CPD

Design thinking training is for everyone

SOURCE: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the launch of iPhone 11 .


By U2B Staff 

Read all stories


Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation is the only way to win” and it was the principles and application of design thinking that was behind Apple’s rebound and eventual success.

Individuals, departments, and organisations of today are operating in a highly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business world. There is a strong need to embrace change quickly to create and deliver new creative solutions to meet unmet market needs.

Design thinking refers to both the creativity and critical thinking used during the process of developing products and solutions. It is a structured methodology used by design thinkers to ideate and delivers products or services and experiences that address the latent and unmet needs of users.

This skill helps business can not only identify the latent needs of end-users but also develop innovative prototypes to meet the needs. It also provides an avenue for businesses to validate ideas and test them before execution.

This skill has become a fundamental requirement for not only engineers and designers but for any employee in the organisation.

The value of design thinking is echoed by the strong performance of companies like Apple, Coca Cola, IBM, Target, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Disney, and Starbucks. Results show that over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained a significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 228%.

There are many ways both organisations and individuals can learn design thinking as there are any programmes and courses offered by many reputable higher education institutions including Stanford, MIT, and Cornell.

There are also many online and blended learning options on offer, by both higher education institutions and MOOCs. However, it is important to choose a programme that not only helps you build your understanding of design thinking but also teaches you how to apply design thinking methodology and build actual prototypes to solve unmet user needs and problems with ease.

YOU MIGHT LIKE

Why organisations should invest in workshops and training?

Design thinking is for everyone in an organisation, from CEO to designer. In fact, this is a skill that should be applied and displayed in every task at every level as it prioritises tangible outcomes, allowing you to focus on finding solutions rather than fixating on obstacles and challenges.

If you are a manager or CEO and would like to emulate the success of IBM, Apple and are aware of design thinking success case studies, like how accounting software firm Intuit used design thinking to boost sales by $10 million in a year, or how Airbnb transformed from being a failing start-up to a billion-dollar business, then you might already be aware of why design thinking is important to your business.

By providing training opportunities for the people in your organisation, what your doing is essentially equipping your employees and colleagues with highly valuable skills that allow them to think like product and solution designers.

The overarching benefits of these training workshops, boot camps, or certifications will give your organisation is the adoption of a creative, user-centric mindset at every level. This alone will have a significant positive impact on your bottom line.

Design thinking is also a useful skill for individual contributors

If you are a designer who wants to move up in your career to become a UX professional, then a certification in this skill will be a good way to get there. You will not only be able to solve problems quickly and creatively, but also learn how to better manage your team and stakeholders.

A certification will also come in handy if you are a freelance designer or consultant as many organisations hire design thinking consultants for short term projects. Additionally, if you work in an R&D division in your organisation, a certification in design thinking can also give your career a boost.