Making Design Thinking Stick
January 27, 2020 | Design Thinking
by ExperiencePoint

92 percent of companies lack a strong design vision. Here’s how to become part of the other eight percent.

Innovation can thrive when design thinking becomes part of your corporate culture. But most companies struggle to attain this level of integration, at least according to a recent report from the 2019 IQPC conference in Austin, Praxent. A digital innovation agency surveyed attendees about their own design thinking competency, and the results were eye-opening.

The good news: 72 percent of respondents said their teams understand the importance of empathizing with customers, and 70 percent said they felt that their product development team was aligned with business goals. This suggests that design thinking methods are gaining a foothold in their cultures—although the fact that all of those surveyed were at a Design Thinking conference suggests they represent a population already ahead of the curve.

The bad news: Even these design-thinking aficionados admit they aren’t there yet. Fully 92 percent lack confidence in their organizations design vision, and 38 percent believe design is not well integrated in their product development process.

If you are one of the 92 percent, don’t be discouraged. Every transformation effort takes time before new methods become a natural part of the way work gets done. But if you want to accelerate progress, here are a few tips you can try:

  1. Promote design thinking: Encourage team leaders and top executives to talk about the benefits of design thinking and customer-empathy at every opportunity. The more teams hear leaders supporting this method, the more the method will become ingrained in the company culture.

  2. Teach design thinking. If you want employees to embrace design thinking tools, you have to teach them how to do it. Giving employees a chance to participate in training seminars or workshops ensures thT everyone has the language and tools to make design thinking part of the way they work.

  3. Define the vision. Bring together a cross-functional team of stakeholders to craft a simple yet aspirational design vision for all of the products or services your company produces. A good vision statement will act as a guide for decision making, and inspire all teams to align their efforts with the company’s core values.

  4. Tell your success stories. Every time a project deploys design thinking with great success, let everyone know. When telling these stories, combine anecdotes from actual customers with hard data about business impact. The combination will inspire employees to create amazing user experiences (UX), and help them see the connection between customer satisfaction and bottom-line results.

Interested in learning more about innovation and culture change? Read our post: How Design Thinking can Change Corporate Culture


Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale or download our free ebook Design Thinking 101.

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