You’re sold on the merits of design thinking. Now how do you explain it to your team, your colleagues or even your CEO? It can be tricky to introduce the concept because it begins with a mindset shift. That is often tough for people to get their heads around.
Another reason that design thinking can seem foreign to some teams is that it has room for, and even encourages, failure. At the prototyping and testing phases, you may find your next great idea has fallen flat. And that’s okay. It just means you’re one step closer to getting it right. Corporate America wasn’t exactly built on this concept.
Here are some ways to begin training your team to embrace the core elements of design thinking.
The term “design thinking” can throw people off, but at its core design thinking is simply a process with steps — not so intimidating now, is it? Even the most rigid person on your team can relate to a structured process of problem-solving. The design thinking process may be a lot less linear and (perhaps) more messy than teams are used to, but if they can see that A will eventually lead to B, it will help them get on board.
Many teams, and organizations get so bogged down in their day-to-day processes and procedures that they forget who they are working for — the customer. They get caught up in making their own jobs easier and more efficient — and there’s real value in that — but like the team in a previous blog post, it’s very easy to take the customer out of the equation. Elevating the customer or user experience is the brass ring for any design thinking team or organization, and that can only be done by first empathizing with their needs.
For most people, a no-holds-barred ideation session is like a field trip from the daily grind. There are no “yes, buts” or bad ideas, or reasons why something can’t work, and you are allowed to think “blue sky.” You get to use your imagination to come up with big, crazy ideas knowing no one will shoot them down. It’s a chance to get out of the day-to-day job routine and be a part of innovation and creation. What could be more fun?
Just Do it.
Whether you’re training front line workers or the c-suite, in design thinking there’s no better way to do it than to, well, just do it. Assemble a group and hold a mock session. Better yet, take a real problem or challenge your organization is facing and put it through the design thinking phases. You may come up with something powerful and innovative, which in itself will sell people on the concept.
Introducing the concept of design thinking can be tricky, but the results are all the proof people will need to embrace it.
Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Kickstart Innovation: A Guide for Organizations.