Entrepreneurship is an art that requires discipline, hard work and good ideas. When starting a business, there are many things can go wrong during the venturing process, and that is why entrepreneurs need tools and ways to solve different challenges in order to become successful in their business ventures.
Many organisations that are leaders in their fields such as Apple, IBM and government bodies across the world have incorporated Design Thinking to their day to day as a way to arrive at solutions from a human-centred perspective. So, if you’re a person who is trying to have a breakthrough with your business, learning design thinking can be a very smart way to acquire an enormous competitive advantage, by changing the way your brain works when faced with challenges.
Entrepreneurs are, generally, people with lively minds: they think of many ideas, they list the potential problems and their possible solutions, they select a team of capacitated people to help get their business off the ground, they aim to launch a minimum viable product or service.
Technology, connectivity and speed of information have made it easier for people to venture in the entrepreneurial world. Look around you, almost everyone you know has a business idea they are either thinking about developing. What is it that sets an entrepreneur apart from their peers, then?
Design Thinking is a wholesome, important tool that can deeply help entrepreneurs along their business journeys. The method encourages people to act on their hunches before they have all the answers – what we, at Echos, call “learning by doing”. Design Thinking helps a person to create opportunities for their business by getting it wrong soon and as much as possible so that they can get it right faster.
Design thinking uses the designer’s sensibility to match people’s needs with what is feasible and financially viable, creating, therefore, customer value.
If at first glance, the term ‘design’ makes people think of aesthetics and tangible objects, the scope of design is a lot broader. Design is a type of focus that forces you to be human-centric in your approach to problems, giving you a clear pathway to follow and get to the solution.
How can the Design Thinking main pillars help you grow your business?
Empathy: By profoundly learning about your client’s needs, you will solve their problem faster. Stepping in someone shoes is not an easy task, but empathy is the bridge between your client’s desires and your solution. Actively listening to your customer will give you incredible insights, learnings, and tools that will, ultimately, allow you to provide them with what they want in a speedy way.
Collaboration: Believe in the power of your network. Being an entrepreneur means seeing value in what different people bring to the table and using the best asset in each person in a collaborative way. Connectivity is the watchword.
Experimentation: Prototyping is something that provokes a feeling or an emotion in someone even before your final product exists. IDEO’s David Kelley famously said: “Fail faster, succeed sooner“. Experimenting, in other words, is testing the waters before you launch something. Learning from mistakes as fast as possible is a valuable thing for a business. Iteration and client feedback go hand in hand.
In the startup universe, setting the right goals for your business is vital. Learning Design Thinking and applying the mindset to your day-to-day will help you speed up the process of your success.
* If you’d like to learn the tools of Design Thinking, download the first part of the Echos’ series: Design Thinking Toolkit. In need of consultancy? Get in touch via e-mail or call us on 1300 502 006.
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