Design Thinking Is The Innovation We’ve Been Waiting For

 

Whilst problems can be a source of frustration, especially within fast paced office environments, when tackled creatively they can become also reason for inspiration resulting in a new, more desirable and uncharted reality for your business.

Within the digital sphere, innovation is a concept that has been repeated so many times, it has almost lost its meaning. But, practically, in the context of modern society, what does true innovation look like? In a world where our future lies majorly in the metaphorical hands of AI and Machine Learning, how can we use our humanity as a way to innovate not only to keep up, but also to become an integral part of the new environments forming before our eyes?

The answer, although simple, is perhaps not obvious: we do it by becoming designers of our own future realities. It may sound like an overwhelming task, but according to Juliana Proserpio from Echos, School Of Design Thinking, “humans are inherently designers”, which means we are born equipped to constantly dictate our reality and shape the physical and conceptual aspects of our future. The process of Design Thinking requires extensive work and makes it impossible for one to avoid the hard questions; instead, it sees the beauty in them and uses the results of different approaches to arrive at the most satisfactory conclusion.

How can Design Thinking help businesses across Australia?

With an emerging economy and rapidly growing population, the Australian market is a very competitive place to be, hence the urgent need for companies to make innovation their priority if they are to stay ahead of the curve. Design Thinking has it down to a T; all one has to do is “create tangible things in order to access intangible change”, says Echos’ Proserpio. What this means, practically, is that by finding innovative solutions for areas of your business such as services, systems and culture, the change in the overall business will be undeniable and, most importantly, it will bring in revenue.

But how is it done? Design Thinking has a methodology of solving a problem by following these steps: 1. Empathise, 2. Define, 3. Ideate, 4. Prototype and 5. Test , according to Stanford’s d.School. This process aims to arrive at the best resolution to a challenge by taking “thinking outside the box” to the next level.

As the multicultural community Australia is, its diversity is sure to enrich the Design Thinking process and strengthen its approach to problem solving, which can be described along the lines of “the more ways we try to tackle the same problem, the more likely we will be to finding its most suitable solution”. When you think about it, it is pretty straightforward: unless you’ve looked at every single possible scenario, how can you be sure you’ve made the best decision?

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said in Sands and Stars, “In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away”.

This would be an extremely lengthy process if it weren’t for the fact that, in Design Thinking, everything is collaborative. The bonding of co-workers and bettering the company’s culture is the cherry on top of the cake that lands by giving a voice to everyone, whilst making people work together towards a common goal.

Back to AI, if Machine Learning happens by trial, error and incessant repetition, Design Thinking does just the same with one addictive, its humanity. Machines can learn most things including creativity, but empathy – one of the principles of Design Thinking – perhaps remains being our human secret weapon for relevance in the age of AI. In that, the pairing of human-centric (Design Thinking) and machine-centric (Machine Learning) design is a sweet combination and one that shows the road to continuous success for companies worldwide.

When change is imminent and old tricks no longer work, embracing the circumstances and adapting them to one’s needs is not only the smartest thing to do, it is also necessary. If Design Thinking is what allows us to take charge of our own realities – present or future –, it could not have arrived soon enough.

Rani Ghazzaoui Luke

Rani is a writer and actor based in Sydney, Australia. She is Content Strategist at Echos – Innovation Lab.

Prior to joining Echos, she worked in full-service advertising agencies as a copywriter, moved onto writing for Broadcast Media and landed on Digital Media, working first as a Digital Producer and later as a Digital Account Manager. Most recently, she was Lead Client Solutions Manager for GumGum Inc, an ad tech company specialised in Artificial Intelligence.

Rani is a highly curious individual that believes creativity and innovation are the most important tools to propel any person or business forward.

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