
Forrester Research recently profiled Infosys’ wildly successful design thinking transformation in its brief, Leverage Design Thinking To Spark A Customer-Obsessed Innovation Culture, which explores why companies need to embrace a hyper human-centered culture if they want to achieve effective digital innovation.
So, what’s behind all of this? A recent blog post from Infosys called “Design Thinking and the Enterprise” explains that enterprise-wide organizations can easily fall prey to convergent thinking, which is the practice of “making choices that come pre-validated by convention.” In other words, they take the “we’ve always done it this way so it must work” approach to problem-solving.
Ideas using this mode of thinking are technically feasible and may even be good for the bottom line, but they leave out one critical question: What does the customer really want? This simple but powerful question is the differentiator in a design thinking world because it shifts the focus from what do we want to build, to what problem are we really trying to solve?
“Design thinking emphasizes a more human-centric and empathetic cognitive process that relies on harnessing intuition, inspiration, and emotion to create solutions — all without losing sight of the practical considerations of technological feasibility and business viability,” the author writes.
In response, Infosys has embraced design thinking company-wide as the core of its business, declaring that it is important to the jobs of every employee, and not just those in design. They find it sparks creativity in individuals, teams and the entire organization.
The author explains that, as important as the customer is to the foundation of design thinking, it is the creativity of employees that really affects change. Creativity, at its core, is all about taking risks — as opposed to following those tried and true methods that have been proven to work in the past. It may seem like there is very little risk in staying with the status quo, but unless you are willing to innovate, you risk falling behind.
The author concludes that “To be truly successful, enterprises have to ensure that design thinking is embedded in the very culture of the organization.”
We agree. For any organization, from a small business to a global enterprise, to grow, evolve and change with the needs and wants of its customers, creativity needs to be a part of every employee’s job. And design thinking facilitates this by giving teams the permission to dream big.
Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Kickstart Innovation: A Guide for Organizations.